Online International Studies Degree for an International Relations Career in Arkansas

Nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and private businesses in Arkansas are doing their part to ensure that topics such as sustainable development, human rights, and policy analysis remain at the forefront, even as international trade and investment grabs headlines for the crucial contribution it makes to Arkansas’ economy – In 2013 alone, Arkansas exported $8.8 billion in goods and $2 billion in services to international markets around the world.

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The connection between strong relations and international commerce are clear, as strong relations lay the path to the trade and investment that are so important to the state’s economy:

  • International trade supported more than 1 in 5 Arkansas jobs (340,000 jobs), as of 2013.
  • Trade-related jobs in Arkansas grew 6.5 times faster than total employment between 2004 and 2013. These jobs are found in large and small companies, on farms, in factories, and at the headquarters of some of Arkansas’ largest, globally engaged firms.
  • In 2013, Arkansas companies sold their products to 187 international markets, with the top markets being:
    • Canada
    • France
    • China
    • Mexico
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan


Earning the Right Degree for a Career in International Relations

Positions in public leadership, consulting, NGO program management, and policy analysis require a solid education in international relations and affairs:

  • Humanitarian Aid Program Directors
  • Diplomats
  • Ambassadors
  • Foreign Outreach Workers
  • Foreign Policy Advisors
  • NGO Managers and Directors
  • Interpreters and Translators
  • Grant Writers
  • Intelligence Analysts
  • Security Analysts
  • Immigration Specialists
  • Diplomatic Service Officers

Pursuing a career in diplomacy, security analysis, intelligence, politics or humanitarian work often starts with earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in international relations.

Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations

A bachelor’s degree in international relations prepares students for entry-level administrative positions in government, business, or the non-profit sector. For many students, an undergraduate degree also serves as excellent precursor to graduate study in international relations.

Some of the jobs that a bachelor’s-prepared professional with a major in international relations might pursue include:

  • Research and outreach coordinator – humanitarian non-profits
  • Field organizer – environmental non-profits
  • Import specialist – logistics companies
  • International marketing analyst – financial services companies
  • Strategic planning analyst – public policy organizations

Bachelor’s degrees with a major in international relations may be identified as:

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

Many programs allow students to focus their course of study on a particular concentration or geographical area of study with a major in such areas as:

  • Latin America
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • History
  • Middle East
  • Business
  • Japan
  • Psychology
  • Religious studies
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Master’s Degrees in International Relations

A master’s degree in international relations allows graduate students to explore topics such as global economics, global politics, development, international business, and environmental sustainability, among others.

Graduates of master’s degrees in international relations go on to achieve upper-level positions within government agencies, international organizations, transnational corporations, research centers, consulting firms, and trade associations, just to name a few. Typical job opportunities afforded to graduates of master’s degrees in international relations include:

  • Senior director, education and research – international non-profits
  • Advisor/facilitator – international consulting firms
  • Foreign service contracting officer – government development agencies

Master’s degrees in international relations may go by a number of names, such as:

  • Master of Arts in International Affairs
  • Master of Science in Global Affairs
  • Master of Arts in Global Studies and International Relations

Admission into a master’s degree program in international relations requires candidates to possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (undergraduate major may not be specified, through course perquisites will be)
  • A minimum GPA in undergraduate study (usually 3.0 or above)
  • Minimum GRE scores

These programs also allow students to focus their graduate work on a specific area, or concentration, within international relations, such as:

Conflict Resolution

Coursework in:

  • Negotiation theory and practice
  • Mediation theory and issues
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Conflict and conflict resolution

Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration

Coursework in:

  • International project management
  • Applied econometrics
  • Microfinance tools
  • Professional communications

International Human Rights

Coursework in:

  • International law and human rights
  • Human rights and foreign policy
  • Human rights and international organizations

International Security

Coursework in:

  • S. foreign policy
  • S. national security
  • Major issues in international security
  • Security and strategy


Arkansas’ Contribution to International Trade, Security, Development, and Humanitarian Aid

A number of associations, both private and governmental, work to support international relations in Arkansas:

The Little Rock Sisters Cities Commission

The Little Rock Sisters Cities Commission develops relationships with other cities around the globe to further public awareness of communities throughout the world. The Commission concentrates its work on cultural, historical, and economic aspects.

The Commission focuses on three, key initiatives:

  • Economic Development: Encourages economic exchange
  • Effective Communications: Keeping the citizens of Little Rock informed of the Commission’s activities
  • Youth Leadership Program: Supports the Mayor’s Youth Leadership program, an international exchange program

World Trade Center Arkansas

The World Trade Center Arkansas works to connect Arkansas with the world by providing international trade services to Arkansas companies, agricultural producers, and entrepreneurs. This non-governmental organization helps the Arkansas business community compete more effectively in a global market by offering:

  • International business services
  • Global connections
  • Professional development
  • Networking events

Arkansas District Export Council

The Arkansas District Export Council is a private, nonprofit organization that provides support, advice, and assistance to Arkansas companies interested in entering into or expanding their work in international markets.

The Council works with the Arkansas U.S. Export Assistance Center and provides programs and services to promote Arkansas’ exports in the global marketplace. Just a few of their efforts include:

  • Identifying sources for export financing and insurance for Arkansas exporters
  • Promoting a greater awareness of the economic impact and benefits to Arkansas companies and business organizations
  • Identifying tariff and non-tariff barriers that keep Arkansas products and services from selling in international regions or markets
  • Expanding local export assistance partnerships with the Arkansas State Government
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Organizations Committed to International Relations in Arkansas

Nonprofit, governmental, and private sector organizations are all sources for international relations jobs in Arkansas. From major establishments like the Peace Corps and the U.N. to small nonprofits devoted to humanitarian aid, international efforts in Arkansas are widespread and extensive:

Governmental Agencies

Non-Profit Organizations

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