On the International Edge: Skills and Courses to Help Fill the Need for Global Leaders
As the world becomes increasingly more interconnected, there is a growing need for the knowledge of international business, whether it be for the new social entrepreneur who just started her online business or the global corporation that is expanding to new frontiers. All businesses that have some international element (product, service, or supply/delivery chain) need to be able to combine international marketing knowledge with the knowledge of foreign exchange, import/export customs and regulations, international human resource management, and customer service that includes cross-cultural communications. Businesses that fail to attract and retain employees knowledgeable in these areas may suffer the consequences of not being able to adequately compete and succeed in the global marketplace.
This demand for the “global mindset,” “global worldview,” or “international perspective” may be seen in job postings for a variety of positions from entry level to the boardroom, and the cry for more knowledgeable, educated, and effective global leaders is the mantra shouted by voters and stockholders worldwide. Companies recognize that Globalization 2.0 (the continuing interdependence of countries around the world versus Globalization 1.0, which was the dominance of global trade by Western countries) is a continuing challenge and are adopting strategies and hiring practices to continue thriving in the global economy.
International education and practices will continue to be of growing importance around the world. Companies understand that their future customers and employees will have a keenly developed knowledge of their world and global perspective. These future customers and employees are used to being interconnected through technological resources and expect “on demand” products and services. To illustrate this point further, consider this insight from the Whitby School as to why the international business buzzword matters today. And notice the global focus of the curriculum from the International School of Dongguan. Then consider who some of your prospective customers and future employees may be.
6 Key Skills Global Business Leaders/Employees Need
In thinking about your own field of study or professional endeavors, it is possible to learn the skills that give you a “global edge” in the business/job market. Take a look at the partial skill list below. Then start adding the courses you need to promote your academic and professional success in the global marketplace.
- Global perspective
- Cross-cultural communication skills
- Critical problem-solving skills within a cross-cultural/multi-generational environment
- Curiosity and imagination toward our ever-changing global business environment
- Knowledge of global economies, political environments, and foreign cultures
- Knowledge of global tech developments and the international legal and regulatory environment
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5 Courses to Address International Business Needs
So, what is being done and how can we develop global business leaders that are able to anticipate future business needs, use global perspectives to ethically manage companies, and creatively and quickly resolve problems?
The Forbes School of Business & Technology™ at Ashford University offers specialized courses in international business to address those very needs. The courses are appropriate for every major field of study as a supplemental elective or to apply toward an individual field of study, such as a Bachelor of Arts in International Business. The carefully designed program promotes the very skills that future business leaders need in order to succeed in an interconnected global economy.
Here are five courses you might consider adding to your degree:
1. International Business
Examine functional areas of business from an international perspective. The importance of differing cultural and political assumptions in business is also addressed in this course.
2. International Human Resource Management
Examine human resources practices in an international business environment, address HR strategies and practices to increase organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and international compliance problems faced by HR professionals.
3. International Finance
This course offers an examination of the international aspects of corporate finance and investing and covers balance of payments, foreign exchange with emphasis on exchange rate determination, exchange risk, hedging, and interest arbitrage, international money and capital markets, international financing, and international banking.
4. International Marketing
This course examines the cultural, economic, and political factors that affect marketing of goods and services worldwide. Marketing strategies of firms operating within these markets are examined, however the emphasis of the curriculum is on adapting the marketing strategies of domestic marketers to international operations and the institutional structure that exists in international markets.
5. International Business Law
In this course, students will study the legal environment associated with international commercial transactions, including an analysis of major Western and non-Western legal traditions and the supranational law of the European Community, a detailed analysis of the negotiation, formation, enforcement, and financing of international sales contracts, an analysis of international trade regulation, analysis of methods of regulating global competition, and of the protection of business property rights in international transactions.
The Future of International Business
While some may suggest that globalization has slowed, trade agreements are continuing to be developed, renegotiated, and adopted by nations around the world. As a result, trade and technology will continue to push countries to find opportunities for economic growth outside of their own borders. Will you be prepared to address these needs? Start by talking to an Ashford advisor today.
Written by Kathy Colquitt, Associate Faculty of the Bachelor of Arts in International Business program for the Forbes School of Business & Technology™ at Ashford University.