Thailand is in an unusual situation right now. They are losing outsourcing business to cheaper labor markets, but at the same time finding it challenging to move up the food chain into areas like design. One thesis is that there are not enough capable technical workers - the owner of an IT software consulting company (US Based) estimated that there is two qualified engineers/developers for every 10 openings. (If you want to move to Thailand, there is plenty of opportunity!) The other explanation is that there are not enough entrepreneurs launching companies in Thailand that could move the country up the food chain, and where there are examples, it's back to the problem of qualified workers. So the desire is there, but it's going to be a difficult journey.
To read back my own article, it almost sounds contradictory - on the one hand the companies and people I visited with in Thailand said that there were not enough engineers, then on the other hand they would argue that there are engineers, but not enough of them going into the field. What I make out of this is that it's slighty more nuanced -- there are not enough qualified engineers coming out of the University, and industry is realizing that they have to get in there and work with the schools to help shape the curriculum. Then, work hard to create job opportunities for the incoming generation of engineers that are appealing to them.
On the other hand, Thai products are repuded to be of good quality. In the hotel I stayed at in Plataya last week, the hotel had an installed in room microprocessor controlled realy switched touchscreen image controlled LED powersaving lighting control system . On the picture on the bedisde small plastic control unit with a touch screen, red dots indicate the location of the lights on a displayed picture of the room. You touch the dot to toggle the light on or off. And there is a master switch to turn all lights off or on. It also can be set via the hotel computer. This was not being demonstrated at a trade show, like in the US, but built, sold, deployed and in use. The system is made and marketed by the largest privetlely held Thai electronic company. Had a small relay box in the closet. I have the company name but am not sure if it is ok to put that in posts. They have a nice web site describing their other products and have been in business since 1956 after being started by a group of Thai electrical engineers!
Quote from Kfield: "two qualified engineers/developers for every 10 openings" and "there are not enough qualified engineers coming out of the University". "Qualified" seems to be the fuzzy word that needs defined. University "qualified" does not sound the same as employer "qualified". It sounds again as if the Universities are still pumping out hoards of new engineers for the big push (al a WWI) and only a few new engineers are making it to the employer's trenches because the rest are being mowed down by the employer's "qualified" spewing machine guns and then with ennui employers say "send more cannon fodder." We be should asking, what happens to the 4/5 wounded engineers still lying in no man's land?