Intellectual capital is an investment in the future as knowledge that pays dividends across a wide range of economic activities. Intellectual capital is the knowledge of people within an organization or society and provides those entities with competitive value. Nations and businesses improve their competitive positions by foster knowledge workers that can create value generating products and services on the market.
Intellectual capital is an asset capable of yielding profits, a competitive resource, a process and knowledge, and a level of skill (Vlasenko & Vasylenko, 2015). Intellectual capital is based in those skill sets that have the highest values on the international market and therefore can create the most lucrative products. Companies that have more highly knowledgeable employees are generally more successful that those who don't.
The value is dependent on the competitive position and market segmentation the entity seeks to maintain a presence in. The right skills will either need to be fostered from either training, education, or borrowing. Each choice has a cost both at the individual company level and at the national level. Where and how each nation seeks to invest determines it long-term competitiveness.
Companies can provide better training for those skills that have the most benefit. They do have the ability to put people through rigorous programs specific to their company. As a nation we can choose to fix our student loan and access problems to foster more intellectual capital in specific industries. Of course we may also choose to either outsource or provide visas to highly skilled individuals.
I am an advocate of creating home grown intellectual capital and offering visas and eventual citizenship to those who fill the gaps in our own skill sets. This requires government to be a partner with industry, understand industry, and further international economic development. Preparing America for a higher level of performance rests on our ability to get the right people in the right places.That means encouraging people to learn and train on relevant jobs that expand the economic engines.
Vlasenko, T. & Vasylenko, Y. (2015). Theoretical and methodological aspects of defining the intellectual capital. Problems of Economy, 1.