What Can You Do With An International Studies Degree?

what jobs can i get with international studies degree
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The topic of international studies covers societal issues that effect international relations. These issues can fall in categories such as cultures, politics, and economics. With a degree in international studies, you can choose career paths leading to government positions, high-end business opportunities, or even positions in the field of education.

Why is International Studies Important?

People who focus their education on international studies, which is also commonly referred to as international relations, become informed in how international affairs are handled between various countries during trade and travel arrangements. They also better understand how other countries function, including the structures of other governments. Students who major in international studies learn many skills and techniques that can be used in nearly any field. These skills and techniques include extensive research and analysis, advanced writing, and a vast knowledge of many foreign cultures and languages.

International studies students can go on to become leaders in their fields with such high knowledge of the world around them. Many go on to explore politics and law.

How do I Get an International Studies Degree?

Many liberal arts colleges and universities offer degrees specifically in the field of international studies. You should begin the hunt for a school that best fits you in the beginning of your senior year of high school, and start applying to liberal arts schools right away. Always apply to at least three schools, and do not wait until you receive a response from one college before sending out an application to the next. Send them out simultaneously. This allows you to keep your options open and will give you time to decide which school to choose before deadlines roll around.

Portland State University is a public research school with an excellent international studies program. With an option to earn a certificate in International Business Studies, the university’s undergraduate students have 6 different majors in international studies to consider for a Bachelor of Arts degree, focusing on specific locations from African to Middle Eastern international studies. After earning their bachelor degrees, students can apply to the university’s graduate studies program to earn a masters degree in International Management.

Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, the first bishop and archbishop in America. It is a private research university with an International Affairs department that offers students the opportunity to choose from 6 different Bachelor of Science degrees, including Foreign Service in Culture and Politics, Foreign Service in International Political Economy, and Foreign Service in International History. The school also boasts over 16 graduate programs including Master of Arts in German and European Studies, Master of Science in Foreign Service, and Doctor of Philosophy in Government.

Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League research university, offers a major in International Relations. Courses taken to fulfill requirements for this major include but are not limited to Conflict Resolution in World Politics, International Law and Institutions, and Psychological Experimentation in International Relations.

What are Some Careers in International Studies?

While you are studying the field of international relations, you should start to consider what career paths you may want to travel and the job options available in that field with whatever level degree you are pursuing.

Entry Level Careers in International Studies

Since international studies is such a broad field, you may find yourself wondering, “What jobs can I get with an international studies degree?” Once you earn a bachelors degree in international studies, you will qualify for a multitude of careers. Just a few of the options you can explore are described in the sections below.

Research Associate

After you hone your research skills and earn your bachelors degree in international relations, you officially become qualified for an entry level position as a research associate for any office dealing with international affairs or foreign policy. Research associates with a background in international relations are often responsible for secretarial duties such as answering phone calls and scheduling appointments. They also spend time researching information on international affairs to create written materials for educational purposes and then assisting in the writing and proofreading processes. Research associates pay close attention to detail and have excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as knowledge and experience in foreign languages.

Research associates in the field of international relations can make around $35,000 or more annually based on educational background and experience.

International Sales Representative

international relations degree
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If you are comfortable in demonstrating confidence in yourself while promoting a business, you may want to consider a position as an international sales representative. People who choose this career spend much of their time promoting and selling products and services in addition to building relationships with companies overseas to expand their company’s global presence. International sales representatives typically have at least a bachelors degree in business administration or international studies with a minor or concentration in business.

International sales representatives can earn anywhere from $40,000 to over $80,000, depending on their education and experience levels.

Public Affairs Officer

Public affairs officers work firsthand with ambassadors, filling them in on the news of the day. They are responsible for monitoring media regularly to stay up-to-date on the latest local and global happenings so ambassadors and diplomats are aware of the international issues they will be discussing with foreign leaders. Public affairs also prepare and manage briefings and related social media accounts. Impeccable written and verbal communications are necessary, as are organizational skills.

Public affairs officers can earn over $50,000 annually for the services they provide to ambassadors and other diplomatic figures.

Advanced Careers in International Studies

After achieving a bachelors degree in international studies, if you go on to earn a masters degree or doctorate degree in a more specific field of that particular study or if you build up a few years of experience, you will qualify for more advanced positions.

International Hotel Manager

Another advanced position in the world of international affairs is that of an international hotel manager. Those with strong management skills and a passion to provide the utmost comfort to travelers from near and far should consider entering this business. In order to become an international hotel manager, experience in the field of hospitality is a must-have. Being multilingual is also beneficial for the position. It is important that an international hotel manager have at least a bachelors degree with background knowledge in international relations and a focus on business management.

International hotel managers can make over $60,000 a year depending on educational and experience levels.

Cross-Cultural Resource Manager

If you have a bachelors degree and a few years of experience in multiple languages and problem solving for foreign affairs firms, then you most likely qualify for a position as a cross-cultural resource manager. Responsibilities include but are not limited to working with management in creating and assuring cultural and international diversity programs between a company and its potential business partners. Excellent communication skills are necessary, as are advanced and experienced problem solving skills and the ability to speak multiple languages.

Cross-cultural resource managers can earn around $70,000 annually.

International Bank Manager

If you have a fondness for staying up-to-date on the latest foreign affairs and banking policies, then a job as an international bank manager may be right up your alley. Being an international bank manager requires outstanding problem solving skills and the ability to make logical and effective decisions in a timely manner. A manager can also possesses a bachelors degree in international affairs with a masters degree in business administration or business management. Multiple years of experience in the banking world is also a necessity. Multilingual skills are also incredibly beneficial to international bank managers.

International bank managers can earn over $75,000 annually.

What Companies Hire People with International Studies Degrees?

Once you have knowledge and experience in the field of international studies, you’re sure to land a job doing what you love. Various positions are available within the government or other corporations and companies across the world looking for someone with a concentration in international relations. A brief list of some companies that hire qualified candidates is located below.

World Business Academy – nonprofit business; hires positions for executive assistants, etc.

CBS Corporation – international branch: CBS Studios International; entertainment corporation; hires positions for international relations in business affairs

Google – online search engine with the mission to fulfill user inquiries in mere seconds; hires positions in public policy and government affairs, enterprise programs, communications and public affairs, etc.

BCD Travel – corporate travel agency; available positions around the globe; hires for business travel consultants, accountants, business analysts, etc.

Chicago Council on Global Affairs – founded in 1922; independent organization that informs the public of global issues; hires positions for researchers, global agriculture and foods consultants, program officers, etc.

International studies is a crucial area of study in learning how global relations interact and how to influence said interactions. Liberal arts schools around the world offer programs to enhance your knowledge in international affairs and prepare you for jobs that will allow you to aid in the communication between businesses and organizations around the world.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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