New year, same college graduate skills gap

As we ring in 2018, college seniors around the U.S. are returning to school, focusing more on the frantic job search than on their last semester of classes. Sadly, however, many will find themselves underprepared when they graduate.

Even though the overall U.S. job market is growing at a fair pace, we still see persistent trends of millennials struggling to find a job after college; living with their parents far more and for far longer; and generally being more risk-averse than previous generations. Two disconcerting statisticsdubbed by A.T. Kearney the “millennial double whammy” — steadily increasing student loan debt and stagnant wage growth — paint the concerning picture of the present state of the macroeconomic impact of higher education.

The dual burdens of loan debt and low wage growth do not affect everyone in a uniform fashion. Other factor being equal, the average undergraduate degree does not vary greatly in cost because of the concentration chosen: A degree in math is not disproportionately more expensive than a degree in art history. So although the debt levels are fairly degree-neutral, the same cannot be said of the problem of stagnant wage growth.

Because of market dislocations of supply and demand in highly technical sectors, wage growth and total real wages are markedly higher in jobs that require advanced technical and analytical skills, such as in the roles of business systems analyst, research scientist, software engineer, and network engineer.

Click here to read Krista Tuomi and Paul Jeffries article published on The Hill 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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