Nevada may be best known for its casinos and desert valleys, but its higher education system is another important factor of the state’s economy. Nevada’s public system of higher education is comprised of two universities, one state college, one research institute, and four community colleges. There are also dozens of private, community, and technical colleges that offer campus-based and online degrees in Nevada. The governing agency in charge of managing all of the state-supported schools is the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). The system’s board of regents are responsible for setting policies and approving budgets that impact the state’s public higher education system. The Nevada System of Higher Education also has several higher education initiatives in place for the coming years. In addition to improving the quality and efficiency of Nevada’s higher education system, the agency also hopes to improve access to higher education and increase college completion rates through its “Don’t Wait — Graduate!” campaign that encourages and helps nontraditional students return to college and complete their degrees. Many of the NSHE colleges and universities cater to returning students and other adult learners who need flexible and cheap online degrees.
Most of Nevada’s public colleges and universities offer some form of distance education courses or online degree programs to students living in and outside of the state. The College of Southern Nevada’s online campus offers a wide range of degrees and certificates that can be earned either completely online or through a hybrid format. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is another leader among brick-and-mortar universities offering online degrees. UNLV Online has students in all 50 states and in 62 countries worldwide. The University of Nevada, Reno also provides numerous online and independent learning options for students living near and far. Many of the big, national online schools also have a strong presence in Nevada. DeVry University, University of Phoenix, and ITT Technical Institute all have campuses throughout the state.
It may be that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but it is also true that what happens in Vegas is only a small part of what happens in Nevada. In 2020, the biggest industries in Nevada are expected to be service-providing; leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; professional and business services; and goods production. The fastest-growing occupations include education administrators, at 2.4%; agents and business managers of entertainers; natural sciences managers; industrial production managers; and business and financial operations specialists. Gaming and lodging managers, who work in the industry for which Nevada is most famous, can expect an average growth of .9% between now and 2020.
The more than 40 public and private colleges, universities, and technical schools that serve Nevada’s students and professionals offer online programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels in a variety of fields. To join the state’s famous gaming and hospitality industry, students can earn degrees in casino management or hotel and restaurant management. To join its most popular industries, students can study engineering technology, engineering management, education, public health, nutrition, or supply chain management. Degrees in entertainment management, marketing, engineering, finance, and information technology should also suit students and professionals to success in Nevada’s current and future economy.