Types of Degrees International Studies Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many international studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What International Studies Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, international studies majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for International Studies Majors
International Studies majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Skills for International Studies Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to international studies:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for International Studies Majors
International Studies majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a International Studies Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with international studies:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in International Studies?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of international studies majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||89|
|Hispanic or Latino||130|
International Studies appeals to people across the globe. About 14.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do International Studies Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that international studies students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $42,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,825 (25th percentile) and $49,325 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in international studies, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
The median salary for someone in a career related to international studies is $115,300. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to International Studies
Some degrees associated with international studies may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to international studies have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||3.3%|
Online International Studies Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 400 schools offered some type of international studies program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||29||5|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||7||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||5||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in International Studies Worth It?
The median salary for a international studies grad is $115,300 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 189% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,508,000 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to International Studies
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to international studies.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||2,661|
|Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution||630|
|Biological & Physical Science||611|
|Human Computer Interaction||562|
|Mathematics & Computer Science||189|
|Science, Technology & Society||187|
|Multicultural & Diversity Studies||131|
|Cultural Studies & Analysis||69|
|Classical & Ancient Studies||30|
|Accounting & Computer Science||10|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Yerpo under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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