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Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Current Trends Present New Career Opportunities in the Private Sector

As the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, graduates of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) are finding increasing opportunities in the private sector.

“While we’ve seen a shift in the types of government jobs people are working in, overall, that has declined, and the private sector has risen,” says Kent Calder, interim vice dean for education and academic affairs. “Privatization, the relative vitality of the private sector, and the rise of consulting have had an impact.”

In comparison to 2020 graduates, the Johns Hopkins SAIS graduating class of 2021 experienced an increase in private-sector employment from 44 percent to 51 percent, and a slight decrease in hiring at multilateral institutions, from 9 percent to 5 percent of the graduating class.

Still, there continues to be strong interest in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a significant number of students entering the US government through the Presidential Management Fellowship program (Johns Hopkins SAIS is consistently ranked in the top three schools for this program), as well as strong recruiting within global nonprofits and the intelligence and defense communities.

“We’ve seen a shift in the government jobs people are working in. Privatization, the relative vitality of the private sector, and the rise of consulting have had an impact.” –Kent Calder, Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

The US State and Defense Departments, along with US intelligence agencies, were the top public-sector employers for the class of 2021. Deloitte and McKinsey were the top private-sector employers, and the National Democratic Institute and World Resources Institute were the top nonprofit employers. Top multilateral organization employers were the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“Within the private sector, we are seeing an increase in hiring in consulting, and in the energy and tech industries,” Calder says. “In both the private and public sectors, we are seeing more students seeking opportunities in anti-illicit finance and anti-money laundering, including due diligence research industry areas.”

The school sees strong interest in the following industry areas and among notable employers:

The school’s new Master of Arts in International Relations curriculum “allows more flexibility for students to design their experience and select more electives,” Calder says. The emphasis on integrative learning includes experiential learning through internships, practicum opportunities, case competitions, and study trips.

To help students develop their professional network and position them for career success, Johns Hopkins SAIS facilitates mentorship opportunities and hosts industry days, career treks, industry-specific workshops, and career-education programming.

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