Careers & Alumni

The International Studies Program provides a flexible and balanced combination between classroom instruction and direct contact with the regions and cultures of interest.

When you leave Cal Poly Humboldt, you’ll be ready to pursue a career in the United States or abroad in a range of fields:

  • Government: diplomacy, foreign relations, area/issues analysts, economic development
  • Commercial sector: large corporate, small business, journalism and the media
  • Public service: teaching, international development, issue organizations or regionally based nongovernmental bodies

This program also provides a basic foundation for further graduate work and scholarship in the growing field of International Studies.

Key Facts

  • There are 314 million people in the United States. Only 18% speak a foreign language vs 53% in other places. (US Census, 2000)
  • 40% of Americans have a passport (US State Department) - but in any given year, only 5% travel overseas. (William Chalmers, The Vacation Deficit Disorder, 2013)
  • There are 21 million students in higher education (National Center for Education Statistics) - but in any given year only 1% study abroad. (Institute for International Education)
  • The job market for those with language skills is expected to grow by 22% between 2008 and 2018. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Humboldt is one of the only schools in the entire CSU system with an International Studies Program consisting of a core curriculum in the social sciences and a requirement for both study abroad and language proficiency.

Speaking a second language is a skill. As the world gets smaller, the need for people who can understand and communicate with people in different places and cultures will only grow. Current studies from the U.S. Department of Labor and many experts in the employment field suggest that foreign language skills and an understanding of the drivers of globalization (namely, politics, economics and culture) will be increasingly in demand over the next 10 - 15 years.

The International Studies Program at Humboldt is one of the only non-language majors at the university that requires a foreign language proficiency as well as experience living in a foreign country. We believe the combination of strong core curriculum with a skill in language and real experience abroad is a compelling proposition to any employer looking for an independent, self-starting, critical thinker for their organization.

Related Job Titles

The following list is not meant to be all inclusive; many other job alternatives and titles may exist. Some require further education. 

  • Foreign Service Officer/Diplomat
  • Peace Corps Employee
  • Community Organizer 
  • lntercultural Communications Specialist 
  • Translator for Health/Social Services 
  • ESL/EFL Teacher
  • Non-governmental Organization Administrator/Director
  • International Relations Officer
  • Journalist/Correspondent
  • Economic Development Analyst
  • Bilingual Specialist
  • Federal and State Government Employee
  • Market Researcher/ Analyst
  • Public Relations
  • Foreign Exchange Trader
  • International Sales
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • International Lawyer
  • Travel Writer