Career in International Relations: Top 5 options after your degree

When one thinks of International Relations, the first thought that comes to mind is of a glamorous career in policymaking, active participation in diplomacy, dreaming of joining the United Nations or for their national governments. Hold on! Things are not quite simple. In this post, you’ll know if you should pursue your career in International Relations or give up on your thoughts!

International Relations is a broad term, so before moving into it, take a seat and figure out the vastness of the subject in itself. And above all the career associated with it.

A career in diplomacy is not an easy one. However, if you have already started with a bachelor’s in International Relations or completed your Master’s degree in International Relations. Here’s what career options you have:

Think Tanks

Think Tanks are one of the best places to start in the field of IR and policymaking. It opens several avenues in career and brushes up professional skills. You can apply as an intern at such organisations to start with and honestly speaking it will bring value to your resume. You start from learning about communication, how to address people, how to shape your writing skills, classroom writings and professional projects are very different in nature and working on such projects will initiate your career in the domain.

career in Think Tanks

Job at Think Tanks are academic in nature and help you learn more, with an internship reference and a degree in International Relations, you can easily get into one of such organisations. Here’s the repository of top Think Tanks by the University of Pennsylvania, it highlights the best Think Tanks across the world.


Being too academic could be boring sometimes. Media will give you relevant and add new perspectives to your view. It will never bore you at the workplace, as every day there will be something new. You can start with an Internship. (Hey, btw we do offer internships too. Check out). Internship shapes you thoroughly and helps you in clearing the clutter.

There are several media outlets that invite applications throughout the year and seek expertise in global affairs. Becoming part of such organisations could shape your professional skills and encourage you in reaching out to the crowd of excellence.


Working for own country’s diplomatic endeavours comes as one of the first thoughts in mind when you’re studying International Relations. This could be your entry into the world of possibilities. Governments across the world hold exams for entry-level positions, in the U.S. the exam is Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT), the EU takes in through the European External Action Service (EEAS), Whereas in countries like India and Pakistan it is conducted through UPSC and CSS respectively.

Educational Institutions

One of the best ways to shape your learning and oratory skills is by giving lectures, presentations and interacting with a lot of young passionate people. Having a career in an educational institution requires, top-skills and educational degrees like a PhD. A position with lucrative salaries across the world is what you can aspire to after having a doctorate in streams of International Relations.

International Organisations

Jobs at the United Nations and its wings

A job at the United Nations or similar organisations is likely a dream for the students of IR. However, that’s not an easy nut to crack. UN jobs are quite tricky and depend a lot on the diversity you have. Since the job most of the time demands engagement with a diverse crowd, it seeks the same in you. UN jobs are categorised into several levels. However, for beginners, the most important type is P2 and P3 level jobs.

un jobs

P2 jobs are entry-level jobs, you can apply to those jobs with a relevant degree and work experience. It requires at least 2-3 years of experience. Mostly, the jobs are consultative in nature, but it shapes you in your journey to pursue your dream job ahead. This gives you exposure in the desk job.

P3 Jobs are quite an intermediate level job where you spend time mostly in administrative works, human resource management. Isn’t it great to participate in managing one of the most diverse workplaces on this planet? Of course, it is! This requires at least 5 years of relevant experience.

The best part about such jobs are, that they are inclusive in nature and doesn’t require prior experience in the UN or government for applying. If you’re working for Human Resources at your workplace and eager to join then brush up your skills, communication is the key. Additional languages are an asset for the UN. To be honest, they do give priority to the applications if prior experience is of working at any International Organisation or International NGOs.

Here you can check more about the different levels of jobs at the UN

NGOs and advocacy groups

If you wish to spend more time on the ground, ready to travel and take the unusual challenges, such groups could offer you your dream job. Travelling in the rural areas, getting first-hand experiences, documenting and preparing reports out of it, will shape the diversity within. Here’s a list of Non-Governmental Organization accredited to the Conference of States Parties – COSP (The Conference of the States Parties (COSP) is the main policymaking body of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It supports States parties and signatories in their implementation of the Convention, and gives policy guidance to UNODC to develop and implement anti-corruption activities.)

Subscribe to the International Relations Updates by The Kootneeti

* indicates required

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

Facebook Comments

The Kootneeti Team

This report has been written by The Kootneeti Team. For any feedbacks/query reach || Twitter: @TheKootneeti

You may also like...