The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, financial crime, and cyber-attacks are examples of asymmetric warfare, and some of the leading global security challenges of the 21st century.
Asymmetric warfare is warfare between opposing forces which differ greatly in military power and that typically involve the use of unconventional weapons and tactics, such as those associated with guerrilla warfare and terrorist attacks. The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan are among the best-known recent examples of asymmetric warfare.
Unfortunately, these global security challenges are not going away anytime soon. Jobs in these industries are relatively immune to the ups and downs in government hiring.
There are a wide range of employers for careers in international security:
- Government agencies e.g. Department of Energy, State Department, or one of the 17 intelligence agencies
- National lab e.g. Lawrence Livermore
- Technology companies e.g. Facebook
- Consulting firms e.g. Deloitte
- International organizations e.g. the U.N. and IAEA
- Think tanks e.g. Stimson Center
- Banks (especially for those interested in financial crime management) e.g. Charles Schwab
The skills needed to work in these fields include:
- Specialized in-depth knowledge of nonproliferation, counterterrorism, financial crime management, and/or cybersecurity.
- Interpersonal skills, leadership, and an ability to put things into context.
The Middlebury Institute offers a combination of learning opportunities: inside the classroom (subject matter knowledge), and outside the classroom activities (practical skills), including work with our research centers: the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC).
The Center for Advising and Career Services (CACS) at the Middlebury Institute can help students manage their careers through our unique integrated academic and career advising model, supporting students through their academic career, and by offering students career management skills.
It’s worth noting that the number one state for federal jobs is California, followed by Virginia, and then Washington, D.C.
Want to work in international security? Join Professor Jeffrey Knopf and Elizabeth Bone, career and academic advisor, for an in-depth discussion on how to launch your career.
Increased spotlight on various white supremacist movements and threats of domestic terrorism in recent months and weeks has drawn media outlets to the experts and research of the Middlebury Institute’s Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC).
Want to work in international development? Scott Webb, career and academic advisor for our MA in International Policy and Development, MPA, and MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy, discusses how to launch your career.