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Comment: Re:Offshoring created an apprenticeship gap (Score 1) 154

"Apprenticeship gap" is the term I was looking for in my other post, good one. I've worked on a couple of already-published articles about offshoring and engineering and I'll use your term for Part 3. If you have any recommendations for insightful resources on the subject I'd appreciate it.

Comment: EEs in Industrial Plant Design (Score 2) 154

People in the plant design business have been suffering from offshoring and increasingly-automated data-centric design software.

Expensive, sophisticated, software run over the internet by people earning 1/10 to 1/3 "western" hourly rates means that as older, more experienced workers retire, they are not replaced (or at least not on a 1:1 basis).

Most of the problems with offshoring are miscommunication, time zones and cultural.

Tasks that were formerly performed by younger people entering the field are now done by the software (eg., cable routing, single-line diagrams). Offshoring and automation are great for cost reduction but this does not bode well for people looking to enter the discipline.

Comment: Re:seems about the same (Score 1) 320

How about more futzing around with more powerful models and statistics software as well as skills erosion? In my field of engineering much of it is push-button automated now - I can see where that could lead to a degradation of basic skills over time and a temptation to generate more and not necessarily better work.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.