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Is a Master’s Degree in International Relations Worth it?


You don’t need us to tell you that our world is in a constant state of flux. From global political stand-offs to catastrophic climate change issues, we need effective leaders who will guide us through the constant changes and crises our planet undergoes on a daily basis. To this end, companies and organizations are increasingly looking for internationally minded, future-forward professionals, with first-hand experience and extensive knowledge of global politics and economics. That’s a lot of criteria to meet. Is a master’s degree in international relations what you need to break into this complex and competitive field? Here are five reasons why completing a master’s program is absolutely essential in today’s professional world of international relations.

The Global Overview

A master’s degree in international relations isn’t just an extended history lesson on world politics. From global affairs and international business and economics to comparative regional studies and social entrepreneurship and development, if you find the right international relations master’s program, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of the world we live in. You’ll become a well-rounded, dynamic professional, qualified to lead the world with your impressive breadth of knowledge and expertise.

The Experience

Your academic knowledge will take you far, but not all the way. Today’s headhunters in the international relations field are looking for employees with relevant, first-hand experience. Whether you want to be an international aid or development worker, a policy officer or a public affairs consultant, you must be able to immediately integrate yourself into the company or organization in question. For this very reason, universities like IE incorporate fieldwork trips into their international relations master’s programs, ensuring the hands-on experience you need to put your newfound knowledge and skills into practice, advance in your future career and make an impact right from day one.

The Student Body

Your studies in International Relations will be bolstered by your own international relationships. The master’s program attracts people with the same global mindset from diverse backgrounds, who each possess drastically different insights to share. In such a fertile environment for professional and personal growth, you’ll see your expertise in the field skyrocket, multiplied by the input of your fellow international classmates. For instance, the student body of the international relations master’s program at IE School of Global and Public Affairs includes 18 nationalities and 16 languages, and is composed of recent graduates, young professionals and career shifters. This kind of master’s is as much about the network you form as it is about the wide-ranging skills and knowledge you gain.

The Career Prospects

By acquiring these global skills and such an international mindset, you will become highly desirable to employers across a great variety of sectors. According to a survey conducted by Devex in 2017, “74 percent of international relations graduates felt ‘satisfied’ or ‘strongly satisfied’ with their employment opportunities immediately after graduation, and 86 percent with their long-term career advancement options.” Whether as a diplomat, intelligence specialist, political analyst, lobbyist, communications specialist, development lecturer, journalist or policy officer… become the agent of change you aspire to be and follow the career path that’s right for you.

The Satisfaction

When you study a master’s program in international relations, you know that you’re working toward making a difference in the world. You understand that every essay, lecture and field trip brings you one step closer to gaining a profound understanding of our planet, and to guiding its inhabitants through these turbulent times. According to Devex, “Graduates of international relations also felt their degree allowed for opportunities to make a positive contribution to society, while 92 percent expressed satisfaction or strong satisfaction in this area of their work.” What better use of your talents than to join the ranks of these world-changing graduates, and leave your mark on society?

In other words, a master’s degree in international relations is absolutely worth the challenge—as long as you choose the right university to develop and maximize your talents. Ready to explore your options? See if IE’s Master in International Relations program could be the perfect fit for you.