Offshoring, Workforce, Education, and 21st Century Skills

Bangalore, India

Dongguan, China

Articles, Reports, Books, Key Links

[Note: This is an archive page, last update #17: August 22, 2004. I developed this page at a time when few people knew about or understood the extent of offshoring and globalization. There are now many excellent sources for this information. -- Bob, ]

February 4, 2004 -- Dongguan. Have you ever heard of it? It's only a city of 6.5 million people in South China. It's only the home to 15,000 international companies. It's the center of the world furniture industry and one of the great centers for the manufacturing of PC components.

I only heard of Dongguan a month ago, when I started monitoring the offshoring phenomenon. Nothing like a jobless economic recovery to disclose to the world a development that is at least 20 years in the making.

In the past 6 months the world has become increasing aware of the rising role of China and India in the world economy, a phenomenon largely spurred by international companies setting up first manufacturing plants, then call centers, then other business processes (accounting, back office), and finally knowledge work (software engineering, etc.). Offshoring has become a big political issue all over the developed world, from the USA to the UK to the European Union. Its a good thing, in my opinion, that some developing countries (India, China, Brazil) are catching up and providing new opportunities to their citizens.

But offshoring/globalization also means that once again, as in the 80s and the 90s, the advanced countries need to move up the value chain. To keep their economies thriving, they must produce higher value goods and services. Citizens of these countries, and particularly young people, can no longer succeed with just basic skills. Instead they must become knowledge workers with the full array of 21st Century Skills.

I am active in efforts to promote success for young people in the USA and so I am monitoring the "offshoring" issue closely in order to promote policies and practices that will benefit youth here, and in other countries as well. Through this web page I want to share with colleagues the articles, reports, books, and key links that I have come across that best report the "offshoring" phenomenon and its impact on education and training for young people.

Articles (Note: Many newspapers require you to register to see the article. Registration is normally free)

Articles on economics and productivity


The Future of Bay Area Jobs: The Impact of Offshoring and Key Trends, A.T. Kearney, July, 2004

Extended Mass Layoffs Associated With Domestic and Overseas Relocations, First Quarter 2004, Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 10, 2004

What to Move Offshore? Selecting IT Activities for Offshore Locations, A.T. Kearney, April 2004

Making Offshore Decisions. A.T. Kearney’s 2004 Offshore Location Attractiveness Index, A.T. Kearney, April 2004


Offshore Outsourcing in an Increasingly Competitive and Rapidly Changing World: A High-Tech Perspective, American Electronic Association, March 24, 2004

Global Offshoring, Report submitted by the Trades Union Congress (UK) to the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), March 8, 2004

The New Exports: Office Jobs [pdf], by M. Leanne Lachman, an analysis published jointly by the Urban Land Institute and the Columbia Business School's Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate.

Globalization of IT Services and White Collar Jobs: The Next Wave of Productivity Growth [pdf], by Catherine L. Mann, Institute for International Economics, December 2003

The New Wave of Outsourcing (PDF), by Ashok Deo Bardhan and Cynthia A. Kroll, Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2003.

"A new report suggests that both multinational companies and developing economies could find enormous benefits through foreign direct investment. But global expansion has its pitfalls as well as its opportunities, and CEOs as well as policy leaders need to understand them both."

3.3 Million US Services Jobs To Go Offshore, Forrester Research TechStrategy Brief (for purchase only), November 2002, by John C. McCarthy with Amy Dash, Heather Liddell, Christine Ferrusi Ross, Bruce D. Temkin. See Research Highlights.
This is the much quoted report from Forrester Research. Over the next 15 years, 3.3 million US services industry jobs and $136 billion in wages will move offshore to countries like India, Russia, China, and the Philippines. The IT industry will lead the initial overseas exodus.

Choose to Compete: How Innovation, Investment and Productivity Can Grow U.S. Jobs and Ensure American Competitiveness in the 21st Century (PDF). (January 7, 2004)
"Chief executives from the nation`s leading high technology companies today called on policymakers to partner with them to establish new policy priorities that will increase U.S. growth and competitiveness, ensure our nation’s continued technology leadership and help create new American jobs. Faced with growing competitive challenges and the need for decisive action to ensure U.S. economic security, the members of the Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) today offered preliminary recommendations to policymakers in Washington to strengthen all sectors of the U.S. economy. “As the U.S. encounters new global realities policy makers face a choice: we can compete in the international arena or we can retreat,” said Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel Corporation and chairman of CSPP. “America can only grow jobs and improve its competitiveness by choosing to compete globally, and that will require renewed focus on innovation, education and investment.”", from the full Press Release issued by the CSSP.

Prepare Students to Succeed in the 21st Century (June, 2003)
Read the recent report from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills on Learning for the 21st Century (PDF) that articulates a collective vision for learning in the 21st century and learn how you can create a framework for action with our accompanying MILE Guide (PDF) (Milestones for Improving Learning and Education) and NEW Mile Guide Online Assessment.


Fortune Favors the Bold, by Lester Thurow, 2004 (Harper Collins).
Review from Amazon.Com: "With Fortune Favors the Bold: What We Must Do to Build a New and Lasting Global Prosperity, Lester Thurow follows on his bestsellers The Zero-Sum Society and The Future of Capitalism by addressing the path to globalization. Thurow--a Professor of Management and Economics at MIT's Sloan School--draws uncompromising conclusions: only a bold embrace of globalization will bring prosperity, and nations that fail to engage in global economics will fall behind the world's dominant powers." See video lecture on Fortune Favors the Bold at MIT World.


Globalization and a High-Tech Economy, by Ashok Deo Bardhan, Dwight M. Jaffee, Cynthia Anne Kroll, Kluwer Academic Publishers; (December 2003). See press release on "Haas School trio explores globalization, high tech", February 11, 2004.


Key Links

Gone with the World

YaleGlobal Online

Outsourcing Knowledge Center, Computerworld Magazine.

McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a unique alliance of education, business and government leaders working to fully address the education needs and challenges of work and life in the 21st century.

Intel in China

Chengdu, China. Chengdu, in Sichuan Province (Western China), is the site of a major new Intel plant and significant offshoring activity.

Bangalore IT. Official website of the Department of IT and Biotechnology, Government of Karnataka.

Outsourcing and India page at Rediff.Com (India) links to major stories about BPO (business process outsourcing) and IT outsourcing from the UK and the USA.

IBM Employee and Investor issues Summary Highlights. This web site, which provides information to IBM employees and retirees on pension issues, provides much information on the "Offshoring" issue.

IT Worker News is published by TechsUnite, "a project of the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, in collaboration with key site partners, supporters and stakeholders." This site, while oriented towards organizing IT workers in the States, does a good job of posting news from around the world about offshoring and globalization.

Andrew Bibby Web Site. This British writer has written extensively (articles and reports) about offshoring, outsourcing, telework, and the changing Global economy.