Global Relations, General

Read about formal education programs in global relations, which can open the door to a career in international business or relations, or serve as a supplement to another field of study. Find information about degrees and courses here, as well as what you might earn as a global relations expert.

Is a General Global Relations Program for Me?

Overview of the Field

Global relations, also referred to as international relations or global affairs, is the study of the complicated relationships between countries around the world. A global relations program takes an in-depth look at a number of areas, including economic development, international business and peacebuilding. Topics in energy and environmental polices, international law, human rights and transnational security might also be covered. A program in global relations may complement a professional degree in another field of study, such as law, public health or engineering management.

Career Options

As a qualified graduate of a global relations program, you may pursue a career in diplomacy, foreign policy, international trade or political science. Additional opportunities may be found in environmental and energy policy, finance, law or public health. With a bachelor's degree in international relations, you may coordinate or manage programs for nonprofits or pursue a position as an administrative assistant or management consultant. A master's combined with a specialty degree may open the door to a career as an intelligence or policy analyst, university professor or researcher, international lawyer or journalist.

Employment and Salary Information

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide employment and salary data for global relations specialists, it does provide information for political scientists. According to the BLS, political scientists can look forward to a 21%, or faster-than-average, increase in jobs nationwide between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2013, political scientists earned a mean annual salary of $100,900 (www.bls.gov).

Based upon information provided by PayScale.com, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations might qualify you for a position as program coordinator for a nonprofit organization and an average salary of $31,151-$49,833 a year, as of June 2014. In the same month, intelligence analysts with a Master of Arts in International Relations had an average salary of $51,651-$120,805.

How Can I Work in General Global Relations?

Overview of Education Options

Most programs in international and global relations are available at the master's and doctoral degree levels. Although your course of study will depend on your career interests, if you wish to become an international lawyer, you may pursue a degree in international studies along with your law degree.

Areas of Concentration

If you're interested in managing a nonprofit organization, you may pursue a concentration in international development and humanitarian assistance. Course topics may include the study of economic development, international economics, ethics, international justice and human trafficking. Most programs culminate in a written thesis on your area of special interest.

A master's in international studies can also help you prepare for a career in government. Course topics typically include the study of international affairs and negotiations, public diplomacy and transnational terrorism. Some Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in International Affairs programs require proficiency in a second language. Once enrolled, you'll conduct original research and write and defend a dissertation based on the results.

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