Brain Drain Essay
One of the major concerns of today's companies is the shortage of labor, especially in management. The baby boomers are nearing retirement age in the United States and the birth rate is dropping. These circumstances, coupled with the booming economy are the main causes of the labor shortage. There is a high demand for labor but the once seemingly bottomless pool of employees and managers that companies drew from has started to dry up. What are the factors that contributed to the problem and how are today's corporations going to handle this problem?
The type of labor needed in today's society has been undergoing a constant change. There is an increase in demand for workers but there is a much greater demand for educated white-collar workers, especially management material. Projections state that the growth in managerial positions will increase 20% by the year 2010 yet the population aged 35-50 will decrease nearly 10%. What these figures say is the already diminishing supply of executives is going to dwindle even more over the next 10 years. There is a shortage of blue-collar workers now and there will also be an even greater shortage of them in the future. In order for employers to find people who are willing to perform unskilled, repetitive jobs they are going to have to be willing to raise the level of compensation offered to employees. If McDonalds needs someone to flip hamburgers they better be prepared to pay double to triple minimum wage. There are a wide variety of employment opportunities and today's workforce can afford to be selective when choosing a job. The demand for employees is high while the supply is low.
The figures on the change in average population ages and growth in industrialized nations is beginning to make the corporate world stand up and take notice. If the trends continue as they have been for the past thirty years, the shortage of labor is going to continually get worse with each year that passes. The predictions from the United States Census Bureau state that between 1990 and 2000 the increase of the American population over 60 will be 10.5% but in 2010 to 2020, the increase will be 32.5%. The change in the 60 plus population in the United States is projected to nearly triple in thirty years. Compare these figures to the increase in under sixty-year-old population. From 1990 to 2000, the increase in under sixty year olds will be 6.5% and it is projected to drop to 2.8% by 2010. If you look at the changes in the workplace you will see that the average age of an employee is steadily rising as the average age of retirement continues to drop. The projected increase in 55-64 year olds in the workforce from 1996 to 2006 is a staggering 54%. The projected change in the 25-34 year old bracket is -8.8%. These trends are not only true in the United States. Japan is also going to be coping with similar problems. Today the people over age 65 compose 16% of Japan's population, but by...
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According to a UN definition, the flight of talent that is required for a country’s development to another country is called brain drain. We have been experiencing this problem ever since we won out freedom. It was with great effort and high hopes that we set up our institutes of higher education. It is unfortunate that thousands of our doctors and engineers are leaving the country every year. More recently, the malady has affected the field of oil exploration, nuclear energy and agriculture also. A poor and developing country like India cannot afford this big brain drain.
A very high proportion of the migrating engineers is of those trained in the five Indian Institutes of Technology. Apparently, nearly 35 per cent of the engineering graduates from the IITs go abroad as soon as they get their degrees. The percentage is even higher in the key areas such as computer science, physics, aeronautics and operational research.
The main reason for this brain drain is that our man power planning has not kept pace with employment opportunities. We have a large pool of scientific and technical manpower that is waiting for respectable assignments. Several thousand engineering graduates are waiting for employment. Some feel that they are under-employed, so they migrate to countries wherever they find better opportunities. It is also the grievance of some of them that they do not have adequate facilities and a congenial environment for work or research in this country. In fact, the situation is no different in many other countries too. They are the victims of academic colonialism which is an aspect of today’s neo-colonialism.
The government has every reason to feel concerned about this problem because the number of scientific and technical personnel leaving India has increased in recent years. Measures taken to persuade our scientific and technical man power to return have not yielded results. The fact is that even now it is difficult to find suitable jobs for those who would like to return. Whenever some of them return and are given higher placements in an organisation on account of their qualifications and experience, the locals in the organization resent it and make the working environment for them uncongenial and hostile. They also complain or lack of job satisfaction due to the near absence of innovative research. We do hear of the government toying with the ideas of science cities, pool scientists and technological parks to attract talent, but a lot of all this remains on paper or in files only.
Indian workers, scientists, doctors and engineers have already made their mark in several countries. In America alone, more than 25 per cent of the doctors, engineers and technical personnel are from India. Big part of the economy of this richest country in the world depends upon those who have migrated to this country from India only. Indians working in fields, factories, hospitals and commercial units are known for their sense of duty and dedication. They form the back bone of the whole economic system in that country.
The human resources department of the government has laid stress on the evolution of suitable mechanism to bring back and woo talent from other countries. It has proposed that lecture assignments, consultancy in industry and assistance in setting up of pilot projects in India should be considered. The administrative procedures should be made more flexible. The areas of bio-technology, micro-electronics etc. offer significant potential for our technical personnel.
In fact what we require is a proper planning of our requirements. Students should pursue only those fields that are called for. They should not run after highly specialized courses which have no relevance in the country’s economic development. An awareness should be brought amongst those intending to go abroad that it is their moral duty and sacred obligation towards their country to serve their motherland first and foremost.
The government must think in terms of instituting a compulsory national service for a limited period of time for those science, engineering and medicine graduates who are desirous of going abroad.
The basic facilities congenial for research and education should be provided in the institutions so that our technical graduates do not feel ill-at-ease in their own set-up. Let every graduate realize that he has a duty towards the country that educated him and that his leaving the country in a lurch is nothing short of a treacherous betrayal.
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