It is not uncommon to find vacancies in peace and conflict studies requiring applicants to possess several years of experience, extensive hands-on field experience, as well as postgraduate degrees in relevant areas. The problem with requiring such extraordinary, but rare credentials is that it raises pertinent and fair questions from the students and would-be students of peace and conflict studies, such as: Where can I garner years of experience as a peace and conflict studies graduate if there are no organisations accepting me at entry level? Do I need to work elsewhere to gather experience before applying for my desired peace job? Is peace and conflict studies worth it at all, considering that entry-level jobs are either rare or non-existent? Etc.
The desire to answer these questions, and many more that bother students of peace and conflict studies is the motivation behind this article which seeks to present a list of 10 organisations that offer entry-level jobs in peace and conflict studies. The list is in no way exhaustive, but it gives potential applicants idea about where to look when they are searching for that entry-level job.
Description: Founded in 1945, and currently made up of 193 member states, the United Nations is arguably the biggest employer of individuals involved in peace, development and conflict resolution work. The UN’s many organs and several specialized agencies mean that there are a plethora of opportunities for entry-level candidates. UN programmes such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) etc. offer entry-level opportunities for graduates of diverse backgrounds, including peace and conflict studies.
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Salary: Depending on the agency and geographical location, entry-level jobs in the United Nations pay $42,462-$67,523 per year.
Description: The Danish Research Council (DRC) implements a broad range of activities relevant to individuals, groups, and communities affected by conflict. The organisation is actively involved in the provision of shelter and non-food items, food security, coordination and operational services, community infrastructure and services, humanitarian mine action, armed violence reduction, water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as education. Many entry-level jobs are available at the DRC with many of them location-specific.
Salary: Entry level job in the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) pay $38,462-$57,523 per year.
Description: The United States Institute for Peace (USIP) is one of the world’s leading nonpartisan and independent conflict management centres. Created by the US Congress, the USIP works to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. Entry level jobs abound at USIP. Often, recent graduates get hired as Programme Assistants, with graduates of peace and conflict studies preferred. Graduates from diverse fields such as international relations, political science, and related fields also find entry-level jobs in the organisation. USIP prides itself as an equal opportunity employer, meaning that it offers equal opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees regardless of race, colour, age, religion, national origin, sex etc.
Salary: Entry level job salary not fixed, but it is typically $37,462-$56,523 per year.
Description: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through the local church and non-church partners to implement its programs, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates.
Salary: Entry level job salaries for the Catholic Relief Services are not fixed, but it is typically $35,462-$46,523 per year.
Description: At the core of the Democracy Reporting International’s (DRI) operations is the conviction that democratic, participatory governance is a human rights that should be upheld by governments that are accountable to their citizens. The organisation seeks to promote institutional democracy globally through a focus on areas such as elections, parliaments, constitutions, democratic standards, etc. The uniqueness of DRIs operation is that it does not function in isolation. DRI works in tandem with domestic actors, the media and relevant international bodies and also cooperate with national organisations where possible.
DRI offers a plethora of opportunities for entry-level candidates and also welcome interns interested in having hands-on experience about the work they carry out.
Salary: Entry level job salaries for the DRI are not stated.
Description: The International Crisis Group (ICG) works independently to not only prevent wars, but also influence policies that ensure a more peaceful world. Recognising the impact poverty and bad governance have on societal peace, the ICG builds support for the good governance and inclusive politics that enable societies to flourish, by engaging directly with a range of conflict actors to share information and encourage nonviolent responses to conflicts. The ICG combines expert field research, analysis, and engagement with policymakers across the globe to effect change in crisis situations.
The ICG provides entry-level and intern opportunities across its many operational fields worldwide.
Salary: Entry level job salaries for ICG range from $32,300-$41,630 yearly.
Description: The mission of the Mercy Corps is to aid global alleviation of suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps believes in the value of human life and that members of the community are collectively responsible to support one another. The organisation also believes in the right of all individuals to meet their basic needs, feel hope for their future and have opportunities to thrive. Mercy Corps believes crisis present opportunities for members of the society to act courageously and offer long-term transformative change.
Mercy Corps offers a lot of entry-level Programme Assistant jobs for graduates of peace studies and other related fields.
Salary: Entry level job salaries for Mercy Corps range from $37,300-$39,630 yearly.
Description: Peace Brigade International (PBI) works in countries where violent conflicts, intimidation, and oppression occurs in communities. The organisation employs on the ground expertise and local knowledge to ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their work, contributing to social justice and peace, in relative safety. The organisation currently works in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nepal.
PBI offers entry-level jobs in their countries of operation.
Salary: Entry level job salaries not stated.
Description: Search for Common Ground is one of the world’s most visible organisation working for the resolution and prevention of conflicts around the world. The organisation recognises that conflict and differences are inevitable, but it believes such conflicts and differences do not need to degenerate into violence. They partner with people around the world to ignite shared solutions to destructive conflicts, by working at all levels of society to build sustainable peace through dialogue, media, and community.
The organisation provides entry-level jobs in all its location of operation. Most entry-level staff work as administrative and finance officers.
Salary: Entry level job salaries for Search for Common Ground range from $30,333 to $41,623
Description: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) conducts independent research into conflict, armament, arms control, and disarmament. The organisation, which is based in Sweden, was founded in 1961. Over the past six decades, it has provided data, analysis, and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. It is one of the world’s most respected think tanks.
SIPRI regularly advertise vacancies for entry-level positions and interns.
Salary: Not stated.
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