International Relations is a branch of both Social Sciences and Political Sciences. Its main focus lies on the study of foreign relations between sovereign nations on matters of political, economic, and diplomatic affairs. It also concerns issues regarding the role of international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and 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. They may also be employed in international organizations, foundations, and industries in their Public Relations departments, serving as liaisons between the company’s activities and the international law entities regulating them.
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.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks International Relations Specialist are required to complete.
- 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.
- Analyzing and interpreting foreign policies.
- Liaising with government officials, international organizations, governmental or otherwise, and the public media.
- Providing employers with professional advice regarding foreign policies.
- Conducting and evaluating programs and activities regarding international cooperation.
- Developing a forecast on international policies and trends.
- Collaborating with international institutions.
- Providing statements for the media on foreign policies and activities.
The average salary for International Relations Specialist related jobs is $80,614 per year or $41 per hour. This is around 2.5 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $56,000 while most experienced workers make up to $113,000. These results are based on 1 salary extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding knowledge of Political and International Relations studies and theories:
- Being able to conduct research on International Relations data;
- knowing how to collect and sort data and findings from surveys, elections, legislations, and the media; and
- analyzing and documenting data.
- Excellent research and project development skills:
- Being able to translate ideas into practical goals and to define projects on international social issues; and
- applying theoretical and diplomatic approaches to international problems.
- Strong interpersonal, communication, and assessment skills:
- Easily and efficiently identifying international struggles and issues (e.g. ecology, terrorism, and international cooperation regarding armed conflicts).
- Analytical, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills:
- Using creativity and imagination to develop new theories and to apply new solutions to problems.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Strategically structuring and customizing interview materials and observation sheets; and
- prioritizing and planning work activities so as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload.
- Exceptional professionalism and strong work ethic:
- Being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.
International Relation Specialists have a wide variety of job opportunities in several different companies, institutions, and governmental offices dealing with international affairs. These professionals have plenty of educational prospects in this field. First and most commonly, they must obtain a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and then following up with a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the subfields or specializations of International Relations (e.g. economical and sustainable development, human rights protection, and organized crime and terrorism prevention).
Experience can be a crucial fact and a great asset for applicants in this field. The most common way to obtain the necessary experience is by volunteering in areas related to political and international affairs. Many NGOs and international foundations are in constant search for helping hands and volunteers to assist in their cause. One (1) or two (2) years of experience working with these organizations are usually sufficient in the eyes of employers.