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The world of civil engineering is constantly changing. Just a few years ago, it was unheard of to source out civil engineering jobs to developing countries. This was due to the fact that engineers in developing nations had been ruled out as being incapable of carrying out their work from a knowledge point of view. Also, the engineers had limited access to reliable telecommunication infrastructures and computers. These engineers found the transportation of data and blueprints to be risky, time consuming and expensive. The above mentioned are just but challenges civil engineers used to face in the past. The modern engineers are also faced with their own challenges calling for a working solution to deal with theses challenges. Globalizing the civil engineering sector has proved a reliable and working solution to many of the challenges facing the sector. Globalization has ensured innovation, cost and scale saving and efficiency. This paper addresses the role played by globalization in civil engineering.
Globalization in civil engineering has to start from the bottom, beginning from the low valued activities and manufacturing. As the activities get dispersible, civil engineering activities begin to follow. Globalization has changed the civil engineering look from what was being witnessed in the past with the inclusion of innovations like fiber optic and high speed internet. Such inclusions in this sector have led to a higher corporate profitability, the emerging of a new employment dynamic and an increasing number of firms which outsource high-tech civil engineering development and design work. Industry analysis have it that the demand of civil engineering services have grown by more than 10% across most geographies and sectors as a result of the globalization of civil engineering (Kuehn, 1999).
In order to keep pace with the ever changing world, the civil engineering sector must come up with strategies that manage and accept change. Engineering education should be structured is a way that its virtual plans, global communication and free trade initiatives are intensified and meet the global competition scope. The consequent of such structures is sophisticated telecommunications such as digitized civil engineering work process and optic fiber infrastructure that has been globalized. This will ensure a better quality of civil engineering work is efficiently done in any part of the world. Such global services are associated with requisite software packages, global telecommunication networks and adequately trained personnel (Kuehn, 1999).
The benefits of globalization apply to both the engineers and the engineering firms. Regarding the civil engineering firms embracing globalization, the benefits include lower operation costs, wage arbitrage and lower living costs. The issue of lowering operation costs serves as the main impetus to many companies. However, there are several other benefits that are equally important. Such benefits include outsourcing and offshore to attract options with higher values, and acquire knowledge in intensive economies.
Outsourcing ensures a substantial labor cost decrease at the same time it does not comprise the quality of work. Knowledge based service shifts economy enables the engineer to be more prized for her or his innovation consulting abilities and does not task work. The result is that engineering work has become more interested and less tasks oriented. There is an increasing share of civil engineering employment in less technical work, and non traditional engineering work like finance, management, policy and marketing.
There is also a growing share of engineering employment in nontraditional, less-technical engineering work such as management, finance, marketing and policy. Current statistics have it the civil engineering firms in the U.K and the United States have more work than the capacity of the firms. Tasks based on outsourcing engineering work enable the engineers to work less hours in a week and can comfortably practice their craft improving their portfolios now that work tend to be stressful and more enjoying. In the past, civil engineers were expertise in entrepreneurial and practicing. Due to globalization, civil engineers must be expertise in risk management and information technology. This is as a result of increased technological knowhow globally in services and manufacturing of engineering systems (Kuehn, 1999).
The expansion of civil engineering services across national and continental boundaries presents real opportunities for engineering. Consequently, it is crucial for the civil engineering community to come up with proper strategies to face the globalised challenges a head. Well grounded globalization benefits of civil engineering profession will lead to greater competition, wider access to world markets and a freer flow of services, capital, goods, and knowledge. The less obvious benefit is that dispersed engineering work and a more technical and science approach to address the needs of the world will help the civil engineers to take up unique approaches to new challenges while at the same time solving old ones.
As some Western companies have already learned, the sharing of ideas with new resources with a different point of reference vastly improves the collaborative process and makes things better – artistically, creatively and technologically. The global demand for civil engineering services is on the increase and emerging nations are playing an important role in expanding its capacity. This provides core capabilities offering competitive advantage globally. Due to rising economic changes and technological development civil engineers must be deal with the situation with minimal proficiency in risk management and information technology.
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