Graduates at New Mexico University

More jobs for the Navajo Nation

With degree programs and internships, this New Mexico university is preparing Indigenous students for careers

The Diné people of the Navajo Nation are facing a serious challenge. There are few jobs on their tribal lands, where the unemployment rate stands at 15%.footnote1 The vast expanses of the Southwest are a deterrent to working the minimum-wage jobs that are an hour or more away — a losing proposition when the cost of traveling back and forth eats into every paycheck. 

Navajo Technical University is trying to address this conundrum facing the Diné. At its main campus in Crownpoint, New Mexico, and four other campuses in New Mexico and Arizona, the university offers associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees. One recent student, the first to receive a Bachelor of Science in biology from the university, has continued his education at Harvard University. Additionally, Navajo Tech offers 23 career-oriented certificate programs that prepare students for jobs in everything from automotive technology, bookkeeping and culinary arts to construction, law enforcement and healthcare.

The graduation rate from certificate programs is low, however, and often there’s a gap between learning the skills and getting a chance to apply them. Internships can help fill that gap, and a grant from Bank of America supported 200 Navajo students through an internship program that shows them exactly what real-world employers need and expect.

From entrepreneur funding and expanding home ownership to professional skills training and healthcare access, Bank of America continues to partner with innovative leaders to help communities implement solutions to society’s important challenges.


U.S. Census Bureau, “2017-2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates,” 2022.


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