June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1011.1 - 10.1011.5
Preparing Engineers for an Outsourced World—Strategies for Change
Dr. Charles Pezeshki School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-2920 firstname.lastname@example.org
Global outsourcing has the potential to become the primary challenge facing young engineers entering the job market today. As more jobs are shipped to subcontractors offshore, there will be a continued hollowing-out of intellectual property in the U.S., with the brunt of that loss being borne demographically by new graduates.
In this paper, industrial perspectives are presented that give different views on the current issue of global outsourcing. Curricular strategies for adapting engineering programs of study are discussed. A new emphasis on computer skills fluency, as well as enhanced development of knowledge of social, entrepreneurial and political skills will be needed if contemporary engineering graduates are to be viable for emergent jobs in the global workplace.
Since last year, when the author wrote about business process outsourcing, the phenomenon of moving engineering jobs overseas has continued apace. According to 1 in July 2003 alone, 25,000 to 30,000 new outsourcing jobs were announced by U.S. companies in the Indian press. Meanwhile, there were 2087 mass layoff actions carried out by U.S. employers resulting in the loss of over 226,435 jobs. Impacts have increased to the point where major professional societies, such as the IEEE2 and ASME3 have become concerned regarding relative job security, and these concerns have reverberated in the government sector all the way to the halls of the U.S. Congress2.
And while wage differentials between firms in the United States and other lower-cost competitors have driven outsourcing, this is not the only reason that jobs have moved overseas. There is a talented pool of intellectual capital in emerging economies such as India and China, and a large body of residual talent left over from Cold War military economies in the old Eastern bloc states, notably Russia. Add to this the notion of expanding markets for products, coupled with complex trade agreements enabling increased market share in companies willing to locate new development efforts overseas, Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 2005 Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2005 American Society for Engineering Education
Pezeshki, C. (2005, June), Preparing Engineers For An Outsourced World—Strategies For Change Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15516
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