About that "shortage" of engineers.

A revealing article recently appeared in BusinessWeek. To cut to the chase, the authors found that there is no shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduates in the United States. Instead:

U.S. colleges and universities are graduating as many scientists and engineers as ever, according to a study released on Oct. 28 by a group of academics. But that finding comes with a big caveat: Many of the highest-performing students are choosing careers in other fields. The study by professors at Rutgers and Georgetown suggests that since the late 1990s, many of the top students have been lured to careers in finance and consulting.

"Despite decades of complaints that the United States does not have enough scientists and engineers, the data show our high schools and colleges are providing an ample supply of graduates," said study co-author Hal Salzman, a public policy professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "It is now up to science and technology firms to attract the best and the brightest graduates to come work for them."

Hmmm... if there are enough people graduating to fill the jobs, but they aren't being filled, might it have something to do with the wage offered? Isn't that a strong argument that bringing in H1Bs actually serves to intensify the problem by lowering wages?

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sure it's not only about cheap labor

but it's also about stealing an entire business sector...
for India and China.

and it's intense! You should read some of the most brazen hate messages on many blogs against Americans...it's unreal, it's like reading statements from the 1800's against Black people in the U.S..

but it is all about moving entire sectors offshore, i.e. technology, I.T., advanced R&D and capturing it for India, China.

We have tons of very good engineers in the U.S. who cannot get a job, just laying to waste.


Yes, but our TEMPORARY GUEST WORKERS want to believe there is a shortage so they can convince Congress to grant them all green cards and thus become PERMANENT RESIDENTS. You had to know this was going to happen. Congress told the American people that the guest worker visas were only TEMPORARY to solve severe labor shortages but so many become PERMANENT by getting green cards.

In fact, one hilarious suggestion was that a solution to the over-supply of housing in the U.S. was to give all the guest workers a green card. Talk about arrogance:

from WSJ Presents Yet More Utter Nonsense from the National Association of Realtors

Maybe a better idea is to offer young immigrants, with cash and education, citizenship if they come and buy a house.

Remember the apocalyptic retirement bubble where the needs of the old would crush the young because of the decline in the ratio of working to retired people.

Voila`, housing and working age population thing solved.

What ? Whadaya mean there aren't enough jobs around for the current workforce, let alone an influx of foreigners. Why the company I work for can't find American workers (engineering). The place is full of green card engineers.

Timing of "Shortage of Engineers" Article

Although I'm glad that a mainstream source like BusinessWeek published this article, more stories like these seem to be coming out now only because even the most optimistic economists, politicians and journalists can tell we have an unemployment problem. This article could have easily been published two or three years ago. Even Vivek Wadwha came out with studies a few years ago saying engineering students were going into finance and marketing.

Hal Salzman has done a lot of good research on the subject in the past, and I'm glad to see he's still producing good work. It's just so discouraging that we're caught in a rut where both sides keep essentially churning out the same studies over and over again. Employer groups keep churning out reports about "shortages", and people like Salzman have to keep coming up with brand new reports just to stave off criticism that the reports they produced the previous year are obsolete.

It's True

As an EE in Silicon Valley, I have *much* experience with how H1Bs and other "guest workers" are laying waste to the ability of US citizens to get engineering jobs. I am *so sick* of hearing "we don't have talent here in the US."

It's all about cutting wages. I've been told in past jobs that me and my colleges couldn't apply for job postings because "then they wouldn't be able to bring in H1bs". This from the HR manager.

I've seen how businesses interview dozens of people, knowing full well they won't be hired because they don't match 100% a profile created to match only 1 person in the world: the person they want to bring in from India.

I've had several Indian H1Bs ask me, "How do you American's make ends meet? After paying [listing all his bills] there's no money left." I didn't have the heart to tell them they're getting paid 40% of what is necessary to live here.

Don't get me wrong, nearly every Indian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. I've met are honest, nice, polite and hard-working. They're great people. But America needs to wake up to the fact that just about anyone else in the world can do any given job as good or better than we can.

As a country, we have to realize that "cheaper at any ocst" isn't cheap in the long run. Keep giving away our jobs and this "recession" is only the beginning.

this is a no insult spin free zone

Most engineers I know are strong believers in diversity, equality and meritocracy.

But giving away U.S. jobs and then insulting people who complain and stand up for U.S. jobs, careers is absurd and just another propaganda weapon in my view.


Shortage of engineers? Don't make me laugh. Nonsense.
US Universities are turning out engineers, a dime a dozen. Tens of thousands of engineers out of work
in California, Florida, New York, Washington (state) and Detroit, Mich., Ohio and Pennsylvania. Very discipline. Hype for education bubble.

Thanks for an enligtening post, no thanks to Bizweak

Businessweek finally prints something real...how refreshing.

If ONLY they hadn't waited until 2010, when there is no economy (with fantasy finance making up over 80% of the GDP), when there is no media, and when it has become obvious to one and all that the US is nothing more than a colossal criminal enterprise.

Although I'm relatively sure the wage being offered has little to do with it. Anecdotally, I've known only ONE engineering grad to find a job in engineering upon graduation, and he was a 4.0 grad in Computer Sci. and Computer Engineering at University of Washington back in 1999 -- he was hired at Micro$oft, and he was the only engineering-type from UW they hired that year.

Kagan connected to flooding STEM with H-1Bs

Obama's supreme court nominee is now connected with the Clinton administrations doing corporate lobbyist bidding to flood tech with foreign guest workers.

ComputerWorld article.

Can you believe this?

35 Years of Trade and Labor Arbitrage - Carter to Obama

It is good Kagan is out of the white house. Where will Kagan wound labor more, WH or SCOTUS? Each and every financial crisis since 1873 has been preceded by a 12 year Republican term in the White House. The historical question on the economy is whether Obama will act more like a Republican administration.
Year !2 Year Antecedent Term
1873 - Lincoln, Johnson Grant
1933 - Harding, Coolidge, Hoover
1992 - Regan Bush

2008? Bush equals 3 terms of the worst kind of regulatory incompetence (and conspiracy).

We get the answer as soon as double dip starts and nothing is done to stop the second leg of the Great Recession.

Burton Leed

Punishing the US workers for wanting rights

The third world countries and our congress are punishing us for wanting workers rights and benefits.

The US corporate and Congress are pushing us backwards to make us a third world country.

It's working.

The poor are getting poorer now that congress voted against the ui extensions.

Unemployment numbers are NOT Getting better .. the new numbers no longer include those who can't can pull from unemployment.

The real unemployment estimate is ~18% of the U.S. are jobless. Look it up.

More and more companies are shipping in from third world countries and aren't using the millions of people who are out of work here.

I'm a direct result of that. Now homeless living on unemployment. 10+ years experience as a Project Manager for the web and IT spaces. Lost my job to outsourcing three times.

Was told by a friend in hr at one of the companies that have jobs posted that they are posting it and won't fill it from someone here.

I know for a fact a large silicon valley company just hired a bunch of india guys (home base india) claiming they couldn't find anyone to fill the roles here.

Are you kidding me?



There's no shortage of

There's no shortage of American engineers, there's a shortage of American engineers who are willing to work for the same wages as an Indian or Chinese engineers. The panic about the shortage of technical workers is a lie made up to bring in more H1-B workers and drive down wages. I have nothing against the immigrant labor, I think that it is a good thing for the country to attract the best and brightest, but in many cases they are recruited simply because they are willing to work for less. That's just fucking wrong.

H-1B Action item, amendment introduced please support

This is to all actually. Bernie Sanders is trying to get an amendment passed, along with Jon Tester, Harkin and Grassley, to stop corporations from laying off U.S. workers and then turning around and hiring guest workers.

Please Support this amendment (click this).

I think all are aware now that corporations hire guest workers which U.S. workers have had to train before being fired, as their replacements. Then they do it to offshore outsource the jobs too.