Schools of International Business for Careers in Pennsylvania

According to the US Department of Commerce, in 2014 exports from Pennsylvania to foreign markets around the world amounted to $40.2 billion. Larger than the Gross Domestic Product of many countries, that number highlights the importance of the global business experts that facilitate international trade and commerce.

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Trade analysts are one example of an important professional in this field, combing through data to find the regions that offer the highest price for the state’s products, and the lowest prices for materials and parts. Trade law and policy experts are another important player, ensuring the state’s exports adhere to all US and foreign regulations.

Pennsylvania’s leading export industries fetched the following market export values in 2014:

  • Chemicals – $6.80 billion
  • Machinery – $4.51 billion
  • Transportation equipment – $3.93 billion
  • Computer and electronic products – $3.78 billion
  • Primary metal manufactures – $3.42 billion

Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development works with international partners to represent Pennsylvania as a good location for foreign investment. This is good news for the state since foreign investment supported 5.4 percent of the state’s total private industry employment as of 2012.

The state’s Office of International Business Development is quick to highlight some of Pennsylvania’s major international business advantages:

  • Six international airports that move 560,000 metric tons of material each year
  • Four class-one railroads, and 66 in total – the highest number in the nation
  • Three major water ports that provide access to the Great Lakes, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico
  • Within one day’s drive of 60 percent of the US and Canadian populations
  • Seven foreign trade zones


Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in International Business

An undergraduate degree in international business is the starting point for many entry-level positions with multinational and multi-domestic corporations, while graduate programs are often a requirement for more advanced positions in corporate leadership. International business schools in Pennsylvania offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in online formats as well as through traditional on-site programs.

Bachelor’s Degree in International Business

Pennsylvania’s international business schools offer several undergraduate options that include:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration focus in International Business
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business with a focus on Global Management
  • Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in International Business

Core program subjects covered as part of the bachelor’s degree program include:

  • Global business issues relating to government, culture, and society
  • Management of an international workforce
  • Business statistics
  • Strategic management for multinationals
  • International economics and finance
  • Global supply chain management
  • Global marketing
  • Business law

Bachelor’s-prepared international business professionals often go on to careers such as these:

  • Public Relations Specialist
  • International Finance Associate
  • International Appraiser
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • International Management Analyst
  • Business Development Advisor
  • International Buyer
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Master’s Degree in International Business

Earning a master’s degree is often compulsory for professionals looking to advance to upper-level management and executive positions in multinational and multi-domestic companies.

The first step to completing this degree is to research the specific admission requirements for a chosen graduate school, which can include:

  • Prior experience working in the field of international business
  • Letters of professional and academic intent
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA
  • Minimum score on the GRE or GMAT

Students should also be familiar with the different types of degree programs that may be offered through Pennsylvania’s international business graduate schools:

  • Master of International Business (MIB)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business
  • Master of Science in International Management (MIM)
  • Master of Science (MS) in International Business

Important core courses that are part of these academic programs can include:

  • Global investment management
  • International financial and trade law
  • Management of international mergers and acquisitions
  • Intellectual property law on the world stage
  • Global economy and energy
  • Managing industries undergoing privatization and deregulation
  • Emerging markets
  • International business transactions
  • International entrepreneurship
  • Economics and management of technology

Master’s programs may also offer students an option to specialize in a particular area of focus. These topics of concentration can include:

  • International Trade
  • International Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
  • International Monetary Theory and Policy
  • International Information and Communication
  • Regional specialization, such as Africa, the Middle East, China, Southwest Asia, or Brazil
  • International Business Relations

Professionals with a graduate degree in international business can go on to careers such as these:

  • Import-Export Coordinator
  • Senior Trade Analyst
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • International Bank Manager
  • Senior Quality Control Auditor
  • Management Analyst
  • Senior Business Consultant


Pennsylvania’s Contribution to International Trade and Global Commerce

Pennsylvania’s international trade professionals helped local businesses export billions of dollars worth of products in 2014, according to the US Department of Commerce:

  • Canada – imported $12.08 billion in Pennsylvania products
  • Mexico – imported $3.73 billion in Pennsylvania products
  • China – imported $2.38 billion in Pennsylvania products
  • United Kingdom – imported $1.90 billion in Pennsylvania products
  • Netherlands – imported 1.89 billion in Pennsylvania products

Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development

Part of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Office of International Business Development is a key state resource for businesses that want to have an international presence. This office provides business services that include:

  • Export assistance programs
  • Market research
  • Export counseling
  • Grant and financing programs
  • Trade missions and foreign exposition resources
  • Logistical support for business trips
  • Technical support and education programs

International Business Careers in Pennsylvania

The following careers were surveyed in July of 2015, and are provided here as illustrative examples only:

Associate Economist with Moody’s in West Chester Candidates for this position must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field in order to conduct in-depth research and analysis regarding international, state, and metropolitan economies.

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Import-Export Logistics Specialist with GE Power and Water in Trevose This professional is responsible for shipments that are exported to, or imported from, global partners. The incumbent’s duties include communicating directly with customers about order status and shipment documentation. Candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain, Logistics, Business, or Engineering.

International Tax Consultant with Deloitte Tax in Pittsburgh This professional will work with multinational clients to help them integrate tax planning in their overarching business strategy. Applicants can qualify for this position with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or a master’s degree in Accounting or Taxation.

Local Resources for Pennsylvania’s International Business Students and Professionals

Aspiring and experienced international business professionals can find helpful resources in communities throughout Pennsylvania:

State Government

Private and Professional Organizations

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