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.
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:
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Business Administration and Master in Public Administration: Government and Policy
- SNHU - B.S. in Business Administration - International Business and M.B.A. in International Business
- The online master's programs from American University's School of International Service allow professionals to build international and business expertise in 12–24 months. GRE/GMAT scores not required.
- Fletcher's online Master of Global Business Administration from Tufts University prepares students to apply advanced business strategy in a global context. Complete in as few as 16 months. No GRE/GMAT required.
- Designed by both Kogod and the top-ranked School of International Service, the MS in International Relations and Business at American University will help you develop a global business mindset in as few as 18 months.No GRE/GMAT required.
- Norwich University Online - Master of Arts in International Relations Program - Online. Choose from 5 concentrations: International Security, National Security, International Development, Cyber Diplomacy, Regions of the World. NO GRE/ GMAT required.
- Norwich University Online - Master of Arts in Diplomacy - Online. Build stronger negotiation, critical thinking and conflict management skills. Choose from 4 concentrations: international commerce, international terrorism, international conflict management and cyber diplomacy.
- 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:
- Hong Kong
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
- 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
- Political science
- Middle East
- Religious studies
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:
- Negotiation theory and practice
- Mediation theory and issues
- Communication and collaboration
- Conflict and conflict resolution
Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration
- International project management
- Applied econometrics
- Microfinance tools
- Professional communications
International Human Rights
- International law and human rights
- Human rights and foreign policy
- Human rights and international organizations
- 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
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:
- Arkansas Department of Economic Development
- International Trade Administration, Arkansas Global Development Team
- Arkansas Economic Development Commission
- Bridge of Peace Syria, Fayetteville
- Heifer International, Perryville
- Hosean International Ministries, Little Rock
- Arkansas Council for International Visitors, Little Rock
- Mercy International, Fayetteville