Employment in a Globalized World (response)

Assignment 8

I don't feel that the field of computing is in any real danger of losing its status as a viable field of study. I personally feel that computer science is growing past it's ability to be contained within a single field. I expect that portions of the field will begin to break away into their own disciplines as they establish more of an independent identity. The start of this can be seen in the tendency to have the "computer engineering" area split off into it's own department with the electrical engineering department in many schools. It is for reasons such as this that blanket statements about computer science as a whole lose much of their meaning. Statements and predictions are only valid for subsets of computer science in my opinion. For the outsourcing aspect, I expect that certain areas will be more affected than others. It's not unexpected for hardware and component design to be outsourced or created entirely in other countries. Other areas have varying levels of this type of activity, with areas having a high culture dependency being affected less. I.e. interface design having a stronger cultural bias.

I'm not entirely convinced that outsourcing will continue to increase. It feels as if we are in a transitional period, and an equilibrium will soon be reached as it is determined which tasks are better outsourced and which are best served by being retained in the same country as the target market. I suspect that as a country who is the recipient of outsourced jobs becomes a more powerful economy in their own right, the disparity between the two countries that provides much of the benefit of the arrangement will gradually disappear. As the overall economic health of a country improves, the services that were once provided cheaply to more well established countries will gradually be turned towards the country itself as demand increases.

I feel that rather than pass laws or change policies in a protectionist philosophy, that increased focus on public education in science and technology is the best course of action. A natural progression should be from a center of production to a center of innovation. An administration that has policies hostile to science while attempting a protectionist business philosophy is in my opinion a serious misalignment of priorities.

I don't feel that at the university level changes need to be made to "fix" this issue. I believe that it is too early to tell what the final outcome will be for these sorts of issues. At a higher level, I personally feel that the public understanding of science is woefully inadequate and that as a public responsibility scientific literacy and critical thinking are two areas that the government should focus on, rather than concentrating on the immediate business issue of outsourcing.