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
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to international studies and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for International Studies Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these 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
As a international studies major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- 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 Bachelor’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||345|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,068|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in International Studies. About 9.9% 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?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that international studies students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $28,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $24,650 (25th percentile) and $33,775 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a international studies 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 careers associated with international studies require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
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 2018-2019, 400 schools offered a international studies program of some type. 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!
Top Ranking Lists for International Studies
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
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||37,392|
|Biological & Physical Science||29,278|
|Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution||1,310|
|Human Computer Interaction||1,272|
|Science, Technology & Society||1,171|
|Mathematics & Computer Science||1,105|
|Multicultural & Diversity Studies||424|
|Classical & Ancient Studies||303|
|Cultural Studies & Analysis||227|
|Accounting & Computer Science||71|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- 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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