Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 41–51 | Cite as

Outsourcing STEM Jobs: What STEM Educators Should Know

  • Ron HiraEmail author


Outsourcing is a business strategy to cut costs by relocating jobs from high-cost countries, like the USA, to low-cost ones, like India. The practice involves moving the jobs and transferring knowledge, technologies, and capabilities. Outsourcing has been growing in scale and scope in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations, and it has implications for the current and future demand of STEM workers. Some jobs will be rendered obsolete as they migrate to low-cost locations, while others, which are complementary to outsourcing, will see demand increases. The paper reviews the theories about which jobs will be vulnerable to outsourcing and the empirical data. It describes the political and policy discussion about STEM outsourcing and how it has been coupled with the STEM workforce shortage debate. Lastly, it explores the implications for STEM educators, workers, and students. Many STEM jobs have already been outsourced and many more are vulnerable. STEM educators, workers, and students can take practical steps to adapt to outsourcing. STEM educators can modify curricula towards skill and knowledge areas less vulnerable to outsourcing and provide tools to students to become better stewards of their own careers. Workers can better steer their careers by closely tracking outsourcing trends.


Outsourcing STEM International trade Globalization Research and development 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Howard UniversityLaurelUSA

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