Last May, Russell Carr crammed his possessions into his 4Runner and drove 30 hours to North Dakota, seeking a new start. The strapping 22-year-old had just earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Nevada, in his hometown, Reno, but the local firm he'd been courting offered a starting wage of only $17 per hour. "They gave me a speech about the economy being difficult. I felt undervalued." Carr wanted to stay, but jobs were scarce. He began working nights on a road crew, collecting heavy concrete samples under halogen lamps at the outskirts of town for later lab testing. On a whim, he submitted an application for a master's through University of North Dakota's geological engineering program. Assistant UND professor Lance Yarbrough called him back. "He told me about all the opportunities," says Carr, the new high-paying jobs on the oil-soaked prairie. In a few weeks,
Oil boom spurs a rush on extractive education programs
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