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Showing posts with label McKinsey engineers Clint Eastwood Tom Peters Jacoline Loewen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McKinsey engineers Clint Eastwood Tom Peters Jacoline Loewen. Show all posts

January 6, 2009

Has Manufacturing and Engineering Lost Value?

Tom Peters posted an inspiring post on the value of the well-engineered hammer. He could not resist buying the one in this photograph. Reading Tom's comment section, I noted that a person called "ZED" wrote that that being a scientist or engineer has lost its value in North America.

I agreed and noted that "my two teenagers (who are heading towards engineering) tell me that the general comment by his peers are that those are Asian jobs and are being offshored to Asia. One of my teens is the only one in advanced math who is not Asian, but he tells me it's because of parenting. The hammer reminded me of Clint Eastwood's new movie, Gran Torino, where Clint's character teaches a second generation immigrant the American value of getting out the hammer and fixing up your home, your neighbour's home and getting a job. Just as Tom Peters discusses, it all comes back to that hammer. It's not fancy but it's work - decent hard work. It also makes me wonder when I read Daniel Pink who tells people that the engineers at his university were not loving their school work. Pink says to do what you love and if it's not making you happy all the time, don't do it. I really question that. Seems self indulgent."
Posted by Jacoline Loewen at January 5, 2009 9:54 AM

Tom Peters (my hero) responded:
I don't want to get in the middle of this, but beware apples and oranges. The Chinese are turning out engineers by the bushel. Or are they? A McKinsey Institute study last year claimed that some-many-most Chinese graduate engineers would not be accepted for engineering jobs in the U.S., EU, Japan, Korea, etc. At this point at least, many of the so-called engineering grads are holding what we might call a technician's certificate. Part of this is attributed to state control of curricula. Again, not my area of expertise.
Apples and oranges II.
Swedes, I just read, are horrified at the recent precipitous drop in math-science test scores. Most of it may come from a rapidly increasing immigrant population not as well prepared for school as the natives. For a long time, probably today, much of the U.S. SAT gap could be explained by the fact that everybody of age in the U.S. is encouraged to take the test--it's restricted to the educational elite in many countries.
Posted by tom peters at January 5, 2009 12:39 PM