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International Studies: Career Opportunities

The multidisciplinary nature of International Studies and its emphasis upon critical, evaluative thinking, opens many career opportunities to graduates. These include:


Career opportunities in the legal profession are numerous. Although a number of majors can prepare one for a legal career, international studies is an appropriate background since law is an aspect of governments and the governing process.

Government Service/Politics

There are many career possibilities in government service in what are considered political positions. These include elective office, positions on the staffs of elected officials, and staff positions with one of the political parties.

Government Service/Civil Service

There are many government careers under the civil service systems of the national, state and local governments. These positions are often very rewarding due to their broad, policy making roles. Although not required for some of these positions, it is helpful to go on to graduate school to obtain a master's degree in Public Policy either immediately after graduation or after working for several years.

Secondary Education

A number of our graduates obtain a secondary teaching credential and go on to careers teaching government or civics on the junior or high school level.


An undergraduate major in International Studies can serve as the groundwork for the pursuit of graduate studies in international relations leading to a Ph.D. This equips one to teach and do research on the college and university level or full time research positions with government or private agencies.

International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

In recent years the opportunities for qualified persons with an interest in international organizations has grown. These positions are in private overseas voluntary agencies, international businesses, international governmental agencies and other international agencies. Specific examples of international organizations with employment possibilities are in the CIA, the Peace Corps, the World Bank, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, the United Nations, NATO, UNICEF, Sierra Club and more.

Interest Groups and Associations

Since 1960 interest groups activity has exploded on both state and national levels, especially in areas such as the environment, public health and safety, and community development. These groups are looking for persons to perform research, organize meetings, and lobby governmental agencies.


Often covering community and political stories are a major part of the journalist's task. Thus, International Studies is an excellent background for either print or broadcast journalism. Those contemplating such a career should consider a double major in journalism.


A significant number of International Studies graduates (some studies suggest nearly one half) find employment in the business sector with careers in such fields as marketing, personnel, advertising, and public or community relations. Others have obtained management training positions with public and private corporations. The broad nature of a International Relations major is a quality that many corporations find attractive.

Further Information

An excellent source of careers opportunities is found through JOBTRAK - http://www2.jobtrak.com/students/unreg/login.html