International Relations: The Most Important Degree of 2020

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The world is a big place, however, studying a subject such as International Relations can help to understand the way the world works, and how nations and large international organizations operate. If this sounds interesting to you, you should keep reading!

What Studying International Relations Entails

Our richly interconnected, changing world needs qualified international relations practitioners. This is an exciting field of study that offers a globally focused perspective on problems that transcend national borders. International relations study and practice is interdisciplinary in nature, combining sociology, history, and political science fields to explore issues such as human rights, global poverty, climate, economics, globalization, security, global ethics, and the political environment.

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The subject areas in a Bachelor’s and Master’s International Relations Program can sound similar on the surface, but dive a little deeper and the distinctions become apparent. In reality the trick is to dive deeper. In general, prospective students will need a good degree in a relevant field to apply for a Master’s in International Relations. Often this means a Bachelor’s degree in international relations, history, politics, or economy.

The last one or two years of a Master of international relations; several colleges even provide part-time degrees where you can extend the course work over four years, enabling you to operate side by side. If applying for these courses-especially in the UK-you can verify whether they are “researched” or “actually taught,” as this will affect the course content. Most research courses require students to create their own research area, and write a paper, with a supervisor as a reference. On the other side, taught master’s are more like Bachelor’s degrees in their composition, but may still require significant self-reliant research projects such as a thesis.

What Can I Become If I Study International Relations?

One of the key ways you can make the world a better place is to get a Master’s degree in International Relations. If you are reading this, you must ask yourself: What can I become if I study international relations?

There are several routes that you can take if you want to start your career, after obtaining an international relations degree. We mentioned a few of the positions and places you might want to look at, but many international employers in all sectors appreciate the expertise of graduates from International Relations. In our increasingly interconnected world, you will have the ability to establish good diplomatic relations between nations, deter international conflicts and ensure that things run smoothly between governments.

As an international relations expert, in addition to diplomacy, you will have a wide array of career options, including in areas such as banking, social systems and group cultural life.

Here are some career paths that you should consider:

  • Intelligence Specialist – Gathering state – critical information
  • Communication Specialist in a non – profit
  • Diplomat – maintaining good relations between countries
  • Political Analyst – explaining the political climate
  • Lobbyist – Promoting ideas to those who can make them a reality

Duration for a Degree in International Relations

The International relations degree program is a four-year program. You must take liberal arts research courses in the first year of your Bachelor’s degree in International Relations & Diplomatic. This will offer you a sound basis in history, sociology, political science and international relations. You will continue to apply your analytical skills to case studies, discussions and on-site experiences during your last two years of Bachelors in International Relations & Diplomacy.

The Bachelor’s degree in International Relations & Diplomacy is built to provide you with the skills you need to seek a career of policy, industry and journalism as well as at international organizations and law firms. In fact, the bachelor’s degree would provide you with the requisite skills and knowledge if you choose to pursue studying in political science and international relations.

International Relations as the ‘Most Important Degree of 2020’

As stated earlier, our world is more intertwined than ever before in several ways — evidenced in part by the amount of international travel that takes place every year. More than 1.4 billion people traveled worldwide in 2019, fueled by increased air access and relatively low airline costs, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO). Moreover, this number is expected to rise by four percent in 2020 and the implications of this interconnectedness point expand beyond travel.

Multinational corporations have risen over the past several decades to generate revenue that exceeds many nations ‘ GDP, enabling such companies to wield unprecedented control on international politics. Technological innovation and social media growth increasingly linked world markets in aspects that were previously impossible. Indeed, the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle has allowed us to learn in near real-time what is occurring almost everywhere.

Aside from impressing people in pubs with your understanding of international affairs, there are also opportunities to use a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations to build a great future. You can also use your Bachelor’s degree in IR to reach the fields of finance, politics, banking, Charities, advertisement, and social research in addition to holding office in government or serving in foreign affairs. International Relations, as you can see, is a dynamic science that applies effortlessly to other topics.

In reality, several students in the U.S. will double-major their degree in International Relations and will consider many related fields besides International Studies. They will often notice that their analysis of international politics will strengthen or supplement their other topics of interest, bringing to it a different perspective and more ways of thinking.

Some typical disciplines to combine with International Relations if you want to study and undergraduate degree in the US are:

  • Political Science 
  • Economics 
  • International Law 
  • Language Studies

Various Courses of Study for the Degree

International Relations in the field of social sciences are sub-discipline. It interacts with many other subjects including Politics, Literature, Linguistics, Economy, Psychology, Industry, Religious Studies, and Law. People involved in international relations examine global problems, such as violence, human rights, ethics, and try to find interdisciplinary research-based approaches.

Students in International Relations are educated on the effects of globalization and economic policy throughout the courses. They often figure out how political systems communicate with each other, and what their influence is worldwide. It is no coincidence that several foreign negotiators, ambassadors and leaders have learned International Relations at a university degree.

Consider enrolling in one of the International Relations courses mentioned below to gain a deeper understanding of the communications and joint activities among countries around the world.

  • Introduction to International Relations – Introduction to International Relations course approaches the study of conflict and cooperation in world affairs. Applications to war, terrorism, trade policy, the environment, and world poverty. Debates about the ethics of war and the global distribution of wealth.
  • Genocide and humanitarian intervention – The Genocide and Humanitarian Intervention course traces the history of genocide in the 20th century and the question of humanitarian intervention to stop it, a topic that has been especially controversial since the end of the Cold War.
  • Islamic Banking and Finance – principles and Practical solution – In the Islamic Banking and Finance – Principles and Practical Solutions course key issues of Islamic Banking and Finance will be discussed. What are the rules that need to be respected? Based on these rules, financial contracts and assets have been developed, like Sukuk, Ijara and Musharaka.
  • International Trade (Import & Export) – The International Trade (Import-Export) course gives you skills that you can put to immediate use.
  • Skills for Global Leaders – The prime purpose of the Skills for Global Leaders course is for students to enhance their academic and cultural awareness by undertaking a discipline relevant project through a short-term international summer school.
  • International Law & Relations – The International Law and International Relations course satisfies the WiM requirement for International Relations majors.

Top 10 Best Universities to Study International Relations

International Relations (IR) is a very common discipline among students. To stay pace with the needs of students, universities and colleges continuously developing and introducing new IR courses. There are more than 1,200 Bachelor’s and 1,100 Master’s degrees in International Relations available today.

  1. Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT), United States
  2. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  3. Harvard University, United States
  4. Stanford University, United States
  5. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  6. Princeton University, United States
  7. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), United Kingdom
  8. Yale University, United States
  9. The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, United States
  10. University of Chicago, United States

Top 10 Career Paths aor An International Relations Degree Holder

There are increasing career paths for international relations students, international development and public diplomacy & politics. Jobs areas are usually classified into three sectors: public (government), private (business), and non-profit (NGO). While undergraduate courses offer a large range of knowledge and skills to graduates, graduate courses and relevant job experience are required for those wanting to move to specific career profiles. The above classes address widely applicable subjects offering the ability for students to switch from positions in government, the private sector and charities.

It is common for people who work in this field to switch from one type of career to another, thus retaining an international role. These career paths tend to be the most popular amongst international affairs students.

  1. A Civil Servant

The Civil Service is a major public service provider providing international relations students a variety of career openings. Many of the Civil Service divisions have resources, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Security, the Department of International Development and the Ministry of Defense. There’s also a fast channel graduate program in the civil service.

  1. Central Intelligent Agent

A career within the Central Intelligence Agency is a common target for international relations graduates. Gaining a place at this elitist department, though, is seen as a huge achievement and the application process is long and rigorous owing to the secret existence of the C.I.A. No question any role obtained would entail specific preparation and can include more academic studies.

  1. Political Affairs Officers

The best choice on this list must be to secure a place working for the Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations. Political affairs officers are dedicated to helping nations to successfully resolve conflicts and prevent war and suffering. Officers plan and promote peaceful political solutions to disputes, and foster diplomacy among nations.

  1. Analyst

A foreign affairs analyst’s work is multifarious and fascinating. Analysts are researching, documenting and interpreting data and knowledge surrounding critical world events, developments and trends. As analysts are also required to study various cultures and customs, obtaining employment as an analyst may contribute to several travel opportunities.

  1. Diplomat

In the simplest sense of the word diplomats are ambassadors appointed to represent a government in its relations with other governments and organizations. Diplomats seek to protect and defend their government’s policies and work towards promoting friendly relations.

  1. Economist

A number of companies and organizations employ economists to predict developments in the ever-changing economy and to change economic policies when appropriate. Depending on the needs of employers and therefore a lot of job openings for recent graduates, there are many variations about this position.

  1. International Banking Officer

This position is deemed as one of the highest ranking positions that can be pursued by international affairs graduates. Achieving a job title such as this would require further study as graduates would ideally specialize in finance and banking with regards to international affairs. The job description involves implementing financial policies and procedure and can lead to working for establishments such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

  1. International Affairs Officer

A viable option for students is to enter the Armed Forces as an International Affairs Officer. The Armed Forces play a major role in foreign policy implementation. Military forces or military service careers are well designed to encourage development and progression.

  1. Foreign Service Officer

The Foreign Service’s main goals are to promote stability, secure his/her citizens, and advance his country’s interests around the world. As a Foreign Service Officer (FSO), you would be required to serve in the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Europe at one of the embassies or consulates. Many posts are in difficult and dangerous conditions and the job involves regular transfers. Candidates are invited to take an entrance exam but the process of selection is rigorous and highly competitive. There is also a lengthy process of acceptance which can take up to one year.

  1. Research Consultant

This role involves undertaking research, collecting finding-based papers, reporting conclusions and making recommendations. There are a range of globally interested non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private charitable organizations searching out excellent research consultants. Amnesty International, Oxfam, Greenpeace and The Nature Conservancy are among others.

Top 10 high paying jobs for an international relations degree holder

Degree programs in international relations do not usually prepare students for one specific kind of job but can provide students with a wide range of skills and international knowledge of politics, law, and economics that can be adapted to different professions with an international emphasis. Master’s degrees in international relations usually help prepare students for more mature professions in the area that bear more obligations, leadership, and/or management criteria. Jobs in international relations can often be classified into such areas as Foreign Service, government, the private sector, and more.

Salary Outlook

International relations salaries will vary with a number of factors, including employer, location, skill sets, and level of work experience. Another huge factor in determining salary includes the specific job title, as there are many different positions in the field of international relations. Explore a handful of international relations jobs and their salaries in the table below;

1Political Affairs Officer$146,237
2Government Affairs Manager$128,671
5International Trade Specialist$90,220
7National Security Agent and Analyst$87,034
8Foreign Affairs Analyst$67,223
9Human Right Activist$65,000
10Military Operations Analyst$61,089

Why Consider Getting a Degree in International Relations

The world right now could do with a little of love and care. We exist in challenging times and face negative threats, from conflict to hunger, erosion and epidemics. The world needs people with great ambition, who want to make a positive impact. Studying international relations is a perfect way of understanding global issues more profoundly. It is an interesting and significant topic that puts considerable focus on economics, culture, education, and political science and explores their effect on society. You will also understand how and why such problems are referred to by nation’s governments and individuals.

In an increasingly global world, there are many great reasons to choose a Bachelor’s or a Master’s in International Relations; but these are the top ones:

  • There are numerous opportunities

International Relations are a broad-ranging subject but don’t let it scare you off. It means you can pick the subjects you are involved in, and concentrate on them. Flexibility has a real advantage: You can also carry an IR degree into almost any professional field. The talents that you pick up are transferable, which is really important to employers and presents you with many different career opportunities.

  • Cross – Cultural communication

The Internet has made it easier for people from around the world to do business-but what good is that link if you don’t understand each other? International Relationships will offer you an appreciation of how others see the world; which could be quite different from your own views!

  • Critical thinking Skills

As with cross-cultural communication, a degree in international relations will teach you to question and understand various arguments. This is a key transferable ability for employers of the 21st century.

  • You enjoy debating and engaging in challenging issues

It’s important to have the conscious capacity to make a clear and coherent argument, particularly in the international relations working world. Deliberately misleading facts and fake news divides societies and confirms potentially dangerous ideologies. Therefore we need people who can speak against it and speak up for those who can’t.

  • You want to make a difference in the world

It is necessary to note that foreign affairs often are not just about politics. International relationships involve having a cross-cultural understanding and knowledge of what is going on across boundaries. The Master’s of International Relations program at IE University emphasizes the position globalization plays and the importance of getting ahead of the changing dynamics that come with it.

The curriculum was planned and produced in collaboration with the Organization for International Co-operation and Growth (OECD), ensuring that students are introduced to the organization’s inner workings and how a number of social, environmental and international approaches are developed. People pursuing international relations tend to be people who are enthusiastic about wanting to fight injustices, as well as learning from history about what works and what doesn’t work while working in a single global community.

  • It’s a great starting point for your career

Based on your skills, priorities and goals, career opportunities in corporate, public, and non-profit sectors are numerous with respect to international relations. If you are specifically looking for a government job, you might want to reach out and suggest a security or intelligence position. It doesn’t necessarily have to be formal to serve in government –it can be a perfect place to be active with foreign affairs projects.

Although working for an NGO seems to provide greater versatility and hands-on jobs, the pay can be smaller. Whatever position you play, you will have the skills and knowledge ready to bring positive change into action.

The study and practice of international relations in today’s world is valuable for many reasons, such as promoting successful trade policies between nations and encouraging travel-related affairs to business, tourism, and immigration, providing people with opportunities to enhance their lives.

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