Understanding The Complex Relations Between Nations: International Relations Degree

Do you have an interest in global events and the impact that they can have on everything from the economy to political and social life? Would you like to have a deeper understanding of the public policies, trends in the economy, laws and social issues that shape the world around us? All of this is possible with a degree in international relations. This type of course is not only great for expanding your knowledge, but the skills you learn can make you appealing to a variety of employers. It is also why a lot of big names, such as Amy Pascal, Ban Ki-moon and Dexter Filkins opted to major in international relations. So, whether you are interested in a specific career in the sphere of international relations or simply want to prepare yourself for a diverse range of career options, an international relations degree can be very beneficial.

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International Relations Degree Information

Associate in Arts International Relations

International relations is available as an associate in arts degree, which can take up to two years of studying to complete. It can provide students with a broad knowledge base to prepare them for a variety of occupations or to continue on to a bachelor or even masters degree. For this major course work typically includes philosophy, humanities, sociology, international relations and economics.

Bachelor of International Relations

The Bachelor of International Relations degree usually takes up to four years to complete and feature course topics such as contemporary global issues, international organizations in world politics, international relations theory and issues in international political economy. In addition to compulsory courses students typically also have to select courses that may include contemporary political theory, peace and conflict studies and global social movements.

Master of Arts in International Relations

Obtaining a Master of Arts in International Relations degree can take up to two years and is beneficial for students who are interested in foreign affairs, research or entering the civil service. Many students also go on to take postgraduate degrees that can assist them with academic careers. Course topics may include international law, social and political theory, international security, theories of international relations and more. Typically you can also choose a concentration, such as global security, international negotiation and conflict resolution or international development.

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International Relations Degree FAQs

Can I Study This Type of Degree Online?

Online courses exist that enable you to obtain your international relations degree without having to give up your job or other obligations. These types of courses are typically presented via a web-based learning environment, which means you only need an internet connected computer to take part. Some online courses are also available in a blended format, which features online classes along with campus immersion. One of the benefits to studying intentional relations online is the opportunity to interact with other students from around the world and gain a better understanding of the challenges and issues in their countries.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study In This Field?

International relations is a degree that will be appealing to students who have an interest in world events as well as world history, geography, government and politics. Due to the nature of the course and the career paths that stem from it, it is also beneficial for students to know at least one other world language. Communication and critical thinking skills are important, as is writing skills and the ability to solve problems effectively. These soft skills are generally sharpened during your studies, but it is useful to have a good basis to start from. You should be able to understand and interpret complex issues and also feel comfortable debating issues that might be challenging. Students should be able to work independently and have plenty of motivation. Decent grades in English, Mathematics or an approved science are usually part of the entry requirements for most learning institutions.

What Type Of Career Options May Be Open To Me After Studying International Relations?

A degree in international relations is unique as it doesn’t lead directly to one or two specific career paths. Instead, the skills and knowledge acquired by students who study in this field are useful for a variety of diverse job types. Some of the jobs where an international relations degree can be beneficial include journalism, international business, research, teaching, law, non-governmental organizations as well as careers in government.

What Type Of Salary Might I Be Able To Earn When Employed In This Sector?

As intentional relations doesn’t just prepare you for a single type of career, but provide you with a variety of choices, it is difficult to estimate how much you might potentially earn. The factors that will contribute towards your income include the type of career path you choose, your place of employment, level of experience and geographical location. For example, some students pursue a career in journalism after earning this type of degree and, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters and correspondents earns about $56,780 annually. Economists, which is another career path open to students of international relations, earned about $99,180 per year during 2015.

What Are The Other Advantages To Studying International Relations?

International relations is not only a worthwhile field of study if you are interested in better understanding the world or entering politics. These days companies are also operating at an international level, which means that cultural differences and geopolitical issues can pose real challenges. The knowledge and skills gained through studying international relations can provide you with an edge over other employees no matter what type of industry you ultimately decide to work in. For people with a genuine interest in international relations, studying in this field and becoming immersed in it can also be a fulfilling and meaningful experience. In addition, it is a subject that can help you to think independently and better understand the complexities that countries as well as individuals face in this modern age. It is an area of study that allows you to go beyond the global headlines and see international issues from a different perspective.

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