The business world is now international. Because of the far reach of constantly improving technology, businesses can communicate and work with customers thousands of miles away in real time. This reality has led to the growth and expansion of international business school programs around the world.

Shawn O'Connor, writing on Forbes.com, reports that over the past five years, a higher percentage of MBA program applicants have chosen international business schools. Notably, many of these programs are located in Canada, Europe and Asia. At the same time, there has been a corresponding increase in MBA programs focused on international business affairs worldwide. The report notes that many of these schools do not require applicants to take an entrance exam and that this may be one incentive for students to apply.

O'Connor also cites three reasons for the increased interest in international MBA programs. First and foremost, international programs are typically shorter in duration and less expensive when compared to traditional two-year MBA programs. It is not unusual for an international program to last one year. For students, this means less time away from the workforce and less education debt.

There are typically more job opportunities generated by international MBA schools because each school has a growing alumni network that covers the globe. Consequently, newly graduated students from these programs have greater and more varied employment choices. It is also important to note that business focused employers prefer to hire new people with an international background.

Finally, international business schools offer greater diversity by virtue of the wide range of perspectives represented in student population. Students, from all over the world, share their business and education experiences. The result is graduates leaving these programs are prepared with a strong understanding of global business issues.

Canadian business schools are ranked among the best in the world and many of them have developed exceptional international fast track MBA programs, including Wilfrid Laurier University's School of Business and Economics one year MBA program conducted at the school's Waterloo campus. This is a fast track program that immerses students into the international business community. The program is built around the recognition that there are three main business economies in the world: matured developed, transitional and developing. Students spend four months working with a business in each of the three economies. The experience gained by actually studying and working in these different environments provides graduates with a broad perspective of issues affecting the international business world.

Laurier University's program is distinguished by accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB's reputation for stringent accreditation standards translates to less than 5% of business schools worldwide being accredited since the association was founded in 1919. This accreditation speaks volumes to the quality of Laurier's international MBA program.

The business world is definitely getting smaller and, at the same time, more collaborative. The future's best business leaders will think in terms of "global" and that mindset will require a business education and experience with a laser focus on international commerce, communication and negotiating skills. An international MBA degree will be the key to success.

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