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Conflict Resolution Degree Programs and Training Courses

With training in conflict resolution, you could work as a mediator in the court system, the political field or the business world. Read on to learn what key skills are expected of a mediator, common courses to expect, salary expectations for this field.

What Are Conflict Resolution Degree Programs and Training Courses?

With a degree in conflict resolution, you might help negotiate issues of diplomacy, resolve legal issues or mitigate conflicts in any organization. Your training will likely cover techniques of communication and negotiation that facilitate optimal outcomes for all parties.

Key Skills Negotiating issues of diplomacy, mitigate conflicts within an organization
Common Courses Peach and conflict, dispute resolution, business law
Median Salary $62,270 ('Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators', 2018)
Job Outlook 10% growth ('Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators', 2016-26)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Programs and Courses Are Available?

Conflict resolution programs can be offered at the undergraduate and graduate degree level, as well as at the certificate level. You can enroll in such programs through traditional and for-profit schools offering mainly on-campus formats, with distance learning formats being only available for Masters programs and certificates. Some degree programs in the field have a particular area of focus, such as a Bachelor of Science in International Security and Conflict Resolution, while others result in a more general degree, such as a Master of Science in Conflict Management.

You might choose to enroll in an undergraduate program to gain a basic understanding of mediation and negotiation. Graduate programs are often open to students from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as business administration, law enforcement, government or social services. Some law schools also offer courses or entire degree programs specifically related to conflict resolution. The U.S. government may partner with your school to offer Internet-based internships while you study abroad.

Depending on your objectives, program level and course of study, you might take courses in peace and conflict, dispute resolution, mediation or negotiation theory, group dynamics, business law, alternatives to violence, cross-cultural conflict and dispute resolution or social and cultural identity. If you're interested in a particular culture or area of the world, you might take related social science or language courses.

What Career Options and Income Are Available with this Training?

Functional skills in conflict resolution, arbitration and mediation might lead to work in academia or in a not-for-profit, government or international agency. They could also advance your career in environments ranging from social service or criminal justice institutions to corporate boardrooms. You could enhance a legal career with dispute resolution skills, whether you're an attorney, a judge or a court-appointed conflict resolution specialist.

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median salary of $62,270 for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators based on 2018 survey data. Payscale.com salary data from 2019 indicated a national range of $37,984-$80,311 for conflict analysts.