Globalization has had both positive and negative impacts on several issues pertaining to the world. For instance, globalization is the reason behind increased competition in the global market. On the other hand, globalization has significantly affected the cultures of different regions of the world.
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Different courses offered worldwide have also been affected by globalization. One such course is the mechanical engineering course offered at degree and diploma levels. A course in mechanical engineering takes about five to six years of study at the university.
It generally entails the study of the maintenance of mechanical systems as well as their manufacture and design of operation. Just like other engineering courses, it is physics oriented. Mechanical engineers are of great demand especially in regions where industrialization takes place extensively.
However, in regions where there is a high demand for mechanical engineering services yet deficient, outsourcing comes in.
One such region is the United States of America, where outsourced engineering has been extensively carried out in the recent past. This paper will look at the reasons why the United States of America has been outsourcing mechanical engineering services and how this has changed the outlook of the Engineering degrees awarded in the state.
Why Outsourced Engineering is used in the U.S
The term outsourcing refers to the act of letting or contracting services to other business functions or regions. In the recent past, the services of mechanical engineers in the United States of America have been outsourced from nations such as India, Taiwan, and China among others (Brown 1).
The main reason for outsourcing various services is to get access to talent. In this case, the United States of America has resorted to outsourcing mechanical engineering services from other countries that have undergone industrial revolution to have the best engineers worldwide.
For instance, a country like China has been a threat to most countries in the world because of the rate at which it has industrialized.
Most of the electrical and mechanical gadgets that are sold all over the world have been produced in China. At the same time, the Chinese engineers are contracted by other nations to carry out construction of roads, railways, and bridges because of their high expertise in these fields.
In addition to this, research conducted shows that “offshore engineers are bright, highly motivated, and have climbed the skill ladder rapidly” (Brown 1). As such, they produce quality work within a shorter period hence saving much on costs.
Additionally, the offshore engineers have the capability of handling complex projects better than the local engineers can handle. This therefore, gives them an upper hand over the local engineers.
The Unites States of America is no exception, and just like the other nations, it would like to save on the cost of projects that they carry out given the difficult economic times being experienced globally (Dedrick and Kraemer 9).
For instance, the cost of hiring four offshore engineers equates to the cost of hiring one local engineer (Brown 1). Other than saving on the cost of the project, the quality of the project is also enhanced since as it has been mentioned earlier, the offshore engineers are experienced and produce excellent results of work they carry out.
How the Outsourcing has changed the outlook of engineering degrees in the U.S
Despite the fact that outsourcing of engineering services has its benefits as listed above, there are also the disadvantages that arise from the process. First, when a country outsources any service, it makes massive investments in the countries where it outsources the services from, at its expense.
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This means that it develops other nations as its development levels decline (Morgan 12). This has a significant impact on the economic growth and development of the country.
Taking the case of the United States of America, which has been outsourcing engineering services from nations like China and Taiwan; it has in turn lowered its GDP while improving those of China and Taiwan (Vest 6). This can be depicted by the recent rapid growth of China, to the extent of threatening that of the United States of America.
The other significant impact felt because of outsourcing the services of mechanical engineers is the way it has changed the outlook of engineering degrees offered by the universities in the United States of America (Manning et al 42).
By outsourcing mechanical engineering services, the United States of America promotes the talent of other nations instead of its own. As such, this depletes the capacity of mechanical engineering whereby the engineering degrees offered by the American universities are considered of lower quality than those from countries such as China and Taiwan (Wadhwa 1).
This is because of the mere reason that since their state is outsourcing their services from other nations, means that they cannot explicitly carry out these services. Although this might not be the case, outsourcing creates such a picture.
The picture created in turn affects the mechanical engineering degrees offered by the universities in the United States forcing many people including the American citizens to stay away from pursuing those degrees in the United States and opting to go to other countries (Gereffi and Wadhwa 9).
On the other hand, the Chinese universities offering mechanical engineering get very high demand because of the competitive advantage they have gained from their offshored services. This in the end affects the job market of mechanical engineering graduates in the United States since they are assumed to be under qualified.
From the discussion above, it is evident that outsourcing of services is on the rise because of globalization (Engardio and Arndt 1). Globalization has not only brought about increased competition in the global market but also increased the demand of low cost goods and services.
It is because of this that most nations including the United States of America have resorted to ways of saving costs to prevent their GDP from falling. One way of saving costs is by outsourcing services that are provided elsewhere at costs lower than those offered locally are.
Mechanical engineering is one such service, which is commonly outsourced from China, India, and Taiwan (Vest 12). Despite the fact that outsourcing mechanical engineering services saves on costs, it poses a significant threat to the mechanical degrees offered by the universities in the United States of America.
This is because, the universities are pictured to be offering low quality degrees in this course since the country has opted to outsource the same services from other nations, which are deemed to offer better services (Wadhwa 1).
Brown, Alan. “A Shift in Engineering Offshoring.” The Magazine of ASME. 2009. Web.
Dedrick, Jason., and Kraemer, Kenneth. Impacts of Globalization on Engineering Employment in the Personal Computing Industry. Personal Computing Industry Center. 2006. Web.
Engardio, Pete., and Arndt, Michael. “The Future of Outsourcing.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 2011. Web.
Gereffi, Gray., and Wadhwa, Vivek. Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate: Placing the United States on a Level Playing Field with China and India. 2005. Web.
Manning, Stephan et al. “A Dynamic Perspective on Next-Generation Offshoring: The Global Sourcing of Science and Engineering Talent.” Academy of Management Perspectives 22.3 (2008): 35-54. Print.
Morgan, Robert. The Impact of Offshoring on the Engineering Profession. National Academy of Sciences. 2006. Web.
Vest, Charles. The Offshoring of Engineering: Facts, Unknowns, and Potential Implications. 2008. Web.
Wadhwa, Vivek. “About That Engineering Gap.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 2005. Web.