With the advent of the Internet and other technologies, businesses have begun taking an interest in how international customers and investments can improve their bottom line. Financial professionals who have experience with international currency, worldwide stock exchanges and international diplomacy can pursue positions in international business finance.
International business finance is the art of managing money on a global scale. Students interested in this field should study various areas of finance, such as investments and corporate finance. Before you continue your studies in international markets and global financial institutions, you must understand the fundamentals of domestic operations.
Careers with multinational corporations, financial institutions and consulting firms are options, but the best job opportunities are available for those with the highest levels of education and work experience. International jobs are usually reserved for those with strong foreign language skills who have specialized in a particular area of finance that benefits your employer.
Possible job positions vary. Financial officers help organizations grow through mergers, contracts and expansions in the most cost-effective way possible. Similarly, financial analysts guide businesses and individuals through investment decisions by studying financial statements and the global economy. Financial managers are essential to the operations of a firm because they understand and control all vital financial functions. You can expect to work long hours under intense pressure in an office setting.
Strong analytical skills are necessary because you will be expected to make important decisions on a daily basis that affect companies, economies and individuals. You will need to be confident, detail oriented, self-motivated and familiar with the processes of international laws, markets and economics. You are more likely to advance if you have received advanced degrees and continue your education through obtaining certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation offered by the CFA Institute.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of positions in this field are held in New York City and other financial hubs throughout the U.S., with 47% of the workforce being within the finance and insurance industries (www.bls.gov). In May 2010, the mean annual wage for a financial analyst was $86,040. That same year financial managers earned $116,970, personal financial advisors earned $91,220 and securities, commodities and financial services sales agents earned $95,130.
A Bachelor of Arts in International Business covers the political, cultural and social aspects of various countries and businesses. Courses in international business finance would concentrate on the international economic environment, corporate governance, capital markets and contemporary issues in international banking. Study of global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank should also play a role in your curriculum.
A Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) program would prepare you for work overseas. Typically these certificate programs involve studying abroad and intensive language immersion. Popular languages of study include French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. An Advanced Certificate in International Business and Finance would concentrate on courses such as multinational investment analysis, global finance and international accounting.
A Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) offers a well-rounded education in the main areas of finance. In order to earn this degree you must complete a thesis, which will help you develop strong research and analytical skills. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program focuses on enhancing leadership skills, strategic thinking and knowledge of the global business environment. Typically, the first year is devoted to the study of fundamental business principles such as accounting, finance and management strategy. The second year allows students to focus on a specialty, such as international business finance. A Master of Arts in International Political Economy and Development (IPED) would allow for a specialty in international banking and finance. Courses would include a foundation in economic analysis, research methods and political science and core courses such as international economic relations and global economic policy.