Rhode Island’s international business professionals are the vital link between local businesses and the foreign markets that import their products and services. According to the US Department of Commerce, in 2013 the Providence-Warwick area exported a total of $6.6 billion worth of goods.
As of 2014, Rhode Island’s top exports were valued at:
- Waste and scrap – $593 million
- Chemicals – $375 million
- Primary metal manufactured products – $237 million
- Other manufactures – $211 million
- Electrical equipment – $163 million
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Business Administration and Master in Public Administration: Government and Policy
- SNHU - B.S. in Business Administration - International Business and M.B.A. in International Business
- The online master's programs from American University's School of International Service allow professionals to build international and business expertise in 12–24 months. GRE/GMAT scores not required.
- Fletcher's online Master of Global Business Administration from Tufts University prepares students to apply advanced business strategy in a global context. Complete in as few as 16 months. No GRE/GMAT required.
- Designed by both Kogod and the top-ranked School of International Service, the MS in International Relations and Business at American University will help you develop a global business mindset in as few as 18 months.No GRE/GMAT required.
- Norwich University Online - Master of Arts in International Relations Program - Online. Choose from 5 concentrations: International Security, National Security, International Development, Cyber Diplomacy, Regions of the World. NO GRE/ GMAT required.
- Norwich University Online - Master of Arts in Diplomacy - Online. Build stronger negotiation, critical thinking and conflict management skills. Choose from 4 concentrations: international commerce, international terrorism, international conflict management and cyber diplomacy.
International business professionals are also important for attracting foreign investment to Rhode Island. In fact, 6.8 percent of the state’s private industry employment was supported by foreign investments in 2012, with a total of 27,300 state residents working for foreign-controlled companies.
International relations professionals may accompany trade delegations abroad, however these professionals focus on aspects that relate to global security, humanitarian needs, and diplomacy. International business professionals work within the private sector to facilitate global trade and commerce. For example, international business professionals play an important role with Commerce Rhode Island, a government agency whose international trade services include:
- Export express grant program for Rhode Island businesses that want to learn about export business plan development, logistics, and international trade shows
- Food export assistance
- Foreign market entry programs
- Trade mission program
- International trade resources
Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in International Business
Students in Rhode Island have several options when it comes to earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in the field of international business. In-state as well as national programs that accept Rhode Island residents offer degree programs both in the traditional classroom setting as well as online.
Earning a bachelor’s degree can be a minimum requirement for entry-level jobs in this field, while a graduate degree is often necessary for professionals that want to advance to upper-level management and executive level positions.
Bachelor’s Degree in International Business
Bachelor’s degree programs available to Rhode Island’s international business majors include:
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Economics
- Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in International Business
Core courses within these programs often include:
- International economics and finance
- Cross-cultural management
- Emerging market economies
- Principles of management
- Organizational behavior
- Supply chain management
- Business and management statistics
- Business law
Bachelor’s-prepared international business professionals go on to pursue careers such as these:
- Marketing Advisor
- Public Relations Specialist
- International Financial Adviser
- Global Marketing Associate
- International Job Classification Specialist
- International Sales Associate
Master’s Degree in International Business
Many students and experienced professionals pursue a master’s degree to further their career options. The first step to enrolling in an international business program is to determine its specific entrance requirements. In Rhode Island these can include:
- Letters of recommendation
- Undergraduate degree
- Work experience in the field of international business
- Minimum score on the GRE or GMAT
- Minimum GPA
- Essay about personal and professional goals
Possible MS and MA degree programs can include:
- Master of Science (MS) in International Business
- Master of International Business (MIB)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business
- Master of Science in International Management (MIM)
Core courses that are part of a master’s program in International Business can include:
- Strategic management in deregulating and privatizing industries
- International business policy
- Statistical methods and data analysis
- International fiscal and financial law
- Acquisition and merger management
- Communications modeling and analysis
- Global financial services
- International project financing and large investments
Some graduate programs also give students the option to focus on an area of specialization. Examples of some areas of focus include:
- International Political Economy
- International Business Relations
- International Environmental Issues
- International Monetary Policy
- International Information and Communication
Graduates who have completed their master’s degree can pursue advanced careers like:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Multinational Trade Manager
- Supply Chain Manager
- Import-Export Compliance Specialist
- International Economist
- International Business Professor
- Senior Market Analyst
Rhode Island’s Impact on International Trade and Commerce
The US Department of Commerce reported that in 2014 Rhode Island’s major trading partners were:
- Canada – imported $503 million of Rhode Island’s products
- Mexico – imported $196 million of Rhode Island’s products
- Germany – imported $127 million of Rhode Island’s products
- Turkey – imported $124 million of Rhode Island’s products
- China – imported $116 million of Rhode Island’s products
To attract the best professionals in the field, Rhode Island offers some of the most competitive salaries in the nation. According to the US Department of Labor the state offers wholesale and retail buyers the highest average annual salary of all states in the nation.
Commerce Rhode Island
As the state’s main government-sponsored international business resource, this agency has been responsible for helping the following companies secure important trade deals:
- Amgen – an applied molecular genetics company
- Taco Mix – a local restaurant in Central Falls that sells Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine with freshly imported products
- Concordia Fibers – a textile company based in Coventry that produces synthetic yarns and threads
- Quality Metric – a company that develops analysis tools to determine ones risk of chronic disease and other health problems
The following careers are provided for illustrative examples only, taken from a survey conducted in July of 2015:
Business Development and Strategy Director with Raytheon Undersea Warfare Systems in Portsmouth – this professional is in charge of driving business growth by representing Raytheon’s war systems to domestic and foreign buyers. Candidates for this position must be able to obtain a Secret security clearance and have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline.
Operations Analyst with Bank of America in Providence – this professional is responsible for the daily management of complex transactions and problems that arise in the bank’s Business Unit. Incumbents must also conduct research and be knowledgeable about international taxation. Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in fields related to Business, Taxation, or Finance.
Manager of Global Brand Development and Marketing with Hasbro in Pawtucket – this professional is responsible for driving key business goals that pertain to global marketing and partnerships. Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to Advertising or Marketing, and are preferred to have an MBA.
Local Resources for International Business Professionals
Experienced and aspiring international business professionals can find local resources throughout Rhode Island:
Private and Professional Organizations
- Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce – Export/Import Assistance
- Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce – Business Resources
- Rhode Island Manufacturers Association