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10 Reasons Why You Should Study International Relations

Are you searching for the reasons why you should study international relations? Search no more; you’re in the right place. In this post, we will talk on some of the best reasons why you should study international relations. We will also talk on some of the best career paths for international relations graduates.

International relation is a course that introduces you to the world of politics and socio-historical impact of global development. You will get to learn about the different governing policies and political systems around the world, and understanding their connection with a wide range of international issues such as global ethics, climate change, global poverty, human rights etc.

There’re other popular names used to refer to International Relationship, such as Global Affairs, International Affairs, Global studies or International studies. Because it is a relatively new discipline, the courses, curriculum, and academic approach may vary significantly from one institution to another.

So, are you wondering why you should consider studying International Relations? Here are some of the reasons.

  1. You’ll develop transferable skills

International Relations programs are designed to help prepare students to develop communication skills that can be applied across diverse cultures. Apart from acquiring specialized knowledge cantered around intercultural approaches and theories, students studying international relations will also develop the following skills:

  • Analytical and research skills to help solve complex problems
  • Communication skills to communicate effectively and tell compelling stories
  • Interpersonal skills help in building an effective relationship with stakeholders, which is essential, especially when you’re working in multicultural settings.
  • Public speaking, verbal, and writing skills.

The skills you acquire while studying international relations can be applied in many other industries and areas. Even if you decide not to continue your career path in International relations, these skills will help you in your other areas of endeavor.

  1. Address global contemporary issues

Studying International relations will position you to address contemporary global issues. The world is living in a time where the overall living standards is higher than what it ought to be. The human race is facing diverse challenges despite constant scientific discoveries and technological advancement. Human trafficking, kidnapping, insurgency, poverty, inequality, corruption are some of the problems faced by nations. After graduating with an International Relations degree, you’ll be able to work with NGOs, private/public institutions, or local governments to address these trending issues. Whether you choose to implement public policies or collaborate with organizations to implement welfare projects, you’ll be helping to reduce the sufferings and social injustice in the world.

  1. International relations is far more than politics

Although a degree in International Relations prepares you for a career path in Politics, your career options and opportunities are no way limited to politics alone. Because the skills acquired during the course of study are transferable, students who study international relations go further to work in different industries and careers including activism, national security, military intelligence and analysis, international business frontiers, and more.

Many graduates go on to become diplomats and work in a wide variety of areas like:

Preservation of cultural property

  • Global health
  • Human trafficking
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Conflict resolution
  • Climate change
  • Environmental issues
  1. You get to live a life of impact

Most people who get to study international relations do so because they are passionate about making the world a better place regardless of their career goals.

Individuals who use their degree to work in politics (e.g. ambassadors, activists, diplomats) can achieve their goals by developing privacy policies that can help make the world a better place by improving the lives of people. For example, they can

  • Address issues like poverty alleviation, nutrition and food insecurity
  • Promote the rights of children and women
  • Provide aid during a crisis and other natural disasters
  • Coordinate counterterrorism efforts

Also, those who choose to go into the business path after their graduation can be agents of change. They can help champion an organization’s strategic and charitable operations.

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  1. You’ll be part of a team

International relations is not a course that exists in isolation from other related courses. Whether you’re in a consulate/embassy or working as an ambassador, your job will be a collaborative one. For example, Diplomats collaborate with different agencies to establish ties between people around the world and also learn how to connect people across borders to achieve a common international goal. They work with people from all works of life including professionals from intelligence services, military, law enforcement, agriculture, trade, commerce, science, and technology.

  1. You’ll experience cultural immersion

In order to be highly successful in your career pursuit as a business executive, lobbyist, ambassador or diplomat focused in a particular region; you’ll be required to immerse yourself in other cultures. Part of the experience will require you to learn another country’s traditions, cultures, and language. In addition to making you highly proficient at your job, it will position you for deep personal growth which is incredibly fulfilling.

  1. It’s a great career path

Depending on your aspirations, interest and experiences, career opportunities related to International relations in the Public, Private, or NGO space are always in abundance. If you’re considering a career in government, you can opt-in for a role in intelligence or security. This will afford you the opportunity to be involved with international relations projects. More so, studying international relations is a great starting point to kickstart your ambition to be an ambassador or diplomat.

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  1. You’ll gain real-life experience

Studying international relations positions you to have real-life experience. It helps you to understand where and how strategies, policies, laws and conflicts have an impact around the world. Most institutions around the world are now integrating compulsory study and work experience in the curriculum to help students have a practical application of what they learned in the four walls of a classroom.

  1. Lucrative salary

According to data from Glassdoor, International Relations jobs has some of the best salaries. However, this depends on some factors like the country where you reside. But one thing is certain: careers in international relations have very lucrative salaries. For example, here are the average salaries for some of the most popular jobs in international relations culled from Glassdoor

  • Diplomat – 85,800 USD/year
  • Political Risk Analyst – 61,830 USD/year
  • International Marketing Manager – 65,540 USD/year
  • Public Affairs Specialist – 59,720 USD/year
  • Immigration Specialist – 50,170 USD/year
  • Policy Analyst – 58,925 USD/year
  • Intelligence Analyst – 68,340 USD/year
  1. International relations is a popular course

Are you still wondering why you should study international relations? Take a look at some of the most renowned world leaders who studied the course and be motivated to study it too

  • Shiva Keshavan (Olympic Athlete)
  • Kevin Ford (Astronaut)
  • Ron Silver (Actor)
  • Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)
  • Judith Goldstein (Stanford Professor)
  • Nirmala Sitaraman (Indian Minister)
  • John F. Kennedy (American President)

Career Path for International Relations Graduates

There are different career opportunities for graduates of international relations. The career paths are usually classified into three main sectors: non-profit (NGO). Private (business), public (government). The undergraduate courses are designed to offer a wide range of knowledge and cutting-edge skills to graduates. The above classification of career path positions graduates to switch from positions in charities, the private sector, and government.

It is a common practice for people who work in this sector to switch from one type of career path to the other. Some of the most popular career paths for international relations students include

  • Civil Service

The civil service is the main public service provider offering graduates of international relations different career openings. Civil service job openings include the Ministry of Defence, Department of International Development, and Department of Foreign Affairs.

  • Central Intelligent Agent

A career path in the central intelligence agency is one of the safe havens for international relations graduates. Gaining appointment in this sector is seen as a huge achievement and requires a rigorous application process but none the less, opportunities exist for graduates

  • Political Affairs Officers

The best shot on this career path is working with the Department of Political Affairs at the UN. Political affairs officers work tirelessly to help nations resolve conflicts and prevent war. They work to proffer peaceful political solutions to foster peaceful coexistence between nations

  • Diplomat

Most international relations graduates pursue career paths in diplomacy. Diplomats are ambassadors appointed to represent their nation’s government in its relation with other organizations and governments. They work to protect the interest of their nation while working closely to promote friendship with other nations.

  • International Banking Officer

This career path is one of the high demand positions sought after by international relations graduates. However, pursuing a career path in this sector will require further studies in addition to your international relations degree. Your main focus is to special in banking and finance with respect to international relations.

  • International Affairs Officer

Another possible career option available for international relations graduates is to enter into the Armed forces as an international affairs officer. The armed forces of any nation play a key role in foreign policy implementation.

  • Foreign Service Officer

The goal of a Foreign Service officer is to promote stability and advance his/her country’s interest in the eyes of the world. Pursuing a career as a Foreign Service officer will position you to serve in Africa, America. Europe, Asia or the Middle East at one of the consulates or embassies.

  • Research Consultant

As a research consultant, your work is to undertake research, collect finding-based papers, report conclusions and make recommendations. Every year there are a number of globally interested Non-governmental organizations and private organizations who are searching for passionate and excellent research consultants to work with

International relations is a very marketable and lucrative course to study. The benefits that come from studying this course are so vast and cannot be overemphasized. At this point, we believe the information we have shared in this post is sufficient enough to help you make up your mind to study International Relations.

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