Copyright

International Studies Careers: Options and Requirements

International studies programs are typically interdisciplinary and offer coursework from a number of academic areas, including business, science, engineering, sociology and economics. Graduates of international studies degree program can pursue a variety of international and domestic careers ranging from law to government.

View 12 Popular Schools »

Career Options in International Studies

Government agencies and organizations, such as the Center Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security, can provide job opportunities to individuals with an international studies background. Some possible job titles include FBI or CIA agent, customs officer and immigration inspector. Career options exist in public service, like a foreign service official, social worker and foundation representative. Graduates interested in teaching abroad can often find work with non-profit organizations, which also seek out employees with an international studies background. Individuals with the appropriate graduate education may be interested in becoming international lawyers, communication specialists or researchers, to name a few possibilities.

Requirements for an International Studies Career

Pursuing a career in international studies involves earning a degree in the subject at either the undergraduate or graduate level, depending on the desired job. Whether students prepare for a Bachelor of Arts, master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy in International Studies, they may take courses in the following subjects:

  • Geography
  • Political science and theory
  • Economic development
  • World history
  • Foreign language

While an international studies degree can lead to numerous jobs, the positions themselves have varied responsibilities and requirements. Some careers in the U.S. government require applicants to be an American citizen and eligible to receive government-security clearances. Frequently, international studies positions also call for fluency in one or more foreign languages. Many careers require previous experience and other skill requirements; for instance, applicants may be expected to have a background in organizational leadership or a particular specialty, like global health or global security. Certain jobs require graduate-level education, such as a law, master's or doctoral degree.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

A background in international studies can lead to many careers, and the salary potential for these careers can vary greatly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes careers like immigration and intelligence agents in the salary data for detectives and criminal investigators. According to the BLS, these workers earned a median annual salary of $74,300 as of May 2012. Those in academic jobs, such as postsecondary cultural studies teachers, earned a median salary of $67,360 as of May 2012. The BLS predicted that the occupational group including detectives and criminal investigators would increase by 11% over the 2012-2022 decade and that opportunities for postsecondary teachers would increase at a faster rate of 19% over the same period.

Show me popular schools

Related to International Studies Careers: Options and Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
How Budget Cuts Will Impact Language and International Studies

Cuts to the federal budget are being felt across all sectors. In education, these cuts are particularly damaging to the fields...

What Does the Situation in Egypt Mean for Students Abroad?

Citizens protesting the 30-year autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak have brought world attention to the streets of Cairo...

Monterey, California, City and Higher Education Information

Monterey, California, is a town of about 30,000 residents on the biologically rich Pacific Coast, several hours south of San...

What Can You Do With a Masters in International Studies?

Master's degrees in international affairs or foreign language prepare students for careers in global relations, politics,...

Online Masters Degree in International Studies: Program Info

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BA in Sociology

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (5 campuses)
    • California (26)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (1)
    • Illinois (2)
    • Michigan (2)
    • New Mexico (2)
    • Nevada (2)
    • Texas (4)
    • Utah (3)
    • Virginia (1)

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics