5 Reasons to Study Diplomacy

International Careers

by Mary Thompson-Jones

Mary Thompson-Jones

Mary Thompson-Jones , Ed.D, MALD, is a faculty member and the academic director of Northeastern University’s Master’s in Global Studies and International Relations . Thompson-Jones has 23 years of experience as a career diplomat and foreign policy practitioner.

Our world is more interconnected than ever before.

More than 1 billion people traveled in 2012; economies in both developed and developing nations affect the world’s economic health; multi-national corporations have budgets that are larger than the GDPs of many nations.

When studying international relations, diplomacy plays a key role. Here are some reasons why you should consider studying diplomacy:

1.  It's more than politics.

Today’s diplomats delve into a broad range of topics. Some work on environmental issues, such as climate change. Others tackle issues in technology, science, trans-border programs (including human trafficking), global health, and the preservation of cultural property.

2. You can make an impact.

Diplomats work on counterterrorism and coordinate high-impact efforts with other international organizations. They work to promote American businesses, help American citizens, and advance U.S. interests abroad. Sometimes they also promote the rights of women and children and carry out development work that improves lives.  

3. You go in-depth in another country.

Part of the job is mastering a country’s language, culture, and traditions. And through your day-to-day responsibilities, you could work with a fascinating group of people from the country: artists, musicians, NGO leaders, parliamentarians, journalists, and scientists.

4. You get transferable skills.

Diplomats learn to speak foreign languages, conduct high-level discussions with foreign leaders, write reports to Congress on everything from religious freedom to human rights. They write speeches for their ambassadors and engage social media. Above all, they learn how to communicate across cultures.

5.  You're part of a team.

In a typical embassy, diplomats work across agencies and learn how to pull together a variety of skills to accomplish their goals. They work alongside colleagues from the military, the intelligence services, commerce, trade, agricultural experts, law enforcement, and technology specialists.  


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