Area Studies majors are destined for exciting careers overseas and at home. As an
Area Studies major, you select a region of the world and then learn everything you
can about it including economics, geography, language, history and culture. When you
graduate, you will be prepared to work in international affairs, foreign trade, immigration,
banking, tourism, publishing or diplomacy.
Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization
|Border Patrol Agent
|Cultural Affairs Officer
||Public Affairs Officer
|Foreign Service Officer
Nature of the Work
Here are some examples of the type of work you might be doing. The Foreign Broadcast
Information Service will hire Area Studies majors with strong reading ability in one
or more foreign languages and a strong background in liberal arts. The job typically
involves scanning foreign newspaper and other publications for information needed
by US government analysts and policy makers including members of Congress. You would
summarize the information, select material to be translated and write short articles
on important developments.
As a member of the United States Foreign Service, you would assist the President and
Secretary of State in planning and carrying out foreign policy at home and abroad.
Foreign Service Officers are concerned with perceptions that others have about the
United States. They explain U.S. policies and society to people in other countries,
correct any misconceptions and analyze and report on public perceptions of the United
States. Sometimes, they are Press Attaches, who are responsible for dealing with the
Foreign Commercial Service Officers work with governments, business representatives
and individuals who want to continue or increase trade with the United States.
International consulting firms do research for clients on a wide range of topics.
Places of Employment
||National Security Agency
|Council on Foreign Relations
||United States Information Service
|Agency for International Development
|Central Intelligence Agency
||Inter-American Development Bank
|Department of Agriculture
||Library of Congress
|Department of Commerce
||Organization of American States
|Department of State
|Department of Transportation
|Immigration and Neutralization Service
A bachelor's degree may be sufficient for employment by non-profit international organizations
but a master's or Ph.D. is preferred.
Federal agencies will hire you with a bachelor's degree for junior positions. Higher
level positions would require you to have a master's or Ph.D. with teaching experience
and expertise in specialized international affairs areas.
International businesses prefer you have business experience and/or a business degree.
Many entry-level opportunities in international consulting require an advanced degree
and the ability to speak a foreign language.
For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951)
The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.