Global Affairs June 1, 2023 by


What Can You Do with an International Relations Degree

Over the last few decades, one of the most striking phenomena we’ve observed is the rapid acceleration of globalization and internationalization. The world has metaphorically shrunk, knitting itself into a tightly integrated global village. The barriers of distance have been significantly reduced, and in this context, the demand for individuals well-versed in the intricacies of international relations has soared.

An Expansive World with a Degree in International Relations

So, one might ask, what potential pathways and opportunities does a degree in International Relations open up? Before diving into the professional perks, it’s worthwhile to note the enriching personal growth that accompanies such a field of study.

The Hague

For globetrotters, an International Relations degree not only enhances their travel experiences but also elevates their understanding of the world. Equipped with this knowledge, one no longer views the world through the lens of a regular tourist or casual traveler. International Relations offers a singular perspective into a broad range of subjects including history, economics, conflict, and trade, among others. It gifts the degree holder with comprehensive knowledge of various nations and their nuances and an adaptable skill-set that holds relevance in multiple contexts.

Cultivating a Professional Pathway

The sphere of International Relations is a rich tapestry, woven with numerous specializations. The diverse range of concentrations includes, but is not limited to:

  • International Relations
  • International Security
  • Comparative Studies
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Regional Studies
  • International Political Economy
  • International Organizations
  • International Law

The selection of a specialization depends on one’s interests, career aspirations, and the level of study (bachelor’s or master’s degree). Most degrees in this field require the student to undertake an internship or some form of practical work, enabling the synthesis of theoretical knowledge with real-world applications. A significant aspect of this field is proficiency in more than one language, opening doors to a multitude of global opportunities.

Embarking on a Career in International Relations

Interestingly, while the academic discipline is named ‘International Relations’, professional roles in this field seldom reflect this term in their titles. Nonetheless, such positions typically require an International Relations degree. Career paths bifurcate between the government and private sectors, with each having unique job titles, roles, and responsibilities.

Government Sector Opportunities

In the governmental realm, an International Relations graduate may explore the following roles:

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

Private Sector Prospects

Conversely, the private sector offers a different palette of job roles, although there are some overlaps in skills and responsibilities:

  • Journalist
  • Language Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • International Consultant
  • Global Communications Staff
  • Executive Coordinator
  • Program Manager
  • Fundraising Officer
  • Demographer
  • Security Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Lecturer

The choice between a government or non-governmental organization or a private firm is highly personal and influenced by various factors. There is a substantial difference in remuneration between the sectors, with government organizations typically disclosing compensation and benefits upfront, while the private sector tends to be more varied and competitive.

For budding professionals in this field, gaining relevant experience through volunteer work or internships is highly beneficial. By starting early, while still studying, students can gather practical experience and start building a valuable professional network, an asset of paramount importance in the International Relations arena.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills do you need prior to applying for the international relations graduate program?

In order to pursue an international relations graduate program, specific skills are not explicitly required. However, it is highly beneficial to possess a strong foundation in various areas such as reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking. These skills are essential for successfully navigating the challenges and complexities of an international relations master’s degree. By having a solid grasp of these abilities, candidates can enhance their understanding of global affairs, effectively articulate their thoughts through writing, engage in clear and meaningful communication, and analyze and evaluate complex information in a critical manner. Therefore, although not mandatory, cultivating and refining these skills prior to applying will greatly contribute to a favorable experience in an international relations graduate program.

How long does it take to complete the international relations graduate program?

The international relations graduate program typically takes anywhere between 2 and 5 years to complete. The duration of the program depends on your preferred pace of study and the number of courses you choose to take each semester. Programs offers flexibility in terms of course selection and scheduling. If you prefer an accelerated journey, universities provide year-round study options, allowing you to take courses during the fall, January, spring, and summer semesters.

What is the tuition cost per course for the International Relations Master’s Degree Program?

The tuition cost per course for the International Relations Master’s Degree Program amounts vary from $2,500 to $3,220 depending on the university.


In conclusion, the domain of International Relations is not only challenging and intellectually stimulating, but it is also deeply rewarding. The demand for professionals equipped with a thorough understanding of globalization, world affairs, international economy, trade, history, business, and law is poised to increase. As such, the field promises to continue growing, offering a wealth of opportunities for those eager to make their mark on the global stage.

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