What is International Business?

Approved by the Board of Regents of the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) in the spring of 1997, International Business is a relatively new major at the College of Business. It came about because a small group of faculty recognized that: 1) businesses nationwide that do business overseas are increasingly seeking employees who can combine specific business skills with international understanding; 2) a rising number of students at UNR were trying to create such an education on their own; and 3) more UNR faculty were specializing in international studies.

International Business is an undergraduate program designed for those individuals who intend to prepare themselves to meet the challenges of this exciting new business era. Our program focuses on the principles and practices of businesses that cross national boundaries to operate in the global business environment. It prepares highly motivated men and women to take their places in organizations that will set the standards for effective performance in the 21st Century. Each participant has the opportunity to specialize in a particular region -- Asia and the Pacific, Europe or the Americas. All participants are required to develop skills in a second language. Participants tailor their language training to their career goals by selecting from one of several language tracks.

The world has witnessed dramatic changes in international trade and investments in the past few decades. Market reforms and the reduction of international trade barriers have converted individual national markets into a "one-market" global economy. As a result, the total value of world merchandise exports now accounts for a fifth of the total world economic production. Since 1960, the share of United States output exported abroad has risen threefold.

The rising importance of international trade and finance has dramatically changed the way we do business. Today's corporations must operate in a global economy, and the business leaders of tomorrow cannot operate on yesterday's knowledge. The transformation of political, economic, cultural and social systems are offering spectacular opportunities to international businesses, while rapid advancements in technology are making it harder to keep up with changing business practices.

As companies recognize that they need to become international to stay ahead of the competition, they are also recognizing that they need a new kind of manager to do international business. More and more, companies are looking for someone with strong business skills who also speaks the language, understands the society, and knows how international business is different, and more challenging, than just doing business at home.