Have you always seen yourself working in an international career, whether for an organization, a government or a business? Do you want to make a difference on the international stage once out of the classroom and in the real world? The International Studies major will expose you to key issues of debate in today’s international system and society. You will undertake a multidisciplinary approach as you gain understanding of the interaction of politics and policy, law and diplomacy and their influence on contemporary realities. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of more than fifty educational institutions around the world.
Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in International Studies. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers an International Studies degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of International Studies than others.
- Children’s Rights Advocate
- Community Worker
- Corporate Responsibility Officer
- Foreign Business Advocate
- Foreign Service Worker
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Human Rights Specialist
- Immigration Officer
- International Business Advisor
- Industrial Relations Consultant
- International Aid Director
- International Development Worker
- Macroeconomic Financial Analyst
- Media Correspondent
- Public Policy Analyst/Strategist
- Regional Consultant
- Social Justice Commissioner
- Social Program Director
- Speech Writer
- Think Tank Researcher
- UN Representative
Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.
Skills Developed through an International Studies Degree
A background in International Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills an International Studies degree can help you develop:
Core International Studies Skills
- Exposure to an interdisciplinary scholastic approach combining teaching from several fields of study, their relation to contemporary International studies and the interaction of nations, geographic regions and transnational and extra-national networks.
- Available as a bilingual or trilingual international Bachelor of Arts, your major can ensure exposure to at least one language aside from English and French.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
- Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
- The ability to learn new information and apply this to professional demands
- The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
- The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
Management and Teamwork
- The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
- The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
- Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
- The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects
Professional Associations and Organizations
Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of International Development Studies that you may want to visit as you research career options for International Development Studies graduates.
- International Studies Association (www.isanet.org/)
- European International Studies Association (www.eisa-net.org/)
- British International Studies Association (www.bisa.ac.uk/)
- Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (hwww.casid-acedi.ca)
- York University International Studies websites: (http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/program/international_studies) and (http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/international-studies/)