True to its name, studying international relations can lead to jobs dealing with politics, commerce, and diplomacy around the world. These jobs may be located in both public and private sectors, including non-governmental organizations and multilateral, global organizations. Here are just a few examples of what jobs you may consider with a degree in international relations.
Diplomats in national foreign service
Employees of a country’s foreign service promote their government’s policies and interests while maintaining good diplomatic relations with other countries. Diplomats stationed in foreign countries represent their country at embassies or consulates. As such, diplomats must be able to resolve conflict, deal with people from many backgrounds, and work closely with ally countries.
With global attention to human rights rising, international lawyers seek to promote global justice. Lawyers with specialties in international relations may focus on issues of democracy, governance, and international human rights. Such lawyers may work for individual countries, multinational policy or law groups, or global organizations focused on a particular issues, from the global slave trade to ensuring democracy in a new nation.
Environmental issues from climate change to energy development affect every country in the world, as well as relations between countries. International relations experience is important to help nations pursue more sustainable environmental practices and energy development goals in a way that benefits all the world’s citizens. Only by reaching across borders and cooperating with other countries will environmental problems be solved.
International relations graduates with an interest in economics will likely gravitate to the global financial stage, where they may be advisors to countries or multinational groups, officers at international banks, and global organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. As foreign markets become increasingly connected, international relations experience will be essential in guiding trade policy, promoting international development, and figuring out how different countries’ trade standards, testing, and certifications compare.
Communicating the intricacies of international conflict, law, and policy can be difficult, but journalism about international relations is vital to keeping the world informed and connected. Journalists with international relations experience may find themselves reporting on international issues ranging from international economic or political successes to wartime tragedies. International journalists could work for national or multinational public affairs offices, independent press, and non-governmental organizations.