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11/30/2012
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Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers

Microsoft says it has 34% more open engineering positions than this time last year, and can't fill them all domestically.

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Microsoft officials this week defended their call for a program that would let companies pay to import foreign programmers and other high-tech workers.

"Every year the economy is requiring another 120,000 people with a computer science degree," said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, in response to a question at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

"Right now, if you take all of the great, or not so great, all of the universities across the country, they're only producing 40,000 computer science graduates each year," Smith said Wednesday, in Bellevue, Wash.

Smith was responding to a shareholder who said Microsoft shouldn't be seeking to import high-tech help at a time when so many Americans are unemployed. The questioner said he knew numerous individuals in their 50s who, despite advanced computer science degrees from MIT and other prestigious schools, can't get work.

[ Which U.S. companies hire the most H-1B workers? Read Microsoft Tops H-1B Visa Employer List. ]

Smith said that, although some individuals might fall through the cracks, overall there is a shortage of tech workers in the U.S. "The answer is for any specific individual there may be some specific circumstance that explains a specific result in their life. But when we look at the numbers today, the numbers don't lie," said Smith.

Smith said Microsoft currently has more than 6,000 open jobs, up 19% from a year ago. In engineering alone, the company has 3,400 open positions, up 34% from last year. "We'd like to fill them here," said Smith, adding that it's difficult for Microsoft and other U.S. companies to find all the talent they need domestically.

Smith recently called on Congress to increase the number of high-tech visas available for foreign IT workers. He said the government should issue 20,000 STEM-specific visas each year, in addition to the 65,000 H-1B visas currently available. He also called for 20,000 new green cards for tech workers. Smith said the government should charge companies $10,000 per visa for the former, and $15,000 for the latter.

Sure to fuel the debate over whether the U.S. needs to import more high-tech workers is a report released Friday by the Partnership for A New American Economy.

The lobby group said the unemployment rate for tech workers in the U.S. is just 3.15%, compared to around 8% for all workers. "Given that the U.S. government has defined 'full employment' to be 4 percent, this suggests a skills shortage of STEM professionals with advanced degrees," the group said in the report, titled "Help Wanted."

Groups that represent U.S.-born tech workers, such as The Programmers Guild, have argued that programs like H-1B allow American companies to import cheap labor at the expense of homegrown talent.

On Friday, the House approved a bill that would make 55,000 new green cards available to foreign-born graduates of advanced U.S. STEM programs.

Upgrading isn't the easy decision that Win 7 was. We take a close look at Server 2012, changes to mobility and security, and more in the new Here Comes Windows 8 issue of InformationWeek. Also in this issue: Why you should have the difficult conversations about the value of OS and PC upgrades before discussing Windows 8. (Free registration required.)

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twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2012 | 2:11:45 AM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers
$28018109
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$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 10:23:29 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers
Message to people who may be trying to post comments here: if your comment contains even one URL address, it will never get posted.
$28018109
50%
50%
$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 10:05:53 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith - "Every year the economy is requiring another 120,000 people with a computer science degree"
Wrong. Perhaps (perhaps) it's requiring something close to that for all levels of all types of IT positions combined, but there is no way that all those jobs require a computer science degree. What ever happened to the applicability of mathematics degrees, engineering degrees, statistics degrees, or just plain old 10 years experience in ACTUALLY DOING IT ON THE JOB?
FYI...
Economic Policy Institute, November 19, 2012
"The Microsoft report projects a labor shortage over the next eight years by incorrectly assuming that only individuals with a bachelorGÇÖs degree in computer science can fill jobs in computer-related occupations. Data analyzed for this memorandum as well as other studies show that less than one-fourth to less than one-half of workers in computing occupations have a computer science degree."
http://www.epi.org/publication...

Partnership for A New American Economy lobbying group - "the unemployment rate for tech workers in the U.S. is just 3.15%"
Unlike many other occupations, a large percentage of technical professionals are self-employed (S or C corporation, LLC, or Schedule C 1099). When we types of folks are "on the bench" due to lack of opportunities (a.k.a. unemployed), it doesn't show up in unemployment numbers since we are not registered as being unemployed for the receipt of unemployment insurance. And as twins.fan commented, it also doesn't include all the ones who have been displaced from the profession e.g. who are now working at WalMart or your local supermarket.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith - "But when we look at the numbers today, the numbers don't lie"
Sure they do, playing with them the way you do.

hoapres
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hoapres,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 9:02:00 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers
Well

If we have a true labor shortage then wages would be going up.

twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 7:38:32 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers
The story reports that:

"The lobby group said the unemployment rate for tech workers in the U.S. is just 3.15%, compared to around 8% for all workers. "Given that the U.S. government has defined 'full employment' to be 4 percent, this suggests a skills shortage of STEM professionals with advanced degrees," the group said in the report, titled 'Help Wanted.'"

The only way that Brad Smith and is minions can report an unemployment rate of 3.15% is to ignore the hundreds of thousands of displaced and disenfranchised US STEM workers that have lost their jobs because of the importation of cheap, entry level, workers from the third world, largely because of the influence and political bribes of Bill Gates.

Brad Smith and Bill Gates complaining about this supposed shortage of US STEM workers is like someone murdering their parents and throwing themselves onto the mercy of the court for becoming an orphan.

Microsoft, Bill Gates, Brad Smith, and the rest of the high tech industry are responsible for discarding the greatest scientists, engineers and mathematicians that the world has ever seen, the US STEM worker, who were replaced so that Bill Gates could make more money by reducing labor costs.

The GAO is very clear about their study when they report that not only are H-1B visa recipients not "highly skilled," a staggering 94% are not even "Fully Competent."

In their 2011 report for Congress, the GAO concluded that a mere 6% of the recipients of H-1B visas are "Fully Competent" with 54% of the recipients of H-1B visas are "Entry Level" workers. In fact, many disenfranchised US STEM workers had to train their replacement in order to receive a severance package.

Clearly recipients of H-1B visas are being trained by the likes of Bill Gates and the rest of corporate America. Instead of training foreign workers, we should be training some of the 50% of recent college grads who have not yet found full time employment. Instead of training foreign workers, we should be updating the skills of disenfranchised US STEM workers.
vbierschwale
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vbierschwale,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 7:22:38 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers
Two things:
1. That donation is something that I consider to be a bribe to our government and should be treated as such by the attorney generals office.
2. If they are so sure that they can't find qualified individuals, why have they not stepped up to the plate and accepted Keep America At Work's challenge to a duel to Keep America At Work?

If you haven't heard about the duel, you can read more about it in the upper right hand sidebar at http://www.KeepAmericaAtWork.c...

$28018109
50%
50%
$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 7:21:32 PM
re: Microsoft Defends Hiring Foreign Workers

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith - "Every year the economy is requiring another 120,000 people with a computer science degree"
Tech Pro - Wrong. Perhaps (perhaps) it's requiring something close to that for all levels of all types of IT positions combined, but there is no way that all those jobs require a computer science degree. What ever happened to the applicability of mathematics degrees, statistics degrees, or just plain old 10 years experience in ACTUALLY DOING IT ON THE JOB?
FYI...
Economic Policy Institute, November 19, 2012
"The Microsoft report projects a labor shortage over the next eight years by incorrectly assuming that only individuals with a bachelorGÇÖs degree in computer science can fill jobs in computer-related occupations. Data analyzed for this memorandum as well as other studies show that less than one-fourth to less than one-half of workers in computing occupations have a computer science degree."
http://www.epi.org/publication...

Partnership for A New American Economy lobbying group - "the unemployment rate for tech workers in the U.S. is just 3.15%"
Tech Pro - Unlike many other occupations, a large percentage of technical professionals are self-employed (S or C corporation, LLC, or Schedule C 1099). When we types of folks are "on the bench" due to lack of opportunities (a.k.a. unemployed), it doesn't show up in unemployment numbers since we are not registered as being unemployed for the receipt of unemployment insurance.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith - "But when we look at the numbers today, the numbers don't lie"
Tech Pro - Sure they do, playing with them the way you do.

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