The field of International Relations provides a number of employment pathways, each with its own host of issues, objectives, methods, and instruments for effecting change. Leadership, lobbying, and communication, as well as research, academia, activism, and legislation, are perhaps the most common job areas. Graduates are given the chance to work in the non-governmental, private, public or multilateral sector. Here are some of the most common and most exciting career paths in International Relations.
Foreign Service Officer / Diplomat
● Description: A diplomat’s mission is to promote stability, development, and the security to citizens of his domestic country traveling abroad. The diplomat has the opportunity to represent the citizens and the government of his nation all around the world and within international organizations. Foreign service officers travel to wherever they are needed, often to developing nations, in order to improve the understanding of their country’s interests and customs. Diplomats are supposed to assist nationals of the homeland traveling abroad, maintain border security, conduct consular responsibilities, and aid foreign nationals traveling to the country of origin as well as relocating refugees. Working on economic partnerships and development projects, supporting economic interests internationally, managing embassies, advocating diplomacy, assessing political events and developments, providing information to state agencies, clarifying policies and communicating with foreign citizens and leaders are some of the other accountabilities they may have.
● Qualifications: Foreign Service Officers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the fields of International Relations, Economics, Political Science, History etc. Additionally, they are required to be prepared to travel and acquire skills such as knowledge in numerous languages, cultures and customs.
● Salary: The average salary of a Diplomat varies depending on location and type of employer and is around $58,148 annually.
- Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World (University of London)
- Global Health Diplomacy (State University of New York)
- Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World (University of London)
Political Scientist / Political Analyst / Policy Analyst
● Description: Political Analysts, commonly known as Political Scientists or Policy Analysts, investigate a variety of political topics such as international relations, policies, and ideologies, as well as gather and analyse data in order to anticipate and comprehend political trends. Political Scientists’ daily responsibilities include researching political systems, international relations, government rules and regulations, political ideologies, as well as analysing their impact on political, social, and economic realms. Furthermore, tasks include gathering data from a variety of sources, such as historical documents, public opinion polls, and election outcomes, in order to create and evaluate political theories. Reports, briefings, and publications on research findings should be prepared for different stakeholders to examine, and Political Scientists should keep track of current political events (both domestic and foreign), policy and legislative changes, and other problems relevant to their activity. This is why keeping up with local and worldwide political trends and developments is crucial for Policy Analysts and their goal – raising public awareness.
● Qualifications: Policy Analysts are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Administration, Public Policy, International Relations or a similar field, as well as experience in political analysis or in a government department. Having skills in critical thinking, communication, statistical analysis software and qualitative/quantitative research tools is crucial.
● Salary: The average salary of a Political Scientist varies depending on location and type of employer and is around $64,894 annually. In some locations, the average salary can be around $122,220.
- Citizen Politics in America: Public Opinion, Elections, Interest Groups (Harvard University)
- Contemporary Issues in World Politics (IPSA)
- International Relations: China, Russia, the US and the Future of Geopolitics (Economist)
Administrative Assistant / Administrative Coordinator / Administrative Specialist
● Description: Administrative Assistants aid managers, other staff, and office visitors by performing a number of activities to guarantee efficient and successful encounters between the organization and external people. Administrative Specialists should be prepared to support supervisors and all visitors to the organization by processing administrative tasks, delivering polite and professional help and support over the phone and email, booking travel arrangements, and being a positive presence in the working place. They must constantly be organized and responsive, ready to face any task front on. Administrative Assistants must be competent with using computers, doing typical office activities, and communicating well both verbally and in writing.
● Qualifications: Administrative Assistants should have an associate’s degree in a related subject, past administrative experience, and strong computer proficiency, particularly writing. Administrative Specialists are almost always expected to be multilingual in order to ensure effective communication.
● Salary: The average salary of an Administrative Assistant varies depending on location and type of employer and is around $41,035 annually.
- Essentials of Management and Strategic Planning (University of California, Irvine)
- Financial Programming and Policies (IMF)
- Workplace Training: Training Evaluation and Measuring Effectiveness (ATC Training)
Foreign Affairs Analyst / International Analyst
● Description: International Analysts are specialists in one or more aspects of international relations, such as foreign affairs, international trade, internal security and/or developing countries. Foreign Affairs Analysts strive to help their employers achieve their strategic objectives by offering data and analysis on international labour actions, policies, and programs. They conduct studies on topics relating to their field of expertise that may have an influence on government policies, humanitarian organizations, and multinational corporations’ regulations and opinions. Participating in the formulation of strategies and policy making, as well as assessing the operation of organizations and agencies and their influence on international relations, are all part of their responsibilities. They also frequently work for news organizations, where they act as liaisons between the press and foreign governments and corporations. Foreign Affairs Analysts produce reports on subjects of worldwide importance in these contexts, which they subsequently distribute to media covering those topics. Their efforts are crucial in producing comprehensive and accurate international news coverage.
● Qualifications: International Analysts are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, History, Economics, International Relations or a similar field, as well as multilingualism. In some instances, especially for higher positions a master’s degree in Global Affairs, International Relations, Foreign Policy or Economics is required.
● Salary: The average salary of a Foreign Affairs Analyst varies depending on location and type of employer and is around $88,553 annually.
- Development in Emerging Economies: The Case of China (Peking University)
- Democracy and Development: Perspectives from Africa (MIT)
- Housing Justice: A View from Indian Cities (Indian Institute for Human Settlements)
- Gender, Family, and Social Change in Contemporary South Korea (Yonsei University)
- Business, International Relations and the Political Economy (The London School of Economics and Political Science)
International Aid/Development Worker
● Description: International Aid/Development workers’ primary goal is to provide humanitarian help to people in various parts of the world, with topics ranging from healthcare, hygiene, accommodation, education, and construction to agriculture, industrial growth, human rights, sustainable development, and disaster relief. Charities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international aid agencies, and volunteer groups regularly recruit International Development Workers. Furthermore, organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the United Nations employ huge numbers of Foreign Aid/Development personnel all over the world. Some International Development Workers focus on strategy and policy, performing research, engaging with other non-governmental organizations, and pushing the government for funding and sponsorship.
● Qualifications: International Aid/Development Workers are expected to have qualification and volunteering experience related to their field of interest.
● Salary: The average salary of an International Aid/Development Worker varies depending on field, location and type of employer and is around $35,060 annually.
- International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice (University Leiden)
- Public Health in Humanitarian Crises – Part 1 (Johns Hopkins University)
- The Sustainable Development Goals – A global, transdisciplinary vision for the future (Copenhagen University)
● Description: A Journalist does research, gathers information, and presents it in the form of a news article. Newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, and the internet may all be used to convey essential information. Journalists are expected to deliver content in a comprehensive and objective manner. They keep their audience up to date on developments in the world by bringing together a variety of diverse sources and ensuring that all of the arguments are reflected.
● Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in Communications or Journalism is generally necessary for this profession, however an English degree may be sufficient as well. A degree in Political Science may also be very useful for journalists that cover international relations.
● Salary: The average salary of a Journalist varies depending on field, location and type of employer and is around $41,693 annually.
- English for Journalism (University of Pennsylvania)
- Journalism, the future, and you! (Michigan University)
● Description: A Lobbyist appeals to public officials and legislators in order to influence government decisions. Constituents or other legislators usually initiate the lobbying. In the lobbying efforts, the Lobbyist will function as a link between clients and the federal government and will apply communications and public relations strategies. The Lobbyist’s ability to develop successful relationships with government agencies, trade groups, and coalitions interested in the clients’ agendas is essential. The main goal of a Lobbyist is to influence opinion leaders and to participate in advertising campaigns. A Lobbyist’s main responsibilities include researching and analysing legislation and regulatory proposals, developing and implementing lobbying strategies for clients, representing clients in the legislature, government, and other branches and institutions, attending meetings and events, as well as other activities that will help clients succeed.
● Qualifications: First of all, Lobbyists should be able to influence and persuade other people. A master’s degree in a relevant field to Political Science is required, as well as prior working experience in a similar sphere.
● Salary: The average salary of a Lobbyist varies depending on location, type of employer, certifications, education and experience and is around $77,168 annually. In some locations, the average salary can be around $116,089.
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills (University of Michigan)
- Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator (Yale University)
International Relations Professor / Political Science Professor
● Description: Professors of Political Science conduct research and publish academic articles while educating students at colleges and universities. Preparing curriculum, creating assignments, monitoring students’ performance, and giving lectures are all examples of teaching responsibilities. Professors work for a variety of institutions, including big universities, smaller colleges, community colleges, and online universities.
● Qualifications: To teach at a university, postsecondary professors must have a PhD degree, however some community colleges recruit applicants with master’s degrees. In most cases, previous teaching experience is also necessary. Most academics acquire their first classroom teaching experience while pursuing an advanced degree by working part-time as a graduate teaching assistant.
● Salary: The average salary of an International Relations Professor varies depending on location, type of employer, certifications, education and experience and is around $134,123 annually. In some locations, the top 10% make more than $274,000 annually, whereas the bottom 10% make less than $65,000 annually.
- Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century (University of Virgina)
- Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World (University of London)
- Global Health Diplomacy (State University of New York)
● Description: Immigration Specialists are in charge of overseeing immigration programs and aiding foreign nationals with the immigration process. Their primary objective is to guarantee that all documentation, including immigration and visa applications, is done correctly and on schedule. The Immigration Specialist’s tasks encompass acting as an immigration expert and representing consumers in both condemnable and civilized legal proceedings, as well as other legal occurrences and proceedings that may possibly occur. An Immigration Specialist prepares and arranges judicial and court-related papers, while also administrating, directing, and advising customers on the different methods for processing judicially documented agreements. He or she may work in a single location or perhaps carry out operations across numerous legal jurisdictions.
● Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in the area of expertise is required of an Immigration Specialist. In certain cases, two to four years of experience in a related organization is required.
● Salary: The average salary of an Immigration Specialist varies depending on location, type of employer, certifications, education and experience and is around $78,812 annually.
- International migrations: a global issue
- Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children
● Description: An Intelligence Analyst is a government worker who gathers data from a number of outlets in order to analyze risks and prevent threats from within and outside the country. An Intelligence Analyst will perform research and make evaluations on their targets both in the office as well as in the field, using confidential and public data. Working out in the field, interrogating witnesses, and performing precise area inspections are all part of the job duties. Basic computer-based research, which is normally done in an office environment, is expected to be done in parallel with the fieldwork. Furthermore, the Intelligence Analyst will be required to compile all of the data into an instructive and understandable report for their superiors.In order to acquire as much data as possible, Intelligence Analysts collaborate with local governments, industries, and private entities. They rapidly and thoroughly interpret data from different countries and acquaint themselves with unfamiliar surroundings.
● Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject such as Criminal Justice, Social Science, International Relations or Social Studies is usually needed for Intelligence Analysts. Having an advanced degree, allows prospective Intelligence Analysts to pursue higher-level positions.
● Salary: The average salary of an Intelligence Analyst varies depending on location, type of employer, certifications, education and experience and is around $76,601 annually.