Top 10 Careers with an International Business Degree

University of Surrey ISC students chatting with each other

International business refers to business activities that occur across national borders. This encompasses a wide range of activities such as exporting and importing goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI), and global supply chain management. For those with a passion for exploring new cultures and navigating the complexities of global markets, a career in international business could be the perfect fit.

Understanding why international business is important is key to starting out in this field. Importantly, international business drives economic growth, fosters cultural exchange, and creates opportunities for innovation and collaboration on a global scale.

For students considering an international business degree, the prospects are exciting and diverse. A degree in this field is not just an academic achievement; it's a gateway to a range of careers in international business. After completing an international business degree, jobs could range from working in multinational corporations to non-profit organisations – careers in international business include a wide variety of roles and offer lucrative earning potential.

Read on for our list of some of the top jobs with an international business degree.

10 Careers with an International Business Degree

Global supply chain manager

Global supply chain managers oversee the movement of goods and services around the world. Their work involves optimising logistics to ensure products are transported efficiently across borders. This role is essential in reducing costs and improving supply chain effectiveness.

Succeeding in this career in international business requires strategic planning skills and an in-depth understanding of global market dynamics. As well as logistics, you will need a thorough understanding of navigating complex international regulations and cultural differences.

International management analyst or consultant 

International business management analysts/consultants provide essential insights to companies aiming to optimise their operations globally. They analyse market trends, assess business strategies, and recommend improvements to ensure competitive advantage in diverse international markets.

This position is critical for businesses that navigate complex global landscapes. For students eyeing international business degree jobs, becoming an international business management analyst/consultant offers a unique opportunity to influence major business decisions.

International financial manager

Tasked with managing a company's financial health across different countries, international financial managers navigate the complexities of currency exchange, risk management, and global financial strategy. Their work is crucial in ensuring financial stability and profitability in diverse economic environments.

This role is a cornerstone in international business careers, especially for those passionate about finance and global market dynamics.

If you’re interested in merging financial expertise with an understanding of the international market, this career path offers a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to impact financial decision-making on a global scale.

International economist

International economists analyse global economic trends, trade policies, and market conditions. Their expertise is crucial in understanding the complexities of the global economy and providing insights that guide international trade strategies and policies.

A career as an international economist often leads to opportunities in government agencies, international organisations, and research institutions.

For those interested in global economics and policymaking, this career offers one of the most challenging yet rewarding international business jobs.

Global logistics manager

Global logistics managers are responsible for the movement of goods across international borders. They use their supply chain expertise to navigate complex logistics, ensuring that products are delivered efficiently.

In industries with sophisticated supply chains, such as manufacturing or retail, a global logistics manager's role is particularly crucial. Their ability to optimise logistics both boosts operational efficiency and contributes significantly to a company's bottom line.

International business consultant

With expertise in market research, entry strategies, and a deep understanding of international regulations, international business consultants assist and advise businesses on navigating the complexities of expanding globally.

Their role involves analysing market trends, identifying potential opportunities, and advising on best practices for international operations. It's a role that not only demands a deep understanding of global markets but also the ability to think strategically.

Foreign service officer

As a foreign service officer, you represent your country’s interests abroad, engaging in vital activities such as diplomacy, trade negotiations, and cultural exchanges. This position requires a commitment to fostering international relationships and understanding.

Foreign service officers often enjoy competitive government salaries and benefits, but the real reward lies in the unique experiences and the impact they make on global relations. It's a role that encapsulates why international business is important – by bridging countries and cultures, foreign service officers play a crucial part in maintaining and strengthening global connections.

Human resources manager

Tasked with navigating the complexities of a global workforce, human resources (HR) managers oversee the people-focused elements of an international business like talent acquisition, compensation, and ensuring compliance with international labour laws.

In essence, international HR managers are instrumental in building and maintaining the workforce of multinational companies. This involves understanding different cultures, employment regulations across countries, and creating positive work environments for staff around the world.

International marketing manager

International marketing managers develop and implement strategies to effectively promote products or services in diverse global markets. A key part of their role involves understanding the cultural nuances of different regions and adapting marketing campaigns to resonate with different international audiences.

This international business career offers a blend of creativity and strategic planning. Beyond simply selling a product, it's about crafting a message that transcends cultural boundaries.

International marketing managers play a significant role in determining how a brand is perceived worldwide, making their contribution vital to the success of businesses operating in a global marketplace.

Export/import manager

Export/import managers oversee the intricate import and export operations of a company. These professionals are experts in managing the logistical aspects of international shipments, including handling vital documentation and navigating complex customs regulations.

This career offers an exciting opportunity to be at the heart of international commerce. export/import managers ensure that products move seamlessly across borders, which is essential in today's interconnected global economy.

Study International Business at the University of Surrey

In order to navigate the complexities of international markets, international business jobs require you to be adept in various disciplines, including economics, law, cultural studies, and foreign languages. A helpful first step can therefore be to study international business.

The University of Surrey allows international students to launch their dream careers in international business. Ranking impressively in UK league tables – 13th in the Complete University Guide 2024, and 21st in both The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide and the Guardian University Guide for 2024 – Surrey is an excellent place to study. 

Beyond these academic rankings, Surrey is also renowned for providing a first-class student experience, coming 4th in the UK for student experience in the National Student Survey 2023. 

When it comes to developing employability skills, Surrey excels, with a professional placement year available on every undergraduate programme and over 2,300 placement partners. Surrey has even been recognised as offering the Best University Work Placement Service in the UK for four consecutive years (National University Employability Awards 2018-2022). 

The University was also named the University of the Year for Graduate Employment (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022), and this commitment to employability significantly enhances your prospects for a career in international business. 

International students can take their first steps towards their international business career by applying for the Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences International Foundation Year or the Management, Finance, Hospitality and Tourism Pre-Masters programme. You will also want to take a look at important information on entry requirements, university fees, and visa information.


Is international business a good major?  

Yes – for those fascinated by global commerce, international business is an excellent major. It opens doors to a wealth of careers in international business, offering a wide range of job opportunities in an increasingly globalised world. 

Is there scope in international business?  

Yes – the scope for professionals looking to develop careers in international business is expansive. Increasing globalisation creates numerous opportunities across various sectors, making it an exciting and dynamic career choice. 

Is it hard to study international business?  

Studying international business can be challenging However, for those with dedication and a genuine interest in global markets, it's an immensely rewarding field. The skills and knowledge gained are invaluable to pursuing a career in international business.