What Can You Do With an IB Degree? (Plus Benefits)

Each career-related program offers a curriculum that caters to students specific needs and interests. The program combines the IBs central principles and rigor with the usefulness of career-specific education. Students who are interested in a given profession can explore that line of work with the guidance of their instructors and experts in the field.

Students in the program must complete a core curriculum, a career-related study and a minimum of two IB diploma program courses. The career-related programs core curriculum is skills-based and consists of four components: a personal and professional skills course; a reflective project that is independent, completed over an extended period of time and focused on an ethical issue in the students preferred career; service learning; and language development.

For students who want to complement traditional learning with the practicality of career-based studies, the IB career-related program could be a good option. Few educational programs offer the invaluable combination of theoretical knowledge and real-word application. However, students should find out more about their schools career-related program before they decide whether to enroll.

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10 tips I wish I knew before IB | IB advice and mindset

What is the IB curriculum?

The IB diploma contains many components, including classroom lectures, essay assignments and group discussions. It can help prepare students for challenging university coursework and introduce them to common topics in international studies, like public health and governmental structures. Many IB programs include the following three primary parts:

1. Coursework

Over the course of the program, students complete a minimum of three higher-level courses in different subjects to meet program requirements. Then, all students complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) unit, which focuses on the development of critical thinking skills. Once a student achieves 24 credits in their program, theyre eligible for graduation. Some coursework students can pursue in this program include:

2. Assessments

IB programs typically require students to take a series of exams based on individual coursework and write a long-form essay based on their independent research. For example, students complete an oral presentation and write a 1,600-word essay to earn a passing grade for the TOK class. These assessments can measure a students ability to:

3. Practical experience and service-learning

Students in an IB program typically perform additional tasks or assignments in a unit called Creativity Activity Service (CAS). This unit asks students to complete an extracurricular activity, creative endeavor or community service position. It can highlight their ability to apply knowledge from coursework to a work-based setting and allow them to explore different career options. Some examples of qualified activities can include volunteering at a shelter for houseless individuals, completing a visual arts project or playing a sport in a school-based league.

What is an IB diploma?

Created by a nonprofit organization called the International Baccalaureate, the IB diploma is a two-year program designed for high school students who want to further their understanding of todays global environment and study a rigorous curriculum. Schools in many states offer this type of diploma, which universities and employers often recognize as a formal secondary education credential. When job candidates list the IB diploma on their application materials, many companies also recognize it as an official high school diploma. IB programs typically offer coursework in diverse subjects, including in-depth language studies and international economics.

What can you do with an IB diploma?

Heres a list of some paths you can take after earning an IB diploma:

Attend a university

The IB diploma can prepare you for a university program, as many students complete college-level classes and institutions often accept them as formal credits for a bachelors degree. As a result, you can transition from a high school to a college environment more efficiently. Since admissions departments often recognize the IB diploma internationally, you can also attend a program in a different country.

Complete an internship or apprenticeship

Finishing an internship or apprenticeship can often help you learn new career-based skills, get hands-on experience in a certain position and receive training for a future career. You also might also gain professional contacts who can help you find job opportunities in the future. As internships often allow individuals to complete a variety of tasks, you can also better determine which type of work you most enjoy. If youre interested in the international aspects of the IB program, you can also use it to apply for internship positions in another country.

Start a career

An IB diploma can help you develop qualifications for a job position in multiple industries, such as critical thinking skills, teamwork capabilities and a capacity for problem-solving. For example, if you volunteer at a nonprofit organization for a CAS project, you might gain the required fundraising and client management experience to find a position in another location. This diploma may also benefit many individuals who want to gain professional experience before applying for a university program.


The IB program can allow you to learn about diverse cultures and consider global issues. It can also provide international connections through the IB alumni network or other professional groups, as schools in many countries offer this diploma. If youre interested in working abroad, you might visit locations in different countries that interest you or provide unique career opportunities. Employers may also appreciate job candidates who travel internationally, as you can develop high-quality communication skills.

Advantages of an IB diploma

There are many reasons that students can benefit from earning an IB diploma, such as the opportunity to learn professional skills, develop positive habits and determine career goals. Heres a list of some advantages of getting an IB diploma:

Allows you to take college classes in high school

IB programs for high school students typically offer college-level courses, which can help you become more prepared for university classes in the future. For example, you might learn research methodologies in an IB science class that you can apply to a laboratory project in an undergraduate or graduate course. You might also learn other critical skills for an academic setting, such as verbal presentation and collaboration.

Improves college application quality

Many universities value an IB diploma for its advanced curriculum and skill-building opportunities, meaning it can increase your chances of acceptance into an institution. It also allows you to specialize in a certain subject area, which may help a universitys admissions department better understand your academic and career goals. By reviewing the results of a CAS project, these individuals can also assess your personality and value system, which may help them determine whether you have the right aptitude for a program.

Enables global recognition of your high school education

As schools from different nations offer the IB diploma, it can increase the number of international education or work-based opportunities you may receive. For example, an international company may recognize the merits of an IB diploma more readily than a credential from the United States. As a result, employers can better understand your unique skills and knowledge base. Theres also an IB alumni network, which can help you make professional connections with graduates or employers from different countries.

Improves your language skills

The IB programs foreign language requirement can give you the opportunity to learn a new language. This type of coursework often includes information about different cultures in the global community, which can help you better understand the social customers of individuals in another country. As a result, you can increase your chances of receiving employment opportunities at an international company. You may also conduct international business operations more effectively.

Teaches valuable job skills

The IB diploma can help you enhance your knowledge of many career fields by learning relevant skill sets. If you focus on these capabilities in your coursework, you can increase your job performance in a future position. For example, marketing departments often value employees with high-quality research, analytical and written communication skills, which you can gain through the TOK class. Here are some other examples of key job skills you can learn in a high school IB program:

Helps you challenge yourself

The IB program challenges students to fulfill college-level requirements while still attending high school. This program can help students hone their time and stress management skills as they balance homework, class schedules and extracurricular activities. For example, you can learn how to balance homework requirements with extracurricular responsibilities in a CAS project. Challenging yourself academically can also help you develop essential life skills, such as emotional intelligence and perseverance.

Imparts important values

The IB program promotes important values for students who serve in a global community, such as an appreciation of diverse cultures and the importance of collaboration. By learning international topics, students can better understand issues that affect both the U.S. and nations in the global community. IB programs also teach students how to innovate original concepts and ask critical questions. As a result, you can better serve individuals in a certain community or help a company better achieve its goals.

Some additional values this program instills in students include:

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


What can you do with IB?

One particular perk of the IB program is that it can be useful not only in the college application process, but also once you get to college. Like AP test results, your IB courses can sometimes be used by colleges to determine placement and credit.

Does IB do anything?

IB students often perform better

IB students develop strong academic, social and emotional characteristics. They are also likely to perform well academically – often better than students on other curricula. Read key findings from IB research to learn more about how the IB programmes impact students and schools.

Is the IB career program worth it?

For students who want to complement traditional learning with the practicality of career-based studies, the IB career-related program could be a good option. Few educational programs offer the invaluable combination of theoretical knowledge and real-word application.

Is IB a good qualification?

The IB Diploma is consistently rated as the best post-16 qualification, providing students with the skills they need to thrive in higher education.

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