Trips to exotic cities and faraway countries. Meeting with people from all cultures, languages and walks of life. The life of a professional in international affairs seems glamorous and cosmopolitan on the outside, but, in real life, it requires long hours and lots of dedication. Women interested in a career in international affairs receive encouragement from groups like the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. The school sponsors an annual Women in International Affairs event, highlighting the work of top female international affairs players. Jobs in international affairs include a variety of different positions, each with its own job objectives.
Studying International Matters
One of the most common job positions in international affairs is that of political scientist, whose main job objective is studying and analyzing international affairs. A political scientist looks at the governments, cultures, and politics of other countries and determines the effectiveness of each type, writing reports and publishing papers. Many political scientists work for government entities, gathering data on international political systems and monitoring foreign governments. As a political scientist on a global level, you’ll research political systems throughout history and compare them to those found throughout the world today, developing theories on what does and doesn't work. Political scientists bring home an average yearly salary of $102,000, according to 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Reporting on a Global Scale
Another job in international affairs is that of journalist, including print, radio, television and online journalism. As an international journalist, your main job objective is to report the news. You'll gather information, conduct interviews and put together news items to inform and educate the public. You’ll spend a lot of your time visiting different countries, looking for story ideas and reporting on major global events, such as war, changing political scenes and natural disasters. According to the BLS, international reporters and correspondents make on average $35,870 a year.
With many companies creating a worldwide presence, an increasing number of business professionals works in international affairs. Business professionals in international affairs forge relationships with international companies for importing and exporting, expand factories and stores into other countries and recruit international employees. Other international affairs positions with a company include marketing, sales, finance and legal. Business professionals in international affairs may be based in the United States and travel abroad as needed, or they may live and work in those countries. The average salary of an international business professional varies depending on the exact position and company. For example, an international management consultant earns on average $78,600 a year and an international marketing manager brings home $119,480 a year, according to All Business Schools.
Passing Along the Knowledge
If you’re interested in international affairs but don’t fit the skill sets for other positions, a job in academia might fit the bill. Professors and teachers in international affairs teach future international affairs professionals, passing along their knowledge and skills to the next generation. You’ll teach basic international affairs concepts, such as the dynamics of relationships between foreign countries, the plethora of political systems and governments throughout the years, current global issues and appreciating cultural differences. Others choose to serve in administrative or managerial roles, overseeing the international affairs departments at schools, businesses or other organizations. Those who work for four-year colleges or universities, make an average of $85,640 a year, while junior college professors make $62,630 a year, the BLS reports
2016 Salary Information for Political Scientists
Political scientists earned a median annual salary of $114,290 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, political scientists earned a 25th percentile salary of $86,600, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $141,550, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 7,300 people were employed in the U.S. as political scientists.
- George Washington University: Elliott School of International Affairs: Distinguished Women in International Affairs
- Diploma Guide: International Affairs
- The Job Explorer: Associate Director of International Affairs
- Drake University: Department of Politics and International Relations
- Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs: Career Opportunities in International Affairs
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Political Scientists
- All Business Schools: International Business Salaries
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Political Science Postsecondary Teachers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Political Scientists
- Career Trend: Political Scientists
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.