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Implications of Japan's "Soft Crisis": But the focus of this paper will be on a different facet of Japanese technology development: This concern is very different from several decades ago when the concern in Japan was to overtake the Western lead in critical technologies.
In examining this problem in Japan, we are in some sense looking at a mirror image of the problem that has surfaced in the United States, namely, how most effectively to allocate scarce resources to key areas in order to maintain competitiveness in critical technologies.
Japan is currently facing a situation in which there is a growing relative scarcity of engineering talent at all levels as demand outstrips supply.
In other words, there are simply not enough indigenous resources i. Already, Japanese high technology companies are encountering strategic technical fields where they cannot develop sufficient indigenous talent in a reasonable time frame. This prevents or delays them from mounting an effective autonomous development effort.
As these delays and shortcomings become more common, we believe the outcome will be a significant restructuring of Japanese interaction with the U.
Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Japan's Growing Technological Capability: Implications for the U. The National Academies Press. However, the shortage of skilled technical labor is particularly acute in the field of software engineering. In fact, the term "soft crisis" has been used to refer to the lack of adequate software engineering talent in Japan.
In order to illustrate possible solutions to this "soft crisis", this paper will focus on a subfield of the software engineering industry known as integrated circuit computer-aided design IC CAD. The "soft crisis" is a function of the explosion in the growth of the Japanese software industry in bumping up against a fairly inelastic supply of software engineers.
Japanese educational institutions have proved to be inadequate to the task of increasing the supply of software engineers. They continue to act as a bottleneck because the Japanese universities are slow to reorient their programs to emerging fields—if they are able to do so at all.
The pressures of the "soft crisis," together with the inadequate response of Japanese universities, will force the Japanese companies to resort increasingly 1 The term "soft crisis" comes from the Japanese abbreviation of "software crisis.
This paper draws heavily on the field interviews they conducted. Japan Information Service Industry Association. In order to outline what form these nonconventional means are taking on, we will describe how Japanese firms are dealing with the shortage in the IC CAD field.
Description of the "Soft Crisis" The software market in Japan is expected to increase substantially in the next few years. Japanese firms are encountering difficulties in recruiting the qualified technical labor necessary to meet this explosion in the software industry.
The bulk of technical labor is recruited from the available pool of college and technical school talent. Growth and Prospect, Tokyo: JISA is comprised of over member and supporting Japanese companies. It is estimated that the United States has at least a 5 to 1 and perhaps as much as a 10 to 1 advantage in terms of qualified CAD engineering personnel.
Shortcomings of the Japanese Educational System Generally, new hires for skilled technical positions by Japanese firms come from the annual crop of college graduates. Because of the "lifetime employment" tradition, there has historically been relatively little recruitment of midcareer professionals, a practice termed "lateral hiring.
There are really two facets to the problem of the adequacy of supply of software engineers. First, the evidence suggests that, increasingly, Japanese students are not interested in entering science-and engineering-related programs.
At the same time, the Japanese universities are not responding to the changing requirements of emerging technical fields. Committed to programs that relate to older technical fields, they have been slow to increase their offerings in newer technical fields. Combined, the reduced supply and the inability to shift resources towards a software-related teaching curriculum leave Japanese companies in a real bind.
As long as the college-age population was expanding and, in particular, those fields of study important to engineering were expanding as a fraction of the total, there was no real difficulty with respect to sufficient engineering labor.
However, the population of college-age Japanese is currently peaking. In the future, not only will the number of science and engineering graduates decline as the general student population declines over the coming years, but career preferences are serving to exaggerate this decline relative to the overall graduate population.
Evidence reveals that more and more Japanese university students in the major Japanese universities are gravitating toward the disciplines of business, law, and finance. Two cases were examined. Case 2—The rate of decrease experienced over the period — is assumed to continue.
National Institute for Science and Technology Policy. In the second case, the rate of decrease of the number of applicants, as experienced over the period —, was assumed to continue. However, estimates based upon the second case show a more drastic decline.Shweta works at Zycus Marketing team, she likes exploring new places, when ever she is free you may find her planning the trips or shopping online, most of the time its just window shopping ;) She has done her MBA in Marketing & Operations after graduating in Electronics & Communication Engineering.
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Management Advantage Working software is the primary measure of progress. 6. More adaptive to.