Where the Engineers Are

Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2007

12 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007  

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

Ben A. Rissing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Behavioral Policy Science (BPS)

Ryan Ong

Duke University - Department of Sociology

Abstract

Although there is widespread concern in the United States about the growing technological capacity of India and China, the nation actually has little reliable information about the future engineering workforce in these countries. U.S. political leaders prescribe remedies such as increasing U.S. engineering graduation rates to match the self-proclaimed rates of emerging competitors. Many leaders attribute the increasing momentum in outsourcing by U.S. companies to shortages of skilled workers and to weaknesses in the nation's education systems, without fully understanding why companies outsource. Many people within and beyond government also do not seem to look ahead and realize that what could be outsourced next is research and design, and the United States stands to lose its ability to "invent" the next big technologies.

At the Pratt School of Engineering of Duke University, we have been studying the impact of globalization on the engineering profession. Among our efforts, we have sought to assess the comparative engineering education of the United States and its major new competitors, India and China; identify the sources of current U.S. global advantages; explore the factors driving the U.S. trend towards outsourcing; and learn what the United States can do to keep its economic edge. We believe that the data we have obtained, through not exhaustive represent the best information available and can help U.S. policymakers, business leaders, and educators chart future actions.

Keywords: Engineering, Graduation, India, China, United States

Suggested Citation

Wadhwa, Vivek and Gereffi, G. and Rissing, Ben A. and Ong, Ryan, Where the Engineers Are. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015843

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)

Ben A. Rissing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Behavioral Policy Science (BPS) ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Ryan Ong

Duke University - Department of Sociology ( email )

United States

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