President Obama recently stated that he would like to see “our best and brightest commit themselves to making things” rather than responding to a culture that celebrates “those who can manipulate numbers.” President Obama was then asked, in what ways do you want to foster companies that make things? Here is his response:
One of the goals of my economic policy is to help lay the foundation for durable economic growth, which drives innovation in our businesses and helps nurture the next generation of homegrown scientists, engineers, and innovators.
But as we move forward in this effort, we cannot ignore the fact that our education system is not adequately preparing our workers for a 21st-century economy.
Our businesses cannot compete and win in the global economy without a more effectively trained workforce – especially in areas like math and science.
That is why so many corporate leaders are advocating for more effective investments in education – from early-childhood education to cultivating more homegrown engineering talent. And that is why I have set a goal that will greatly enhance our ability to compete for the jobs of the 21st-century: By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
This is an aggressive goal set out by our President. What are your thoughts? Can America achieve this goal? If we do produce the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, will they be highly-qualified as President Obama mentions, or will it simply be a watering-down of the education system?
Get in on the discussion!
This post is an excerpt from Fortune Magazine – May 4, 2009 issue – How to Get Business Going.