August 27, 2006
The effect of engineering outsourcing on the global economy is a discussion of keen interest in business, policy and academic circles. In the fall 2005 and spring 2006 a team of Master of Engineering Management students, led by Ben Rissing under the direction of MEM Executive in Residence, Vivek Wadhwa, and Sociology Professor Gary Gereffi, challenged the faulty statistics that have been used to compare undergraduate engineering graduation rates in the United States, India, and China. Like-to-like data suggest that the United States produces a very substantial number of four-year engineers, computer scientists and information technology specialists, and remains a competitive source of global engineering and technology labor. The key issue in engineering education should be the quality and types of engineers produced in each country, since these factors have the biggest impact on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat: Updated and Expanded references the Duke MEM outsourcing study within the context of the current engineering outsourcing debate. Over the past year research produced by the MEM outsourcing team has been cited by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, US News and World Report, USA Today, ABC News, The Washington Post, Science Magazine, AP and a variety of other domestic and international publications. Stay tuned for the next phase of the study reporting corporate perspectives on the outsourcing debate!