Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Going Back to School | January 27, 2009

A couple weeks ago, I posted about the rise in MBA applications that are occurring all over the country. Schools ranked in the top 50 will continue to see a flood of applications heading into the Spring. However, business schools aren’t the only learning institutions people are flocking back to. CNN has a nice article out this morning about people returning to training programs and employment centers to update their skills for a 21st century global economy. Here’s a quote from a woman who is doing just that:

“I don’t think I could get another job without retraining,” said Virginia Platt. “My job was in manufacturing and there just aren’t any manufacturing positions around.”

Platt has aptly summed up a major problem with the current American economy. We have too many workers who have spent their lives working within a function that no longer exists, manufacturing. The U.S. economy is now approximately 80% service-based and with major job cuts expected to continue through 2009, expect that number to grow.

The problem here is two-fold. First, America needs to figure out a way to revive our manufacturing sector. President Obama has suggested one possible solution to this through a massive public works projects aimed at our infrastructure, schools, and “greening” our economy. Hopefully, the government can jump-start this process and the private sector can follow soon after. However, our ability to accomplish this is hindered by the second problem we face.

America needs a better-educated workforce that is prepared to step into a technologically advanced economy and add value here on our home soil. We’ve been getting our butts handed to us in science and technology education for almost two decades now. If you’re not familiar with the situation, check out Thomas Friedman’s, “The World Is Flat.” America needs to reinvest in science, technology and engineering in order to train the next generation of workers who will be prepared to handle the complexities of a 21st century economy. Only then will be able to compete and innovate with the other major global economies: the European Union, China and Japan.

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1 Comment »

  1. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

    Comment by Stacey Derbinshire — January 27, 2009 @ 5:00 pm


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