It’s No Longer ‘College Or Bust’

Economists warn of a troubling, growing divide between two segments in the U.S.: those who will benefit from and be a part of the emerging global economy, and the many more who will not.

Workers who have the education and training in key technical and interpersonal skills will secure the increasing number of non-routine high- and middle-skill jobs in areas such as health care and personalized medicine; financial management; social media; computer science; robotics; artificial intelligence; wind and solar power; and advanced manufacturing. The greater numbers of those lacking this education and training will lose out, competing for an ever-diminishing number of routine middle- or low-skill jobs, or remaining unemployed.

The impacts of this divide are all around us. A record six million jobs in the U.S. are unfilled due to this growing skills gap. For the first time in history, younger generations, beginning with millennials, are earning less than their parents. In particular, younger males — who complete higher education at lower rates and gravitate toward low-skill industries, such as construction and manufacturing — are faring worse, with higher rates of unemployment and lower earnings than younger women.

Too often, only one solution is seen: more young adults going to college. Parents, teachers and high school guidance counselors direct students to set their sights on a college degree. Policy and higher education leaders repeat the same call. In a recent opinion piece for the Boston Globe, Derek Bok, the former president of Harvard University, urges us as a nation to “raise the percentage of Americans with degrees.”

Click here to read Jacob Murray’s complete article published on the wbur website.

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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