Have you ever heard of the expression, “It’s a small world”? Probably the person who coined it wouldn’t have an idea about how true that statement would ever be. We’re living a truly global society, where major political, economic, health and security issues of a nation would have an impact on other nations as well. One example here would be the recent economic recession, which didn’t just affect one or two countries, but the whole world. Another example would be the 9/11 attacks, which had global reverberations on international politics. For this reason, it’s one of the primary concerns of a nation to establish sound foreign relations. That’s where international relations come in.
International relations refers to how different world nations would interact with one another, especially with regard to critical issues such as economic influences and policies, international security, peace-keeping negotiations, and other social and cultural issues that affect the world today. That’s why more and more people are pursuing and preparing for a career in this very relevant and in-demand field. In 2008, there were more than 48,000 international relations careers in the US, with job titles such as Counterterrorism Analyst and Foreign Affairs Officer.
If you’re interested to study international relations, know that you can take undergraduate courses such as Political Science, Communications, Sociology and Economics, focusing on the field of international politics and international affairs. There are also a lot of colleges that offer International Relations as an undergraduate major. Some of the universities included in the top 20 that offer the best International Relations programs include Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford, Georgetown, Columbia, Yale, Brown University, Georgetown University, Swarthmore, Brown and Duke. The topics of this course would involve the study of current issues of particular nations and continents as well as their history, and of course the fundamentals of international relations. There are also some options for undergraduates to pursue specific tracks such as foreign policy and security studies, international political economy and regional politics and cultural anthropology.
If you’re interested in taking up an international masters course, expect a more in-depth treatment of specific international relations tracks. There are also some specific requirements such as being knowledgeable in at least one foreign language (nowadays the trend is to study Arabic), and some work and field experience in economics, politics or international business.
If you’d rather earn your degree through online education, you could look into different institutions that offer this option such as Kennedy-Western University, Argosy University, American International University, and the University of Phoenix.
To further your learning experience, be sure to inquire about internship opportunities at the college or university you would apply to. Internship is very valuable to help you gain practical, hands-on knowledge of the international relations field, and also would be a great addition to your resume and would help you gain helpful contacts along the way.
While you are taking up formal schooling, make it a point to become well-versed on current, international issues and to be updated on major foreign policies, especially ones that affect your nation. That would help develop useful background information for you to best apply the international relations theories and foundations that you would learn in the classroom setting.