I read today that more companies are beginning to add research and development activity in their outsourcing strategies. According to an article in the New York Times, “The first jobs to be moved abroad are typically simple assembly tasks, followed by manufacturing, and later, skilled work like computer programming. At the end of this progression is the work done by scientists and engineers in research and development laboratories,” writes Times reporter Steve Lohr.
“A new study that will be presented today to the National Academies, the nation’s leading advisory groups on science and technology, suggests that more and more research work at corporations will be sent to fast-growing economies with strong education systems, like China and India.”
According to the study, it’s not low wages, or tax policy that is driving this crucial economic activity to other parts of the globe. Instead, “multinational corporations are global shoppers of talent.” If ever there was a call for national education investment, this would be it. Alarming.