As a scientist, I can say that at least in my field the Chinese often try (and succeed) to publish worthless stuff.
Mass education means that the average quality is quite poor. Especially in India (China is somewhat better). Managers in US love Indians and Chinese - they just do what they are told to do. The products of their labor are usually total crap.
I was going to make a similar comment in regard to Chinese/Indian "engineers" I've worked with. I think Averros is right in regard to the quality of the education they receive.In fairness though, I've worked with many US educated engineers that are "borderline" in their skill set."Engineering" is a broad description as well...there's math driven engineering, then there's design engineering...both of which cross over and both of which require different skills.It sounds a bit cliche', but some of the most talented "engineers" I've worked with had no degree....Kind of reminds me of software prodigy's that never finish school...because basically they were both smart and auto-didactic and could teach the classes they were sitting in. (think Zuckerberg, Gates, Jobs, etc.)
But be sure to apply that "STEM" degree to a financial occupation in the flow of central bank largess.
I agree with Mr. Meeker. The big picture view is that there are three types of workers. People who develop skills using technology; people who develop skills managing people who use technology; and people who develop skills managing money and capital that funds workers and technology.
Thanks, I like your list of types but I know there's one more type in there. The people who develop the skills to create and make the technology (aka the product). Without it one can have all the capital in the world but without creation it goes nowhere. The technology users have nothing to use and the managers then have nobody to manage. The encouragement for kids to go this route is on the creation end but ultimately the bulk of the wealth is for the money managers in our present system.
I understand your point of view but must disagree. There are only three types as I consider users and inventors as the same. Users are where the best ideas come from and there is no end to new ideas. However, only those that attract capital and sometimes management ever make it to the market. And capital/savings relative to new ideas is always in short supply and the market demands its use be managed diligently. The best technology comes when all three types work together in a non-coercive free market environment. And when this occurs the market (consumers) rewards the person whose contribution is deemed most valuable by the market. Unfortunately the reality of coercive regulations blocking competition effects all types of workers. From the monopolistic banking regs to government patent offices (a mini trade barrier)the market is distorted. But it seems logical and certainly historically evident that no idea/invention would become reality without savings. For instance much of the technology today was written about centuries ago but there wasn't enough savings to develop them into useable products.
There's another type also. People who learned how to manipulate and operate within the coercive political system to grab resources and allocate them to themselves and others that they favor. You might call these people social engineers.