Schools of International Business for Careers in Tennessee

Tennessee has become a hub for international business. The state’s total international exports have grown every year since FY (fiscal year) 2009, culminating in a record-setting $33 billion in FY 2014. This figure represents growth of 61%, indicating the increased efforts Tennessee-based companies are making to gain access to foreign markets around the world.

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In FY 2014, Tennessee’s top exports included:

  • Transportation equipment, $7.4 billion
  • Computer products and electronics, $5.3 billion
  • Chemicals, $5 billion
  • Miscellaneous manufactures, $3.8 billion
  • Machinery, $2.7 billion

The top 10 destinations for Tennessee exports in FY 2014 spanned five continents, illustrating the diversity of the state’s global economic collaboration:

North America

  • Canada, $9.1 billion
  • Mexico, $4.7 billion


  • China, $2.3 billion
  • Japan, $1.7 billion
  • Singapore $983 million


  • Belgium $1.2 billion
  • Netherlands $1 billion
  • United Kingdom, $926 million


  • Australia, $886 million

South America

  • Brazil, $883 million

The Tennessee Department for Economic and Community Development has played a key role in the state’s rapid export growth. The department employs international business experts such as export specialists and international marketing managers to assist Tennessee-based companies in every aspect of international trade and commerce.

Choosing the Right Degree for a Career in International Business

Obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree related to international business is an invaluable step for aspiring professionals. Graduates of these programs go on to work for companies that drive global trade across all sectors.

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Through undergraduate and graduate-level international business programs, students go on to a variety of careers in the world of international trade and commerce:

  • International marketing director
  • Business development director
  • Business consultant
  • International economist
  • Financial controller
  • Financial analyst
  • Advertising executive
  • Financial controller
  • Public relations specialist
  • Business development director
  • International trade and customs manager
  • Supply chain manager
  • Trade specialist
  • Management analyst

A large number of colleges and universities offer students the option to pursue an international business degree online. Many working professionals often choose this option to continue their education without sacrificing their current career.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Through coursework that deals with business principles and their relation to the international economy, bachelor’s degree programs often serve as the first major step for today’s top global professionals. Examples of degree types offered in these programs include:

  • Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in International Business
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with an International Business Focus
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business with a Global Management Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in (BA) International Economics

Just some of the course titles that may be found in today’s undergraduate programs:

  • Emerging Markets
  • International Financial Management
  • Business Processes and Supply Chain Management
  • Global Business Strategy
  • International Management
  • Economics of Development and Growth
  • Exploring International Business
  • Cultural & Political Environment of International Business
  • International Economics
  • Hazardous Materials Management

Master’s Degrees

International business master’s degree programs allow students to hone in on their desired career through highly specialized coursework. By choosing a field of study, students can enter the professional business realm with expertise in areas such as:

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • International Monetary Theory and Policy
  • International Environment and Resource Policy
  • International Information and Communication
  • International Organizations
  • International Business Relations
  • Pacific Asia
  • United States
  • International Trade and Commercial Policies

Admission to master’s degree programs is often selective, with some schools requiring students to have a combination of strong academic credentials such as an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and professional work experience. Additionally, many schools ask students to submit their GRE and GMAT scores upon applying.

Students who enroll in master’s degree programs often pursue degrees such as:

  • Master of Science (MS) in International Business
  • Master of Arts (MA) in International Economics and Finance
  • Master of Science in International Management (MIM)
  • Master of Business Administration in International Business (MBA)

These programs may include courses with titles such as:

  • International Finance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: An International Perspective
  • Business Plan Fundamentals & Communication
  • International Financial Management
  • Economics and Management of Technology
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • International Intellectual Property Law and Policy
  • Leading Across Cultures
  • Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
  • Global Financial Strategy


The Business Professionals in Tennessee that Drive International Trade and Commerce

Tennessee’s elite international business professionals often pull in healthy annual salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), the following professionals were among the highest paid in the state as of May 2014:

  • Financial managers, $101,460 mean annual wage
  • Sales managers, $97,610 mean annual wage
  • Marketing managers, $97,580 mean annual wage
  • Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents, $89,640 mean annual wage
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The efforts of these professionals, along with countless other international business specialists, make Tennessee companies significant players in the global economy. Examples of these businesses and the professionals who drive their international efforts include:

  • International Paper Company, the largest pulp and paper company in the world, has operations in 24 countries worldwide. In 2014, the company earned $3.1 billion in sales to EMEA/Russian markets, $1.7 billion in sales to Asian markets, $1.3 billion to sales in South American markets, demonstrating its global client diversity. International paper relies on a slew of international business experts including supply chain managers, who oversee the entire process of producing and selling paper products. Additionally, interpreters are necessary to ensure company executives from different parts of the world are able to communicate effectively.
  • FedEx Express is the largest global freight carrier in the world in terms of amount of freight tons carried. The company ships items worldwide, requiring the expertise of international trade and customs specialists to ensure compliance with the regulations of nations on every continent. The company also employs international financial analysts to interpret growth trends in foreign sectors as well as identify future sources of cash flow from different areas of the global market.


Tennessee’s International Business Resources

In addition to state entities that offer resources to assist Tennessee businesses in international trade, a slew of nonprofit organizations and private businesses provide services to help companies expand their global presence. These groups include, but are not limited to:

State Government

Nonprofit Organizations and Private Businesses

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