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What Can You Do With a Global Studies Degree?

Reviewed by Jacob Imm

Apr 28, 2023

What Can You Do With a Global Studies Degree?

When you picture your future, do you envision an exciting nomadic lifestyle? Maybe you’re working as a diplomat in another country or roaming the globe as a foreign correspondent in search of the next big international headline. If so, a degree in global studies might be for you. 

So, what can you do with a global studies degree? 

From cultural anthropology to international politics, global studies majors learn about a broad scope of culturally rich topics that can help you on the journey toward achieving your dream job.

With so many career opportunities available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. This list compiles career paths related to global studies, many of which might pique your interest—from business to government and beyond.

Careers in Global Studies

Whether you’re interested in utilizing your global knowledge by teaching it to others or plan to pack your bags for a career abroad, there are plenty of global studies degree jobs you can pursue, such as:

  • Foreign service officer – As a diplomat for the United States, you can live abroad and embrace other cultures around the world. During your time as a foreign service officer (FSO), expect to use your communication and cross-cultural skills to collaborate with other nations regarding building alliances, crafting solutions to global issues, and influencing U.S. foreign policy. The introductory yearly salary for an FSO is approximately $62,015, according to the U.S. Department of State.
  • Professor – As a professor of global studies, you can work with students who share a similar love of international affairs and issues to seek a better understanding of history, geography, and society at large. You may even help them discover their passion and guide them toward a career path suited to their skills and interests. Earning a bachelor’s degree in global studies is the first step to becoming a professor, a career that earns an average of $79,640 per year, according to the BLS.
  • Foreign correspondent – International journalists report on numerous global issues, including foreign policy, international relations, and the living conditions of other countries according to MasterClass. Foreign correspondents are innately inquisitive, shine in high-pressure situations, and have excellent communication skills they employ while they conduct interviews and work to establish a network of reliable contacts. According to the BLS, journalists can expect an average yearly salary of $48,370.
  • Translator or Interpreter – Take your bilingual (or even trilingual) skills to the next level with a career as a translator or interpreter. Though often used interchangeably, the job descriptions of these two roles are different. Translators focus on converting the written word from one language to another. Interpreters, however, mediate and verbally translate conversations between two parties who speak different languages. As a translator or interpreter, you can work in the U.S. or pursue your love for travel and work in other countries and study world languages. As stated by the BLS, the average salary for this career path is approximately $49,110 per year.
  • Lawyer – If you’re passionate about the law and global affairs, why not have your cake and eat it too? As a lawyer practicing international law, you can represent clients around the world and counsel them on the domestic laws of their country on an assortment of subjects, including taxes, customs, immigration, and human rights. A lawyer’s compensation varies depending on their specialty, but they can expect an average salary of $127,990 per year, per the BLS.

When it comes to what jobs you can get with a global studies degree, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more branches of corporate work that welcome the expertise global studies majors hold.

Find out more about North Central College

How to Decide if Global Studies Is Right for You

If you’re still unsure this is the major for you, that’s okay—choosing a major is a big decision and many students will adjust their majors as they progress through college. But if a career in global marketing, journalism, tourism, general education, or government interests you, it’s a major worth considering.

So, what is global studies and what will you learn? Courses in global studies vary from school to school, but there are some major themes that are universal. North Central College, for example, offers global studies courses that focus on three area studies, including:

  • Global power and security
  • Culture and globalization
  • Markets and development

These courses focus on the history, economics, and culture of various geographic locations around the world. So if you find yourself researching economic policies in Europe just for fun, becoming a global studies major might be the right fit for you.

Ultimately, it comes down to your long-term goals and what you hope to accomplish. With a bachelor’s degree in global studies, you can move directly into the workforce or continue your education and pursue other degrees to reach your career goals.

Take the First Step Toward Your Goals

With a global studies degree in hand, the world is at your fingertips. You can pursue your passions, travel the globe, and become immersed in the topics you love through firsthand experience. So where can you start?

The first step to turning your dreams into a reality is finding a college that meets your needs—like North Central College, where they use a hands-on approach to learning. In addition to a customizable course load aligned with your career goals and interests, you can dip your toes into foreign waters with a study abroad program or gain practical experience in law with our faculty-led mock trials.

For more information, fill out a request form and learn more about North Central’s global studies program today.

Jacob Imm is the associate director of communication in the North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 13 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. 



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