Are you a humanities student, and feel tired of people undermining the domain of social sciences and their career prospects? If so, then let’s break the stereotype and explore a career, as exciting and versatile, in this era of globalization. Yes, we are talking about International Relations. International Relations is truly one of the most eminent fields of study, especially in the light of increasing number of global events, which have an echo in the socio-political and economic life of countries.
If you’re a student aiming an international relations career in India and abroad, and want to gain more insight about the colleges and its future career prospects, then read on.
What is International Relations?
International Relations is an academic discipline, which focuses on the study of a nation’s policy with respect to the competitive world. And on how to take and retain power in the globalized world, while maintaining international peace. The field helps you acquire a systematic approach and the ability to analyze political circumstances in the global context. With our ever-evolving economy where thousands of minds are invested in nuclear weapons, where terrorism is spreading like a contagious disease killing millions, there is a rising need for our students to study and understand the relevance of International Relations.
How to Pursue a Career in International Relations?
Students wanting to pursue International Relations, are advised to opt for humanities with political sciences in their high school. However, it is not a compulsion, students who did not opt for humanities can still go for International Relations. Generally, students pursue graduation in political sciences and then go for international studies for their master’s. But if you are keen on studying IR in your graduation, there are a few universities that offer bachelor’s in the same in India.
Bachelor’s In International Relations
International Relations is a perfect course for students who are enthralled by the study of how different countries are connected, both economically and politically. The main course of subjects one will study during graduation ranges from International Economics, Indian and World History, Sociology of European Societies, to Global & Comparative Politics. These subjects will help one to explore the political dynamics that influence our state and international organisations, and make you understand what role every country plays in international peace. During these 3-4 years of graduation, one will grasp the concept of interdependence of countries and their relevance to our growing economy.
Here are a few of the colleges in India offering B.A. in International Relations:
Ashoka University, Haryana
- BA in History and International Relations
- Eligibility: 10+2 academic scores and Ashoka Aptitude Test (Optional)
Institute of Language Studies and Applied Social Sciences, Gujarat
- BA in (advanced) Politics and International Relations
- Eligibility: Admission on the basis of Merit of class 12th/Equivalent Result
Jindal School of International Affairs, Haryana:
- BA (Hons.) in Global Affairs
- Eligibility: 10+2 academic scores and Jindal Admission Test (JAT)
The course duration of Bachelor of International Relations is not fixed, and ranges from 1 year to 3 years. The course duration varies from university to university.
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Career Paths in International Relations After Graduation
Graduation helps develop a range of analytical and practical skills that are relevant across a wide range of career opportunities. However, it is always advisable for the student to pursue masters in the same, to be open to a lot more versatility in career fields. But as they say, practical application of your knowledge always gives you an edge over people, here are few career paths to gain work experience in before delving deeper into International Relations:
- Multilateral and intergovernmental organisations
- Non-government organisations (NGOs)
- Banking and accounting services
- Local and national governments as government relations consultant
- Media and publishing companies as marketing and client relations officer
Postgraduate Programs in International Relations
The Master of Arts in International Studies offers diverse fields of study: international relations, international law, international political economy, international economics, world history, strategic studies, globalization. Following the study of these diverse subjects, you will have to complete an internship in this domain in accord with different college curriculums. Admissions to various colleges would be through entrance exams.
Here a few of the leading colleges in India offering a Master’s in International Relations:
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- MA in Political Science (Major in IR)
- Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with at least 50% marks and an Entrance Exam
Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- MA in Political Science And International Relations
- Eligibility: 3-Year B.A. Honours degree or Major in Political Science with at least 55% marks and an entrance test conducted by the college.
South Asian University, New Delhi
- MA in International Relations
- Eligibility: 3-year Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with minimum 50% marks or equivalent grade and an entrance admission test.
Delhi University, New Delhi
- MA in Politics(Major in IR)
- Eligibility: All Candidates with BA(hons), BA(prog) or BA(pass) degree from University of Delhi or any other recognized university with minimum of 50% marks are eligible for entrance test.
- All other Domain graduates with minimum 60% marks in graduation.
- BA(hons) in Political Science with 60% marks or above are eligible for merit base admission.
Christ University, Bengaluru
- MA in International Relations
- Eligibility: 3-year Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with minimum 50% marks or equivalent grade and a skill assessment test conducted by the college.
Pursuing International Relations Abroad
As the name says ‘International’ Relations, it is a common to have a thought of pursuing the same from abroad. It is the best opportunity to practically learn and apply what all you have learnt theoretically given the chance to interact with diversified culture and global economy. It will help you to broaden your knowledge about social and political situations in different global regions. You will also gain more international experience engaging with new cultures and languages. There are various universities you can target for pursuing a degree in International Relations.
Some of the Leading Universities for International Relations in the world:
- Stanford University, California:
School of Humanities and Sciences – Master’s in International Relations
- Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut:
Jackson Institute for Global Affairs – Master’s in International Relations/Political Sciences
- Columbia University, New York:
School of International and Public Affairs – Master’s of International Affairs
- London School of Economics, London:
The London School of Economics and political science – BSc in International Relations and History and MSc in International Relations( Research)
- Harvard University, Cambridge:
Harvard Extension School – Graduate Degree in International Relations.
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Scope of International Relations
The scope of International Relations is moving towards the peak of new age careers, and the field offers great opportunities in varied spheres of economy. IR is a good base for high-level administration, investigation and analysis work in a number of professions.
Exploring all the excellent opportunities and growth in this sector, following are some profession/work you can take on after getting a degree in International Relations:
1. Civil Services
You can join the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), after clearing the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) every year.
2. Politics and Government
Work as a diplomat, intelligence specialist or political analyst
- Diplomat – A diplomat is a person who stays in touch with government officials of a foreign state, representing his nation and protecting it by collecting all information affecting his nation’s interest.He/she is responsible for negotiating and mediating all local governmental issues with regard to International Relations.
- Intelligence specialist – An intelligence specialist is responsible for collecting data and information for a mission, and working with the military, the navy, or any other government agency. He/she maintains intelligence databases, files and statistical reports required for a certain mission.
- Political Analyst – A political analyst is a person generally recruited by the government for analysing public policies, identifying various political issues for research, and advising political leaders on foreign government policies. Political Analysts can also work with media houses for political research and news.
3. Business and Law
- Lobbyist – A lobbyist is a person who generally represents his/her organisation or institution in front of government officials. His main role is to persuade them to make a decision or an amendment which would benefit the organisation on the whole.
- International lawyer – International lawyers deal with international trade law, finance and banking, and also mediate disputes between countries.
4. International Organizations
You can work with international organisations such as UN agencies, EU departments, the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum, as an IR specialist.
5. Non-Profit Organizations
Work as an international relations/international communication specialist, or you can work as a Social Activist to bring about changes in our economy with knowledge about international politics and peace. You can even join non-profit organizations operating at an international level which will help you shape your career with global reach. Non-profit agencies like World Vision and Red Cross are some of the non-profit agencies providing global services.
You can take the National Eligibility Test for junior research fellowship(JRF) and lectureship conducted by University grants commission(UGC). After cracking this exam, students are eligible for research roles and scholarships in a particular field, further securing a position for lectureship in leading colleges/universities.
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