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Arkansas State University

A Degree in History and Political Science Can Launch Your International Career

Are you interested in a career doing meaningful work around the globe? Earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science can prepare students to pursue fascinating international careers. Graduates with a degree in political science can make a difference on a global scale using skills like critical and creative thinking, research analysis and knowledge of legislative processes. All these aptitudes gained from a bachelor’s degree can help you change the world for the better.

How Can Political Science Studies Prepare Me for an International Career?

Programs like the Arkansas State University (A-State) online B.A. in Political Science focus on international and domestic subjects. Students study domestic topics such as U.S. government structures and constitutional law. Other courses explore areas like public service and opinion, field research and analysis, policymaking, policy outcomes analysis and more.

Students learn about international political subjects such as global politics, international relations, various governmental structure frameworks and global languages. Coursework, such as the Introduction to International Politics course, incorporates the workings of transnational or intergovernmental organizations and institutions alongside cultural factors.

These studies help students develop an integrated, analytical understanding of global politics, governments and public policy. A bachelor’s degree in political science or a related field is a requirement for many international jobs. Higher-level positions may require advanced graduate degrees or certifications beyond the bachelor’s degree. However, earning a B.A. in political science prepares graduates to pursue these advanced degrees and upward mobility to global career paths.

The combined sets of knowledge graduates gain from A-State’s program are essential for international careers in roles like campaign manager, lobbyist, public relations specialist, paralegal, recruiter and more. Here are a few examples of possible careers for students of political science:

A Career With the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an influential intergovernmental organization representing 193 member nation-states. The UN works to foster peace, security, human rights, social progress and sustainable development globally.

UN careers vary as widely as the issues the organization focuses on. Prospective applicants can explore career paths through the UN’s Careers website and Careers e-Library. Examples of UN professional roles relevant to political science studies include:

  • Human rights officers
  • Humanitarian officers
  • Political affairs officers
  • Civil affairs officers
  • Electoral affairs officers

These professionals research, identify and respond to emerging challenges according to their division and role objectives. Human rights officers, for instance, “promote human rights as well as monitor, investigate and report violations.” Electoral affairs officers “assist Member States in holding credible and legitimate elections.”

Many professional roles with the UN require an advanced degree in political science or a related field, but some accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience. Internships with organizations like the UN’s Young Professionals Programme and the UN Junior Professional Officer Programme can also help political science majors embark on an international career.

A Role for the U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State implements U.S. foreign policy. Therefore, political science graduates can pursue several internationally focused careers with the Department of State, namely in civil service or as a foreign service officer.

According to the Department of State, civil service professionals “help to drive diplomatic principles and initiatives worldwide through conscientious work from their location in the United States.” In the political science arena, these professionals may research and guide foreign affairs, improve trade opportunities or monitor human rights issues.

The Department of State notes that foreign service officers “promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.” These diplomats work out of over 270 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions worldwide.

Additional International Opportunities

Other governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can provide political science graduates with meaningful international career paths. For instance, a graduate might monitor and analyze political conditions and human rights abuses for Amnesty International, or they could organize and coordinate grassroots-level volunteer work around the globe for the Peace Corps.

The combination of domestic and global politics in A-State’s program provides graduates with the necessary knowledge to pursue varied, high-level management positions in private and public sector international organizations. Relevant coursework — like Introduction to US Government or American Political Theory — help them gain in-demand, international relations skills. Through their work on the global stage, political science professionals can leverage their education and experience to make a positive impact in any number of spaces.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online B.A. in Political Science program.

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