[ajug-members] Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
chinmay.nagarkar at coreconcept.com
Fri Apr 29 15:38:30 EDT 2005
Quote: "Immigration is great but importing temporary workers (using H1Bs) is
This statement assumes two things:
1. Most Temporary workers on H1B visas never immigrate to the US
2. There is something innately good about immigration (whether the immigrant
is skilled or not; I'm assuming that H1B visa holders are skilled in your
Neither assumption is backed by facts in your essay or elsewhere.
PS: I'm on an H1B visa.
From: ajug-members-bounces at ajug.org
[mailto:ajug-members-bounces at ajug.org]On Behalf Of Björn Gustafsson
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 2:43 PM
To: General AJUG membership forum (100-200 messages/month)
Subject: Re: [ajug-members] Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
I think that both stories point to the same thing: there aren't enough
people to fill the availble jobs, at the price point employers wish to
pay. You can argue that the problem is due to a leftover pay "bubble"
in the IT industry from the pre-millenium boom, that jobs aren't in
the same places as the talent pools, that employers want to have the
same benefits in IT that have been seen in moving manufacturing to
cheap-labor countries, or that there is some other root cause. But I
think that the core problem involves the position of that price point.
H1B visas are one of the simplest ways to bypass that problem, as you
can basically pay what you want (parity laws notwithstanding) for as
close to an indentured servant as you can get in the US, and you can
bring them in whereever and whenever you want.
As someone who's just starting to look for a job here, I see that
there are lots of opportunities in the area. I have yet to find out
whether they're viable for my current standard of living. Within the
next couple of months, I should be able to give a pretty accurate
barometer of the job market in that sense.
Having moved down from Michigan just last year, I know that there are
big regional differences. Up there IT jobs have been scarce in the
last few years, possibly more so than in other job categories. Atlanta
is having a tech boom by comparison. I've heard from friends that
things are still pretty miserable in silicon valley and NYC. I read a
quote that said 40% of tech workers who lost jobs in the last five
years in California have moved into non-tech careers. (I can't find a
link to the source right now.)
I don't think that specialization is an issue, unless you (or more
generally, employers) think that getting a specialist should be free.
Anyone who has a good command of programming can become an expert on a
particular language. The same goes for any area of specialization.
It's not unreasonable to think that you should invest in an employee
to make an expert. In that case, I think maybe our "powerful" web
tools are hurting us: the ability to seek out people's resumes by
specialty may set overly stringent employment criteria, or may make
the availability of good talent seem smaller than it is. That may also
be a side-effect of all the job-hopping that used to take place in the
boom years, when (I suppose) people would "steal" training from their
early employers in order to get big raises from their new-found
In any case, if there are particular voids in expertise it should be
more cost-effective in the long run to train people here than to bring
in and then get rid of an H1B expert. I've found (in my admittedly
rather limited experience in this area) that such "experts" aren't
really much more knowledgeable than the average techie who reads an
intro book on the subject in question.
I do think that the current climate is bad for new graduates. In
particular, the expectation of pre-existing specialization will be
hard on anyone who hasn't had an internship during college. And I
don't think IT internships are as plentiful now as they were a few
years ago. (Admittedly, that's based on very little evidence.)
I hope I don't sound like I'm spewing vitriol here. I do think this is
an important question, and my take on it is that H1B visas are not a
solution for the problem. (Yes, I know I haven't supported that
position much.) Not having read the Economist article you mention, I
would hope that it doesn't equate visa workers with immigrants. I
think immigration is great (else I wouldn't be here!), but importing
temporary workers is not.
On 4/29/05, Burr Sutter <sutter at bravepoint.com> wrote:
> I'm curious about something and I'd like the community (you) to respond.
> Bill Gates was recently quoted (I also heard his interview on NPR this
> morning) that the US must raise the headcount for H1B Visas and find ways
> graduating more computer science graduates due to an acute labor shortage.
> Many IT jobs just can't be filled.
> In contrast this testimony by Bill Gates the AJC recently had an article
> about local experienced IT workers taking 20+ months to find another job
> they can find one at all.
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