Career and Leadership Development

International Studies

There are career opportunities for graduates with International Studies degrees in a wide range of fields. The traditional career choices for International Studies majors were jobs in international organizations, such as the United Nations, and U.S. government jobs, including the US Foreign Service, and positions in the international divisions of many other departments, including Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture. Non-governmental organizations, such as the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace were other options, as were research positions in interest groups dealing with international issues and think-tanks in major cities. And, international businesses have been recruiters, although many employees had to spend a period of time at corporate headquarters in training and entry-level jobs before being posted overseas.

Globalization has greatly expanded the range of careers for which International Studies graduates are trained. For example, human resource departments in large institutions in major cities can benefit from the communication skills and appreciation for different world views that International Studies majors develop through their courses. Many businesses that do not have operations overseas have international business activities. While an International Studies education does not fully prepare majors and minors to manage these activities, their foreign language and other communication skills, and knowledge about international issues are valuable assets to employers. The skills and perspectives that International Studies majors bring to their employers are ones that are difficult for employers to provide for through training in traditional business settings.

The International Studies Coordinator and the Office of Career Services has published materials on career opportunities in the public and private sector for students with international training. The opportunities are great now and continue to grow. The challenge for students is to learn about the wide range of opportunities and to take advantage of the flexibility of the major to structure a set of courses that meets their interests and will help them fulfill their career aspirations.

Emphases within the major:

Foreign Language and Area Studies (BA/BS)
Business (BA/BS)
Public Diplomacy (BA/BS)

Major skills acquired:

An expanded awareness of international politics


Related occupations:

(With corresponding Dictionary of Occupational Titles number). The following list of related occupations is an open list of ideas to expand your career research.
Some of these careers may require additional experience or education.
Adjudicator (119.167-010)
Customs Inspector (168.267-022)
Economist (050.067-010)
Financial Analyst (020.167-014)
Foreign Correspondent (131.267-018)
Foreign Service Officer (118.117-106)
International Banking (186.267-018)
Management Trainee (189.167-018)
Reporter (131.267-018)
Translator (137.267-018)
Various Government Service Positions

Representative employers that have hired our students:

Airborn Express - Des Moines, IA
Cuhnahuac School - Cuhnahuac, Mexico
Excel Inns of America - Milwaukee, WI
First Trust - St. Paul, MN
Joseph Morrissey & Associates - Rockford, IL
Larkman Construction - Oak Creek, WI
LCP International Insurance - Oceanside, CA
Paper Valley Hotel - Appleton, WI
Telecheck - Chicago, IL
Ultra-Tech - Madison, WI
US Army - El Paso, TX
Walden Books - Brookfield, WI
Wisconsin Commissioner/Securities - Madison, WI

Graduate schools attended by our students:

The American University - Washington, DC
Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI
University of Vermont - Burlington, VT
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, WI

For further information outside Career & Leadership Development:

UW-Whitewater International Studies
Coordinator's Office, White Hall, Room 311
Phone: 262-472-1214

Center for Global Education
Hyland Hall, Room 1227
Phone: 262-472-5759