What Can I Become If I Study International Relations?

Getting a Master's degree in International Relations is one of the key ways you can make the world a better place. If you’re reading this, you must be wondering: what can you do with an International Relations degree?

You’ll have the opportunity to maintain positive diplomatic relations between countries, prevent international conflicts, and make sure things run smoothly between governments in our highly interconnected world. 

As an international relations specialist, you will have a broad set of career options in addition to politics, including in fields like economics, social systems and the cultural life of communities.

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Where to study a Master's degree in International Relations?

Not sure where to study a Master's in International Relations? Check out just a few top universities offering Masters in International Relations:

Careers to inspire you to apply for an International Relations degree

Pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations will provide you with great insights into foreign affairs, public policies, international development, economic trends, social issues, law and many more. But what are your International Relations career options? Popular International Relations degree jobs include: diplomacy work, lobbying, political analysis, international law and intelligence.

1. Diplomat - Maintaining good relations between countries

As a diplomat, you will represent and protect a nation's interests abroad in terms of politics, trade and consular services. You’ll spend usually around three years in a foreign country. Some of your responsibilities will be:

  • Act as a link between the country you represent and the country where you are stationed
  • Collect and report on all the information that would affect your nation’s interests
  • Discuss, negotiate and mediate with the local government issues about peace and war, trade, commerce, economics, as well as social and cultural aspects

Check out a selection of international Master's degrees in Diplomacy.

2. Intelligence Specialist - Gathering state-critical information

As an intelligence specialist, you can work in the military, the navy, national security departments, or almost any state department of one of the national government agencies. Your main duties will include:

  • Collect and analyse operational intelligence data
  • Conduct mission reports, using data, maps and charts
  • Evaluate results and prepare reports, statistics and graphics
  • Maintain intelligence databases, libraries, and files

Check out a selection of international Master's degrees in Intelligence.

3. Political Analyst - Explaining the political climate

Generally, you’ll be employed by the government, but you can also find work opportunities within media companies or research institutes. Your tasks will be to:

  • Inform about and interpret various political developments
  • Analyse laws, public policies, and government decisions
  • Advise government officials, political parties, or the media
  • Forecast political trends and election results
  • Put events into historical context

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4. Lobbyist - Promoting ideas to those who can make them a reality

Lobbyists are usually hired by an association, corporation, or non-profit organisation to convince government members to make a decision that would benefit the organisation or company they are representing.

As a lobbyist you will perform tasks like:

  • Monitor, research and analyse legislation
  • Attend congressional hearings
  • Reach out to government policymakers
  • Use communication tools to promote ideas to the public

5. Communication Specialist in a non-profit

A degree in International Relations can land you a job in a non-profit organisation that operates on an international level. As a Communications Specialist, you’ll have the chance to develop your career in a local office that has a global reach. Non-profit agencies like World Vision and Red Cross provide such global service, but there are many other options, too. Your main duties will be: 

  • Creating effective communication strategies
  • Handling internal communications
  • Writing content for media and social networks

Graduates of International Relations degrees can pursue even more careers in the field. Discover them for yourself by diving into the wide range of Masters all over the world connected to this popular subject.

Average International Relations jobs salaries

Being passionate about your job and doing something that’s meaningful to you and beneficial to the society is great. Still, at the end of the month, you’ll have to pay bills, buy food, and spoil yourself a bit. For this, you’ll need money. Let’s look at the average salaries in the US for popular International Relations career paths.

  • Diplomat – 87,000 USD/year
  • Intelligence Specialist – 75,500 USD/year
  • Political Analyst – 94,000 USD/year
  • Lobbyist – 87,500 USD/year
  • Communication Specialist – 55,000 USD/year

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To have a successful career in one of these fields, make sure that during your studies you develop the right skills, such as learning at least two foreign languages, level-up your communication skills, persuasion and negotiation abilities, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

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