Study: No U.S. engineering gap

December 20, 2005

At least one study is refuting reports that China and India graduate more than eight times the number of engineers than does the United States.

National Academies of Science says China adds 600,000 new engineers a year; the United States only 70,000. India, with 350,000 new engineers annually, is also outpacing the United States, the study suggests.

But those assessments depend on how one defines "engineers," the Christian Science Monitor reported. Some studies only include those with at least four years of college training, while some also include two-year graduates of technical schools and others, as in China, even count auto mechanics.

"A comparison of like-to-like data suggests that the U.S. produces a highly significant number of engineers, computer scientists and information technology specialists, and remains competitive in global markets," a recent Duke University study concluded.

"Business groups have been very smart about trying to change the subject from outsourcing and off-shoring to the supposed shortfall in U.S. engineers," Ron Hira, of the Rochester Institute of Technology told the Monitor. "There's really no serious shortage of engineers in this country."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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