United States technology professionals face a daunting global challenge. Are you prepared to succeed in this changing workplace?
Recent statistics carry many implications for current and future American engineers and technology professionals. Consider these direct quotations:
"Nine of 10 automotive manufacturers and suppliers plan to move at least part of their non-manufacturing operations offshore, according to a new survey by A.T. Kearney. The main drivers are fierce competition in domestic and foreign markets, continued cost reduction pressures and an industry wide strategy on the part of automakers to demand their suppliers be nearby in foreign locations." (Michigan CrainTech, 9/03)
"By some estimates by financial consulting firms, 10 percent of jobs at U.S. information technology vendors will move offshore by the end of this year. Throughout all U.S. companies, Forrester Research predicts the loss of about 3.3 million jobs by 2015." (Washington Post, 1/8/04)
CNN.com presented the following in July, 2003:
"Many U.S. corporate executives say they simply can't afford to overlook foreign computer workers -- especially in India, which produces roughly 350,000 college engineering graduates annually.
- Tech giants like Boeing, Oracle, Dell, Motorola and Intel have opened software development centers in India, Russia and China.
Insurance giant AIG is moving some back-office functions to the Philippines, according to Forrester.
Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley is building a facility in a Bombay suburb that will employ 1,600 people in jobs like back-end operations and research, according to the Economic Times of India.
Intel employs 400 full-time Russian software research engineers and nearly 200 others in marketing and sales, wireless Internet access and modem projects."
CNN's conclusion: "The genius of American enterprise is its leaders' knack for envisioning the next big thing -- and workers' ability to redefine job roles and retrain. Americans pioneering developments in nanotechnology and biotech will have far more job security than simple programmers."
What does this mean? It means there will be fewer U.S. jobs for those with what is becoming common engineering and programming skills. However, those engineers who are able to manage entire processes, interact with global teammates, and be effective internationally will have ever increasing opportunities. Engineers who can create innovation in new technologies with international opportunities and partners will become those most sought after.