West Virginia’s small to mid size businesses along with multinational corporations with operations in the state place a premium on international business professionals able to manage business development, logistics, trade compliance and more.
International trade and commerce is a major contributor to West Virginia’s economy. In fact, the U.S. Department of State indicates that:
- More than 150 customers from foreign countries are engaged in buying and consuming West Virginia goods and services
- In 2012, West Virginia exported $11.4 billion in goods to foreign nations
- In 2011, the state exported $1.6 billion in services to foreign nations
- Overall, international business and trade supported more than 187,000 West Virginian jobs in 2013, representing 20% of all jobs in the state
As of 2013, the largest international markets for West Virginian goods and services were:
Because of the essential role international trade plays in West Virginia’s economy, the West Virginia Department of Commerce offers international trade services to all businesses in the state, including
- Export assistance
- Trade shows
- Trade missions
- Foreign buyers delegations
- Individualized market research
One important program in particular is the Export Promotion Program, which hosts international trade missions to promote West Virginia’s products and services in the global market. In 2015, Department hosted trade missions in China, Japan, and South Africa, expanding the state’s exporting market and creating strong ties between West Virginia and some of the world’s top consumers.
International business promises West Virginia’s companies and businesses that they will be able to increase sales, increase cash flow, address ups and downs in the domestic business cycle, and increase their competitiveness in the global market.
Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in International Business
A bachelor’s degree in international business is a starting point for jobs in top multinational and multi-domestic companies with operations in West Virginia. Graduate programs are available to professionals interested in pursuing upper-level management and executive leadership positions with these companies.
West Virginia’s international business schools offer these degrees through interdisciplinary programs that blend international studies with business fundamentals.
Bachelor’s Degrees in International Business
International business majors in West Virginia may choose from numerous degree options, including:
- Bachelor of Arts in International Business
- Bachelor of Science in International Business
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business
- Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business (BBA)
- Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in International Business
Students may also opt for dual degrees such as these:
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (BBA/BA)
These degrees will prepare students to be leaders in the global market through a series of steps that often include:
- General courses
- Introductory business courses
- International relations courses
- Foreign language courses
- International internships
Although students may concentrate on an area of business such as marketing, finance, or accounting, they may also choose to specialize in a foreign language, giving them an edge in the global market.
For instance, some programs will allow students specializing in a foreign language—such as French, German, or Italian—to study in that respective country, such as at the Rouen Business School 80 miles northeast of Paris.
The more hands-on experience students can get, the better—and the more prepared they will be to enter careers in international business, such as:
- International Sales Representative
- Business Development Associate
- Client Relationship Specialist
- Trade Compliance Manager
- Expatriate Administrator
- Global Program Coordinator
- International Product Control Analyst
- Global Trade Customs Compliance Advisor
- International Import/Export Specialist
Master’s Degrees in International Business
The world’s foremost global corporations look for business leaders that understand both how to run a business and how to interact in various sociocultural and political environments.
To obtain this expertise, many business professionals look to advance their education by enrolling in graduate programs, such as these:
- Master of Business Administration in Global Management (MBA)
- Master of Science in International Management (MSI)
- Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in International Business (MBA/MSIB)
- Master of International Business (MIB)
Many programs also offer dual degrees through partnerships with U.S.-based universities and global universities, such as Grande Ecole ESCP Europe in Paris.
Admissions counselors for these programs will be looking for the best and brightest applicants. Although each university is different, general admissions criteria may consist of requirements such as:
- Undergraduate degree in business (preferable international business)
- Proficiency in a foreign language
- Competitive GMAT scores
- International experience
- Leadership skills
Most graduate programs range from 30-40 credits, including:
- Core courses
- International business electives
- International studies electives
Core courses generally include courses such as:
- International Business Negotiations
- Global Accounting and Finance
- International Systems Management
After completing core courses, professionals get the chance to specialize their degree through electives, including, but not limited to, courses such as:
- International Business Transactions
- Transnational Law
- Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Completing a degree in international business will give professionals the theoretical framework and hands-on experience to excel in international business jobs, such as:
- Senior Global Product Planner
- Global Digital Marketing Manager
- Market Research Analyst
- Executive Assistant for Global Sales
- Africa/Middle East Pricing Analyst
- Multistate Tax Manager
- Marketing Intelligence Specialist
West Virginia-Based Agencies Dedicated to Fostering International Business
Some of West Virginia’s leading organizations that are dedicated to fostering international trade include, but are not limited to:
- West Virginia National District Export Council – this trade council not only outlines the benefits for West Virginia’s involvement in international trade, but it supports local businesses through export counseling, mentoring, education, and more.
- West Virginia Business & Industry Council – this council is dedicated to promoting legislation that will stimulate the economy of West Virginia, including tax fairness legislation, regulatory consistency legislation, and educational progress legislation. To this end, more consistent and fair tax, regulatory, and economic laws will work to attract even more foreign investors to the state of West Virginia.
- West Virginia Manufacturers Association – this association offers support to businesses for a variety of trade related issues, such as trade laws, intellectual property issues, trade relations, and trade adjustment assistance, helping West Virginia’s businesses trade and export more easily and frequently.
Links to these organizations can be found here:
- West Virginia Department of Commerce
- West Virginia National District Export Council
- West Virginia Business & Industry Council
- West Virginia Manufacturers Association