If there’s something we’re noticing in the world, it is that there is an urgent need for globalism, to better understand the current conflicts and major world occurrences. You can be as optimistic as possible, yet, you will have to admit that the world’s politics are pretty chaotic, and a decent international perspective could just save the day.

So, what can you do with an international studies degree? A degree in international relations can open you up to a better understanding of the interconnected world we live in. Generally, it will introduce you to the world of politics and the social-historical impact of global development. Here is everything you need to know. 

What is an international studies degree?

An international studies degree is a program that explores the relationship between regional and international issues. These programs aim to provide students with knowledge about different languages, cultures, and customs.

The degree includes several common classes, such as global health, human rights, international politics, economic development, and nations and nationalities. These courses help students understand various global issues, such as political development, ethnic conflict, human rights, economic growth, and cultural transitions.

Benefits of a Degree in International Studies

A degree in international studies is a smart investment for students who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of global issues. Here are some of the benefits that come with an international studies degree:

1. Lots of traveling

While studying international relations, students can see how political systems and governing policies around the world function and co-relate. This means that you will create expertise which will make you very much wanted in different parts of the world.

So yes, this means that you will be moving from one country to another to provide counseling and to help figure out several global issues. How does work combined with traveling sound to you so far?

2. A wide range of career choices

If you’re seeking a degree in international studies, you have probably done some research, and you already know that you have plenty of options ahead of you. Your main potential recruiter will definitely be the government. But they’re surely not the only ones.

You’ll constantly be in the spotlight of NGOs and the private sector, as well. They’re all looking for trained international relations professionals to help them coordinate multinational operations.

3. The value of the field

International studies degreeInternational relations are not a new concept for the world. However, their relevance is increasing, and their substance is changing. The world as we know it has become more interconnected and people are studying the best practices to help us cope with this shift between nations.

That is why this field is of major significance, constantly looking for great perspectives to add to academia.

4. A progress-inducer

Countries would not be able to improve their local and international politics without the bright minds of people from the field of international relations. A good understanding of aspects covering this field helps them:

  • Promote successful trade policies between nations.
  • Encourage travel related to business, tourism, and immigration.
  • Cooperate and share information as a way to face global issues that go beyond any particular country or region.
  • Advance human culture through cultural exchanges, diplomacy, and policy development.

5. The transferable skills

There are so many excellent qualities you build up or pick up with a career in international relations. All of those are transferable, meaning that you can use them in diverse aspects of your life that don’t necessarily relate to international studies.

For instance, with a solid background in economics and the global market, you’ll have numerous employers laying down their offers for you. Your understanding of foreign cultures, knowledge of languages, and the ability to adapt quickly– all of these can make you a big hit in any sort of business in search of good managers.

6. You will experience cultural immersion

As you study and work in international relations, you explore and immerse yourself in other cultures. You will probably get to learn about other countries’ cultures, traditions, and languages. This will not only make you highly proficient at your job, but it will also position you for deep personal growth.

7. Have an impact on real issues

If you choose to work in politics, you can develop and implement policies that could improve lives all over the world. For instance, you could work to promote human rights, address concerns such as world hunger and environmental issues, assist in natural crises, coordinate counterterrorism, etc.

Job Outlook: What Can You Do with an International Studies Degree

And now that you have a clearer understanding of the benefits of a degree in international studies, you surely want to know more about international studies jobs you can acquire with this type of degree.

International relations majors obtain in-depth knowledge of world affairs, politics, economics, culture, geography, history, and language. Their soft skills reach a top-notch level upon their graduation, and these people make excellent listeners, speakers, critical thinkers, problem solvers, or precise writers.

This sort of foundation qualifies them to work both in the corporate and non-profit sectors. The most prominent careers that they’re involved in include jobs related to government, politics, business, law, education, media, and international affairs.

Jobs within the Governmental sector

It is worth noting that government jobs are the ones mostly seeking international relations majors. Agencies ranging from the CIA to the State Department are on a constant hunt for great minds that can manage the nation’s foreign relations properly. Your potential fields of inclusiveness are:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Energy
  • Foreign Service
  • National Security Agency

The highest salaries evidently correspond to Political Analysts working for the CIA earning somewhere between $44,465 to $86,801 and Foreign Affairs Officers for the State Department with a salary of $77,353 to $100,554. Other governmental jobs include the following:

  • Immigration Specialist
  • Intelligence Specialist
  • International Lawyer
  • International Marketing Specialist
  • Diplomat
  • Economist
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Intelligence Specialist
  • International Lawyer
  • International Marketing Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Politician
  • Political Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • United Nations Worker
  • Archivist



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Jobs from the Private Sector

graduate of international studiesIf you love the idea of a major in international studies but are not interested in working for the government, then the good news is that many private sector businesses are looking for graduates in this field.

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Two of the biggest industries that actively recruit students of international studies are non-profit organizations with a worldwide reach and multinational corporations. Both of these industries can benefit from a concise understanding of international affairs, as this helps them perform better worldwide and increases their global presence.

Some of the most prospective jobs from the private sector for majors in international relations include:

  • International Sales Staff
  • Cultural Specialists
  • News Reporters and Producers
  • International Marketing Consultant
  • Global Communications Staff
  • HR Managers
  • Executive Coordinators
  • Senior Supply Chain Managers
  • Divisional Merchandise Managers
  • Non-profit Program Manager
  • Admissions Manager
  • Fundraising Officer
  • Journalist
  • Language Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Demographer

These positions may not pay as well as government jobs do; however, they come with a great level of flexibility and responsibility as well. The best thing about working in the private sector is that you won’t have the burden of failing or representing a whole country behind your back. So you will have the chance to do the job you like, with a little less pressure and a bit more pleasure.

Bottom Line

An international studies degree can open up a world of opportunities for graduates who are interested in global issues and cross-cultural experiences. Whether you want to work in government, non-profit organizations, international corporations, or pursue further education, this degree equips you with valuable skills such as critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, and communication. 

With the increasing globalization of our world, the demand for professionals with an international studies background is on the rise, making it a promising field to enter in the years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What career options are available with an International Studies degree?

International Studies graduates can pursue careers in diplomacy, international business, non-profit organizations, journalism, international law, humanitarian aid, and more. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree equips graduates with skills applicable across various sectors.

How can an International Studies degree prepare me for a global career?

The curriculum of an international studies program typically covers subjects such as global politics, economics, cultures, languages, and international relations theory. Students develop a deep understanding of global issues and cross-cultural competence through coursework, internships, and study abroad opportunities, essential for navigating diverse professional environments.

Can I specialize within an International Studies degree program?

Many international studies programs offer specialization tracks or concentrations, allowing students to focus their studies on areas such as international development, security studies, global health, environmental sustainability, or regional studies (e.g., Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies).

What opportunities are available for hands-on experience during an International Studies degree?

Students often have access to internships with international organizations, government agencies, NGOs, or multinational corporations. Additionally, many programs encourage or require students to participate in study abroad programs, providing immersive cultural experiences and opportunities to apply classroom learning in real-world settings.

How can I leverage my International Studies degree in the job market?

International studies graduates can pursue diverse career paths, including roles in international organizations, government agencies, NGOs, multinational corporations, consulting firms, media outlets, and academia. Networking, gaining practical experience through internships, and showcasing relevant skills and experiences on resumes and in interviews are key strategies for success in the job market.