Schools of International Business for Careers in Washington

From Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Microsoft that have become household names to the dozens of innovative startups that spring from the entrepreneurial spirit found in the greater Seattle area, Washington-based businesses have long been recognized as major players in the global economy. In 2014, both CNBC and Business Insider ranked Washington as the seventh best state in the US for doing business. Washington’s total GDP that year was roughly $390.5 billion, the eighth highest in the U.S.

Sponsored Content

Washington’s business community owes much of its success to international trade and commerce. In FY 2014, small-to-mid sized businesses along with multinational and multi-domestic corporations with operations in the state exported $90.6 billion in goods and services to foreign markets around the world, the third highest of any state in the U.S. This represents an increase of more than 140 percent since 2004, demonstrating Washington’s increased integration with the global economy.

As of FY 2014, the state’s top international exports included:

  • Transportation Products, $28.1 Billion
  • Agricultural Products, $11.4 Billion
  • Petroleum and Coal Products, $3.7 Billion
  • Computer and Electronic Products, $3.7 Billion
  • Food and Kindred Products, $2.9 Billion
  • Machinery (except electrical), $1.8 Billion

In FY 2014, Washington’s top export markets included:


  • China, $20.7 billion
  • Japan, $7.4 billion
  • United Arab Emirates, $3.3 billion
  • South Korea, $2.7 billion
  • Taiwan, $2.5 billion
  • Qatar $2.3 billion
  • Indonesia $2.2 billion

North America

  • Canada, $9.2 billion
  • Mexico, $2.7 billion


  • United Kingdom $2.9 billion
  • Germany, $2.06 billion

From trade analysts and import/export compliance specialists to international business development directors and supply chain managers, Washington-based companies rely on skilled professionals with a global perspective on business.

The Right Degree for a Career in International Business

Washington is home to some of the nation’s most respected business schools, offering specialized undergraduate degrees to aspiring international business professionals, as well as graduate programs for those with an eye on leadership positions.

Many of these programs provide students with the option to complete their degree online, either exclusively or in combination with traditional on-site coursework.

International business majors in Washington often go on to secure jobs critical to international trade and commerce:

  • International economist
  • Business development director
  • Business consultant
  • International financial manager
  • Wholesale buyer
  • Import/export compliance specialist
  • International marketing director
  • Multinational manager
  • Supply chain manager

Bachelor’s Degrees

Some of the undergraduate degrees in international business available through Washington’s business schools include:

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

Course titles often offered in these programs include:

  • Strategic Management for the Multinational Enterprise
  • Global Business Strategy
  • Emerging Markets
  • Economics of Development and Growth
  • Cross-Cultural Management
  • Business Processes and Supply Chain Management
  • Global Employment Relations
  • International Economics
  • International Monetary Relations
  • International Management
  • Business & the Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • International Financial Management

Master’s Degree Programs

Corporate leadership positions with multinational and multi-domestic corporations are generally reserved for master’s-prepared international business professionals. Graduate programs offer concentration-specific coursework and lectures from some of the world’s brightest minds in international business.

Sponsored Content

Admission standards for graduate schools offering international business programs often include:

  • Work experience in the business field, often up to four years
  • An undergraduate degree that includes coursework in areas such as statistics, finance, or microeconomics
  • Strong scores on entrance exams
  • Essay on personal goals and objectives

Some of the graduate degrees in international business available through Washington’s business schools include:

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

To prepare international business graduate students for careers in specific areas of corporate leadership, Washington’s business schools offer master’s programs with specialized concentrations that include:

  • International Environment and Resource Policy
  • Development Economics
  • International Organizations
  • International Political Economy
  • Public International Law
  • Law and Development
  • International Business Relations
  • International Trade and Commercial Policies
  • International Information and Communication
  • International Monetary Theory and Policy
  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Examples of course titles offered in today’s international business master’s programs include, but are not limited to:

  • International Business Transactions
  • Communications Policy Analysis and Modeling
  • Global Investment Management
  • International Investment Law
  • Foundations in Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance
  • Large Investment and International Project Finance
  • International Financial Management
  • Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
  • Economics and Management of Technology
  • Accounting for Profit, Nonprofit, and Government Organizations
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: An International Perspective
  • Financial Statement Management
  • International Financial and Fiscal Law
  • International Intellectual Property Law and Policy
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Global Financial Services


International Business Careers in Washington State

A growing number of international business experts are helping Washington companies increase their presence in foreign markets around the globe. The importance of these professionals is reflected in the salaries they earn, which often extend well into the six figures. According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), Washington’s international business professionals in several classifications were among the highest paid in the nation (2014):

  • International Marketing managers, $136,770 mean annual salary
  • International Sales managers, $118,740 mean annual salary
  • International Advertising and promotions managers, $114,430 mean annual salary
  • International Financial managers, $112,460 mean annual salary

Specific examples of international business professionals working for Washington’s biggest companies include:

  • com relies heavily on export specialists to guide the delivery of products to nearly every major market on earth. The company also employs international financial managers to identify and analyze trends in foreign sales.
  • Starbucks employs international marketing specialists to develop strategic advertising plans in foreign markets. These specialists often compare trends with regard to how marketing campaigns are received by consumers in markets overseas, which guides future investments in the company’s advertising. Interpreters are also invaluable to the Starbucks franchise as they allow executives from multiple nations to communicate without language barriers.
  • Cutter & Buck, a sports clothing company established in Seattle that specializes in golf apparel, sells its products to 25 nations around the world. The company, owned by Swedish corporation New Wave Group, relies on international sales specialists to develop and maintain growth in foreign markets.
Sponsored Content

Resources for Washington’s International Business Professionals and Students

Washington’s community of thriving international businesses is fostered by a number of state departments and private organizations dedicated to helping companies within the state. These groups include, but are not limited to:


Nonprofit/private organizations

Back to Top