Studies & Degrees in International Organizations
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The term International Organization typically refers to an organization that has an international membership, scope, or presence. The two main types of international organizations are International Nongovernmental Organizations and Intergovernmental organizations, known as international governmental organizations. The first type (NGOs) could be either non-profit organizations (like the International Olympic Committee or the International Committee of the Red Cross), or international corporations like Toyota, Coca-Cola, Sony, etc. The second type of international organizations (IGOs) are these organizations that are most commonly associated with the term discussed. They are usually made up of a number of sovereign states, and some examples are the United Nations, European Union, World Trade Organization, and so on.
People working for international organizations can take on a variety of roles and tasks, depending on the type of organization they work for. Tasks may vary from conducting research, to negotiation and people management. There could also be the opportunity to develop and implement policies, create budgets, and manage various projects.
To be involved with an international corporation, whether be it the UN or McDonalds, you need to have an open-minded personality and the willingness to learn and travel. Here are some other qualities to consider:
- Interpersonal skills and qualities
- Aptitude for learning languages
- Curiosity about world affairs and the way nations interact with each other
- Excellent communication skills
- Good research skills
- Analytical thought and problem-solving abilities
The most common bachelor’s degree you may have heard about, preparing you for an international career is International Relations. There are other more interesting options like International Relations and International Organization, for example, as well as many master’s degrees and postgraduate opportunities like an MBA in International Organization, MPA in International Nongovernmental Organization, and practice-focused courses in International Organizations. All these point to the increasing importance of international organizations in today’s globalized business and social environment. They stress on areas like economics, diplomacy, and the role of the different types of international organizations. They work on developing the individual’s research skills, language training, give an insight into the historical context and theory of international organizations. Programs are also likely to equip you with knowledge about multilingual communication, negotiation in international forums, and other key competences relevant for an internationally-oriented individual.
Career prospects for an individual with a degree in International Organizations or similar are vast and diverse. Except for the opportunity to gain a position at an international agency (of the EU, UN, etc.), a national ministry, or in international commerce and business, you could consider an international career in journalism, teaching, or even academic life. A good way to enter the fields of international organizations would be by gaining an internship/trainee position that is going to help you develop the numerous skills and qualities required for these roles.