What jobs can you get with an international relations degree

The field of international relations is a natural fit for both experienced and up-and-coming professionals looking for a career that’s as intellectually stimulating as it is rewarding. An international relations degree will position you well to advance in any number of fields related to business, foreign affairs, and public policy.

With an international relations degree, you can find work in a variety of different fields.

In the public sector, you might work for the United Nations or another international organization. You might be able to find a job with the State Department or the Department of Defense. You could also look into working for a non-profit like Amnesty International or Doctors Without Borders.

In the private sector, you can work for companies like Coca Cola or Toyota that have offices abroad and need representatives to help them interact with foreign governments. You could also find jobs in consulting, where you’ll analyze issues related to international relations and make recommendations based on your findings.

What jobs can you get with an international relations degree


The international relations field is growing at a steady clip and is far from slowing down. An increasing number of employers are seeking individuals with this type of background, and the reason is simple: In today’s world, diplomacy and foreign policy issues matter more than ever. From the rise of terrorism to the effects of climate change on global economies, international relations touches on every aspect of our lives. If you’re considering studying for or have already obtained a degree in this area, you’re probably wondering what your career options are. In this guide, we’ll outline several paths that an international relations degree can open up for you.


If you want to be a diplomat, the first thing to keep in mind is that you’ll be representing your country abroad. Diplomats are typically career employees of their government’s foreign service and work for many years as diplomats on a variety of issues related to international relations and diplomacy.

In order to become a diplomat, there are several requirements you’ll need to meet:

  • You must be fluent in two languages (one being English). This language requirement can often be waived if there’s an important need for that particular job opening at the time of hiring. For example, if someone who has already been working as an ambassador retires and his position is being filled by another employee with similar qualifications (a college degree), then he may not necessarily have to know any other foreign languages besides English—but it wouldn’t hurt!
  • You should also have some experience working in politics or policymaking positions within at least one branch of government (i.e., executive branch). Many people begin their careers as diplomats after spending time working for Congressmen and Senators or for other members of Congress’ staffs before applying directly through USAJOBS or LinkedIn searches; however not everyone wants this route due so scholarship opportunities may exist elsewhere within government agencies like State Department which tend not require prior experiences beforehand either because they’re looking more towards filling specific gaps within certain teams rather than having all applicants come from similar backgrounds.”

Foreign-service officer

If you enjoy working as part of a team and helping to solve problems, then you may want to consider becoming a foreign-service officer. Foreign-service officers represent the U.S. government overseas and are involved in everything from managing embassies and consulates to assisting American citizens who travel abroad.

Foreign-service officers need at least a bachelor’s degree for entry level positions, but many go on to earn advanced degrees such as law degrees or master’s degrees in finance or business administration from top universities such as Harvard University or Stanford University. The majority of these positions require applicants to have at least one year of work experience before applying, so it’s important that you start networking early on in your career if this is what you want do after graduating with an international relations degree!

Intelligence analyst

Intelligence analysts are responsible for gathering information, analyzing it, and making recommendations based on their findings. They may work in the field (such as a military intelligence analyst) or at a desk (an administrative analyst). As an intelligence analyst, you’d need to be able to:

  • Evaluate information from various sources and determine its relevance to your team’s mission
  • Recommend action based on your analysis of this information
  • Work as part of a team that includes analysts from other fields


  • The role of an interpreter is to translate one language into another. An interpreter must be able to understand both languages well enough to accurately convey the meaning of the words and phrases used by each speaker. If you’re working in a foreign country, it’s also important that you have a good grasp of cultural differences so that your interpretation reflects those nuances as well.
  • Translators work mainly with written material. They typically prepare documents in one language before they are translated into another language—for example, a document written in English may be sent to someone who speaks French so they may translate it into French before sending it back over again to be reviewed by an editor who can make sure everything sounds right when read aloud (this process can take weeks). Even though translators aren’t usually face-to-face with the people for whom they do their work, they still need strong listening skills because this field demands that translators remain attentive at all times no matter what else might be going on around them; if someone asks them something directly while they’re reviewing something else then there are several options available: 1) respond briefly before continuing with current work; 2) ask later when time allows; 3) continue doing what needs done first while explaining details later via email or phone call etcetera…

Non-governmental organization worker

Another option is to work for an international non-governmental organization (INGO). INGOs are organizations that are independent of governments, and they can be involved in a wide range of activities including humanitarian aid, development, health and education. They may also work on environmental conservation or human rights issues. Examples include Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) or Greenpeace.

Policy analyst

As a policy analyst, you’ll be responsible for conducting research and making recommendations on how to improve government policies. To do this, you must have strong analytical skills and an understanding of politics, economics, sociology and other social sciences. You also need to be able to communicate your findings to others in a clear way so that they can easily understand the implications of your recommendations.

There are many different types of policy analysts; some focus on one specific sector (such as energy or healthcare), while others work across multiple sectors at once. Some work at the national level while others focus on local issues facing individual cities or states within the United States. As with many jobs in international relations, it’s important not only that you have an interest in public service but also that you are willing to relocate if necessary—this job might require moving across state lines or even countries!

Research specialist

Research specialists often work for government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), universities, the private sector and consulting firms.

  • Government agencies: These include the United Nations, International Labour Organization (ILO) and World Bank.
  • NGOs: These include Greenpeace International and WWF International.
  • Universities: These range from large research universities to small liberal arts colleges with strong histories of international relations teaching and research.
  • Private sector organisations: These include multinational companies such as Coca Cola or Ford Motor Company that have offices around the world; foreign subsidiaries of American companies; multinationals headquartered in other countries but employing workers from many different nations; trade associations dedicated to promoting a particular industry’s interests worldwide; law firms focusing on international trade issues such as patent disputes or investment disputes between two governments over how much money one has invested in another country’s economy; media organisations such as CNN which broadcast news globally so people all over Earth can watch them on their televisions at home each day after work ends later this afternoon before going home

An international relations degree can land you in an exciting career.

While the field of international relations is broad, it’s possible to land a job in this field. If you’re interested in working with governments around the world or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on global issues such as poverty and climate change, an international relations degree can help get your foot in the door.

You can also look for jobs within companies that have a presence overseas. Many large corporations have offices abroad and are always seeking new employees who have experience working internationally. This can give you more opportunities for personal growth and development than if you were working for a domestic company that doesn’t operate internationally.


As we discussed in this post, an international relations degree opens the door to many exciting careers. You’ll be able to use your knowledge of international relations and languages to help others, communicate across cultures, and understand the world around you while working in a field that is constantly changing. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field (or just want to learn more about what options are out there), it’s worth exploring your interests and seeing if any of these jobs sound like they would be a good fit for you!

Leave a Reply