Negotiation and conflict management plays a crucial role in understanding and improving the complex relationships between individuals, communities, businesses, and countries. Because nearly every workplace involves interpersonal interactions, professionals skilled in managing and resolving disputes can work in most industries. Whether you are interested in pursuing a negotiation and conflict management master’s degree online or on-campus, this degree provides access to an exciting range of career options.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2014 and 2024 the number of jobs in this field will increase by 9%, which is higher than the national average. More employers are looking for conflict management professionals to teach their communities how to manage conflict in order to save money and boost workplace happiness and productivity. There are also a variety of job opportunities available in international relations and foreign policy for conflict management professionals.
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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program?
Online master’s in negotiation and conflict management programs teach individuals to develop solutions to disagreements between individuals and groups with different points of view and objectives. Most programs feature coursework in both practical and theoretical methods and emphasize skills in effective communication, cultural awareness and understanding, interpersonal skills, counseling, and conflict resolution. Additionally, most programs require students to complete a capstone thesis project and fieldwork to apply their learned skills in a professional environment.
- Understanding Conflict and Cooperation This course prepares students to succeed in more advanced classes and introduces learners to the major schools of thought that contribute to conflict management in the areas of psychology, law, business, political science, and social work.
- Introduction to Mediation This class provides students with a strong foundation in both traditional methods of third party intervention and contemporary approaches to conflict resolution.
- Fundamentals of Organizational Ombuds Practice Ombuds work on behalf of the public to investigate and address issues of maladministration and rights violations. This class prepares students for work by introducing them to the theories and practical methods of conflict resolution systems.
- Intrapersonal Dynamics and Conflict This course focuses on varying personalities, temperaments, motivations, learning styles, and communication styles to strengthen interactions between individuals and communities. This class often includes self-assessment exercises and emphasizes a better understanding of the self.
Concentrations for Online Negotiation & Conflict Management Master’s Degrees
Because the field of negotiation and conflict management is so varied, many master’s programs allow students to choose a specialized concentration to support their chosen career path. Below is a list of common specializations for both on-campus and online master’s in negotiation and conflict management.
- Business Administration: Many programs offer either dual degrees in business administration and conflict management or a concentration in business administration. Students who choose to specialize in this area are prepared to work in business and human resources management, consulting, and public policy.
- Healthcare: Specializing in healthcare prepares students to work in hospitals, governmental agencies, and other health-related settings. Many nurses, administrators, and other health professionals choose this concentration to advance their careers.
- Public Relations: This concentration prepares students for work that utilizes the principles of persuasion, traditional and digital media content creation, communication plans, critical thinking, writing, and public relations campaigns.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Graduates
Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Careers
Students who earn a negotiation and conflict management master’s degree online have a great deal of career freedom and flexibility; individuals can apply their degree to almost any field. Conflict management professionals often work as mediators, conciliators, diplomats, ombudsman, psychologists, and administrators in government, healthcare, higher education, business, and law settings. Many individuals with this degree also work in the fields of restorative justice and international peace studies. Ideally, individuals who enter this field are strong communicators and critical thinkers who can respond to stressful situations in a calm manner.
Mediators help to facilitate conversations and resolve conflicts between parties outside of the court system. Mediators do not usually make decisions for these parties. Instead, they guide the opposing sides to a mutually-acceptable settlement. While a bachelor’s degree is sometimes sufficient to find work in this field, many employers require a master’s degree.
Projected Growth Rate 9%
These professionals often work as policy analysts and diplomats, researching, analyzing, and carrying out foreign policy. These careers often focus on international research and intercultural diplomacy.
Projected Growth Rate -2%
Human Resources Manager
HR managers plan, organize, and direct the daily operations of an organization’s administration. Job duties include interviewing and hiring staff, managing conflicts between individuals, and serving as an intermediary between employees and management. Many positions in this field require a master’s degree.
Projected Growth Rate 9%
Lawyers represent individuals, organizations, and other groups and help them navigate conflicts and legal issues within and outside of the court system. In addition to their juris doctor degrees, lawyers may find it useful to have a separate master’s degree in a conflict resolution-related field.
Projected Growth Rate 6%
Negotiation and Conflict Management Licensure and Certification
While there is no standard licensure for most careers in negotiation and conflict management, there are several professional organizations that can help add to your professional qualifications. The International Mediation Institute, for example, offers certification programs for mediators, mediation advocates, and advisors. Other organizations, such as the American Arbitration Association, help members develop professionally through networking events, conferences, and training sessions. Below are two types of professional development that negotiation and conflict management professionals may be interested in pursuing.
- Mediator Certification: Offered through the International Mediation Institute, which develops professional standards for mediators around the world, this certification helps individuals find professional opportunities and be accepted to participate in court panels and other dispute resolution groups.
- Harvard Negotiation Institute: Part of Harvard University, this institute is a world-renowned organization in the field of negotiation and conflict management. While these courses do not always lead to licensure or certification, they provide government officials, lawyers, executives, and professionals from other industries with the opportunity to further their negotiation skills and advance their careers.
Job Placement for Graduates of Negotiation and Conflict Management Programs
In most fields, holding a master’s degree allows you to access higher salaries and pursue advanced positions. Professional psychologists, lawyers, administrators, managers, and educators often earn a master’s in negotiation and conflict management in order to specialize their skillsets and become more marketable. According to the BLS, individuals who earn master’s degrees in fields related to negotiation and conflict management, such as business and social services, enjoy significant increases in their salaries. Counselors and social workers with master’s degrees earn 25-35% more than those with only bachelor’s degrees, while office administrators and managers with master’s degrees earn 27% more than their peers with only bachelor’s degrees.
Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Salary
Many factors, including your employer, location, and specialization, affect your earning potential as a graduate with a master’s degree in negotiation and conflict management. Your experience in the field also affects your salary. Below, you can find more information about median salaries for common careers related to negotiation and conflict management. Data for entry-level, mid-career, and late-career positions are shown.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Human Resources Manager||$106,910||$56,223||$65,323||$72,068|
Do I Need to Take the GRE to Enroll in an Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program?
Many schools require prospective students to submit satisfactory Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores in order to be admitted into a program. The GRE tests students in the areas of verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. The exam includes multiple choice sections and two written essays. While the recommended study time for this exam depends on your learning and test preparation styles, most test experts suggest one to three months of preparation for the GRE.
In addition to the GRE, some schools accept LSAT (Law School Admissions Test), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores. Alternatively, some programs do not require applicants to submit any exam scores; instead, admission is granted based on the strength of a student’s letters of recommendation, work samples, statements of purpose, and other standard application materials.
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Degrees
Attending an accredited school is very important; many employers and universities do not accept degrees or credits from unaccredited institutions. The accreditation process is performed by verified external agencies and ensures that a school meets certain national or regional standards, enabling it to provide a quality education to its students.
The two types of accreditation are regional and national. Regional accreditation is more widely accepted and authoritative, and most schools are regionally accredited through one the nation’s six regional agencies. Nationally-accredited schools are often for-profit institutions and have less rigorous admissions requirements. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s list of accredited schools or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s directory of recognized organizations.
When researching online colleges, it is best to look for regionally-accredited institutions. Additionally, while many areas of study have specific accrediting agencies, there are no current accrediting bodies for programs in negotiation and conflict management.
Financing Your Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program
It is important to realize that there are many financial resources, including grants, scholarships, loans, and fellowships, available to both undergraduate and graduate students. These sources can help make an online master’s in negotiation and conflict management more affordable. In order to gain a better understanding of the financial aid available to you, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. There are several scholarships available for students in the fields of peace and conflict studies, including negotiation and conflict management. In particular, there are many financial aid opportunities for students engaged in international conflict resolution and peace work. It is also prudent to check for financial aid opportunities offered by your specific school and program.
Scholarships for Online Negotiation & Conflict Management Master’s Degrees
Negotiation & Conflict Scholarships
Rotary Peace Fellowships Covers full tuition costs
Scholarship Deadline: May 31
Eligibility Requirements: Students should be proficient in English, demonstrate strong leadership and academic skills, and have work and educational experiences related to their field.
Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship $500
Scholarship Deadline: May 31
Eligibility Requirements: The scholarship is open to women who are enrolled in an accredited undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral program. Applicants must possess an interest in business, entrepreneurship, or a related field and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: Women of any age must be pursuing a business or business-related field. Applications are submitted through an individual’s local Zonta club.
Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Up to $20,000
Scholarship Deadline: November 17
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be citizens of a country other than the U.S., fluent in English, and submit proposals for projects and research focused on establishing conflict resolution systems.