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Thursday, September 2, 2021

What Can I Do with a Master's in Conflict Resolution?

Written by Kroc School

what can I do with a masters degree in conflict resolution-min

Are you a person who has a passion for directing conflict in constructive ways to achieve positive outcomes? If so, you may be wondering how the Master of Science in Conflict Management and Resolution, the MS-CMR — one of our most in-demand master's programs — fits into your career plan.

It's designed to help you become an effective changemaker, a person who…

  • Has the knowledge, experience, and confidence to manage conflict no matter where it appears
  • Who can resolve conflict between most any groups
  • Who can find the positive outcomes that are hidden within every conflict scenario, and who can bring collaboration and peace to the parties involved

But, it can be challenging to bring lasting change, whether they take place in a work setting or are deeply ingrained in cultural, societal, religious, environmental, or political beliefs. Vested interests often use their influence to prevent change, and that’s just the nature of human behavior.

Whether your personal issue is one of improving infant mortality statistics, resolving a political issue, improving diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, promoting gender equity — or any of thousands of matters that hold people back from enjoying their lives — changemakers need more than their deep desire to improve people’s lives.

That's where the Kroc School's MS-CMR comes into play, and it’s designed both for recent grads seeking a master’s degree as well as mid-career professionals looking to advance and take on new responsibilities. Let’s explore a few career paths for each.

Want to learn more about the field of conflict management and resolution?  Including what it is, who should study it, and potential career opportunities?  Download our guide to get these questions (and more) answered:How Peace and  Conflict Studies Make You a Top-Tier Job Candidate.

Careers in Conflict Resolution for Those Seeking a Master's Degree

Earning a degree in conflict management and resolution affords the graduate a broad range of jobs in business, political science, sociology, psychology, criminal justice, healthcare, and others. The following conflict resolution jobs each illustrate a different aspect of working in the field.

Conflict Mediator

These professionals bring the conflict parties together, helping them to jointly analyze and solve their conflicts. Mediators work with individuals, groups, or organizations and can provide support in solving a particular dispute or equipping them with tools necessary for addressing ongoing conflicts as they arise. Conflict mediators, such as those who work for the National Conflict Resolution Center, make an average of $63,930 per year.

Restorative Practitioner

Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by violent behavior through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to meet and agree upon a restoration plan. Restorative justice professionals focus on trauma healing, conflict mediation, facilitating restorative justice dialogues, and much more. Salaries for these positions can vary greatly. For example, a restorative justice coordinator working at a school makes, on average, $41,844, while a mid-career practitioner makes more.

UN Civil Service Officer

According to the UN, “Civil affairs officers are a key civilian component that helps facilitate interactions between peacekeeping missions, partners and local communities to prevent conflict. Civil affairs work depends on a mission’s mandate and the evolving situation on the ground. Three constant key activities that civil affairs officers undertake are engaging local stakeholders, participating in local conflict management, and supporting the extension of state authority. In 2020, 565 Civil Affairs officers in eight UN Field Missions played a key role in early warning and situational awareness of conflict dynamics on the ground.”1 The salary range for a mid-career field service officer is $44K - $68K before additional compensation based on the position post. Entry-level professionals earn between $21K-$54K and senior-level professionals earn between $56K-$90K.

Careers in Conflict Resolution for Mid-Career Professionals

After having found a position that satisfies and fulfills one’s career objectives, returning to school for a master's degree enhances one’s career advancement opportunities. The MS-CMR is one of those rare degrees that complements a broad range of positions in a for-profit business environment, a non-profit, a healthcare institution, an NGO, and many others. Following are just a few of the career opportunities in peace and conflict studies.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager

The diversity, equity, and inclusion manager takes responsibility for creating and implementing plans to promote diversity within their given organization. The average annual salary for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Managers in the United States is $92,491.

Customer Success Manager

These professionals, and many others in the field of business, work with clients, internal teams and business partners to reduce friction and to ensure an enjoyable customer experience both pre- and post-sale. Customer success managers can be tasked with identifying and eliminating process inefficiencies, building and strengthening relationships between individuals and teams, addressing client concerns, and helping to achieve business goals. The average annual salary for customer success managers is $64,682.

Policy Advocate

Policy Advocates can work in various settings including government, nonprofit organizations, large for-profit organizations, and more. These professionals engage in a wide variety of activities with the ultimate goal of influencing public policy for the benefit of society, especially for vulnerable or marginalized populations. Policy advocates research, collaborate, educate and lobby to raise awareness and garner support for important causes. Mediation, negotiation, and consensus-building are all essential parts of a policy advocate’s work. The average annual salary for policy advocates is $53,634.

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists take responsibility for recruiting, screening, interviewing, placing workers, and employee training and counseling. They may also handle tasks related to employee relations, compensation, and benefits.

The primary objective of human resource professionals is to ensure a smooth working relationship between managers and employees and to help resolve conflict or friction when it arises in the workplace. Individuals who work in the HR field encounter a wide range of issues that require advanced skills in conflict management and resolution, such as settling employee disputes, facilitating trust-building between teams, and implementing fair-work policies. The average salary range for a human resources specialist is between $50,990 and $65,509, while those who advance to Human Resources Manager enjoy a median income of $121,220.

How Will the MS-CMR Degree Help You Enter the Field?

The interdisciplinary Master of Science in Conflict Management and Resolution draws in working professionals from around the globe. Students learn the skills necessary to expertly navigate intra-societal conflicts at the individual, workplace, community, national, and international levels.

The MS-CMR is a 30-unit advanced degree program that can be completed in 15 months (full-time) or nine months (accelerated). Flexible, part-time options are also available. Students learn multiple approaches to effectively manage and resolve conflict, graduating with a readiness to transform conflict into positive change through conflict analysis, intervention design, negotiation, mediation, and facilitation and dialogue.

The curriculum emphasizes experiential learning with a focus on employing tools and practicing techniques through simulations based on real-world conflicts within classes. The MS in Conflict Management and Resolution program can be completed anytime within six consecutive years.

Next Steps

You may want to study the curriculum to learn how this degree will give you the tools you need to become a professional changemaker.

For more in-depth information, be sure to download the ebook titled How Peace and Conflict Studies Make You a Top-Tier Job Candidate: Exploring the  Field of Conflict Management and Resolution.  There you’ll find further discussions highlighting careers in business, criminal law, law enforcement, international relations, and a host of others.

Kroc School

About the Author

Kroc School

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies' mission is to equip and empower innovative changemakers to shape more peaceful and just societies.

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