According to reports, IBM plans to move up to several thousand jobs from the United States to India, China and other countries.

IBM documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal said about 4,700 programming jobs could be shifted overseas to save costs, a growing high-tech industry trend known as “offshoring.”

The division affected is IBM’s Application Management Services group, including offices in RtP, Dallas, Southbury,CT, Poughkeepsie, NY, and Boulder, CO.

More than 900 people are already scheduled to be told of the move in the first half of 2004, while another 3,700 jobs have been identified as having the “potential to move offshore,” the Journal said.

IBM, based in Armonk, NY, already has hired 500 engineers in India to take on some of the work that will be moved, the Journal reported.