A career as a diplomat can be an exciting and fulfilling career path for those who want to impact foreign affairs through their work. As a diplomat, you will work as a representative for your host country. Additionally, you will serve as a professional negotiator to maintain a positive relationship between your country and other countries around the world. You will be at the forefront of a variety of issues such as trade, security and human rights.


Generally, a diplomat is a government official who represents their country’s interests and promotes its policies in international relations. They can work in places such as embassies or consulates. You might enjoy this career path if you are interested in foreign policy, and learning about new cultures. However, you must know the steps to take in pursuing this career.


In this piece, I will walk you through the steps to take to pursue a career as a diplomat.


How to Become a Diplomat

  1. Complete your Secondary Education

    You need to start laying the right foundation from your secondary education if you wish to pursue a career as a diplomat. Therefore, you need to have good grades in your high school results. You should have a strong foundation in subjects such as history, economics, and geography. Additionally, you should start developing your skills in public speaking, writing and communication.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    The first step to pursuing a career as a diplomat is to build a strong academic foundation with a bachelor’s degree. You can apply to an accredited university and study to obtain a degree in international relations. Additionally, you can also obtain a degree in political science, economics, business, history or law. These disciplines will give you a good foundation to start a career as a diplomat.

  3. Gain Practical Experience

    You can gain relevant experiences through internships. You can apply for internship opportunities that can enable you to conduct fieldwork in your career pursuit. Furthermore, you will be able to obtain hands-on experience and learn practical skills directly from professional historians.

  4. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    You can advance your career by pursuing a master’s degree. This can help you get a deeper grasp of the area of specialisation you wish to concentrate on as well as a more comprehensive understanding of this field. Additionally, you can gain new perspectives and insights into the subject matter you are learning.

  5. Obtain Certifications

    A certification will enhance your credentials as well as demonstrate your expertise in this field. Additionally, it will give you an added advantage over other diplomats.

  6. Join a Professional Association

    You can join a national and international association for diplomats. These associations will build you up professionally and add to your credibility. Additionally, it will give access to more growth opportunities and career opportunities.



Types of Diplomats

  1. Consular Officer

    This is a diplomat who represents their country in a foreign city. They carry out responsibilities such as promoting trade and commerce and issuing visas and other travel documents. Additionally, they also guide their citizens who are travelling or living in a foreign city.

  2. International Organizational Diplomats

    These diplomats work with international organisations such as The World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

  3. Economic Diplomats

    These diplomats are experts in resolving challenges such as trade, commercial diplomacy, economics and the environment. Additionally, they work with the government and international economic organisations to promote their country’s economic interests abroad.

  4. Foreign Service Officers

    These professionals often work in places such as embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions around the world. These officers work under the supervision of an ambassador who gives them directions.

  5. Political Diplomats

    They give updates on political events to ambassadors. Additionally, they engage in diplomatic negotiations, attend international conferences and meetings, and work to influence foreign policy decisions.

  6. Ambassadors

    An ambassador is the highest-ranking diplomat’s role. They represent their country in a foreign nation. They carry out responsibilities such as maintaining and strengthening political, economic, and cultural relations between two countries.

  7. Cultural Diplomats

    Cultural diplomats are diplomats who promote their country’s culture abroad. Additionally, they organize cultural events, exhibitions, and performances, and work to build cultural exchanges between their country and the host country.


Universities in Africa to Study International Relations

  1. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  3. American University in Cairo, Egypt
  4. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  5. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  6. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  7. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  8. North-West University, South Africa
  9. Cairo University, Egypt
  10. Rhodes University, South Africa
  11. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  12. University of Ghana, Ghana
  13. Alexandria University, Egypt
  14. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  15. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  16. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  17. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  18. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  19. University of Botswana, Botswana
  20. Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  21. Mansoura University, Egypt
  22. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  23. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  24. Zagazig University, Egypt
  25. Mohammed V University, Morocco
  26. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  27. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  28. University of Malawi, Malawi
  29. Covenant University, Nigeria
  30. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  31. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  32. Suez Canal University, Egypt
  33. Manouba University, Tunisia
  34. Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  35. Minia University, Egypt
  36. University of Zambia, Zambia
  37. Kenyatta University, Kenya
  38. Moi University, Kenya
  39. Jimma University, Ethiopia
  40. University for Development Studies, Ghana


In Conclusion, this career path is a crucial one that needs you to develop the needed skills. You need to build skills such as communication, relationship building, adaptability and have a good knowledge of current events. Additionally, you need to have the right knowledge and gain relevant experience before you can become a professional in this field. Therefore, you need to make sure that you gain these skills and knowledge and ensure that this career is suitable for you before you embark on this career pursuit.


Good luck!

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