Sociology, Department of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts Major: Sociology Under the Supervision of Professor Helen A. Moore Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2010 Copyright 2010 Alian S. Kasabian


In a highly competitive labor force, human capital is a marketable resource. However, the human capital model fails to explain the substantial number of adults pursuing education after they enter the workforce. Not only are increasing numbers of adult students pursuing credentials in the form of degrees and certificates, they pursue other types of education as well. Using the 2005 National Household Education Survey on adult education, I predict participation patterns in workers over the age of 25 using queuing and intersectionality theories to explain gender, race and age variations. For adults pursuing education, employer support demonstrates racial/ethnic differences across employees. Latino employees receive less support for education after controlling for human capital and queuing effects. Overall, employees with more education credentials benefit most from employer support.

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