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Law Students

: Law School Survivor

Importance of Education: Who is the Competition?

By Tyler Larsen

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I have a personal journey to obtain knowledge. Most law students do, but I really enjoy wrapping my head around subjects that I have never had the opportunity to contemplate. Globalization and economics have always been at the front of my interests.

I read a book a little while back called, The World is Flat: A Brief Economic History of the 21st Century by Thomas L. Friedman. Friedman does a good job illustrating some of the forces that have shaped the development of a global economy. One interesting point that I have been fascinated with is the subject of Education and Competion.

Friedman quoted Bill Gates, "When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow. In math and science, our fourth graders are among the top students in the world. By eighth grade, they're in the middle of the pack. By 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring near the bottom of all industrialized nations. . . . The percentage of a population with a college degree is important, but so are sheer numbers. In 2001, India graduated almost a million more students from college than the United States did. China graduates twice as many students with bachelor's degrees as the U.S., and they have six times as many graduates majoring in engineering. In the international competition to have the biggest and best supply of knowledge workers, America is falling behind."

Education is so important but maybe Americans don't realize it as much as they should. I find Bill Gates' statement rather intimidating. Friedman describes how people get accounting degrees feeling it is a safe position. Not anymore. Accountants are having to reshape how they do things within the US economy. An accountant in the US can get your tax information send it to India have it done quickly and done well and sent back to him in a short time.

Good ol' medical doctors are also feeling the crunch. When people go in for emergency radiology tests at midnight in the US the hospital might not have a doctor to read the results of the test in the building. Today those test results are emailed to a radiologist in India or Arizona and sent back for the American doctor to review first thing in the morning. Some might be scared by this info. I personally am amazed. Technology is changing how we work.

Guess what future lawyers, you are not only competing with me or your fellow classmates. Outsourcing of legal jobs has began too. Type into your favorite search engine the following words, "outsourcing lawyers." How many hits did you get? I don't mention this topic with any ill intent. This subject is one that we all need to take into account. So how do we succeed in this new global economy? I have some ideas for a future post. So keep reading and remember We will Survive!!!.

Full post as published by Law School Survivor on February 21, 2008 (boomark / email).

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