International Relations Career Path

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International Relations Career Path

International relations is the study of the important and complex interactions between different nations, societies, cultures, languages, political entities, economies, technologies, religions, etc. It can be thought of as the study of world politics. Individuals who choose to pursue a career in international relations typically have a passion for learning about new cultures and an interest in current events. There are many different paths you can take to have a career in international relations.

Before you can pursue a career in international relations, please get the needed information with the help of our article. Keep reading!

1. What Are the Different Types of Job Options in International Relations?

It depends on your interests and skills. If you want to help people and make a difference in the world, then a career in international relations might be right for you. But remember, there are many different types of jobs in this field.

Each of these jobs has its own unique set of responsibilities and duties. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

  • Consular Services Officer – A Consular Services Officer is responsible for providing information and assistance to U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad. They may also be responsible for issuing visas or passports.
  • Diplomat – A Diplomat is the face of America to the rest of the world. They represent the United States in foreign countries and strengthen relationships between countries.
  • Foreign Service Officer – A Foreign Service Officer is someone who works for the Department of State. They may be stationed at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or work in Washington D.C. They are responsible for carrying out the foreign policy of the United States.
  • International Trade Specialist – An International Trade Specialist is someone who works for the Department of Commerce. They promote American exports and help create jobs by opening new markets for American businesses.
  • Policy Analyst – A Policy Analyst is someone who works for a government agency or private company. They develop and implement policies on a variety of topics.

2. Best Colleges to Study International Relations

If you are looking to pursue a career in International relations, it is important to pick the right college. There are many factors that go into making this decision, and knowing what these factors are can help make your choice easier.

In order for a college degree to be worth something in the real world, they need to have some sort of reputation or prestige behind them. If a school has been around for more than 50 years and has graduated successful people from their prestigious programs, then the chances are good that they will be able to provide you with what you need as well.

You should also think about how much money you want your education to cost because while there may be schools out there that offer great quality but come at a high price, there may also be schools that offer good quality education at an affordable rate.

Location is also something to think about when choosing a school because if you want to specialize in a certain region of the world, you will want to make sure the school you attend is located in that area.

The following are four colleges that are great options for anyone looking to study international relations.

Harvard University – This prestigious school has been around since 1636, and it is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They offer an impressive 20-degree option for those interested in studying international affairs, and they provide help with job placement after graduation.

Georgetown University – Only 38 miles from Washington, D.C., Georgetown is one of the leading schools when it comes to international relations education. They offer 12 different programs in international affairs.

University of California, Berkeley – The University of California, Berkeley, or UC Berkeley as it is more commonly known, is a great school choice for those looking to study international relations. It is ranked 4th in the world for its graduate programs in international affairs, and it has been around since 1868.

Columbia University – Located in New York City, Columbia is home to the most highly ranked political science program in the United States. They offer a diverse range of programs from Middle Eastern studies to security studies and have been around since 1754. This school has a high job placement rate as well as a high graduation rate, so it is a good choice for those looking into international relations as a career path.

3. How Can You Prepare for an International Relations Career?

The following steps can be taken into consideration to prepare for an international relations career:

Take classes – Take classes in economics, geography, history, or political science courses related to international affairs;

Classroom Education – The first step for anyone interested in an international relations career is to invest time into their education. There are plenty of classes that can be taken to help gain the skills required for this field. The most important subjects to study are economics, geography, history, and political science. However, it is also beneficial to take any course which focuses on international affairs. This could be anything from a business class that discusses global trade to a sociology course that looks at different cultures around the world.

Internships and Volunteer Work – The second step is to get involved with organizations that deal with foreign policy. This could be through internships or volunteer work. There are many opportunities to gain experience in this field. It is important to note that internships and volunteer work can also lead to full-time jobs. Therefore, it is a great way to get started in this career.

Language Proficiency – In order to work in international relations, it is often necessary to be proficient in multiple languages. This could be because one may need to communicate with people from other countries or because they may need to translate documents. Being able to speak more than one language will give an individual a competitive advantage for jobs.

Travel and Learning About Different Cultures – The fourth step in this career path is to learn about different cultures through travel and reading books on the subject. This will help an individual gain a better understanding of how other countries function. It will also prepare an individual for working with people from other countries.

Getting Involved – The fifth step is to get involved in different aspects of foreign policy. This could be by getting involved with a student’s government or through a political science club. In addition, there are other groups on college campuses that focus on international affairs. These include organizations such as Model United Nations and the International Relations Club. Each provides an opportunity to assist with events and learn more about the field.

4. Tips for Getting a Job in the Field of International Relations

Here are some tips that will help you land a well-paid job in the international relations field:

Networking: Networking with people in the field. You can do this by taking different classes or joining campus clubs related to international relations. If your university doesn’t have any opportunities, reach out to professionals at companies you’d like to work for and ask them for advice. These people could refer you when jobs become available and help boost your resume by providing contacts and LinkedIn recommendations.

Internships: Seek out internship opportunities that will give you insight into how your skills will be utilized in the workplace and if this is an industry you would enjoy working in. This will help you to know if the outlook for your future is promising with this career.

Shadowing: If you are unsure whether or not international relations is for you, shadow somebody who works in the field. This allows you to see what a day in their life is like, and you might be able to get some helpful advice.

Be patient: It can take a while to break into the field, so start networking early and stick with it!

Be flexible: Being open to different opportunities in international relations allows for more possibilities than if you are limited in what you are looking for.

Stay up to date on current events: Understanding what is happening in the world will not only help you in your current job but will also make you a more well-rounded individual. Subscribe to different news sources and read articles from think tanks and other organizations that specialize in international affairs.

Being able to speak multiple languages: This will not only look great on your resume, but it also shows that you take the initiative and are open to learning new things.

Join international relations clubs: Getting involved with organizations related to international relations and meeting people in the field is a great way to find an internship and network with potential employers.

Attend international conferences: This is a great opportunity to learn about different aspects of international relations and network with professionals in the field.

Volunteer: Volunteering for an organization that focuses on international relations is a great way to get experience and knowledge in the field. It also looks good on your resume.

Make a portfolio: A portfolio can include different projects you have worked on, articles you have written, and presentations you have given. This is a great way to show employers your skills and experience in the field of international relations.

Stay up to date on social media: Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn are great for networking and announcing you are available for positions.

Be specific about your goals: Not being able to answer the question “what do you want to do?” is a great way to turn off potential employers. Knowing what you want out of your career and how it matches up with the company’s agenda helps ensure that both parties will be satisfied with you.

5. Are International Relations Professionals Paid Well?

International relations professionals are paid well. International relations professionals are in the field of foreign affairs, international law, political science, economics, and other disciplines to analyze national security issues for their organization. Their salaries vary depending on factors such as experience level and location.

The median annual earnings for international relations specialists is $91,100 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2016. This figure includes wages from full-time jobs only and does not include bonuses or profit-sharing. The average salary is about $115,000 per year, according to Glassdoor in September 2017, which also includes benefits like health insurance coverage or retirement plans. Those who work overseas tend to earn more than those working domestically because they can command a higher wage due to the cost of living and expenses abroad.

The median income for international relations professionals who work and live overseas is $94,000 per year, according to Glassdoor in December 2017, which includes benefits like health insurance coverage or retirement plans. The average salary is about $122,000 per year, according to, in August 2018 without accounting for bonuses or profit-sharing.

6. What It’s Like to Work in This Field?

If you’re looking for a career that will constantly challenge and intrigue you, then look no further than international relations. This is one of the most versatile fields in all of the social sciences. It’s about understanding how people from other cultures interact with each other and can be applied to almost any industry or occupation. As such, it provides an excellent background for graduate school admissions because it gives students a broad-based knowledge base.

7. What Is the Scope of International Relations?

The future of international relations is looking very promising. With the ever-growing globalization, the need for cooperation and understanding between different nations is becoming increasingly important. There are many exciting opportunities in this field.

8. What Are the Benefits of Pursuing a Career in International Relations?

Here are some of the benefits that one can have as a part of this field:

  • You can get the chance to work in different countries
  • The profession is less gender-biased, meaning more women are able to pursue advanced positions
  • There are many exciting opportunities in this field which means you’re constantly learning new things and applying what you’ve learned in different environments.

9. What Are Some Skills That One Would Need to Work in This Profession?

  • Communication skills: to be able to understand the perspective of people from other cultures and communicate your ideas clearly in a way that is understandable by others.
  • Critical thinking: you will need critical thinking so that when presented with complex issues, you can understand them quickly and have a clear plan on how it should be resolved.
  • Cultural awareness: you should be aware of the customs, traditions, and values of other cultures so that you do not offend them unintentionally and can work effectively with them.
  • Research skills: to gather information from a variety of sources and analyze it effectively.
  • Strong writing skills: to be able to write reports, proposals, and other documents that are clear and concise so you can communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Time management: you will be working in a fast-paced environment with strict deadlines; therefore, it is important to manage your time well.

10. States with the Highest Employment Level for International Relations Careers

The states given below have the most opportunity for those looking to enter into international relations. The states offer a variety of jobs in the field, as well as many resources to help those looking to start or further their careers in international relations.

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas


International relation is an ideal field for graduates who are interested in international affairs. The job opportunities may be limited, but the potential earnings and benefits make it worth looking into. We hope this article helps you get the information you need before entering this field. We wish you lots of luck with your bright future!

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.