Career in Foreign Trade

5 minute read
Foreign Trade

Since the rapid dissolution of borders in the past few decades with the phenomenon of globalization, the emergence of cross border trading, exchange and investment has no less than skyrocketed. Stock markets now act as significant means of channelling capital from one country to another with ease. Parallelly this has also birthed innumerable career avenues ranging from export/import, international trade law and financial trading to logistics, investment management and policy analysis. Many individuals choose to go for the quintessential MBA in Foreign Trade while one can also choose from other options like BMS Course, Master of Finance and PGDM in Finance with a focus on the study of Foreign Trade and operations. International trade also forms an integral part of course offerings in Economics, History, Political Science and International Relations, amongst others. Here, we present some of the top options of foreign trade careers that one must explore while considering to venture into this field.

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Courses in Foreign Trade 

Mentioned below are various courses in bachelors, masters and diploma levels in this specialisation

Bachelor’s Courses:

  • Bachelor of Foreign Trade (BFT)
  • B.Com in Foreign Trade Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Foreign Trade
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Foreign Trade Management

Master’s Courses: 

  • Masters in International Business and Foreign Trade
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Foreign Trade
  • Master of Commerce (M.Com) in Trades and Services 
  • MCom/Master of Arts in Foreign Trade Management
  • Master of Business Administration in International Business

Diploma Courses

  • Diploma in Foreign Trade Management 
  • Diploma in International Trade
  • Advanced Diploma in Foreign Trade
  • Advanced Diploma in International Business
  • Post Graduate Diploma in International Trade Management 
  • Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Business

MPhil Courses

  • MPhil in International Trade and Development 

Top Careers in Foreign Trade

Foreign Trade Analyst

The job of a foreign trade analyst is to monitor trends in the several financial sectors and industries within countries all across the globe. The nature and orientation of work responsibilities may vary depending on the organisation, for instance, government, wealth management firms, investment banking companies, etc. Common tasks may include financial analysis, international logistics, shipment licensing, interacting with potential customers, analysis of documents, among others.

Also Read: Certification Courses for MBA Finance Students

Export Specialist

From initiating pre-export procedures to finalising post-export formalities, an export specialist is in charge of handling the whole process of the transfer of goods and services from one country to another. Under this career profile of Foreign Trade, you can expect to work on issues of understanding client requirements, holding advanced regulatory knowledge and dealing with mishaps like seizing or destroying of goods along with submission and dissemination of sales documents to concerned officials, obtaining customs clearances and formulation of requisite forms and contracts.

International Sales Representative

Global businesses and firms heavily require individuals with strong communication skills to work in capacities of International Sales Representatives in order to interact with potential customers and disseminate product/company information. Typical work responsibilities may also include gathering valuable feedback, purchase/sales requirements, anticipating forthcoming trends, liaising with other foreign trade analysts and much more.

Foreign Trade Compliance Specialist

The International Business Management industry is governed by numerous domestic as well as transnational regulations and policies to deal with complications arising from transfer and mobility of goods and services across borders. A compliance specialist holds expertise in document filings, liaising with customs officials, establishing import/export protocols along with adherence to compliance standards set for foreign trade and related activities. Training other officials, information dissemination and formulation of new policies may also be involved.

Policy Analyst

Foreign trade is as much inclined towards finance as it is towards the field of policy. As an analyst in policy studies, you will be working on issues such as effects of globalisation, international monetary relations, role of transnational organisations, forex regulations as well as seeing in isolation the elements of trade and development. A Policy Analyst generally works in various capacities like as a research assistant in government organisations, research institutes and universities.

Also Read: Business Economics

Apart from the above career profiles, you can also look forward to:

  • International Management Consultant
  • Financial Trader
  • Global Distribution Manager
  • International Purchaser
  • International Trade Manager

Skills Required

Top companies in the foreign trade sector require students to possess a mix of both theoretical knowledge, quantitative aptitude as well as much needed communication, awareness and negotiation skills. 

  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Prior Coursework Experience in Business-related Fields
  • Evaluate Risk and Rewards
  • Strong Communication & Persuasion Skills
  • Diplomacy & Negotiating
  • Networking Skills
  • Cultural and Political Awareness
  • Understanding of Trade Regulations & Policies
  • Foreign Language Proficiency [highly preferred]

Career in Foreign Trade: Top Universities

A degree in trade and development equips an individual with the necessary skill-set and specific knowledge for excelling in this field. Some of the top universities in the world and their courses in Foreign & International Trade have been mentioned in the following table:

Name of University Location THE
Courses in Foreign Trade
University of Warwick UK 77th MSc International Trade, Strategy
& Operations
Purdue University USA 88th MSc in International Trade
PhD in International Trade
University of Arizona USA 104th LLM in International Trade & Business
The University of
Australia 120th Graduate Certificate in International
Trade & Development [6 months]Graduate Diploma in International
Trade &
Development [1 year]MBA International Trade &
Master of International Trade &
University of Sussex UK 146th LLM-International Trade Law

Best Colleges in India 

Tabulated below are the best colleges in India to pursue a degree and make a career in foreign trade. 

Name of University/ College  Location 
Department of Economics, Pune University  Pune 
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade  New Delhi 
Devi Ahilya Vishvidyalya  Indore 
Indian Institute of Commerce and Trade  Lucknow 
Indian Institute of Management  Ahmedabad 

Books for Preparation 

There are many books and articles available to study for a course in foreign trade. Tabulated below are the important books which you can refer to. 

Name of Book  Name of Author 
Dilemmas of International Trade  Bruce E. Moon
The International Trade System  Alice Landau 
Financing International Trade  James C. Baker 
Global Risks From Trade Wars: Time to Return to WTO  Desker Barry 
International Trade and Developing Countries  Amrita Narlikar 
Advanced International Trade: Theory and Evidence  Robert C. Feenstra 
International Trade: New Patterns of Trade, Production and Investment  Nigel Grimwade 
Fair Trade and Social Justice  Sarah Lyon, Mark Moberg 

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Thus, Foreign Trade is emerging as a promising career field offering a plethora of opportunities to those interested in understanding the know-how of how business practices and exchanges across the globe work. If you are planning to build your career in Foreign and International Trade and don’t know how to begin, consult our team of experts at Leverage Edu by signing up for a 30-minute free career counselling session and let us guide you in taking the right step towards a vibrant career.

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