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5/23/2012
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U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns

Tech-industry backed group says U.S. is losing the global battle for tech talent to countries that welcome skilled workers with open arms. But not everyone is convinced of a talent shortage.

If the U.S. does not adjust its immigration policies to make it easier for foreign-born tech workers to reside in the country, it could fall behind the rest of the world in growth and innovation, say the authors of a new study that's sure to provoke controversy.

"There is a significant gap between the kind of graduates the U.S. is producing and what the American economy needs today and in the future," said officials at the Partnership for A New American Economy, in a statement. "U.S. companies are hungry for talent with degrees in STEM [Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering]--these jobs are increasing three times faster than jobs in the rest of the economy. However, these positions are the hardest to fill because of the dearth of native-born Americans with these degrees."

The group's study, provocatively titled "Not Coming To America," said that only 4.4% of U.S.-born undergraduates are enrolled in STEM programs. That compares poorly with 33.9% for students in Singapore, 31.2% for those in China, 12.4% for Germany, and 6.1% in the U.K. As a result, the U.S. will face a shortage of 224,000 hi-tech workers by 2018, the study says.

According to the group, which is backed by leaders from tech, media, and financial giants, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and JP Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, as well as municipal leaders like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that means the country needs to open up its immigration policies to make up for the shortfall.

[ What's the real culprit behind IT layoffs? See: Outsourcing Or Automation: No Difference To Unemployed Workers. ]

"We are quickly losing our edge as other countries adopt smarter, economic-driven immigration policies. The future is on the line--now is the time to reform the system and welcome the workers who will continue our success as the world's leading economy," said Bloomberg, in statement. The Partnership for New York City also backed the study.

The study's authors said the U.S. needs to take several steps to ensure that the supply of tech talent meets future demand.

They called on Congress and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to establish a new visa category for foreign entrepreneurs looking to launch startups, to set aside more H-1B visas and green cards for foreign students enrolled in STEM programs at U.S. institutions, and to offer tax breaks for American tech workers who have moved abroad to encourage them to return home.

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jbrooks473
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jbrooks473,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 5:31:55 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Sounds like more of the BS to keeping dropping wages and benifits. Saw nopt to long ago that person with 30+ years experience in the Cleveland area sent 2k resumes and hadn't had one interview. I talked to friend of mine in the DC metro area and he was telling me of h1b programmers with masters in CS getting 19 an hour for codeing. What does that tell you.
dmitchell480
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dmitchell480,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 5:40:12 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Interesting read, but I am one of those not convinced of a talent shortage.. For instance, Processor (processor.com) reported in their April 6, 2012 issue this: "Offshoring Greatly Contributing To Declining Number of IT Jobs" in the U.S.. I agree there appears to be a gap between grads and what the economy needs, but it's not the main reason for this perceived shortage of workers.

We have educated, talented people here onshore leaving IT because of lack of good jobs that are now in completely different careers/industries because of the shortage of desirable IT jobs. I don't agree with this report.
Gideon
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Gideon,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 5:50:53 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I agree with you. They are liars. There are enough programmers in the United States to fill in the gap. Let me tell you about those programmers who are being paid $19.00 / Hr. They reside in hostels built for them by these companies, where they (the programmers) do not have to pay for mortgage. With that gift to a person who ever get paid $10.00 per hours, he/she is ready to work until he/she drops dead. That's all.
SnoopDoug
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SnoopDoug,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 5:59:15 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Same old chicken little scare tactics employers have been using for decades. The have been predicting a meltdown due to lack of technical graduates as long as I have been in the field, which is over 20 years. If technical employees were at such a high demand, why haven't salaries gone through the roof? If Microsoft has trouble finding highly-technical people, why did they ram a 10% cut down contractors throats?

There will always be a shortage of highly-technical people with narrowly-defined skills, especially at minimum wage.

doug in Seattle
aandrulis605
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aandrulis605,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 6:11:15 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
If you tell a lie long enough, people will start to believe you -- which is the idea behind that statement. There are so many highly skilled people out of work and highly educated kids coming out of college who can't find work. Its a trick to increase visas and get foreigners to take American jobs for half the wages. Not surprisingly, the group is tied to Fox News -- masters of lies -- through Rupert Murdoch.
gjones495
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gjones495,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 6:14:02 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
This is BS! These so-called American companies will do anything to NOT pay Americans A FAIR AND EQUITABLE WAGE!!!
ssamuelson061
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ssamuelson061,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 6:24:47 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
CIGNA just laid off a group of IT people in CT and replaced them with "highly skilled" H1-B contractors. The people being laid off had to teach their replacements how to do their job or they didn't get a severance package. The real world evidence shows there is no shortage. It's more like SnoopDoug is saying below - there's a shortage of technical people who will accept low wages.

It's frustrating to see these propaganda groups able to spew whatever BS they want in a report or "study" and instantly gain credibility when the facts have been proven over and over for years now. Anyone in the industry knows these companies are just replacing Americans with H1-Bs at a cheaper rate - even though it's against the rules of the H1-B program - because we've seen it first hand again and again.

Unfortunately, it probably won't be until they open up the H1-B program to replace lawyers and congressmen that we'll see them bother to get the facts.
MENINBLK
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MENINBLK,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 7:53:34 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is no need for highly skilled workers anymore today.
In any job that requires these skills, they are TAUGHT to the employee after they are hired.
I maintain a $10 million machine and had to endure over 3 months of training for this machine, as well as almost a year of living with it and learning by experience.
Everything I have learned could not have been taught by any degree in this world.
I don't care what school you name, there is absolutely no training
for what is required in today's world.
You need to know your basic electronics, basic tools and
have some sense of mortality about you when you are working.
Today's work environments are riddled with safety hazards and
if you aren't watchful about your environment, a split second could change or end your life.

The only jobs requiring higher education are engineering jobs because the American bureaucrats require it.
DeoneHoonoz
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DeoneHoonoz,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 8:20:38 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is no greater bull$hiter than the American Businessman;
There is no greater sucker than the American People.

The fleecing of the American people will continue for as long as the American Businessman is in the lobby.

As they use to say in Napol+¬on legions "The beating will continue, until the morale improves".
drbobski
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drbobski,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 8:53:41 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
My personal experience and that of my long-time colleagues bear witness to the lie.

Many of us have 30+ years of varied and excellent experience in CS and IT can no longer find employment. I have been unemployed with no unemployment benefits for over 3 years. I am increasingly discouraged and desperate. My resumes and inquiries are rarely even acknowledged. The very few interviews I have had are pro-forma in that the positions are already filled (frequently with foreign workers) but (I'm told) HR needs to show that they have interviewed others. Hence, my "interview".

Those of my colleagues that could afford to do so have left the field entirely, opting to become lawyers, shop-keepers, etc. Many have "retired". It is illogical that they would have done so if viable opportunites were available in their technical fields.

My last job paid about what I was earning when I first started in the field and was about the same level (i.e., near entry level). More than 95% of the positions in my department were filled by H1-B contractors. Their numbers have increased in this company as US citizens have been eliminated and replaced by H1-B contractors. Or not replaced at all (same pay, double or more workload).

I do not blame the foreign workers. One goes where the work is and apparently work is relatively plentiful over here for them. I DO blame our government and the people running the companies. Their actions (or inaction) is decimating this country and may be the root cause of the ever-expanding global financial and societal crises (IMHO).

Interesting aside: I am being bombarded this year with telephone demands that I contribute upwards of $500 toward various political causes. When I try to explain that I cannot contribute because I no longer have any income, the callers become totally befuddled. Apparently, no one even considered such a possibilty when the scripts were written. How out of touch ARE our politicians and their staffs?
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