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Old 09-08-2012, 07:03 PM
 
4 posts, read 85,884 times
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Hi I just graduated from high school this past spring and am considering obtaining a bachelors degree in international relations however I am concerned about the job market that is out there for someone with this degree.
Personally I am fluent in both English and Spanish and I have some relatives that have some connections with government officials in Mexico and in the US so don't know if that could come in handy as far as seeking internships or an actual job. Also something I had considered was going to a community college and getting an associates degree in political science before going into international relations but don't know if this would actually be very beneficial.
The last thing I was wondering is whether attending a lesser known school for the bachelors in international relations would affect my chances at later on obtaining internships and a job.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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I think you can do some really cool things with an international relations degree. My friend has an international relations degree (graduated in 2005) and now is a reporter for Disney and follows Hillary Clinton around the world. He flies on the same planes as her (even air force one at times) and basically does stories for the news.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:03 PM
 
506 posts, read 838,214 times
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Yes, Poli Sci related degrees are better than what people (the STEM field people) say.
I'm going to a CC right now and going to get a AA degree next year before I transfer. I'm also thinking about majoring in Political science or International relations (depends on the school) but definitely will be looking into grad school afterwards in International affairs or relations. It's more beneficial for networking, building a professional experiences, and also making a higher wage. They're numerous career paths and tracks within international relations and there is something that will suit your personality and lifestyle. Do some google searches on what career you want, colleges, etc.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I think you can do some really cool things with an international relations degree. My friend has an international relations degree (graduated in 2005) and now is a reporter for Disney and follows Hillary Clinton around the world. He flies on the same planes as her (even air force one at times) and basically does stories for the news.
Wow that really does sound like a very cool and interesting job!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zara Ray View Post
Yes, Poli Sci related degrees are better than what people (the STEM field people) say.
I'm going to a CC right now and going to get a AA degree next year before I transfer. I'm also thinking about majoring in Political science or International relations (depends on the school) but definitely will be looking into grad school afterwards in International affairs or relations. It's more beneficial for networking, building a professional experiences, and also making a higher wage. They're numerous career paths and tracks within international relations and there is something that will suit your personality and lifestyle. Do some google searches on what career you want, colleges, etc.
Yeah I personally just had my doubts about the political science degree since I think a lot of people consider poli science degrees as almost worthless. However personally I do think a poli science degree followed by an international relations degree would be a good idea.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:01 AM
 
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It will also matter where you go to school. What might sound like a joke major (poli sci for example) at one school might be pretty good at another.

Poli sci majors are either on the lawyer/politician track, or the barista track. Make sure you know which one your school is headed to.

IR, same thing. You can either be on the think tank/corporate consultant track, or you guessed it- the car salesman track.

You mentioned that you are looking at a CC to get an AA in this. It's a worthwhile notion (as it's at least a cheap option), but you may also want to note that a CC degree in either of these majors won't land you the consulate or think tank job that you'll want. You'll need a BS (and usually a master's), have connections (which you do have), and also ace your foreign services exams.

I'd suggest considering a double major with Business / IR. That would make you employable at most international companies. Follow it up with an MBA from a credible institution if you want to be management.

This thread might help too.
//www.city-data.com/forum/colle...jors-here.html
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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To add onto what lostfan13 said... if you plan to do your poli sci degree at Tufts and follow that up with an MBA at Harvard, you'll be well onto a good path. The programs you attend matter.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:59 PM
 
18,094 posts, read 15,735,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zara Ray View Post
Yes, Poli Sci related degrees are better than what people (the STEM field people) say.
I'm going to a CC right now and going to get a AA degree next year before I transfer...
And this is coming from someone who has not even graduated yet and entered the job market.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:07 PM
 
18,094 posts, read 15,735,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfan13 View Post
It will also matter where you go to school. What might sound like a joke major (poli sci for example) at one school might be pretty good at another.

Poli sci majors are either on the lawyer/politician track, or the barista track. Make sure you know which one your school is headed to.
It is all about the school. Yes, there are many people who get into their intended field from a variety of schools, but a lot more do from Kennedy School of Government. But hey, Madoff did great with his polysci degree (besides the criminal stuff).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfan13 View Post
It's a worthwhile notion (as it's at least a cheap option), but you may also want to note that a CC degree in either of these majors won't land you the consulate or think tank job that you'll want. You'll need a BS (and usually a master's), have connections (which you do have), and also ace your foreign services exams.
A degree is not required to take the FS exam to be an FS officer. There are many FS officers that do not have a degree.

Think tank is a different story, they only recruit from a handful of universities, make sure to get into one for a PhD program, and intern while a UG.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:42 AM
 
4 posts, read 85,884 times
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@ lostfan13 thanks for the link and there really does appear to be some good info on that thread as well.


I am definetly considering doing a masters however at the moment I am trying to concentrate on the more immediate task which would be either getting a BS or and associates followed by a BS. As far as colleges go I personally live in Kansas however I was considering going to CC and college in either Texas or California as I have family in both of these states (Texas is where my relatives with government connections live). For California I had considered attending Santa Monica College as a CC since they have a good rate of transfers to the bigger state schools.

In Texas I had considered doing a CC in either the Houston or San Antonio area and then transferring to something like UTSA, Texas State- San Marcos, St. Thomas University, or University of Texas - Austin.
I think I am favoring the Texas option a bit more simply because I could start building relationships with people that could help me out in the future.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,431 posts, read 2,222,856 times
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As a Master's student in the subject, I will definitely say that IR is an interesting subject. I did my undergrad (2008-12) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Now I am doing the Master's at the University of Queensland, Australia.

The program seems to be particularly important. Coming from an elite university will connect you instantly within the academic field (which liaises significantly with think tanks and policy makers). I love being at UQ and hearing from my current profs how they met so-and-so from St Andrews at a conference or sat with him/her on a journal editing team.

As for jobs, I will get back to you. I had to turn down that crucial summer internship in between junior and senior year due to family matters. I was accepted to go to Berlin that summer, but my mother was diagnosed with cancer. As she died in early September of that summer, I probably made an emotionally correct choice.

If you have an idea of what career you wish to go into, pick a school accordingly. DC schools feed into government career tracks (there are pros and cons with this system, but that's reality), for example. Find out where the alumni get hired. St Andrews, for example, had an eclectic mix. We had many who went into investment banking, the foreign ministry of their respective countries, NGO's, the UN, think tanks, and a notable contingent into human resource departments.

Consider also the different models of teaching the discipline. IR is taught differently in Europe than it is in the US. And the UK and Commonwealth countries are different yet. In the US, for example, great value is placed on scientific methodology and analytical statistics. In the UK, there is more of a focus on an approach informed by the humanities...ethical discussions and analysis of historical case studies. This is of course broadly and generally speaking.
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