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Jobs and Salary Info for a Masters in International Relations Degree

A master's degree in International Relations is generally a program for those wishing to have specialized knowledge regarding a certain part of the world or an area related to international business. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info, for some career options for graduates.

Essential Information

Most master's degree programs in international relations require proficiency in a foreign language, developed either in high school or college or in classes taken concurrently during the master's degree program. Generally, international relations degree programs permit students to specialize in either a region of the world or an area of international relations, such as global theory, strategic issues, conflicts, international development or international business. Most schools also require undergraduate study or specific proficiency in economics. To meet graduation requirements, students may need to complete an internship or other fieldwork, oral or written examinations or a master's thesis.

Government PositionsNon-Government Positions
Job Growth (2012-22)n/a 21% (faster than average)
Average Salary (2014)$52,000 - $121,000$39,000 - $94,000

Career Options

Students who graduate with a master's in international relations degree may opt to work in the public or private sector and either in the U.S. or in a foreign country. The federal government employs many people who classify their jobs as in the international relations field.

Governmental Job Options for Master's in International Relations Degrees

Popular governmental employment opportunities for master's in international relations degree graduates include U.S. foreign service employment, U.S. embassies abroad, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C. Foreign service positions are highly sought after and, as such, hiring managers are extremely selective. Other governmental positions might include working in intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security. Domestic cabinet departments with international activities and offices abroad include the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Reserve.

Non-Governmental Job Options for Master's in International Relations Degrees

Non-governmental organizations that may hire international relations graduates include the United Nations, international consulting firms, private volunteer organizations and multinational corporations. In addition, those with graduate degrees in international relations may work as teachers at community colleges or secondary schools.

Salary Information for Master's in International Relations Degrees

In July 2014, Payscale.com reported that the annual salaries for most nonprofit program managers with a Master of Arts in International Relations ranged from approximately $39,000 to $94,000. During the same time, the site indicated a yearly salary range of around $33,000 to $71,000 for the majority of research analysts holding the degree. Other job titles and estimated salary ranges for those with master's degrees in international relations, as reported by PayScale.com in 2014, are as follows:

  • Intelligence analyst: $52,000-$121,000
  • Foundation program officer: $40,000-$73,000
  • Research associate: $35,000-$57,000

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