Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Contrary to what you might have read, the U.S still annually produces more engineers per capita than either India or China:
After an exhaustive study, researchers at Duke University also pummeled the numbers. In a December 2005 analysis, "Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate," they reported that the United States annually produces 137,437 engineers with at least a bachelor's degree while India produces 112,000 and China 351,537. That's more U.S. degrees per million residents than in either other nation.
Now consider this statistic from Business Week.
Currently, 451,000 Mexican students are enrolled in full-time undergraduate [engineering] programs, vs. just over 370,000 in the U.S.
The U.S. enrollment number is a little under thrice the U.S. number from the Duke study, which makes sense if most undergrad engineering students enroll in an engineering program at the beginning of sophomore year. This consistency check inclines me to believe the Mexican number is also accurate. Interpreting these numbers is dangerous without making a qualitative comparison of these countries' schools' engineering programs, so I won't draw any policy conclusions. My point is that the empirical world is much more interesting than the caricatured world.

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