Geographically central, with strong transport links, Dubai naturally attracts a multinational diaspora. It makes sense therefore to think of tertiary studies that help to exploit these intercultural opportunities. “This is particularly relevant in the context of Dubai and the UAE, which are recognised

As impressively multicultural regional hubs,” says Dr Tenia Kyriazi, course leader of the MA programme at Middlesex University Dubai. “As our personal lives, education and professional careers extend beyond our countries of birth, understanding other nations and the complexity of political, economic and sociocultural relations and interactions enveloping among them is becoming extremely significant,” Dr Kyriazi says. Alison Carmody came to this realisation after a recent career move into the not-for-profit

Sector as regional communications coordinator with The Fred Hollows Foundation. “I have been working in communication in the Middle East for a number of years and found that international relations is often an important part of the communications strategy,” says Carmody. “Nonprofit foundations work closely with government partners and various non-government organisations, as well as corporations. Given international relations seek to outline the interconnection between all these, it is very useful.” She has enrolled to study the subject at the University of London through its distance learning programme. “I am starting with the graduate diploma in international relations. It’s an online course of four subjects, two per semester.” The discipline is demanding and attracts strong candidates from different backgrounds Experts say it’s an area suited to those with keen analytical skills and excellent written and verbal communication skills. For all its demands, the end result is desirable career pathways.

Eshita Patel, a careers advisor at the UOWD, says it’s a path to public or private sector opportunities that manage diplomatic or business relationships with other countries. “IR graduates might pursue a career as diplomats, political analysts, intelligence specialists, international legal analysts and researchers.

A career in journalism, teaching and international business may also be available to the right candidate with an IR background,” says Patel. For those who are set on pursuing a career in international relations, experts suggest they must work on developing certain skill sets,

Including language, analytical, interpersonal and organisational, to boost their chances. Eshita Patel’s top tips are to seek out internship opportunities; keep abreast of political developments around the world; learn foreign languages; be inquisitive about foreign cultures, History and traditions; and increase your knowledge of geopolitics every day.

Eshita Patel | Dr Tenia Kyriazi | Alison Carmody