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Career in Foreign Trade

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

What is international trade?

Globalization has completely transformed the business scenario in India. Foreign trade in India has tremendously grown, naturally attracting more and more MNCs to set up businesses apart from many Indian companies starting businesses in foreign shores or going abroad for joint ventures.

There is a growing need of personnel skilled in international trade. A career in international business has thus become a lucrative option offering global job opportunities for those pursuing courses in foreign trade and international business.

Who is a Foreign trader?

Foreign trader provides foreign exchange that is used to remove the poverty and for other productive purposes. International trade plays an important role in increasing the production of any country. ... In countries where home market is limited it is necessary to sell product in other countries.

What does a Foreign trader do?

As a representative for your company in the global arena, you'll enjoy all the responsibilities of businessperson in your field and more. Whether you score an entry level position that incorporates travel or move up to executive or manager status, in international business, you're going places.

An international business job description definitely includes workers who represent the public face of their companies. They act with knowledge, elegance and cultural sensitivity to facilitate deals and transactions that benefit both parties. All the key elements of success in business at home apply to business abroad: strong leadership skills, implementation of ethical behavior, expertise in your industry and adaptability to evolving technologies.

Typical employers include banks, import/export corporations, multinational manufacturers, consulting firms, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), electronics and technology companies, and transportation industries like shipping and airlines.

Benefits of Foreign Trade Courses:

  • It offers you job opportunities in various areas like banking, trade, commerce, accounts, etc.

  • It prepares students for a professional qualification in foreign trade and it provides you a good base in the international business field.

  • You can work in export houses to increase the overseas sales, searching new business hubs, etc.

  • You can also work as a marketing executive which plans strategies based on marketing research.

Knowledge areasad skills that need to be acquired

Excellent communication and leadership skills along with the ability to handle pressure and to meet deadlines are necessary to pursue a career in foreign trade.


Universities in India mostly offer courses in International Business and Foreign Trade at the post graduate level, but some universities like the Jamia Millia University in New Delhi offers Bachelor of International Business and Finance (BIBF) which is an undergraduate course.

The eligibility for undergraduate courses in International Business and Foreign Trade is 10+2 with 50 % marks. For Masters in International Business and Foreign Trade, the applicant must be a graduate, preferably in commerce.

Selection of candidates is done through entrance examination, but some institutes conduct their own tests, group discussion and a personal interview fThere are several UG and PG courses as well as diploma courses are available in the field of foreign trade. These courses help students to make their concepts clear about the trade business conducted between the countries.

Some of the popular courses are mentioned below:

Diploma Courses:

  • Diploma in International Trade

  • Advanced Diploma in International Business

  • Diploma in Foreign Trade Management

  • Advance Diploma in Foreign Trade

Bachelor Courses:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Foreign Trade

  • B. Com in Foreign Trade Management

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Foreign Trade Management

  • Bachelor of Foreign Trade (BFT)

Master Courses:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Foreign Trade

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Foreign Trade Management

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business

  • Master of Commerce (M. Com) in Foreign Trade Management

  • Master of Commerce (M. Com) in Trades & Services

  • Master in International Business and Foreign Trade


How to get admission in these courses?

Admission to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) will be given on the basis of CAT 2020 national level examination. Some other institution offer admission on the basis of XAT 2020, CAT, MAT 2020, GMAT 2020, etc. examinations.

Apart from entrance test, some institution offers admission on the basis of Aptitude Test, Group Discussion, and personal interviews.

Some of the MBA entrance examinations are listed here:

  • CAT (Common Admission Test)

  • Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

  • Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

  • Common Management Admission Test (CMAT 2020)

  • Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT 2020)

  • CUSAT Common Admission Test (CUSAT 2020)

Best colleges to study foreign trade courses are:

1. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi

2. Indian Institute of Commerce and Trade, Lucknow

3. Indian Institute of Management (IIM),

4. Department of Economics, Pune University, Pune

5. Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalya, Indore

Career Prospects

International trade in India is expanding along with the fast-growing Indian economy. Job opportunities are countless with an increasing demand for professionals in International Business and Foreign Trade. Job openings are available in export units, international departments of multinational companies at different levels. For those who desire to set up an import/export business, a degree in International Business and Foreign Trade would be extremely beneficial.

For those wanting to secure government jobs, regulatory bodies like STC and the MMTC offer good employment opportunities.

“Career opportunities are increasing fast for the Foreign Trade qualified.”

Lots of manufacturing companies, banks, financial institutions and government agencies that trade outside their countries search for candidates qualified in Foreign Trade. There is enormous scope for foreign train qualified in India as well as abroad.

Many companies recruit Foreign Trade professionals and also assign them for international projects. You can also work as a Foreign Trade Manager with the task of analyzing technical data in international business deals and understand international trade policies & agreements.

Some job profiles:

1. Foreign Trade Manager

2. Export Manager

3. Relationship Manager

4. Business Development Manager

5. Foreign Trade Analyst

6. Foreign Trade and Purchasing Specialist

7. Supply Chain Manager

8. Business Development Manager

9. Market Research Executive

10. Global Trade Manager

11. Customs & Global Trade Automation Manager

Employment Areas:

1. Export Units

2. International Trade Regulatory Bodies

3. Export Promotion Councils

4. Buying Houses

5. International Department of Multinational Companies

6. Trade Regulatory Bodies

7. MNCs Departments

8. Research & Educational Institutions

9. Engineering Goods Companies

10. Custom Clearing Houses

11. State Trading Corporations

12. Shipping Companies or Companies

Other Colleges offering courses related to the career:

1) Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM A)

2) Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM C)

3) Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM B)

4) Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM L)

5) XLRI - Xavier Labour Research Institute, Jamshedpur

6) ISB - Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

7) FMS - Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi

8) Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM I)

9) Indian Institute of Management, Calicut (IIM K - Kozhikode)

10) Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (JBIMS)

11) S. P. Jain Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (SPJIMR)

12) Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Mumbai (Bombay)

13) Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (MDI)

14) Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (NMIMS)

15) Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIM B)

16) Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune (SIBM)

17) Symbiosis Center for Management & Human Resources Development, Pune (SCMHRD)

18) Institute of Management & Technology, Ghaziabad (IMT)

19) International Management Institute, Delhi (IMI)

20) Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy (BIM)

21) Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA)

22) Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi (IIFT)

23) T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal (TAPMI)

24) Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai (LIBA)

25) Institute of Management Development Research, Pune (IMDR)

26) Jamia Millia University, New Delhi.

27) Hamdard University, New Delhi.

Job outlook, Work values ad Guidelines

Salary: Over the years, a career in Foreign Trade has become quite lucrative. Starting with a salary of Rs 8000 to Rs.10000 for a trainee, one can command a much higher salary depending on the qualification and experience. Private companies and MNCs generally pay higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it like being aForeign trader?

A foreign trader’s job is versatile and will do with a lot of travel and smart study.

How difficult is it to become aForeign trader?

One aspect is getting into a good business school and the other aspect is of becoming a good forex trader. That requires smart skills and also hard work and perseverance.

Is it worth to pursue career as aForeign trader?

The short answer is, Forex is an opportunity that enables you to invest some money to make more money. It is an investment opportunity to increase your wealth. So, it is worth to learn how to trade Forex and make money with it. ... Without having these conditions, you can't make any money through Forex trading

Should I become aForeign trader?

If you have the skills and will to thrive through the competition and establish your uniqueness as a business venture, you should really give the career a try.

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