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What can I do with an International Studies degree?

lonelysouplonelysoup Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
What kind of jobs/careers could I get into with a degree in international studies? I'd say that I know Spanish and English pretty well (Spanish was my first language) and I want to take Japanese this upcoming semester (I'll be starting my second semester of college). I'm not too interested in working for the government, CIA, NGO, etc. I hope to travel abroad, and work in a different country, specifically Japan. Could I work in Japan with my degree, without having to be an English teacher? I took four years of French in high school, so would it be better for me to focus on French instead? Or what about Spanish? Could I major in international studies and minor in two languages (or minor in Japanese, for example, and minor in Asian studies as well)?

Should I switch to another major? I've read that many people think that a degree in international studies is useless and that no one can find jobs. I just switched from nursing to international studies because it interests me more and I feel that I'd be happier, but I don't want to waste my time to graduate with a degree that won't get me anywhere? Should I just stick with nursing after all...?

Replies to: What can I do with an International Studies degree?

  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,896 Senior Member
    Perhaps you can go to your campus career center and work with a career counselor to explore career options that suit you. This might lead to more clarity as far as what you could major in and the career outlook.
  • researchpersonresearchperson Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Of the people I know with degrees like this, one got an MBA after not finding a job for many years. The other got a PhD after not finding a job. Both are seriously underemployed still. The third person has a PhD in the field and cannot find teaching positions or much of anything else. Go back to nursing and study languages. Languages will be useful in nursing and you can feed yourself.
  • chriswchrisw Registered User Posts: 1,585 Senior Member
    The jobs most suited for an IS/IR major looking for international opportunities are the ones you say you don't want. If you happen to have EU citizenship, it's a little easier since you don't need a permit to work in a company in Europe, but if you don't, your opportunities are limited. If your GPA is high enough, you could look at business opportunities with major banks or consulting companies based in Japan, but it'd be tough.

    A minor in a language isn't all that important. If you're fluent, you're fluent.

    Nursing and international studies are vastly different degrees whose graduates typically have completely different goals. Only you can decide what is best for you when you're looking at going completely different directions. The career center is probably your best bet.
  • lonelysouplonelysoup Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    What if I go for careers within the government, like a foreign service peacekeeping specialist? What are my chances at that?
  • lonelysouplonelysoup Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    +NorthernMom61 I go to a community college at the moment and online, for career services, there's a Focus2 career assessment. All of the top careers recommended to me aren't any that I'm interested in. Should I just go for those careers instead?
  • lonelysouplonelysoup Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    +researchperson I wanted to start a Japanese course next semester. At the time that I was a nurse major my advisor recommended that I not take Japanese and just take the classes that I need to take. I'm really interested in languages but she advised not to take languages. Would I still be able to study Japanese, French, and Spanish with a nurse major?
  • sweetlacecharmsweetlacecharm Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    @chrisw: actually OP needs to be near to native-level fluent in Japanese if he/she wants to work at any company in Japan. Most if not all companies in Japan require foreigners to be at least N2 level of the JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Exam. I've been learning Japanese for a couple of years now and I'm not N2 level yet. Plus with foreigners they don't really look at GPA, but whether you know enough Japanese to be able to function in an all-Japanese speaking environment, because even if you have a high GPA, if you can't understand more than half of what's going on in the workplace, you're basicaly useless to them.
This discussion has been closed.