Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Migration More Important Than Education

Going to college is good for personal and community economic development. I argue that leaving home (i.e. migrating) is also good for personal and community economic development. Granted most places don't see outmigration in a positive light. To sharpen the point, migration is more important than education for individuals and communities. Brain drain should be encouraged:

Traditionally young twenty something Chinese migrants would come to the UK for an education, to seek out opportunities and to start a better life. Many of them were very successful and contributed towards the UK economy by working hard or starting businesses. However, in the current economic climate and with entry-level jobs being cut due to the recession, are we now seeing a role reversal with unimpressed UK twenty somethings looking to China as the new land of opportunity and experiences? ...

... As time goes by, the barriers to entry for working abroad are becoming less and less problematic. Twenty somethings are able to take their pick of foreign countries to work in while we speed towards becoming a borderless, interconnected world. Asian countries, with their booming economies and seemingly low unemployment, are also becoming increasingly popular destinations for young graduates looking to begin their careers, particularly China, and it’s not hard to see why. China is the world’s emerging superpower with the second biggest economy and a population of over 1.3 billion, therefore becoming an obvious choice for career driven twenty somethings and young entrepreneurs. There is also the notion that graduates can get hired by Western companies in Asia and get promoted quickly. The message from Forbes’ editor for Asia, John Koppisch, is “look for your first job in Asia. Economies are booming and companies are often desperate for educated and skilled job seekers… Often you can get hired by a Western company [and] quickly get promoted because of the fast growth.” ...

... CRCC Asia is one UK company benefitting from the increased interest by young twenty something students and graduates looking to work abroad. CRSS Asia offers the UK’s twenty somethings their first taste of working life in China through internship placements. Edward Holroyd Pearce, a director at CRCC Asia, said: “China represents an exciting new market and an exchange of human talent between the countries has benefits for both.”

Your college degree won't do you much good in austerity strangled Britain. In fact, skip university altogether. Set sail for Shanghai and launch your career. Migration matters more than a diploma.

China understands the value of migration better than any other country in the world. Talent was intentionally exported. Outmigration is a geopolitical and geoeconomic strategy. Globalization worked for China thanks to  both domestic geographic mobility (i.e. internal relocation to coastal cities) and emigration. It wasn't the result of a massive higher education effort.

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