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Jobs and Salary Info for a Masters in International Relations Degree

Dec 27, 2019

A master's in international relations can help prepare students for a wide range of international relations jobs, including careers as ambassadors and intelligence analysts. Find out about different career options and international relations salaries.

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International Relations Jobs

Degree programs in international relations do not typically prepare students for one particular kind of job but help equip students with a wide range of skills and international knowledge of politics, law, and economics that can be applied to diverse careers with an international focus. Master's degrees in international relations usually help prepare students for more advanced careers in the field that carry more responsibilities, leadership, and/or management requirements. International relations jobs can often be categorized into areas like foreign service, the government, private-sector, and more. Some specific job titles in the field of international relations include:

  • Intelligence analyst
  • Foreign ambassador
  • Program development officer
  • Strategy consultant
  • Research assistant
  • Foreign service officer
  • Policy advisor
  • Journalist
  • Congressional staff
  • Military officer

International Studies Jobs

It is important to note that international studies is another related, but distinct, field in international careers. Those with a background in international studies are trained more in the cultural and social aspects of various countries instead of the legal, political, and economic aspects. Although there may be some job overlap, those with a background in international studies may take on jobs such as:

  • International hotel manager
  • International banker
  • Public relations representative
  • Cultural specialist
  • Interpreter project coordinator

International Relations Salary

International relations salaries will vary with a number of factors, including employer, location, skill sets, and level of work experience. Another huge factor in determining salary includes the specific job title, as there are many different positions in the field of international relations. Explore a handful of international relations jobs and their salaries in the table below.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2019)*
Policy Advisor $76,464
Foreign Service Officer $88,210
Ambassador $45,524
Intelligence Analyst $68,959
Research Associate $51,478

Source: PayScale.com

Master's in International Relations Salary

PayScale.com also reported the salary for graduates with a master's degree in international relations. In 2019, graduates with a Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations made an average salary of $70,646. Those with a Master of Science (MS) in International Relations made an average salary of $69,000 for the same year. As discussed, graduates with either of these degrees are able to pursue an array of jobs and salary will vary based on the career chosen.

Master's in International Relations Degree Info

There are many different programs with an international focus, such as international trade universities and programs in international affairs. There is also no shortage of international coursework available, such as foreign trade courses and foreign language courses. However, those interested specifically in studying international relations at the graduate level can usually pursue an MA, MS, or Master in International Relations degree program.

Some of these master's degree programs in international relations are available in online formats and some can be completed in as little as 10 to 12 months. With the focus on international topics, these degree programs may require students to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. It is also common for these degree programs to include or offer some kind of international study opportunity. Some programs may require students to complete a final thesis or project to finish the program. Coursework for these programs may include topics in:

  • Diplomacy
  • Negotiations
  • Global affairs
  • Comparative politics
  • International law
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