Business leaders have recognized global commerce to be the very cornerstone of success, as international trade partnerships and expansion into foreign markets have become key to growth in every major industry. To be prepared for a business career in the 21st century is to be prepared for a career in international business.

What Is International Business?

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With 95 percent of the world’s consumer market existing outside of the United States, international business leaders have long since recognized the need to position their companies for growth in the global marketplace. Currently, more than 275,000 U.S. companies participate in business with foreign operations from 230 countries around the world.

As American corporations and their foreign subsidiaries engage in more than $4 trillion in trade with foreign owned companies each year, today’s leaders of industry no longer look at doing business across national boarders as something independent of their overall business strategy.

With more than 10.3 million American jobs tied to international trade, accounting for 6.9 percent of total employment in the United States, it is clear that the U.S. economy has fully integrated with the larger global economy.

Through the creation of international trade agreements and the formation of trade blocks, access to foreign markets has created tremendous opportunity for emerging startups, as well as large multi-nationals that have already established their presence globally. The International Trade Administration has classified 96% of all U.S. companies involved in foreign trade as small to medium in size, illustrating that international commerce is not the exclusive domain of the world’s largest corporations.

As conducting business across national boarders has become standard practice for companies from every business sector, a global perspective and a business model that embraces international commerce have become the tools most prized by leaders of global industry.