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Salary of International Business Majors

Updated on July 28, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

International business majors take the economics, finance, accounting, management, and human resources courses necessary for a standard business degree. However, they also require a foreign language, such as French or Chinese, and geographic specialization related to that language, such as French politics or Chinese history. This allows them to earn a salary while engaging in business in another part of the world.


International business majors earned a median $55,000 a year, according to a May 24, 2011 salary survey by major compiled by Georgetown University.

  • The 25th percentile earned $38,000 per year and the 75th percentile earned more than double that amount at $80,000 a year.
  • Contrast this with the median $60,000 per year earned by all graduates in the business group, with the 25th percentile earning $40,000 per year and the 75th percentile making $90,000.
  • Only about 1 percent of the degrees in this group were in international business. About 33 percent, the largest percentage was in business management and administration, with its median annual pay of $58,000.


About 59 percent of international business majors were female with median earnings at $48,000 per year.

  • Male graduates earned $70,000 per year, a difference of $22,000.
  • Contrast this with the gender distribution for the business major group, which was only 45 percent female. Females earned a median $50,000 per year, which was $16,000 less than the median $66,000 per year made by males.
  • About 58 percent of international business graduates were white, 21 percent were Latino, 16 percent were Asian and 4 percent were African American. Salaries were not broken down by race.


About 28 percent of international business majors went on to obtain a graduate degree, which granted a 51 percent boost in income.

  • This put median salaries for the advanced credential at $72,050 per year, with the 25th percentile earning a median $57,380 and the 75th percentile receiving $120,800 per year.
  • Median annual earnings for females would be $72,480 and for males, it would be $105,700.
  • Compare this with only 21 percent of majors in the business group earning the advanced degree for a smaller increase of 40 percent.


As for employment, 92 percent of international business majors found a job, with 88 percent working full time and 12 percent working part time.

  • The most common occupation, with nearly 24 percent of the graduates, was management. about 20 percent went into sales, 16 percent into office work, 12 percent into business and 10 percent into finance.
  • Typical job titles include cultural advisor, import compliance specialist, international economist and international sales rep.
  • As for industries, 18 percent went into finance, 12 percent went into professional services, 9 percent went into retail, 7 percent went into wholesale durable goods and 7 percent went into education.


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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      The statistics for the international business major is really good with such a high number of graduates finding employment. I should have been an international business major.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Another well researched piece. Surprisingly high successful employment rates, wish I had read that at 18yo lol.

      Shared, up and interesting.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Useful information, alocsin.

      Many votes!!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      It's always good to major in can never go wrong and in the end, will be able to earn a Living! Another Excellent Hub posted as only you can Alocsin. A very Interesting read!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      This may be true. Good for those who are part of the statistics.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This job could possibly satisfy one's desire to travel and live comfortably. Your posts are a great source of information for those who are looking into new careers.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I'm always amazed by your research. The demographics are interesting: the majority of international business majors are female and yet they earn less! Of course women aren't the only ones to suffer discrimination. Great hub as always. Voted up and shared.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is good to know. My daughter is going for a degree in Asian studies in liberal arts but someone told her she should also get a degree in business or she wouldn't make much money. She is just starting this fall so she has time to think about it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Yes it seems that the gap between the men and the women are once again a vast empty space! I have no idea why that is, but in these days it does seem strange, interesting hub Alocsin, and voted and shared! nell

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up and useful Alocsin. Great job on your stats as usual. I figured that they would make way more money, due to their title mainly I must say. Awesome job on your research. Great job on everything Alocsin. Have a great one!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      One of my good friends was an international business major and endedu p working for the U.S. Scholar Ship. Hehe. They make pretty good money. She also got her Master's in Intercultural Relations...she has seen great success. Great job here!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow, these are decent wages, but the gap between the men and women's pay seems extreme. It seems to reflect the fact that females in the US are only paid $.77 for each dollar earned by a man. Great research on this subject.

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 5 years ago from Northern California

      Proving once again that women have to be self-employed to get what they deserve. Very enlightening.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      That gender gap in salaries is worse than I would have thought in this day and time. It would seem that graduate degrees are well worth the extra time and effort for long term salary results for those with International business degrees. I would think that the work would be rather interesting with continual changes on the international scene. This is a great series! Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting stats on gender and earning power. Love this series my friend; keep them coming.