College of Business Illinois State University
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SAMPLE FUNCTIONAL SPECIALIZATIONS
FOR IB MAJORS

 

Along with the completion of the general international business (IB) core and track courses, all IB majors are required to specialize in a business functional area. It is not mandatory for students to take courses within only one department, however courses taken from different departments must have some form of correlation and justification.  This specialization is what makes each student distinct and is often the student’s gateway into their first professional job.  This is why there are sample job listings along with a description of how these specializations fit into IB.

 Listed below are examples of specializations available to students. It is important to note that these are only sample ideas and that students are not required to pick from this list. The listed courses under each specialization are also only recommendations and not mandated. Regardless of the specialization chosen, all students are required to take at least three courses within their specialization with one being a 300 level course.

While these are junior/senior level courses, it is important that students begin to think about their intended specialization in their sophomore year for some courses have sequences or prerequisites that need to be completed before enrollment into the upper level course. Choosing a specialization early and knowing the prerequisite courses allows students to properly schedule their classes for upcoming semesters.

Integrated Marketing Communication Specialization:

  • Acquires advertising and promotion skills coupled with a global perspective to better reach cross-culturally across borders and subgroups.
  • Jobs like:  Brand Marketing Specialist, Corporate Communications Specialist, Media Analyst, Marketing Analyst, Digital Advertising and Social Media Coordinator.

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MKT 350

Specialization: MKT 231, 232, and 233 plus ideally at least one 300 level IMC course like MKT 331, 332, 333

Purchasing/Buyer Specialization:

  • Develops ability to negotiate purchases for corporations in a variety of global settings
  • Jobs like:   Buyer, Purchasing Specialist, Expeditor, and Inventory Control Specialist

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MKT 350 and MQM 350
Specialization: MKT 234, 325 and 329

Sales Specialization:

  • Combines IB with Professional Sales Institute courses to develop sales skills across borders, Positions in international business to business sales or business to consumer sales that may cross cultural bridges.
  • Jobs like:  Account Executive, Sales Manager, Sales, Sales Support or Purchasing

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MKT 350
Specialization:  MKT 234 and at least two of:  MKT 324, 325, 326, 311, 329, 334

Supply Chain Specialization:

  • Focus on developing skills to manage the network of supply and production globally.
  • Jobs like: Supply Chain Analyst, Supply Chain Strategist, Material Planner, Inventory Planning Manager, and Delivery Assurance Specialist

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MQM 350
Specialization: MKT 310 and at least two of MKT 245, 345, 325, 326, 329, MQM 335

Entrepreneurship Specialization:

  • Grows confidence in managing small businesses or developing new businesses in global settings or that are born global.
  • Jobs like:  Account Executive, Business support Specialist, Social Media Analyst, and Innovation Project Manager.

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MQM 350
Specialization: MQM 224, 226, 223, 326, 328, 335, 340a14, 340a21

Human Resources Specialization:

  • Improves awareness of global issues while developing Human Resource skills to more effectively manage human resources across cultural groups and around the globe.
  • Jobs like:  HR Generalist, Global People Support Manager, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Recruiter, HR Associate for Diversity and Inclusion

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MQM 350
Specialization: MQM 323 and at least two of: MQM 324, 340A19, 352, 354, 356

Organizational Leadership Specialization:

  • Fosters a global mindset as leadership skills are developed to prepare for executive roles in global corporations.
  • Jobs like:  Organizational Effectiveness Consultant, Management Development Trainee, Performance Improvement Consultant, Talent Development Associate

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MQM 350
Specialization: MQM 221 and at least two of: MQM 380, 382, 383, 384, 386

Accounting Specialization:

  • Develops global corporate perspective along with accounting skills and knowledge.
  • Jobs like:  Staff Accountant for Global Consolidations, Global Real Estate Account Associate, Global Payroll Associate.

Recommended Courses: IB Track: ACC 340
Specialization: ACC 230 and 231 plus at least one additional advanced ACC course

Information Systems Specialization:

  • Fosters Information and systems skills to effectively cross legal and cultural borders in terms of compliance and usability.
  • Jobs like: Destination Program Administrator, IT Support Associate, Global Threat Data Analyst, Technical Analyst.

Recommended Courses:
Specialization: 3 courses from among ACC 255, 260, 261, 263, 266, 271, 366, 368

Analytics Specialization:

  • Builds data analytical skills coupled with a global perspective to consider international implications of data processes.
  • Jobs like:  Data/Technical Analyst, Market Data Analyst, and Business Intelligence Specialist

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MKT 350
Specialization: ACC 271 and at least two of: MKT 232, 245 and 345, MQM 340A19, 335

Corporate Finance Specialization:

  • Expands financial skills to reach across borders to work in multinational corporations.
  • Jobs like:  Financial Analyst, Accounting and Reporting Coordinator, Global Finance Planning Analyst

Recommended Courses: IB Track: FIL 344
Specialization:  FIL 241 and at least two of: FIL 242, 246, 318, 340, 341, 343, 346, 347, 370, 371

Insurance/Risk Management Specialization:

  • Explores risk management on a worldwide scale and understands concepts of global reinsurance operations.
  • Jobs like:  Risk and Compliance Analyst, Credit Risk Analyst, Travel Risk Manager, Underwriting Coordinator, Foreign Currency Specialist, Reinsurance Analyst.

Recommended Courses: IB Track: FIL 344
Specialization: FIL 250 and at least two of: FIL 345, 350, 351, 352, 354, 355, 382A05

Business and Environment/Sustainability Specialization:

  • Acquires sustainability insights in a global setting to understand the strategic role of sustainability issues in global corporations.
  • Jobs like: Project Manager for Energy and Sustainability, Account Supervisor for Global Sustainability, Manager for Sustainability Measurement and Reporting

Recommended Courses: IB Track: MQM 350
Specialization: MKT 236 and at least two of: FIL 380A04, MKT 339A12, MQM 340A15, 340A18

Important Notes:

  1. These are only sample ideas!  Each student can create their own combination of the courses that best come together to prepare them for a career.  Students should expect to justify combinations that are unusual in writing, but if there is solid logic to support their case, it is likely to be approved.
  2. You are not restricted to courses within one Department for a specialization.
  3. Track course listed for each specialization is a recommendation, not a requirement.
  4. An ideal specialization contains at least one 300 level course.  This is not a hard rule, but it is a recommendation since 300 level courses generally take student learning to a higher level.  The IB track course recommended supports the nature of the specialization but does not count as the recommended 300 level course. 
  5. Only one course from outside COB can be included in a specialization with permission granted by the Director of the IB program.
  6. All prerequisites still apply.  In some cases, you may need to approach an advisor for help identifying how to request permission to enter a higher level course that is major restricted, but generally if you have the prerequisites, you will be allowed in if there is room.
  7. An IB 398 internship or any departmental internship may be used as one course of a specialization.
  8. In some cases like Sales, you may be only 1 course away from achieving a certification (the Professional Sales Certificate), so you may want to check for these opportunities for extra recognition and opportunity.

Updated June 2019

2020-01-21T13:02:45.252-06:00 2020