Saturday, October 11, 2014

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

"Hey Zandar, you're in IT and stuff. Is there really a lack of qualified software engineers and computer programmers out there that necessitates us importing qualified tech workers from Asia? If so, and the Obama administration doesn't increase these H-1B visas, will US tech firms will continue to threaten expand overseas instead?"

Well I'm glad you asked.

What engineer shortage are you talking about?  It doesn't exist.

A compelling body of research is now available, from many leading academic researchers and from respected research organizations such as theNational Bureau of Economic Research, the RAND Corporation, and the Urban Institute. No one has been able to find any evidence indicating current widespread labor market shortages or hiring difficulties in science and engineering occupations that require bachelors degrees or higher, although some are forecasting high growth in occupations that require post-high school training but not a bachelors degree. All have concluded that U.S. higher education produces far more science and engineering graduates annually than there are S&E job openings—the only disagreement is whether it is 100 percent or 200 percent more. Were there to be a genuine shortage at present, there would be evidence of employers raising wage offers to attract the scientists and engineers they want. But the evidence points in the other direction: Most studies report that real wages in many—but not all—science and engineering occupations have been flat or slow-growing, and unemployment as high or higher than in many comparably-skilled occupations.

"Wait a minute.  Unemployment is higher among engineers and college-level tech workers? But why are we insisting on importing foreign engineers when we produce more engineers now than we need?  What could possibly be the reason, Zandar?"

Hispanics, Asians and blacks are not getting equal pay for equal work in the high-tech industry. 
That's the finding of new research that shows Hispanics earn $16,353 a year less on average than their colleagues who are not Hispanic. 
In the same high-skilled positions such as computer programmers and software developers, Asians make $8,146 less than whites and blacks $3,656 less than whites, according to the report from the American Institute for Economic Research
"What this tells us is that race and ethnicity matter, and they matter a lot," said Nicole Kreisberg, the senior research analyst who conducted the research. "Simply increasing diversity is not enough. We also have to talk about money."

Gosh, you mean Asian and Hispanic tech workers make $8-16k less per year than white ones?  I can't imagine why huge Silicon Valley tech firms would be so keen on hiring foreign employees then.


Davis X. Machina said...

STEM will save the world, not just the economy.
Ask any school administrator who has "TED Talks" bookmarked on his desktop, menu bar, cellphone, etc...

RepubAnon said...

There is a massive shortage of skilled technical workers in the US willing to work for minimum wage or less... Funny how the shortage disappears for employers offering market wages rather than entering into illegal schemes to keep salaries low by agreeing not to hire one another's workers...
The No-Hire Emails That Incriminate Apple, Google, Adobe and More...A court filing has just been made public which sheds light on the "no-hire" gentleman's agreements that have pervaded the tech industry—and reveals how Steve Jobs threatened litigation to prevent companies from stealing his staff.

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