There are a number of notable benefits to pursuing a master's degree in international relations. A master's degree in this field allows students to broaden and deepen their knowledge in certain areas of international affairs. As Study.com outlined, students pursuing an MA in IR will likely be looking to specialize in a certain topic, such as global conflict resolution, business theory or international development. The source explained further that students working toward an IR MA will oftentimes be required to complete foreign language classes concurrently. Some language proficiency may also be a prerequisite for entry into certain courses.
Deciding to pursue an advanced degree in any topic is a significant undertaking and there are often a number of pros and cons to the decision. In terms of a master's in international relations, there are many notable benefits to consider when deciding on this course of study. Check out the quick list of five reasons to pursue an IR MA below:
1. You want to be a professor
Virtually all tenure-track professor positions require both an MA and a PhD. So if you wish to pursue your interest in global affairs in an academic and educational capacity, enrolling in an IR MA is a must. A PhD is perhaps less necessary if you wish to apply for a job at a community college, but an MA is still usually required for such positions. Professors in the political science field, once on tenure track, can earn upwards of $104,000 a year, Study.com noted.
"Professors in political science can earn over $104,000 a year."
2. Internship and fieldwork opportunities
If you desire a career in either the foreign service or with an international non-profit, enrolling in an IR MA program is an astute move for the amazing internship opportunities alone. The Muse explained that it's common for IR graduate students to complete up to five internships prior to graduation. The networking opportunities and work experience that internships provide are invaluable and can help you land a job at top IR-based organizations, such as the U.S. State Department or the United Nations.
3. Government jobs
Given that government jobs are usually highly competitive, you will be more likely to land a top position if you at least have a master's in IR. In some cases a PhD. is even preferable. Examples of government positions that IR graduates can apply to include diplomatic postings at embassies around the world, jobs with the U.S. State Department and even roles with the Central Intelligence Agency, Study.com detailed.
4. Improves communication skills
If you decide that a career with the foreign service isn't for you upon completion of your MA in IR, that's okay. This degree program will teach you a number of skills that are transferrable to other professions. For example, master's programs in IR require students to write papers and work on their analytical skills, two things that are highly valued in other positions.
5. Think tanks
Another kind of job that requires at least a master's degree is a position with a think tank. While PhDs are preferable for this kind of job, an MA from a competitive school can still land you the role, Outside the Beltway detailed.