Skills you'll gain: Leadership and Management, Marketing, Business Analysis, Business Development, Business Psychology, Business Transformation, Culture, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Strategy, Strategy and Operations
Mixed · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Business Development, Sales, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Marketing, Strategy and Operations, Budget Management, Business Analysis, Business Process Management, Communication, Finance, Market Analysis, Marketing Management
Beginner · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Decision Making, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Business Psychology, Organizational Development, Computer Architecture, Computer Networking, Network Architecture, Game Theory, Mathematics
Intermediate · Course · 1-3 Months
International trade is the exchange of products, services, and currencies between different countries. For centuries, international trade has allowed countries to trade their surplus resources for the resources they needed. At its best, international trade can bring economic and employment growth, market diversification, and cultural sharing - the promises, profits, and rewards of globalization.
International trade is important to learn about because the reality of globalization and the relationships between multinational organizations and countries can be complex and challenging. For example, the strategic management of global marketing requires adept cross-cultural communication as well as economic and legal expertise to navigate the taxes, trade barriers, and trade agreements that regulate international business. Political risks must also be considered, since trade can result in resource depletion, economic dependence, or other dynamics that can cause tensions between countries and companies.
Many different types of business participate in or depend on international trade, so the breadth and depth of careers available is remarkable. Enabling businesses to cross borders requires personnel to understand international trade issues across the full extent of an organization’s operations, from supply chain managers to global marketing specialists, currency exchange analysts to international lawyers.
Economists are invaluable to governments as well as multinational corporations, with their ability to research, evaluate, and analyze price indexes, interest rates, currency fluctuations, and other aspects of macroeconomics and global trade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make a median salary of $105,020 per year, and their job growth is expected to be faster than average for all occupations as the global economy becomes more complex and financial regulations more numerous.
Certainly. Coursera has a wide range of online courses and Specializations on international business and trade, as well as related topics such as globalization, international law, and supply chain management. You’ll be taking these courses from top-ranked institutions from around the world including the University of New Mexico, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of London, and IE Business School, so you won’t have to sacrifice the quality of your education to learn online.
Because international trade encompasses so many different areas, many experiences may help prepare you to study the topic. This might include working in fields like logistics, business, manufacturing, international law, marketing, communications, management, advertising, and industrial engineering. Previous high school and postsecondary courses in these topics can also be helpful, as can internships or volunteer work that included these fields. Military experience can be beneficial if you're interested in international trade, as can experience working for a government agency, like the U.S. Bureau of Industry, International Trade Association, Foreign Agricultural Service, or the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.
The type of person suited to work in international trade will vary, depending on which aspect of the field you choose, but everyone in the field should possess sensitivity towards other cultures from around the world. In some cases, speaking a foreign language may even be beneficial, as you'll be communicating with people across different countries and cultures. You'll also need to have some knowledge of international laws and regulations to ensure that any work you do is legal. Networking skills are important, as is your ability to adapt to new and unique situations quickly and regularly. You must be creative, especially if you work in marketing or advertising, and you'll need to be able to work under pressure due to having unique deadlines in different places around the world.
Anyone with an interest in the global market—whether you're an entrepreneur looking to start or expand your own company or you want to join a business that already exists—is suited for a role in international trade. Even if you aren't interested in the global market, studying it can give you a better understanding of where your company may go in the future as business becomes increasingly global. You can take the opportunity to better understand other regions of the world, particularly if you plan to work or live abroad one day.