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What Can You Do with a Human Rights Degree?

When choosing the degree you want to pursue, thinking about the reality of the job market is important, and many people are increasingly concerned about being able to achieve employment once they have obtained their degree. Human Rights majors are no different, but fortunately, these types of degrees end up yielding a number of job opportunities with a high rate of employment or other engagements that utilize their degree.

A total of 73.6 percent of human rights majors surveyed were employed, were attending graduate school or obtained a fellowship. A total of 52.6 percent were employed; 15.8 percent had secure plans to go to grad school; and 5.3 percent obtained fellowships.

Human Rights is a fruitful pursuit and lets you use the skills and knowledge gained in school in a number of different areas including advocacy, law, social services, international relations and communications. In the field of advocacy, there are opportunities in disciplines like humanitarian services, development services, policy development, international and domestic advocacy, education, grant writing, disaster and disease relief and more.

Read more: Take a free course and equip yourself with human rights skills

When it comes to law, you can pursue human rights law, immigration law, international law, public interest law, education law, government relations, public policy and beyond. In social services, positions in human services provision, public health, HIV/AIDS work and economic development are attainable. International relations and communications include peacekeeping, diplomacy, foreign affairs, legislative services, political advising, anti-corruption, reporting, writing, photography and more.

What skills are human rights employers looking for?

No matter what type of work you hope to do, there are a few qualities and skills that employers will look for universally. These include the ability to work in a team environment first and foremost, along with the ability to plan, prioritize your tasks and be able to make difficult decisions. Being able to take in and process data in large amounts is imperative, which requires proficiency of different computer software programs.

Those who put focus on Human Rights for their degrees often will display those abilities and more, including communicating in an effective manner through speech and writing while also possessing hard skills like analyzing data and conducting research. Being able to understand the political, social, historical, economic and cultural influences on different events in the world is crucial and is something that you will learn thoroughly during your studies. This also means being able to communicate across different cultures to groups of people that might not think or operate in the same way you do.

When you have considered all of the benefits and opportunities available to you through a human rights major, you can start thinking about specific places you hope to work. Organizations that often hire human rights majors include the Yale School of Public Health, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, VoxGov, The Legal Aid Society, UJA Federation of New York, Robert F. Kennedy Human rights and many others, leaving many doors open for you after you obtain your degree.

Learn more about human rights career paths.

About the author


Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.