Getting the Numbers Right: International Engineering Education in the United States, China, and India

Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 13-25, 2008

13 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2008 Last revised: 5 Jun 2008

G. Gereffi

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

Vivek Wadhwa

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

Ben A. Rissing

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

Ryan Ong

Duke University - Department of Sociology

Abstract

This article challenges the commonly cited statistics for engineering graduates in the United States, China, and India. Our research shows that the gap between the number of engineers and related technology specialists produced in the United States versus those in India and China is smaller than previously reported, and the United States remains a leading source of high-quality global engineering talent. Furthermore, engineering graduates in China and India face the prospect of substantial unemployment, despite high corporate demand for their services; this raises questions about the quality of recent graduates. The United States, however, also confronts problems in its continued ability to attract and retain top engineering talent from abroad because of visa uncertainties and growing economic opportunities in their countries of origin. We argue that the key issue in engineering education should be the quality of graduates, not just the quantity, since quality factors have the biggest impact on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Keywords: dynamic and transactional engineers, engineering education, offshoring

Suggested Citation

Gereffi, G. and Wadhwa, Vivek and Rissing, Ben A. and Ong, Ryan, Getting the Numbers Right: International Engineering Education in the United States, China, and India. Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 13-25, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1081923

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)

Vivek Wadhwa

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

Ben A. Rissing (Contact Author)

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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