What Is The Field Of Human Rights? With 5 Jobs Without a Degree

Starting A Career In Human Rights: Interview with Vicki Prais

How to prepare for a career in human rights

There are a variety of opportunities available for those looking to jump start their career in human rights without having a college degree. Here are some excellent ways to accelerate your human rights career.

1. Volunteer and intern

Working as a volunteer or as an intern for a human rights organization or for any other organization that involves itself in public policy, legal matters, or humanitarian aid that might pertain to human rights is an excellent start to improving your chances of being hired in the field. This can be on a local charitable level or for an international aid group. Internships are often unpaid, but give you valuable work experience that will make your application more enticing to potential employers. These positions commonly require you to be pursuing a degree, however there are internship opportunities available to those not in college.

2. Self-study

Self-study of aspects of contemporary human rights policy will also give you a necessary knowledge base for understanding why the field is so important and how it operates. If you are unable to or do not want to pursue a degree, there a variety of online and published resources available to you. A local library can be helpful in finding recently published material on the subject of human rights and books about the history of human rights violations and their solutions.

Human rights violations are rare in the United State. It can be very helpful to study the histories, languages and political climates of countries and regions where human rights violations have historically occurred and where they might still be happening. This can prepare you for career opportunities that require travel and field work, which are common within the humanitarian aid and security sectors of human rights. If you are looking to work in the campaigning and fundraising sectors of human rights, you might want to personally raise funds with branding and social media outreach to make a name for yourself.

What is the field of human rights?

Human rights encompass a broad set of principles that are held to be the standard for human interaction and behavior. These rights are generally protected by both international and local law codes. However, in some cases and in some localities or nations, these rights are not protected and are sometimes outright disregarded. Human rights violations are monitored and intervention is performed by not only individual nations, but by international treaties and organizations like the United Nations. These human rights violations involve acts like child slavery, human trafficking, discrimination and killing based on race and religion, among many others.

The professional field of human rights involves those working in careers to oversee, prevent, codify and intervene against possible human rights violations. These careers include national and international legal professionals, charitable organization workers, security professionals, public policy analysts and many others. Many of these careers are highly technical due to the wide-reaching scope and importance of human rights protection. Therefore, the highest levels of this field often require masters degrees and a variety of certifications. However, there are some careers in this field that do not require a college degree and are more widely accessible.

5 careers in human rights without a degree

Here are five career opportunities in the field of human rights that do not require a college degree. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below.

Primary duties: An operations associate acts as an aid to larger teams of individuals. Their main functions are to generate performance reports, perform basic administrative and clerical duties, test internal operation systems and software and to maintain workplace best practices. This is an entry level career in the human rights field. This type of position generally involves working as an administrative aid for organizations that perform fundraising and send teams into the field. An operations associate assists what are called internal clients, who are other employees of the company.

Primary duties: Union representatives work for unions to serve the interest of their members and to grow their membership. This involves developing campaigns and strategies to inform non-members of the benefits of union membership. Union representatives also work with union members to organize against workplace issues including management of strikes, negotiations with employers and education on workplace rights and public policy. This job within the field of human rights can prepare you for further career opportunities by giving you experience working with economic human rights issues like wage theft and discrimination.

Primary duties: Development and outreach assistants work for fundraising organizations by working in donor relations, event management, marketing and office administration. These professionals work to grow the number of donors for an organization, track donations and seek out repeat donations. They are also responsible for the advertising of and development of fundraising events. In their administrative capacity, they are responsible for standard office management work and technical operations like database management and communications.

Primary duties: An administrative assistant ensures that their office operates efficiently. They are responsible for incoming and outgoing communications including emails and phone calls. They also perform a variety of filing, typing and clerical duties. Administrative assistants can also be tasked with office scheduling such as the planning of meeting times and locations. These individuals are vital to effective workplace operations, which extends to offices in the human rights field.

Primary duties: Liaison assistants work within the human rights field as information gatherers. They interface with the public to discover various aspects of their culture and life. This includes discovering local political and security structures, health and safety needs and other concerns and conditions among the populace. These are vital workers in the human rights field as they develop the basis for ongoing policy and intervention measures by interacting with average individuals rather than governing bodies.


What jobs can you do with human rights?

A degree in Human Rights provides knowledge and skills relevant to a wide variety of jobs across the career spectrum,
  • including: …
  • Advocacy: Domestic and International Advocacy, Humanitarian Services, Development (Economic, …
  • Administration, Education, Volunteer Coordination, Grant Writing, Fundraising/Development, Research.

Is it hard to get a job in human rights?

Human rights work can be highly rewarding – but it can also be extremely demanding, and an extremely challenging and competitive field to enter.

What major do you need to work in human rights?

Degrees in political science, international development, economics, international relations, and other similar fields are preferred. Skills in both qualitative and quantitative research are necessary for these jobs, including being able to use statistical software and analyze data.

What jobs pay the most but don’t require a degree?

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:
  • Patrol Officer.
  • Executive Assistant.
  • Sales Representative.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Electrician.
  • Plumber.
  • Wind Turbine Technician.

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