Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate

12 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007

See all articles by Vivek Wadhwa

Vivek Wadhwa

Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization, Pratt School of Engineering; Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

G. Gereffi

Duke University - Department of Sociology - Director, Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness

Date Written: December 12, 2005

Abstract

The effect of the dynamics of engineering outsourcing on the global economy is a discussion of keen interest in both business and public circles. Varying, inconsistent reporting of problematic, engineering graduation data has been used to fuel fears that America is losing its technolical edge. Typical articles have stated that in 2004 the United States graduated roughly 70,000 undergraduate engineers, while China graduated 600,000 and India 350,000. Our study has determined that these are inappropriate comparisons. These massive numbers of Indian and Chinese engineering graduates include not only four-year degrees, but also three-year training programs and diploma holders. These numbers have been compared against the annual production of accredited four-year engineering degrees in the United States. In addition to the lack of nuanced analysis around the type of graduates (transactional or dynamic) and quality of degrees being awarded, these articles also tend not to ground the numbers in the larger demographics of each country. A comparison of like-to-like data suggests that the U.S. produces a highly significant number of engineers, computer scientists and information technology specialists, and remains competitive in global markets.

Keywords: Engineering, Outsourcing, China, India

Suggested Citation

Wadhwa, Vivek and Gereffi, Gary, Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate (December 12, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015831 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1015831

Vivek Wadhwa (Contact Author)

Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization, Pratt School of Engineering ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance ( email )

Crown Quadrangle 559 Nathan Ab
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Gary Gereffi

Duke University - Department of Sociology - Director, Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness ( email )

Box 90088
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
919-660-5880 (Phone)
919-684-2855 (Fax)

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