International relations is particularly significant in Alaska, the location of some of our nation’s most bountiful resources. It is the resources—seafood, oil, gas, timber, and precious metals—that drive Alaska’s economy and create jobs.
Maintaining international relations with foreign companies is vital to the success of Alaska’s economy. In fact, trade supported 88,000 jobs in Alaska in 2012, or nearly 19 percent of all jobs in the state.
Free trade agreements accounted for $1.5 billion (28 percent) of all Alaska’s exports in 2014. Some of the biggest players in Alaska’s exporting efforts include Australia, Singapore, Peru, and NAFTA.
A major focus of international relations in Alaska has been in the Arctic, which is of primary strategic significance to no less than five Arctic Ocean states—the U.S., Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark (Greenland). It has also become the focal point for three other Arctic states—Iceland, Sweden, and Finland.
The Arctic is subject to bilateral, regional, and international agreements, making international forums for regional collaboration critical for this area of the world.
Considering the Degree Options for a Career in International Relations
Humanitarian aid organizations like the Alaska Medical Missions and major players in the oil industry like the Apache Corporation (operations reach as far as Egypt’s Western Desert) and BP (operates across six continents) are major sources of international relations jobs in Alaska.
International relations jobs in Alaska have a commonality: they begin with an undergraduate or graduate degree in international relations.
Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations
A bachelor’s degree in international relations prepares students for careers in international affairs in a wide array of industries, such as global business, national security, and government consulting, among others.
Study in a bachelor’s degree in international relations is focused on international law, international relations, international politics, and international economics. Additional areas of study may include China and East Asian politics, European politics, and African politics.
Related degrees for students of international relations include:
- Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies
Bachelor’s degrees in international relations allow students to focus their program of study on an area of concentration (and the related coursework), such as:
- Global Security Processes
- American foreign policy
- Politics in South Asia
- European politics
- War and society
- Political geography
- Global Socio-Economic Processes
- Politics of developing nations
- International economics
- Labor economics
- Political economy
- Global Public Policy
- Public management
- Community development
- International finance
- Labor economics
- Comparative urbanization
Master’s Degrees in International Relations
Master’s degrees in international relations allow professionals to achieve a multidisciplinary degree for exciting work with U.S. government agencies, international agencies like the World Bank, or nongovernmental organizations, such as Greenpeace and Doctors without Borders.
Just a few of the career choices for individuals in Alaska with master’s degrees in international relations include:
- Diplomat/Foreign service officer
- Research and policy specialist
- Senior director, education and research (international nonprofit)
- Advisor/facilitator (international consulting firm)
Core courses in these programs are generally focused on economics, management, statistics, and international politics. To qualify for admission into a master’s degree in international relations, students must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and GRE scores. Competitive programs often require candidates to possess a minimum undergraduate GPA and complete an essay or personal interview.
Master’s degrees in international relations may include:
- Master of Arts in International Relations
- Master of Arts in Foreign Service
- Masters of Global Affairs and Management
- Master of Science in International Relations and Development
Many schools allow students to focus their graduate work on a specific area of international relations, such as:
- International Security and Peace Studies
- International Development and Globalization
A concentration in international security and peace studies may include coursework in international security and peace and conflict resolution, while a concentration in international development and globalization may include coursework in global political economy and international development.
Alaska’s Contribution to International Trade, Security, Development, and Humanitarian Aid
A vast network of governmental agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Alaska focus on developing and maintaining relationships on an international scale:
Alaska World Affairs Council
The Alaska World Affairs Council is a focused educational organization that is dedicated to stimulating interest in world affairs and inspiring its members to be involved in world events.
World Trade Center Alaska
World Trade Center Alaska is a private nonprofit membership organization that provides international trade and business services to members and community partners across the state. The mission of the World Trade Center Alaska is to assist Alaskans successfully complete for trade and investment in the global marketplace.
The mission of the Center is accomplished through five, core functions:
- Trade capacity
- Trade development
- Trade service
- Trade facility
- Trade network
Governmental agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations work to promote international affairs and diplomacy in Alaska:
- Alaska Medical Missions, Anchorage
- Paragon Global, Wasilla
- Alaskan Sudan Medical Project, Anchorage
- World Trade Center Alaska, Anchorage
- Alaska World Affairs Council, Anchorage
- Civil Air Patrol, Alaska Wing, Elmendorf AFB
- Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development
- Juneau Sisters City Committee