Globalization is sort of a catch-all term dealing with things such as free trade, free trade agreements, outsourcing, and off-shoring of workers. In reality, globalization is an “is”. Meaning that it is all around us and it is happening and will continue to happen. As we often hear: the world is shrinking. Largely due to a down economy, this thing called globalization is perceived negatively by many in the American workforce.
An important aspect in determining whether this negative connotation remains perception or the reality for any nation comes down to this: how the next generation of workers is prepared for the realities. Tomorrow’s workforce will be competing internationally for their piece of the American dream. That was the clear message from Oracle Co-President Mark Hurd featured in the Salt Lake Tribune addressing a gathering of Utah based technology companies last week in Salt Lake City. Mr. Hurd was filling in for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison who canceled due to illness.
Mr. Hurd spoke to the gathering in a question and answer format with the focus on what Utah should do to remain at the forefront of emerging technology and industries. Mr. Hurd pointed out that corporate motivation for locating major operations always centered on where the best workforce talent is located. To that end, he stressed that universities graduate engineers who are ready to compete with well-trained and hungry graduates from China and India in particular.
“The view that Students in the United States are so far and away better than students in China and India is a fallacy.” Mr. Hurd told the gathering.
Mr. Hurd also said that a government that was supportive of Oracle’s business would also be a determining factor in locating businesses. It was clear from Mr. Hurd’s perspective that globalization is something that can be a springboard for great fortunes for businesses and workers if they commit themselves to competing and preparation. It also seems that the increasing sophistication and digital capability of emerging nations means, a country like the United States must avoid the temptation to stop competing. Avoiding globalization is very likely not a realistic option to achieve future prosperity.