North Carolina is home to two major shipping ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, as well as two inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro. With the thousands of miles of railroad tracks and highways that weave throughout the state, plus four international airports, it is clear why the state’s international business initiatives are successful.
According to 2015 figures released by the US Department of Commerce:
- Wholesale and Retail Buyers – the western portion of North Carolina has the largest number of these professionals of all non-metro areas in the nation
- Financial Analysts – certain non-metro areas of North Carolina are home to the second-highest amount of these professionals of all rural areas in the nation
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialist – Western Central North Carolina is home to the third-largest amount of these professionals of all non-metro areas in the nation
- Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents – certain North Carolina non-metro areas have the fourth-highest number of these professionals of all rural areas in the nation
- Marketing Managers – Western Central North Carolina has the second-highest amount of these professionals of all non-metro areas in the nation
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In 2014 alone North Carolina exported a total of $31.3 billion in merchandise to foreign markets, including:
- $10.7 billion from the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area
- $4.3 billion from the Greensboro-High Point area
- $3.0 billion from the Durham-Chapel Hill area
- $2.3 billion from Raleigh
- $1.8 billion from the Hickory-Lenoir-Morgantown area
Earning a Degree in International Business
Perhaps the best investment that prospective international business professionals can make is in education. North Carolina is home to several colleges and universities with programs designed to lay a solid foundation in international business for tomorrow’s company executives and senior trade advisers.
Graduates who hold a degree in International Business have gone on to pursue careers like:
- Trade Analyst –Maximizes profits and minimizes losses by analyzing trading patterns and market indications
- Wholesale Buyer – Responsible for maximizing value by purchasing products when the price is best, all while keeping the supply line stocked
- International Economist – Works with governments or private industry at the macro or micro-economic level to analyze markets and make predictions about the future
Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered online as well as in the classroom.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in International Business
This four-year program will prepare students for entry-level positions in the field of international business. Schools offer specific degree programs in several different formats:
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Economics
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with an International Business Focus
As part of their core curriculum, students will take classes that cover subjects like:
- Business supply chain management
- Principles of management
- Organizational behavior
- International economics
- Business statistics
- Business law
- Economics and accounting
- Global marketing
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree can pursue jobs like:
- International Business Consultant
- Financial Assistant
- International Accountant
- Business Development Adviser
- Public Relations Associate
- International Finance Consultant
- Advertising Associate
Master’s Degree Programs in International Business
Graduates with a master’s degree in International Relations can pursue careers like:
- International Trade and Customs Manager
- Import-Export Compliance Consultant
- International Business Consultant
- Trade Analyst
- Financial Controller
- Business Development Director
Each master’s program has its own admission requirements. These can include any of the following:
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Completion of an undergrad degree
- Minimum score on the GRE or GMAT
- Letters of recommendation
- Prior experience working in the field of business
- Letters of academic intent
When selecting a master’s degree program, students have several choices when it comes to type of degree:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business
- Master of Science (MS) in International Business
- Master of International Business (MIB)
- Master of Science in International Management (MIM)
Many master’s programs will also give students the opportunity to specialize in an area of focus within the degree. These can include:
- International Trade and Commercial Policies
- International Environment and Resource Policy
- International Information and Communication
- International Business Relations
- Public International Law
North Carolina’s Impact on World Trade and Global Business
North Carolina’s international business professionals work at the public and private levels to grow the state’s economic opportunities and open new markets. According to figures from the Department of Commerce, last year North Carolina’s five largest trading partners were:
- Canada – imported $6.74 billion of North Carolina products
- Mexico – imported $3.01 billion of North Carolina products
- China – imported $2.66 billion of North Carolina products
- Japan – imported $1.75 billion of North Carolina products
- Saudi Arabia – imported $1.19 billion of North Carolina products
North Carolina Department of Commerce, International Trade – the state’s Department of Commerce has developed this specialized division to help companies bring their products to the foreign exports market. This section also provides official government information to foreign companies that are interested in doing business in North Carolina.
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina – this is a non-profit organization that aims to serve as the intermediary between government agencies, funding, and the private sector. This organization helps foreign companies to find locations for business within the state, and also helps local North Carolina companies establish a foothold in foreign markets.
International Business Careers in North Carolina
The following careers are provided as illustrative examples only, and were taken from a survey of North Carolina job vacancies posted across the state in July of 2015:
Export/Import Logistics Specialist with Ingersoll Rand in Davidson – this professional must have a strong foundation in international business, especially logistics, to support export shipments. The incumbent will work with letters of credit, export documentation, performance management, and provider selection. Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in International Logistics or Supply Chain.
Foreign Trade and Compliance Specialist with Teleflex in Morrisville – this professional will serve as a point of contact for medical personnel for foreign trade compliance issues. This includes providing detailed information about product importing/exporting, technical data transfers, and other export/import services. Applicants can qualify for this position with a bachelor’s degree in International Business or Business Administration.
International Logistics Coordinator with Sealed Air Corporation in Charlotte – this professional works with client companies to keep their costs as low as possible. The incumbent’s two main duties are to ensure all US and foreign laws are complied with, including with paperwork, and to provide acceptable levels of service that lead to the lowest possible cost for client companies. Applicants are recommended to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
North Carolina’s International Business Resources
There are a number of local international business resources located throughout North Carolina, both state-sponsored and private organizations:
- North Carolina State Ports Authority
- North Carolina Department of Commerce, International Trade
- North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, International Trade Office
- North Carolina District Export Council
- Cape Fear World Trade Association
- Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
- Charlotte World Trade Association
- North Carolina World Trade Association