Mark Hodges, chief executive of outsourcing advisory firm Equaterra, has a sobering declaration:
"You're complacent if you think your job is safe from competition. If you're worried about that you shouldn't live in a capitalist society."
Many white-collar jobs have shifted outside the U.S. in the past several years, prompting fears that a broad swath of professional jobs can be outsourced to lower-cost countries. But that is not the case. There are plenty of high-paying professions whose employment numbers are expected to grow sharply over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That's not to say that outsourcing will slow. IBM and EMC, to name just two, plan to add jobs in India and elsewhere. The pressure to cut costs, coupled with the increase in quality and a skilled labor pool outside the U.S. will drive the trend. Services companies like Accenture, which has a large presence in India, will benefit by helping U.S. companies set up shop there. Similarly, Hewlett-Packard is stepping up its efforts to help customers outsource its business processes in India, Spain, Singapore and China.
There are many jobs that, for obvious reasons, can't be outsourced. Police officers, firefighters, waiters and plumbers would be in this category. But there are white collar jobs that are very likely safe from offshore outsourcing.