International Relations vs. International Business: Which is the right for you?
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
It is no wonder why International Relations and International Business are so commonly mistakenly believed to lead to the same career. However, it is important to clarify their differences in order for those interested in any of these two to be aware of the one that is more appropriate for them.
3 Top Differences between International Relations and International Business
1. Their main differences will be easily distinguished by defining them:
- International Relations is “the study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies, political parties, and interest groups). It is related to a number of other academic disciplines, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy”.
- International Business encompasses “all commercial activities that take place to promote the transfer of goods, services, resources, people, ideas, and technologies across national boundaries”.
If you pay attention to the definitions, you’ll be able to perceive the main differences between them: International Relations encompasses communications and relationships between international organizations or countries and International Business involves making it possible for commercial activities between organizations from different countries to happen.
2. Where can you study each degree?
Even though international relations and international business have the international sphere in common, they are offered at different schools or departments within a university:
- International Relations degrees: They are typically offered at a School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the foreign or public affairs department. If you decide to pursue this degree, the curricula will range from topics such as political science, geography, world history, and social sciences. You will have modules such as National Security, Immigration, Terrorism, Human Rights Law, Policy Analysis, etc.
- International Business degrees: In general, they are offered by universities’ business schools. Business programmes’ curricula starts with the general management basics. Some modules are: Supply Chain Logistics, Global Finance, Emerging Markets, and International Currency.