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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.
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 $10.00 per hours, he/she is ready to work until he/she drops dead. That's all.
DeoneHoonoz
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DeoneHoonoz,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 8:20:38 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is no greater bull$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".
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.
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.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:21:11 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Yes, these Republicans especially are good at lying. They bring in professional liars from Madison Avenue to lie for them professionally. They know that if you tell propaganda enough that people will believe it. They government is good enough at it that they lead the way with business right behind them. It is high time that we stop getting victimized by them!
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.
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?
bglynn064
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bglynn064,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 8:58:14 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
i have 30 yrs exp and have also sent out thousands of resumes with no results.....thinking of changing my name to rhyimmyammnna
DAVIDINIL
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DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
5/23/2012 | 10:06:27 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is a cheap labor shortage. Good luck to an unemployed tech worker having the gall to ask for $50,000/year.

Of course Microsoft and all the others that are a part of this propaganda nonsense are doing this to get commodity workers.
gardoglee
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gardoglee,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 12:38:12 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
If the US develops a tech worker shortage it will be because so many US tech companies have treated US tech workers...badly. Sort of the way we treat teachers.
IT25years
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IT25years,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 3:46:19 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Every time I hear these kinds of things I get so angry! I recently returned to full-time employed in the tech sector and even with 26 years of experience, I get the joy of making less money than I did in 1995. The only reason these greedy beggars want to bring more people over is to pay lower wages in the long term when that person goes back to their country to open a new outsource firm. It's all garbage.
I'm sorry but really, I could work at McDonalds for 3.00 a hour less than I make now, and that tells me that we don't need foreign workers. I'm not a isolationist, I just think we really need to treat people as assets and resources not as expendable. Why should some young kid go to college for a CS degree that will net them in a high tech area of the country, something close to what the person who didn't go to college gets paid?
GDtechexec
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GDtechexec,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 9:16:32 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
This study is biased and pushed by foreign outsourcing companies like TCS and Infosys who make over 35% profit at the expense of US employees. They have caused a US wage drop and increased unemployment. With exaggerate resumes, people on B-1 visitor visas tax free, they look like a less expensive alternative to US companies trying to save money. However in the long run they get poor service, loose their good employees to incompetent foreigners and will soon be looking for other alternatives.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 1:57:12 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
The study seems to ignore the laws of supply and demand. If there is a demand -- meaning fulfilling jobs that pay well -- in a field, then freshman students flood into undergrad institutions to major in that field. Four years later, there may even be a glut of those graduates, if the perceived demand was overhyped.
Yet this has not happened, as the study's results on enrollment seem to indicate. Why are bright, motivated US-born students staying away from the STEM majors? They are voting with their feet (and heads, and enthusiasm). Could it be that they understand the jobs which are "in demand" are not secure, and in imminent danger of being off-shored? Immigrant-friendly policies may be a solution to some problem, but they are not the solution to the problem of under-enrollment in the STEM courses by US-born students.
glawson300
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glawson300,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 2:19:37 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
HAHAHA!!! I love the phrase "economic-driven immigration policies". Obivsously, they have never tried to get a job in a 1st world country. Try getting a job in Europe. It takes a long time to get a work visa.

This is all about cheap labor. We have talent, but we also have greedy business leaders. I guess they also failed their economics classes. What happens when an American worker spends a $1? It is spend by the next holder and that continues until the value of the dollar is consumed by taxes. Each dollar spent will generate $7 dollars of economic activity. If that dollar is in the hands of a foreign worker, first it is $0.50 because that all they get paid. But let pretend it is a dollar. They send a significant portion of they pay back to their home country. This limits the economic impact of that dollar. Tax revenue drops and our "friends" in Washington have to tax more things to keep their spending habit alive.
HSElectro
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HSElectro,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 3:09:29 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I too disagree with this report. The bottom line is that large corporations care mostly on the cost. Some have realized it is hard to have offshore teams with 11 hours timezone shift, and are now looking back to the H1B mechanism, namely bring cheap labor in. As long as the cost of getting a technology degree in the US is that high, only people who have not had to pay for it will be able to afford living with the lower wages.
wdgroover
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wdgroover,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 4:33:43 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Why should American students enroll in computer sciences or for that matter most other mechanical/technical science disciplines? The trend in America for the better part of two decades has been either to export jobs or import labor. Prospective students for the aforementioned disciplines have observed their fellow countryman thrown aside in favor of less-trained and less-qualified people. That said, America currently has a glut of trained computer-science veterans, people with practical real-world experience in business and systems environments. But, these people are overlooked in favor of the "perceived" cheap labor; perceived because the true cost of an employee is measured by far more than the dollars printed on the paycheck.
rlawson346
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rlawson346,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2012 | 3:34:40 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Shortage shouting is an IT industry tradition. It's absolute nonsense. If there is a deficit of skills, it is because of corporate decisions to offshore jobs and transition remaining American workers into analyst type positions (claiming that hard tech skills are commoditized skills).

Corporations are dependent on exploiting foreign workers, and they are able to suppress wages because they can limit foreign workers access to the general labor market (a near monopoly on their labor) while American workers can negotiate for better wages and benefits because of their ability to sell their labor to the highest bidder.

Indentured servitude and the implied or direct threat of deportation goes a very long way in the negotiating process. Don't fool yourself - the H-1b program is a form of indentured servitude and it is an insult to the free market.

The H-1b visa program needs to be abolished once and for all. It's created a second class group of workers and has reduced earning potential in STEM careers. It's no wonder college students are showing less interest in STEM degrees, and of those who get STEM degrees half still pursue other professions.

If there is a shortage of skills, only 28% of IT workers polled received any form of IT training last year as a benefit. That is just shameful. These guys have some serious chutzpah asking for more foreign workers for a shortage they created, if it exists at all, and most won't spend a dime on training their own employees.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone claiming a shortage and expecting the government to provide foreign (docile) labor while investing nothing in building these skills can go jump in a lake.
ucorda911
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ucorda911,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2012 | 7:16:02 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is no shortage of skilled American workers. There is a shortage of CHEAP skilled American workers.

What employers are doing is driving down wages as much as they can. They could care less if this country loses its core technical competencies.

Working in the technology industry will be like picking vegetables in the fields: no American wants to do it because it is hard work and pays nothing.

TSRL
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TSRL,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 1:03:39 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I fully agree with the fact that there is no lack of technical talent in the US. We have more than enough, but they are interested in a reasonable salary, not slave wages with no benefits.

By the way, one thing that most of these high tech companies don't seem to grasp is that the bulk of their market is right here in the US. If you keep giving the jobs to imported workers who buy nothing but the bare minimum to subsist (and I have seen this time and time again), eventually these companies will go out of business for lack of paying customers.

So how about using a little legal judo in this case? Let's have a significant number of out of work US techies apply for a bunch of positions with the companies who are giving "courtesy interviews" to make peace with HR. They know full well that the position has already been filled by an imported worker (at a rock bottom salary of course). Once we have all been turned down, we file a class action suit against the company for false advertising and anything else that a talented lawyer can think of.

Of course we need to make sure that the level of the asked for damages easily exceeds the "savings" that the company will accrue with the imported worker. These companies need to have an incentive to keep Americans employed and the Almighty Dollar seems to be the only thing that they really understand. If enough of these class action suits are filed, maybe, just maybe, these companies will come to their senses.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:17:46 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I have 2 master degrees in technology and cannot find a job for a year and a half, and they are considering bringing people in? Are they insane? I spent good money to get those degrees and for them to try to pull the rug out from under our feet is the utmost in hypocrisy. The IT people need to get together and form unions of professional societies that do not take this crap from business or the government who screws the American people over just as bad. It is time that we straightened them all out and stopped them from turning this into a country like where these foreigners come from. Companies are spoiled rotten now and should be shown that there is no such thing as a free lunch with labor!
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:36:27 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
We need another political party in America!
Ramon S
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Ramon S,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 2:42:19 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
If there is a shortage then the best way to counter is to reduce or entirely drop tution from STEM programs while at the same time remove all the clutter from STEM programs. No other country has so many non-subject courses in their university curricula as the US. Undergrads in other countries do not take history or biology courses when in engineering programs. It is a total waste of student's time and money. The US government, industry, and universities can fix this issue within a matter of weeks if they really wanted to, but it is cheaper to get foreign workers that are better trained and can be kicked to the curb after a few years. It all comes down to staying competitive long term or make a quick buck. Take a guess as to what the focus is in an environment driven exclusively by quarterly numbers.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2012 | 5:23:27 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
look who's behind the Partnership for a New American Economy, here's their site:
www.renewoureconomy.org

of course, it's exactly who you would think would be behind it, spouting off their bullshit. Microsoft, the communist mayor of L.A. pro-H1b types, etc, etc, etc. - complete with all of their made-up "facts" and "studies" to prove that letting in scab workers is the best possible thing for America...yeah right...

Here's their site for comments:
www.renewoureconomy.org/contac...

NoGig
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NoGig,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/4/2013 | 7:50:37 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Everyone here knows the "skilled labor shortage" is a LIE. There are absolutely no supporting facts. And indeed the US has an abundance of professionals with every skills, education and intelligence for all available jobs.

Yet, in politics FACTS are not reality. And indeed massive expansion in outsourcing and unlimited green cards for foreign STEM graduates -- regardless of US employment -- has now advanced from committee and onto the Senate floor. And this after Sen. Orrin Hatch stripped even minimum worker protection for the benefit of massively profitable and foreign-owned outsourcing firms.

Anyone who thinks that their career is not directly at risk is just plain foolish.

Yet RIGHT NOW our voices are being drowned under a tsunami of cash and lobbying by corporate and foreign interests. If YOU are not actively WRITING YOUR CONGRESSMEN, then just put a gun to your head.

YOU need to be writing strongly and ceaselessly if we are to overcome the hundreds of millions corporations are spending to buy our government.

Write your Congressmen -- NOW.
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