How to Offshore-Proof Your Career


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This is part of my senior thesis. The presentation covers an overview of my research:
1. Defining outsourcing, insourcing, and offshoring
2. Recent timeline of offshoring
3. Which careers are most/least vulnerable
4. Ways American workers can compete in a global market

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How to Offshore-Proof Your Career

  1. 1. How a worker bee can“offshore-proof” their career
  2. 2. Topics• Outsourcing, Insourcing, & O!fshoring• Who is a Worker Bee?• Hives in India & China• Recent History of O!fshoring• The Sting of O!fshoring on Wages & Job Creation
  3. 3. Topics• Politics of O!fshoring• Jobs at Government Hives• Job most/least vulnerable• How Americans can avoid layo!f due to o!fshoring• Branding & project plan• Sources
  4. 4. Outsourcing, Insourcing, & O!shoring• Outsourcing: Paying another company to provide services which a company might otherwise have employed its own sta!f to perform. This can be within the same country or outside the country. • Insourcing: The practice of subcontracting (freelance) work to another company that is under the same general ownership. This is within the same country. • O!shoring:  The practice of moving business processes or services to another country, esp. overseas, to reduce costs.
  5. 5. About worker bees• Hardworking worker bees are not to be confused with lazy drones. (16)• Build the comb in which honey is stored and eggs are laid (16)• Collect pollen and nectar (16)• Tend to the queen, the young drones, and the larvae. (16)• When threatened, the workers defend the colony. –Protectionism?• If you just keep your head to the grindstone, you’re a worker bee. Good worker bees can usually be found for 75% less than you cost in Mumbai, Macau, Manila, or Moscow. (7)
  6. 6. Hives in China & India• IT worker in the US averages $70,000 per year, an Indian IT worker averages just $8,000 per year. (10)• India has an abundance of young, English-speaking, college- educated IT workers. (14)• China schools now have English language as required study. (12)• Less stringent environmental, safety and health regulations. (13)• Globalization is transforming people in Asia and elsewhere into consumers of U.S. products. (14)
  7. 7. June 2007 China Trip
  8. 8. June 2007 China Trip
  9. 9. June 2007 China Trip
  10. 10. June 2007 China Trip
  11. 11. June 2007 China Trip
  12. 12. Recent History of O!shoring• 1960s International Monetary Fund (backed by the US) loaned billions to developing countries creating high-quality infrastructure and increasing education and university attendance. (4)• 1990 President George H.W. Bush signed into law the “Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1990ʺ″ which created the new H-1B visa. (4)• 1994 Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. This resulted in U.S. job losses, primarily in manufacturing. (14)• Advent of fiber-optic telecommunication and the deployment of high- bandwidth, global, fiber-optic cables supporting voice and data telecommunications between the US and other countries around the world. (4)
  13. 13. Recent History of O!shoring• 1998 & 1999 Y2K Panic to mitigate year 2000 bugs in computer systems around the world created massive demand for fast and e!ficient computer programming services. (2)• 2000 Information Technology Association of America reported that 346,000 IT positions were created, but not filled. Companies in India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere were poised to capitalize on these early opportunities. (2)• Following the Y2K Panic, it was a simple transition to move from Year 2000 transactions to maintaining applications followed by developing, hosting, etc. (2)
  14. 14. Sting of O!shoring on Job Creation & Wages in US• To many o!fshoring critics, it represents the end of upward mobility for many U.S. workers who saw post-secondary education as the route to a higher standard of living. (13)• Workers who switch industries within manufacturing experience almost no decline in wages. However, when workers relocate to the service sector, they experience a significant wage loss. (1)• Kambourov and Manovskii (2008, 2009) argue that forced occupation- switching may be an important cause of the increase in US wage inequality, as younger workers are missing out on the benefits to occupational tenure enjoyed by workers in previous decades. (1)
  15. 15. Politics of O!shoring • Globalization and O!shoring: “will, on the whole, do more good than bad… if [the US] has a genuine commitment to educate and retrain American workers who lose their jobs.” - Bill Clinton, 1992 presidential debate with George Bush and Ross Perot (10)
  16. 16. Politics of O!shoring• “If the presidential candidates want to be constructive, they will tell voters the hard truth: Well-paying midlevel jobs may have to wait for new industries to be born, and the wait could be a long one. Both Obama and Romney should quit pretending they oppose outsourcing. -The editors at (14)• NY State legislatures promote anti-o!fshoring legislation, although less so than several years ago. (13) • To cut o!f state perks, including financial assistance and tax incentives, for companies that send work o!f-shore or out of state. • None of these state bills actually prohibit o!fshore outsourcing. Rather, they attempt to establish disincentives to the o!fshoring of jobs by U.S. companies.
  17. 17. Jobs for Government Hives• Running behind in the opinion polls, the governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland issued an executive order prohibiting use of public funds for outsourcing in 2010. (8)• The Indian IT sector, which gets 60% of its export revenue from the US, termed the move as discriminatory and said it amounts to a trade barrier. (11)• "We must do everything within our power to prevent outsourcing jobs because it undermines our economic development objectives, slows our recovery and deprives Ohioans and other Americans of employment opportunities. Ohios policy has been--and must continue to be--that public funds should not be spent on services provided o!fshore." -Ted Strickland (8)• “We are concerned with the recent news from US about banning o!fshore outsourcing by Ohio State government departments. Infosys’ initiative in the Public Services sector is focused on creating a domestic Delivery Center in the US hence this should not be a!fected.” -Infosys CEO & Managing Director Kris Gopalakrishnan (11)
  18. 18. What Makes Jobs MostVulnerable to O!shoring• Can it be automated or routinized?• Is it done primarily on the computer or phone?• Can it be done anywhere without the necessity of face-to- face collaboration with co-workers and interaction with customers?• Is it considerably cheaper to produce somewhere else in the world that has a significantly lower cost of living? (15)
  19. 19. What Makes Jobs MostVulnerable to O!shoring• Is the job in the private sector?• Fall into an extreme--either little skill or very highly skilled workers (3)• Not deemed to impact the overall function of the company (3)• Jobs that are sporadic, or can be completed more e!ficiently or cheaply elsewhere. (3)
  20. 20. If-Then-Do• Routine jobs: tasks that can be expressed using procedural or ‘rules-based’ logic. (1)• Codified in a fully specified sequence of logical programming commands (“If-Then-Do” statements) that designate unambiguously what actions the machine will perform and in what sequence at each contingency to achieve the desired result. (1)• Once a persons labor is simple enough to be described on a spec sheet, it matters little whether the contract is filled in India or Indiana; the only relevant issue is cost. (10)
  21. 21. Decision Tree Approach• Consider how much of your job is done by using a decision tree approach: If this happens >> then well do this >> which will result in X = $Y.• This is precisely the kind of logic that can be done by someone at a computer in any location. (7)
  22. 22. Most Vulnerable Jobs List• Computer Programmers: Ability to automate or o!fshore an increasing number of tasks as they become routine and standardized. Level of skill and ingenuity needed to perform these tasks lowers, increasing their susceptibility to o!fshoring. (10)• Software development: Can be broken down into small manageable projects (2). So#tware developers in India no longer have to move to the US because their physical location is unimportant. (2)• Data Entry Keyers, Word Processors and Typists: According to the Institute for International Economics, they have lost over 143,000 jobs from 1999 to 2002 alone, representing 52 percent of the total decline in employment in the so#tware industry during that period. (10)• Accounting: Work is highly repetitive (10)
  23. 23. Most Vulnerable Jobs List• Call centers, Customer Service & Telephone Operators: Work is predictable and well defined and can be turned into a routine. (9)• Desktop Publishing: Particular assignments that have explicit instructions rather than creativity and interpretation of the designer (retouching, clipping paths, working o!f pre-existing templates, etc.) (9)• IT o!-site support: Proximity to the end customer is not important (9)
  24. 24. What Makes Jobs LeastVulnerable to O!shoring• High degree of ambiguity (top management positions)(9)• More conceptual and less logical in nature (6)• Unpredictable (hands on technical troubleshooting) (9)• Understanding of the culture is critical (authoring books, marketing, comedians) (9)• Requires high degree of creativity and innovation (creating new products, technical breakthroughs, writing music) (9)
  25. 25. What Makes Jobs LeastVulnerable to O!shoring• Time is of the essence (fast product development) (9)• Requires a high degree of collaboration (making a movie) (9)• Requires close proximity to the end customer (fire fighting, auto repair, dental work) (9)
  26. 26. Least Vulnerable Jobs List• Financial Managers & Loan Counselors (9)• Training and Development Managers (9)• Training and Development Specialists (9)• Meeting and Convention Planners (9)• Urban and Regional Planners (9)• Mining and Geological Engineers (9)• Health and Safety Engineers (9)
  27. 27. How can Americans AvoidLayo! due to O!shoring• Get out of any highly repetitive jobs that do not require close proximity to the customer.(9)• Seeking out employers that o!fer the most opportunity for employment, since employees with a broader level of responsibilities typically see less o!fshoring activity than those in a large organization with limited duties (9)• Continually improving, advancing, or specializing skills and always learning. Become valuable enough that the company cannot a!ford to contract their labor out to overseas workers (9)
  28. 28. How can Americans AvoidLayo! due to O!shoring• Demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the company, industry, and customers, along with each of their specific needs (10)• Sharpening communication skills and becoming a leader (2)• Market your accomplishments to your management. (9)• Choose a career where the demand will be so high that even tapping into the huge, low cost labor markets of China and India will not fill all the jobs. (9)
  29. 29. Or Seek Opportunity in India• Robert Dunn contacted head hunters in Bangalore -- southern Indias Silicon Valley -- where many information technology and other white-collar jobs have sprouted in recent years. (5)• Goal is to send himself, and as many of the 20 people who work with him, to India to consult on healthcare IT projects. (5)• Their decades-long experience make them perfect candidates to oversee and manage work thats now being awarded to entry-level Indian workers. (5)• "We need overseas people to work in our country. In fashion, health care, biotechnology, there are areas where India needs special knowledge that is available in the U.S. and Europe. The other thing we need are people who can speak di!ferent languages, American English, French, German." -Kris Lakshmikanth, founder and CEO of Head Hunters India (5)
  30. 30. Inspiration for Branding & Project Plan
  31. 31. Branding & Project Plan• Logo, branding, and secure URL• Website• Social Media campaign with Twitter & Facebook• Interview people in various occupations and Career Counselors for personal input• Quizzes • Can my job be o!fshored?• Infographics • Timeline • Job Vulnerability • Politics of O!fshoring • Trade Adjustment Act
  32. 32. Buzz words• buzz: a rumor or report. to be filled with the sound of buzzing or whispering• sting: to cause mental or moral anguish: to be stung with remorse.• pollen: the fertilizing element of $lowering plants• swarm: a body of bees settled together, as in a hive.• colony: a group of the same type of animal or plant living or growing together,  especially in large numbers• hive: a place swarming with busy occupants: a hive of industry.• honeycomb: anything whose appearance suggests such a structure,  especially in containing many small units or holes: The building was a honeycomb of  o!fices and showrooms.
  33. 33. Buzz words• honey: the nectar of $lowers. something sweet, delicious, or delightful: the honey  of $lattery. • wax: used by bees in constructing their honeycomb.• Queen bees: in a favored or preeminent position.• Royal Jelly: a substance secreted by the pharyngeal glands of worker bees and fed to all larvae when  very  young and to larvae destined to become queens throughout their development• Harvest: the result or consequence of any act, process, or event: The journey  yielded a harvest of wonderful memories.
  34. 34. Buzz words• bee keeper: a person who raises honeybees; apiculturist.• honey pot: a pot, as of glass or silver, for storing and serving honey.• nest: a number of birds, insects, animals, etc., inhabiting one such place.• wasp: a person who is snappish or petulant.• drone: a person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer. The male of the honeybee and other bees, stingless and making no honey.• eggs: Put all ones eggs in one basket, to venture all of something that one p ossesses in a single enterprise. Walk on eggs, to walk or act very cautiously.
  35. 35. Buzz words• develop: to cause to grow or expand: to develop ones muscles.• #ight: rapid movement or progress• bumble: to bungle or blunder awkwardly; muddle: He somehow bumbled through two years of college. Bumblebees are social insects• pollination: the transfer of pollen  from the anther to the stigma.• humming: very busy; briskly active: a humming o!fice.• wings: to enable to $ly, move rapidly, etc.In motion; traveling; active:  Scouts are on the wing in search of a new talent.To leave in haste; depart:  Our resolutions to economize swi"tly took wing. Under ones protection, care, or patronage: She took the orphan under her wing.To accomplish or execute  something without su!ficient preparation or experience; improvise: He  had no time to study, so he had to wing it.
  36. 36. Buzz words• nectar: Something very pleasant or welcome: your words are nectar to me. • #ower: develop, $lourish, bloom, blossom, ripen. • bloom: a $lourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.: the bloom of youth; the bloom of Romanticis.• producers: a person who creates economic value, or produces  goods and  services.• adaptations: the ability of a species to survive in a particular ecological  niche, especially because of alterations or behavior brought about through  natural  selection.• caste system: a social structure in which classes are determined by heredity.
  37. 37. Possible Names• Adaptable Bee• Nimble Hive• Savvy Swarm• US Worker bee
  38. 38. Sources1. Ebenstein, Avraham, Ann Harrison, Margaret McMillan, and Shannon Phillips. "Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring on American Workers Using the CurrentPopulation Surveys." National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2009. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.2.Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. Globalization: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2007. Print.3.Fowler, Janet. "Most Popular Outsourced Jobs." Yahoo! Finance., 6 July 2012. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.4.Ed Fullman, Partner, Adam Smith Consulting, Leslie H. "Job Seekers Look to India." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 12 Mar. 2002. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.6.McKee, John M. "Managers: Outsource-Proof Your Job." Career Advice. Pharma Manufacturing, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.7.Nemko, Marty. "Offshore-Proof Your Job." Offshore-Proof Your Job. San Francisco Bay Guardian, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.8.Oak, Richard. "Ohio Bans Use of Public Funds for Offshore Outsourcing." The Economic Populist, 8 Aug. 2010. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.9.Robinson, Michael T. "The Offshoring of Americas Top Jobs." Offshoring of Americas Top Jobs. Inc, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2012.<>.10."The Economics Behind Offshoring." The Economics Behind Offshoring. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.11."Embattled Ohio Governor Bans Outsourcing; India Inc. Cries Foul." The Hindu : News / International. The Hindu, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.12.Global Issues: Selections from CQ Researcher. Washington: CQ, 2007. Print.13."The Offshore Outsourcing of Information Technology Jobs in New York State." New York State Department, Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.14.Editors, The. "Obama-Romney Debate Over Offshoring Is Phony and Harmful." Bloomberg. Bloomberg View, 11 July 2012. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.15."Top 10 Jobs That Will (most Likely and Least Likely) Be Outsourced." Resumebear Online Resume. Resumebear, 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.16.Hadley, Debbie. "Honey Bees - Roles Within the Honey Bee Colony." Insects., n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2012. <>.