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Career Opportunities for International Relations Graduates in Nigeria



International Relations, known in some places as International Affairs, is a liberal arts course of study that does not, like so many other liberal art courses, give a direct entry into a specific field but equips the graduate with a broad knowledge base that can be used to pursue excellent careers in a variety of related occupations.

International Relations (IR) is called international affairs in some academic institutions. It is either a field of political science, an interdisciplinary academic field similar to global studies, or an entirely independent academic discipline in which students take a variety of internationally focused courses in social science and humanities disciplines. In both cases, the field studies relationships between political entities (polities) such as states, sovereign states, empires, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INs), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), and the wider world-systems produced by this interaction. International relations is an academic and a public policy field, and so can be positive and normative, because it analyses and formulates the foreign policy of a given state.

Most universities in Nigeria that offer International Relations offer it as a 4 year course with course work including likely subjects such as political science, economics, sociology etc. This equips a graduate of International Relations with the tools to pursue careers in diverse fields.

Scope of International Relations

International relations compose our largest society. Since the Age of Colonization in the eighteenth century, international relations have encompassed the globe. The scope of international relations is not yet well settle. It is continuously expending & becoming very complex due to many factors such as LPG (globalization, privatization, & liberalization), advancement in technology (communication, transportation, & media), global issues (Terrorism, poverty, global warming, etc.), so on & so forth. Now, world has become a global village.

The scope of international relations comprehends globalization, diplomatic relations, state sovereignty, international security, ecological sustainability, nuclear proliferation, nationalism, economic development, global finance, as well as terrorism and organized crime, human security, foreign interventionism, and human rights, as well, as, more recently, comparative religion.

The ultimate aim of International Relations is the establishment of ‘International peace’ through cooperation & agreement among different nations promoting mutual interests.

Skills Needed for International Relations

Language Skills

  • Reading and understanding sophisticated ideas
  • Recognizing complex word patterns and structures
  • Understanding cultural differences as reflected in language
  • Interpreting complex language
  • Reading for tone and attitude
  • Translating languages / ideas
  • Evaluating translations and original texts

Research / Analytical Skills

  • Asking analytical questions
  • Generating and developing complex, novel ideas
  • Compiling and organizing information
  • Analyzing data
  • Examining and evaluating evidence
  • Evaluating theories about societies and cultures
  • Understanding problems about society and cultures
  • Making decisions about social processes and policies

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

  • Understanding other cultures and beliefs
  • Developing sensitivity to multiple viewpoints
  • Appreciating historical continuity and change
  • Clarifying others’ thoughts and ideas

Communication Skills

  • Writing clearly
  • Persuading people / groups
  • Presenting and debating ideas
  • Listening critically

Career Opportunities for International Relations Graduates

International Relation graduates develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, cross-cultural proficiency may be equally useful whether working as a foreign-service officer, a manager of an international branch of an American organization or corporation, or a journalist.

Graduates of history and international relations in Nigeria generally can take up careers in three major areas;
– Public Sector (Government)
– Private Sector
– Non Profit/NGO

The list below is a sample of jobs/careers International Relations graduates can undertake.

  • United Nations interpreter
  • Consular assistant
  • Translation specialist
  • Foreign affairs journalist
  • Foreign policy analyst
  • International finance analyst
  • Immigration inspector
  • Congressional staff member
  • Foundation researcher
  • Intelligence agent
  • College professor
  • Librarian
  • Historian
  • International affairs lawyer
  • Affirmative action officer
  • Foreign service officer
  • Consultant, cross-cultural relations
  • Travel agent
  • Export / import sales manager
  • Hospitality manager
  • International hotel manager
  • Leader or manager of international NGO
  • Administrator within international organization
  • Teacher/Lecturer
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Museum exhibit assistant
  • Museum curator
  • Journalist / writer, all media
  • Editor, all media
  • Arts reviewer

Admission Requirements for Studying International Relations in Nigeria

For most high institutions in Nigeria, to study International Relations as a course, you need to meet specific academic requirements. Candidates seeking admission through the Jamb are required to have five credit level passes in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E.) or its equivalent. These should include English Language, Government and Mathematics and any other two relevant subjects. A pass in Mathematics is also accepted by some schools while it’s not for some. Somes schools require History, Geography and Local Language (Igbo,Yoruba or Hausa).

For Jamb UTME, English Language is compulsory for this course. Mathematics and any two of the following: Economics, History, Government, Geography, Literature in English and French is also required. Please check Jamb brochure for requirements for each school.


  • • Achievers University  • Bayero University Kano  • Baze University  • Caleb University  • Covenant University  • Godfrey Okoye University  • Gregory University, Uturu  • Kings University  • Landmark University  • Lead City University  • McPherson University • Obafemi Awolowo University  • Obong University  • Oduduwa University  • SouthWestern University  • Tansian University  • University of Ibadan  • Wellspring University