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Learn about war and conflict with online courses and programs

War and conflict can have lasting effects on nations and communities. Understanding their natures, causes, and consequences can benefit you as an individual and a professional. Explore historic events and current conflicts with online courses.

What are war and conflict?

War and conflict are common outcomes of disputes between domestic or international groups. They result from a multitude of compounding factors, which may be hidden or overt. Studying their causes, main players, and outcomes can give you the tools to understand current events and contribute toward conflict resolution.

There are many ways in which a war or conflict may be waged. Broadly speaking, these include:

  • Conventional warfare: Ground, naval, aerial, and combined arms operations.

  • Unconventional warfare: Guerrilla warfare, insurgency, and terrorism.

  • Cyber warfare: Hacking, denial of service (DoS) attacks, and cyber espionage.

  • Information warfare: Propaganda, disinformation, and psychological operations (PsyOps).

  • Economic warfare: Sanctions, attacks on financial systems, and resource exploitation.

Exploring war and conflict can at times be distressing and may challenge your understanding of history. However, it can also provide helpful context for modern international relations and foreign policy. Get started learning about war and conflict with courses on edX.

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War and conflict course curriculum

Learning about war and conflict can open up new career opportunities, broaden your historical knowledge, and even help you resolve your own conflicts. If you’re interested in exploring these topics, you can find introductory courses that explain history basics and conflict resolution techniques.

You can further your knowledge by diving deeper into specific historical periods, conflicts, or regions of interest. Courses may discuss the causes, key players, and outcomes of various historic conflicts and analyze how they have shaped societies and international relations. Depending on your goals and interests, you might also take classes that cover military strategy, international law, or human rights. 

Learning about war and conflict can supplement your knowledge of history and diplomacy. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics, as well as a host of other disciplines. A boot camp can provide flexible hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.

Explore jobs that use knowledge of war and conflict

While an understanding of war and conflict on its own is not enough to qualify for a professional role, it can prove useful in a wide variety of industries. Here are a few jobs that can benefit from learning to navigate complicated situations:

  • Conflict-resolution specialist: Mediates and resolves conflicts in various settings, including international, community, workplace, and family disputes.Footnote 1

  • Journalist: Accurately and responsibly covers conflict zones, which requires an understanding of the history, context, and dynamics of conflicts.Footnote 2

  • Historian: Researches and documents past conflicts, contributing to our understanding of the causes and consequences of wars.Footnote 3

  • Intelligence analyst: Gathers and analyzes information related to national security threats, which often involve an understanding of global conflicts and potential risks.Footnote 4

  • Translator: Assists in translating documents, facilitating communication, and supporting international negotiations.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a data analytics boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in history or journalism, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.