Career Benefits of International Relations Major
- IR students gain critical thinking, analytic, and research skills that can be applied to understanding significant concepts, institutions, actors and debates in international affairs.
- IR majors develop their communication skills. The IR curriculum emphasizes writing, and students also develop verbal communication skills through class discussions, simulations, and debates.
- IR majors have a variety of career paths that they may pursue, and the flexibility to apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of careers in a rapidly changing job market.
With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, International Relations majors are well suited for a variety of careers. Occupational opportunities include government administration, politics and campaigns, public policy, non-profit organizations, international relations, business, law, and journalism.
- Foreign Service and other government agencies including
- Department of Defense
- Agency for International Development
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Homeland Security
- Education as a Teacher or Professor
- International Organization Program Officer
- Legal profession as Lawyer or Judge
- Lobbyist or Political Analyst
- Public Policy Researcher
- International Sales and Marketing
- Social Service Worker
- Non-Profit or Public Administrator
- International Education Specialist
Careers of GVSU IR Graduates
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- University International and Study Abroad Offices
- Congressional Research Service
- U.S. Naval Intelligence
- The Carter Center for Human Rights
- Steelcase Corporation
- Motorola Corporation
- USF Holland
- Landmine Survivors Network
- World Learning International Training
- U.S. Customs
- Catholic Charities
- Peace Corps
- Social Security Administration
- Lutheran World Services
- United Way
- Ovation Travel Agency
- Detroit Free Press
Building Your Career Prospects
- Get good grades and foster strong relationships with your professors
- Study abroad and develop language skills
- Pursue internships
- Engage in extracurricular groups on campus
- Network with GVSU alumni and professionals
- Keep abreast of global news and issues
GVSU Career Services
There are so many career resources available to undergraduates that it can be a bit overwhelming. To get you started, we recommend that you take advantage of GVSU's Career Services office, and read two books. GVSU's Career Services site can be found at http://www.gvsu.edu/careers/
The Career Services office has a very helpful Career Guide available at this site that is mandatory reading for anyone at GVSU contemplating a career. The office offers practice interviews and assistance with building and refining your résumé. They also sponsor periodic career fairs, which are chances to meet directly with potential employers.
Helpful Career Books
- Careers in International Affairs. Maria Pinto Carland and Candace Faber. 2008. Georgetown University Press.
- Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development. 2008. Sherry Mueller and Mark Overmann. Georgetown University Press.
- International Jobs: Where They Are and How to Get Them. Nina Segal and Eric Kocher. 2003. Basic Books.
- Alternatives to the Peace Corps: A Guide to Global Volunteer Opportunities. Caitlin Hachmyer. 2008. Food First Books.
- Go Global! Launching an International Career Here or Abroad. Stacie Nevadoski Berdan. 2011. Amazon Kindle Edition.
- Identifying overseas job opportunities:
- Careers in government:
- Non-profit and volunteer job opportunities overseas:
- Teaching Overseas:
- U.S. State Department and Foreign Service Careers:
- Careers in U.S. Intelligence:
- U.S. Military Careers:
- United Nations Careers:
Graduate School & Law School
These three sites can link you to all the professional master’s degree programs offered in the public administration, international affairs, and public policy fields:
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)
If you are contemplating law school, check out our helpful pre-law FAQ.
September 11, 2019
Emmons and Coulter win the Zeeb IR Study Abroad Scholarships for 2019
September 09, 2019
Bretschneider and Mendez Win Malson Memorial Scholarship
August 21, 2019
Three GVSU IR Majors Win Gilman Scholarships
August 21, 2019
Anna Szalay Awarded Fulbright Scholarship for Austria
October 15, 2019 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Come hear representatives from these organizations talk about job opportunities for new graduates. Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6-7:30 pm Library Multipurpose Room https://www.gvsu.edu/clas/