8 College Degrees that prepare you for International Work
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When I was in the Peace Corps, I was surrounded by people who had traveled extensively. I was one of two people who had never left the United States before I signed up for the Peace Corps. The people I got to work with, their education backgrounds varied from public health, business, communications, and law. If we’re being honest, pretty much any college degree will prepare you for international work. Work is work, no matter where you live. There are greater opportunities for some things than others, however. Let’s explore 8 college degrees that prepare you for international work.
If you’re looking to work abroad, but aren’t sure where to start, or how to find the right position, a good place to start is idealist.org. They list job opportunities for non-profits, in the United States and abroad. They even have remote positions available so you can work and live anywhere you want.
Teaching provides a holistic outlook on life, and allows us to make connections. This is like that. Develop your skills in the United States or abroad. Sign up for a tefl/tesol certificate, and teach English abroad. Often, you don’t even need a university degree, depending on the country. In addition, something like 40% of the Peace Corps volunteers go for teaching or Health related sectors.
There are stories of cooks and chefs traveling from kitchen to kitchen, because the quest for knowledge, to know how you made that never ends. That, and chefs tend to be their own kind of pirates and often need a lot of engagement. The cool thing about this job is even though you can go to a fancy school like the Culinary Institute of America, or Cordon Blue, you can also just learn on the job. Either way is totally acceptable, as long as you can prove your value. Which means making delicious food, and (as a chef) managing others.
International Policy and Development
This one is a little on the nose. Obviously if you’ve majored in international policy and/or development and/or relations, you don’t plan on staying put in the country you’re from. If this is your goal, make sure you study abroad, and meet as many people that also work for international organizations. Your network is widespread, but the connection of a foreign land is deep and elastic. It’ll follow you wherever you go.
Public health officials are like social scientists. They figure out what is keeping people sick, and how to remove the threat. Quite often, keeping one’s health is a matter of knowledge, and awareness. Public health covers so many different aspects of our society, but so much of what needs understanding, assistance, and awareness, happens where the infrastructure isn’t developed, or is subject to war.
Spend your days on the sea, scuba diving, and exploring an entire world completely different from the one humans have created for themselves. Honestly, if I had half a mind for all the science this job requires, I totally would have signed up. My perfect day is snorkeling until I drown.
Nurses are everywhere, and will always be in high demand. You can be a traveling nurse, or sign up with a hospital or program hosted out of your country. Nursing is hard work, but nurses save lives. If that’s what you’re about, then find a program that’ll get started.
There is always getting into the business side of things. You could major in business administration (or management) and either add a minor of language or something that impacts the lives of the people where you’d eventually like to work.
Tourism has an enormous footprint on the world, and Eco Tourism is helping to keep things sustainable. There are a lot of really cool programs out there, like NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), and other groups that teach leadership, sustainability, and economics. Eco Tourism is a new trend that is likely to grow over the next two decades as we continue to use our natural resources beyond a sustainable rate. Here you will be able to incorporate environmentally friendly ways to encourage exploration, culture exchange and sustainability.
Ultimately, no matter what you’ve studied you can find a way to use your particular talents in an international capacity. Whether it’s teaching, healing, research or getting paid to have fun, if you’re prepared to make the jump, you’ll land on your feet.
Now, I want to hear from you: What is your degree in? Are you using it to work abroad?