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The Conflicts Of Education And Opportunity In Nevada


Brittany Bronson
Aaron Mayes

UNLV adjunct English professor Brittany Bronson covers the touchy topics of education and opportunity in Nevada

You and your friends sit down at a fancy Strip restaurant or at a bar in a casino, and the server turns out to be your professor.

It could be awkward. It could even be embarrassing.

But, it also lead Brittany Bronson, an adjunct English instructor at UNLV, to question our attitudes toward different types of jobs.

And more recently she’s tackled other subjects in her op-ed columns in the New York Times.

She essentially said that once you graduate from UNLV, you better leave town if you want to find a job.

For some, those are fighting words.

Bronson told KNPR's State of Nevada that she believes her students will continue to be underemployed if they stay in Nevada. 

"From my experience, so far that is a reality for a lot of Nevada students," Bronson said. "The majority of jobs that going to be available are going to be wage jobs."

She advises people to go the area where the jobs they want are located.

However, Bronson said she is re-thinking why those jobs would be considered a lesser type of work. She is the server and professor mentioned in the above scenario. 

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Now, as she uses a cocktail waitress job to pay the bills, she is also thinking about why she doesn't mention to family and friends that she was working in the service industry.

"That is kind of what that essay was about: challenging the default setting in me to assume that this type of work is less valuable or it means that I haven't succeeded as much as others," Bronson said.

She said a lot of colleagues at her night job are working service jobs and have degrees from UNLV.

Bronson believes that the narrative of college being the way to a great job is not adding up with many people's reality.

"The reality is as more and more students get college degrees and less and less jobs requiring a college degree are available the supply and the demand are not going to meet up," she said. 

(Editor's Note: This story originally aired June 2015)


Brittany Bronson, adjunct English instructor at UNLV and New York Times op-ed columnist

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