The Average Salary of Someone With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies

International Studies majors typically focus on a specific region of interest.
International Studies majors typically focus on a specific region of interest. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A bachelor's degree in International Studies -- also referred to as International Relations -- is like a history, anthropology, linguistics and sociology degree all rolled into one. To understand foreign cultures, degree holders must have an education as diverse as the country they are studying. An International Studies bachelor's degree enables you to work nearly anywhere in the world.

Average Salary

The average expected salary for an individual with a bachelor's degree in International Studies is approximately $41,400 according to data collected by The potential salary varies depending on the industry in which you work. For example, if you work for the federal government, you will typically make more money than working as a disaster relief helper in a foreign country.

Sample Industries

International Studies degree holders have the option of working for the government or private sector various capacities. For example, you can use your degree to work as a social studies teacher in any grade except college. Or, you can work for the United States in an embassy as a foreign relations assistant or administrator. Any industry that operates internationally uses workers with international degrees for their experience dealing with other cultures and languages.


An International Studies degree teaches appreciation for other cultures. The skills you develop as an International Studies major include proficiency in a language of your choice, an understanding of the history of a specific world region and the diplomatic process for dealing with other nations. If a company hires you to handle its international public relations, it trusts that you have developed the skills necessary to prevent cultural misunderstandings.


Your salary and responsibilities increase as an International Studies degree holder with professional experience and additional education. If you obtain a master's degree, you increase your chances of upper-level management positions within the government or private sector companies. Longevity in international careers also pays off. The average salary for International Studies majors in the middle of their career is approximately $80,000, according to

Federal Work

The United States government hires individuals with a bachelor's degree in International Studies for many positions within agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Commerce and State Department. These positions vary, and can include language translation duties, studies of world economies for economic policy and work overseas collecting intelligence in other countries. The federal government sets standard pay classifications for employees that are explained in your interview.

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