Careers in International Affairs | International Relations
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. Required Skills and Experience Education: University degree in Political Sciences, International Relations, Communications, Event Management or related field;. Department of Political Science & International Relations politician, campaign organizer, political party marketing and public relations manager, researcher.
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It is difficult to get into good law schools, and there is usually no financial aid except for loans. The current surplus of lawyers means that law school graduates are now having serious trouble getting jobs. It is true that students may be able to get an interesting non-legal job with a law degree, since employers figure they must be reasonably intelligent if they have survived law school, but there are other alternatives.CAREERS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE – Politics,BA,MA,Ph.D,Recruitment,Salary package,Govt Jobs
If students want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If they do not, they should think seriously about the alternatives. There is a good deal of confusion about international law as a career. It is convenient to divide international law into public and private. Public international law is concerned with whether or not the behavior of governments corresponds with international law, whether the American invasion of Panama was legal, for example.
This is what the term international law means to most people, but there are very few institutions which will pay people to do such analysis. The State Department keeps about eighty lawyers on staff for this purpose, but most of the other people in the field teach in universities probably as many in political science departments as in law schools.
Most international lawyers are concerned with private international law, how individuals and corporations can carry on transactions within different and sometimes conflicting legal systems.
If a tanker registered in Liberia and owned by a company in the Bahamas carrying a load of oil owned by an American corporation hits a Russian submarine and dumps its oil onto Belgian beaches, who pays what to whom? Private international law is popular because people and organizations will pay money to get answers to these sorts of questions.
This kind of work, in turn, sometimes leads to other things; international lawyers often serve as representatives for multinational corporations to the public and governments, a kind of business diplomatic corps.
Nonetheless, international law is a fairly minor branch of law, and this is reflected in law school curricula; if studetns take two international law courses in three years, they will be doing well.
Department of Political Science & International Relations
The University of Iowa seems to be an exception; it is advertising a more extensive program in international and comparative law. Law school is the best alternative for anyone who wants to practice private international law, but students must remember that they must be a lawyer first and an international lawyer second. If they want to study public international law, students may actually do better in a Ph.
There is no pre-law curriculum in the United States; essentially law schools will take students regardless of their major if their grade point average and law board scores are high enough. Inasmuch as curriculum makes a difference, they prefer students with broad interests in the liberal arts and tend to frown on pre-professional degrees. In particular they recommend that students do not take law courses before they get to law school, arguing probably correctly that other institutions will just teach them incorrectly and that they will have to undo all the damage others have caused.
However, anyone interested in law school should take one course which requires intensive reading of.
Graduate Business Schools Law school is often attractive to students who want to get an "interesting" job but do not want to be lawyers. For such students business school is often a better bet.
It takes two rather than three years, it is a little easier to get into a good one being female helps in business school admissions; law schools admissions are mostly sex-blindand there are still jobs for new MBA graduates although for several years there have been rumblings that this market also will be saturated.
The jobs are not limited to corporations either; American business schools claim to teach management, the coordination of people and resources to accomplish a given goal, which is what all large organizations try to do. As a result, government and even non-profit institutions are hiring business school graduates for jobs which, twenty years ago, would probably have gone to lawyers.
Most people now assume that MBA graduates, like lawyers, are intelligent, and as a bonus they may even have some useful skills. Unlike law schools, most business schools have a separate department called International Business; however, these departments are not usually highly regarded within their own schools, in part because they do not rely heavily on econometrics and are therefore thought to be "soft.
As explained above, very few young Americans are now sent abroad by corporations. Therefore students must get hired by the corporation for their substantive skills and later try to develop a special interest in the international side of things. The recommended strategy is to take a double major in a substantive area marketing, finance, management, etc. Among the "regular" business schools, the best by reputation are Harvard and Stanford; New York University has been cited as the best in international business, and Yale's School of Organization and Management is an interesting attempt to combine training in business and public affairs.
There are also a couple of programs especially geared to students interested in international business. The American Graduate School of International Business, just outside of Phoenix, more familiarly known as Thunderbird, is the only major business school in the country not affiliated with a university, and it has developed an impressive reputation for training high quality personnel in international business.
The University of South Carolina business school has developed a program which requires a foreign business internship. Both of these programs stress language competence. Their reputation also attracts recruiters looking for people with these sorts of interests.
They offer a Masters degree, which is not an MBA, which is usually a drawback. Outside of these programs, an advanced business degree that is not an MBA is not worth much.
For many undergraduates, the major drawback of graduate business school is its heavy reliance on economics and mathematics.
Anyone interested in business school should take microeconomics and macroeconomics the order does not matter and several advanced economics courses to see how well they do and whether or not they are comfortable with that mode of analysis.
An economics major is not necessary for graduate business school, and an undergraduate business degree is usually not recommended. Note that graduate business schools have their own standardized test, the Graduate Management Admissions Test. Political Science Graduate Programs Every major American university has a political science graduate program awarding a Ph. The departments also award a Masters of Arts degree, but this is not particularly useful.
It is essential for anyone who wants to teach at a college or university, and it is often found among researchers and analysts working for the government as well. On the other hand, the degree is given in political science; students can concentrate in international relations, but are required to take courses and examinations in other fields such as American government and political theory as well.
Moreover, it takes longer to get than any other option discussed here, and it is not clear that it is worth the extra effort and money unless you are going into college teaching. One group of Foreign Service examiners, when asked how useful graduate school would be, said that the two to three years of coursework would be useful, but that the candidate would do better spending a couple of years in the Foreign Service than working on a doctoral dissertation.
Several programs retraining people with Ph. A major in political science is not required for admission to graduate programs in the discipline, but students should take at least enough courses to decide if they want to do this full-time for a long time; the biggest difference between graduate and undergraduate work is that they must live one subject twenty-four hours a day.
Admission is usually based on grade point average, Graduate Record Examination yet another standardized test scores, and faculty recommendations.
Careers in International Affairs
In general the best departments are found in the leading universities. If students want more specific guidance, talk to international relations faculty; this is one subject they know something about, and they will be current on the varying reputations of political science programs around the country.
A few universities also have schools or programs offering a two-year interdisciplinary Masters degree in international affairs or discussed in the next section in public policy or public management.
The distinction between a graduate program in political science on the one hand and a school of international affairs or public policy or management on the other hand is sharp. Graduate programs in political science are designed to provide academic training: International affairs schools, by contrast, provide professional training.
Much as law schools teach their students the practical knowledge needed for a career in law, and business schools teach their students the practical knowledge required for a career in business, schools of international affairs aim to teach the management, communications, economics, statistics, and foreign language skills needed in a professional career involving international affairs. The precise name of the degree offered by these schools varies from place to place: Originally, some of these schools were designed to produce candidates for the Foreign Service.
Since so few applicants are accepted into the Foreign Service and since admission is now by examination, these schools have altered their focus and now try to prepare students to work for other government agencies and for international businesses as well. In general, the curricula at these schools stress international politics, history, and economics. There are; however, substantial differences in emphasis between various schools of international affairs.
Some put relatively more stress on management skills and economic and statistical training, seeking to train generalists who can comfortably move into a variety of jobs or fields.
Others put relatively more stress on language or area skills, or on specialized training in a particular policy problem for example, international trade or arms controlin an effort to prepare students for a more narrowly-defined career track.
In addition, different schools offer different geographic or policy specializations. If considering this educational route, students should write to particular schools for their catalogs and compare the curricula offered.
These schools take placement seriously, an important point to consider. Typically they require and help arrange an appropriate internship in the summer between the two years of the program.
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The older and better established schools also have a considerable alumni network upon which to call. If interested in working for the government in international affairs, one of these schools may be the best bet.
To varying degrees these schools also provide training that is useful and is seen by potential employers as useful in the business world, particularly in the world of international banking and finance.
Certainly many graduates of international affairs schools get jobs with major corporations. It is less clear; however, whether this training is optimal for a business career and whether or not graduates of international affairs schools may have to go back to business school later on.
There are relatively few schools of international affairs. All of them are competitive for admission and the best are extremely competitive.
Increasingly, the top schools strongly prefer admission candidates who have already had some relevant career experience -- for example, who have worked in Washington for a few years, have been in the Peace Corps, or have worked with an international charity or PVO. Financial aid varies substantially from school to school typically and is based on merit rather than need.
Kennedy School at Harvard, both of which stress management and do not specialize exclusively in international affairs but consider domestic concerns as well.
Somewhere in here is the International Relations Program at Yale, which is much smaller than the others and allows students essentially to custom tailor their educations. Public Policy Schools In addition to the schools of international relations discussed immediately above, there are a number of other schools that are very similar except that they do not have a clear international relations focus.
That is, they offer professional training in public policy or policy management designed to prepare students for a career in government or dealing with government but do not offer as much specialization in the particular problems of international affairs. As with the schools of international affairs discussed above, many of these are highly competitive and, again, there are curricular variations between schools so students should read their catalogs carefully.
Like the international affairs schools, the Master's programs at these schools are typically two years long with an internship in the intervening summer. These schools, too, tend to take placement very seriously.
If interested in a career in government and interested in domestic policy issues as well as international ones, this may be the right educational track.
Beyond the schools of international affairs discussed above, some of the most prestigious schools of public policy include: Preparing for Careers while at Lehigh Unlike medical school, none of these different types of schools has a very specific set of undergraduate requirements. In fact students can quite reasonably apply to all of them at the same time with the same set of undergraduate courses, although they will wind up taking many of different standardized tests.
This in turn means that students do not have to make any drastic choices until their senior year. For any of these tracks, a general liberal arts background is an adequate preparation. A pre-professional degree such as business may make a students somewhat less attractive but will not be a major obstacle if they do well on their standardized tests.
Within liberal arts, majors are not really very important. Students should major in the subject they like the most because they will do better in it and learn more. The critical thing is to get experience in a number of different areas and be able to read, write, and think well.
A student seriously interested in international relations should develop a curriculum which includes the following as a minimum: The point of a major is to provide an intellectual focus for a number of courses. At most universities, students interested in international relations find that difficult to achieve.
They must piece together the courses they want by majoring in one discipline and minoring in a related one; political science-history and economics-political science are common combinations. Or they may choose a program that provides an in-depth knowledge of a particular geographic area, such as Russian, Asian, or Latin American Studies. In general a diverse curriculum is more likely to be useful in the future than narrow specialization; students can specialize later if they so choose, but at the undergraduate level it is very difficult to get any single topic in great depth.
Disciplines like sociology, geography, comparative literature, classics, art history, philosophy, religion, and the various foreign language and literatures should not be overlooked, and people who are competent in science and international affairs are also at a premium.
Lehigh students have an option available to students at few other universities, a separate Department of International Relations. This offers several advantages over a program of study that combines a major in one department with a variety of other courses pulled together from different departments.
First, students are not required to take courses outside of international relations to fulfill major requirements, such as those in American politics that usually comprise half the curriculum in political science. Second, all the courses relate to one another better than when courses are taken from different departments, each of which is principally oriented toward its program.
It also concerns issues regarding the role of international organizations, non-governmental organizations NGOand multinational corporations in these affairs. Professionals working in this field may be employed by government offices and agencies working abroad or in embassies analyzing and interpreting foreign policies.
Some of the areas of interest for professionals working in the field of International Relations include globalization, ecology, sustainable development, terrorism, economic development, international finances, and human rights; just to name a few. Analyzing and interpreting international policies, issues, legislations, as well as the activities of governments, businesses, and organizations overseas: Forecasting political, economic, and social trends; identifying international issues for research and analysis; and analyzing possible causes and consequences of international issues, as well as developing possible solutions.
Liaising with government officials, civic bodies, research agencies, the media, and political parties concerned with foreign issues: Advising employers on matters of public policies and relations; evaluating programs and policies and providing advice to institutions and organizations; collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from election results, public opinion surveys, and foreign legislation projects to develop recommendations; and developing foreign policies for governments and international organizations.
Maintaining current knowledge of foreign and domestic political affairs and their decisions. Sharing research results through academic and professional publications, written reports, and public presentations: Providing media commentary or criticism regarding public policies, issues, and events; and writing drafts of legislative proposals and preparing speeches, correspondence, and foreign policy papers.
Developing international cooperation projects in governmental and non-governmental forums and other activities: Designing public and private activities in foreign commercial affairs; evaluating international cooperation programs and projects; and serving as a consultant on international laws and regulations regarding foreign relations.