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What Are the Different Types of International Studies Career Opportunities?

By Emily Pate
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

The different types of international studies career opportunities include a wide range of job types and sectors, typically narrowed down by an applicant's experience, education and area of focus. Opportunities in government embassies and agencies, private sector companies, non-profit organizations and international bodies cover only several large categories of employers. Each employer typically provides opportunities ranging from entry-level clerical or service work to high-level, executive management or diplomacy, depending on the nature of the organization.

A candidate who is looking for international studies career opportunities might find himself or herself considering opportunities in diplomacy. Governments around the world place employees at their respective embassies worldwide. Opportunities range from jobs in administrative and visa or passport services to liaison work between the embassy and host countries. Positions might require lengthy testing and simulation before gaining employment if the applicant is a citizen of the embassy's country.

Countries also commonly employ professionals who have backgrounds in international studies for careers in departments of defense, intelligence agencies and military organizations. Intelligence agencies usually require examination for entry, and individual countries have different requirements for military service. Smaller government offices dealing with agriculture or commerce might also have offices at home and abroad that need employees who have international studies education and experience. High-level government staff positions typically require candidates to have experience and education in international affairs as well. Job experience, often through previous internships, is crucial for most of these opportunities.

Private job opportunities also exist for an international studies candidate, and the position, duties and work environment depend on his or her particular field or focus. A company might send a specialized technician or high-level manager who has international affairs expertise abroad, for instance. Private non-profit organizations also offer opportunities to work in relief aid and other humanitarian arenas. Some of these are religious organizations, and others are secular organizations that have a specified mission. International organizations and governing bodies such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and International Criminal Courts, among others, offer additional employment opportunities.

Most international studies career opportunities include entry-level positions such as internships. Some internships might take place on a full-time basis during the summer, and others might allow students to work part-time during the school year. Still other internships are open to recent graduates, though the majority require a student to receive academic credit for work, regardless of whether a monetary stipend is included. Internship opportunities typically are available in a wide range of settings, including non-profit organizations, government agencies, international bodies, private organizations and businesses.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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