Foreign Trade Careers Outlook
The international market is more than four times larger than the U.S. market and export opportunities continue to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 15 percent of U.S. exporters account for 85 percent of the value of American-made exports. The forces that determine the demand for workers in foreign trade careers are complex. Because so many markets are involved, the outlook for foreign trade professionals is volatile.
The United States continues to import more goods and services than it exports, with an accelerating trade deficit. Because of this volatile atmosphere, the best that people interested in a foreign trade career can do is to ensure they have the basic skills needed, such as accounting, foreign language, and market research.
Many foreign trade jobs are relatively short in duration. The trend in recent years has been to send overseas only those U.S. employees who have skills and abilities not available locally. Americans go overseas to train local nationals in technical know-how and management techniques or as engineers or contractors on a project. After two or three years, perhaps longer, they are replaced by the local nationals they have trained.
Since new technology has made the world smaller, even small and medium-sized companies are now able to venture into foreign trade. They can use the Internet and interactive video to display products, solicit customers, shop for supplies, and make arrangements for credit, insurance, and transportation. The jobs are still fairly undefined because the work is new to most companies. Self-motivation, creativity, and an openness to world cultures are essential to the employee who will be breaking new territory for a company.
- Accountant and Auditor Career
- Business Managers
- Cultural Advisers
- Export-Import Specialists
- Financial Institution Officers and Managers
- Internet Consultants
- Internet Executives
- Internet Transaction Specialists
- Interpreters and Translators
- Lawyers and Judges
- Management Analysts and Consultants
- Marketing Research Analysts
- Merchant Mariners
- Political Scientists
- Purchasing Agents
- Traffic Engineers