As I first began reading The World is Flat, I could relate outsourcing to many experiences I have had, such as telemarketing callers and anytime problems with the TV or computer would arise. I tend to get very frustrated when I call Dell for computer help and I can barely understand the person on the other end of the phone who's trying to fix the problem. However, in my frustration I have never thought of outsourcing as "flattening" our world until now.
Then I started thinking about the students that I have in class, my brother in college and my husband who works in business. Will high school and college students be able to find careers in the future for a descent salary? Will education change enough so these kids have the opportunity to have a good career? Could my husband's job be outsourced someday? It is a scary thought...one that has just entered my mind after reading this book.
Last week I happened to catch a few minutes of Oprah when she was discussing the crisis in the education system. Several high school students were asked to name the first five American presidents. I do not remember how many countries where represented, but I do remember seeing a girl from China listing all five right away and some American students answering Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt as our first president! To me, this was just a small reminder of how much education needs to change. In Chapter 6: The Untouchables, Freedman states to his daughters "Girls, finish you homework - people in China and India are starving for your jobs." I feel that today's students need to realize how competative their career choice may be in the near future. I agree with Freedman that professionals now need to very specialized, and be able to adapt to various skills, knowledge and experiences.
Reading The World is Flat has been very eye-opening for me. I used to view outsourcing as only being in very large companies, mostly dealing with electronic customer service...things that do not relate directly to my life. However, now I see outsourcing as hitting very close to home when I think about my students and younger brother in college. With that I wonder, what will the future hold? The scary part to that question is the fact that the "future" is not very far away.