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Outsourcing ? Resilient Ece Curriculum

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1138.1 - 12.1138.6



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Paper Authors

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Ismail Jouny Lafayette College

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Ismail Jouny Electrical and Computer Engineering Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Abstract This paper addresses the issue of outsourcing of electrical and computer engineering needs, and its impact on the future of ECE engineering education in the United States. The paper highlights areas of ECE that has seen significant outsourcing activities and future trends in outsourcing of ECE expertise. The intent is to offer suggestions on how to revise the ECE curriculum to; 1) help future graduating ECE engineers work in a global environment, and 2) strengthen areas of ECE that are not likely to be outsourced, and to minimize focus of areas of the ECE discipline that are most likely to be outsourced. These recommendations will in no way weaken the fundamental requirement for understanding basic ECE principles, but are merely an attempt to structure the ECE curriculum to be more resilient to outsourcing, so that ECE graduates in the United States have expertise that are not easily outsourced and can compete in a global environment. Research of what’s being currently outsourced clearly identifies the need for US engineering curricular innovation to produce ECE graduates that can work in an environment that may rely on outsourcing a portion of its operations, and also make the knowledge base of these graduates stronger in areas that are not likely to be outsourced, or perhaps should not be outsourced for security reasons or for physical and logistical constraints.


This paper focuses on changing the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum in response to outsourcing. The assumption is that outsourcing of certain ECE functions will continue in the short term and may perhaps strengthen to include more design related ECE projects [10]. Outsourcing of several technical responsibilities to the Far East is not only an accepted practice in many high tech industries but is seen in some cases as the only way for a company to stay competitive and profitable. There are many proponents of outsourcing that argue that by delegating some jobs overseas, a company can focus on strengthening its fundamental elements that have an impact on quality, sustainability, and marketing. In fact, many companies are interested in hiring technical staff that can function on outsourced projects with teams from around the globe with distinctive cultural differences. Furthermore, many business schools are teaching about outsourcing models that are efficient, profitable, and successful. So, the challenge is to prepare engineers to work in an environment that involves outsourced projects but yet maintain an individuality that has long been distinctive of the US educated engineer. The paper shows that the ECE engineer of the future must do both, function in a global network of teams, and distinguish himself/herself with unique abilities and skills that are resilient to outsourcing and are desirable on a long-term basis. It is no secret that the ECE profession has suffered severely due to outsourcing which had a significant impact on

Jouny, I. (2007, June), Outsourcing ? Resilient Ece Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1512

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