Re: You cannot ignore the root cause
"Get rid of the H-1B and you will have companies hiring even English majors to do IT work."
Even English majors?!?! Heaven forbid.
I'm joking, but man, as someone who actually has an English degree, I've experienced enormous condescension from some Silicon Valley folks who think that if you majored in the humanities, it must be because you're not smart enough to have majored in a "real" subject. I recognize that bbuff isn't saying this; in fact, he indicated the precise opposite—that an English major, with some employer support, is perfectly capable of handling a more technical job. But since that condescension is out there, I feel obligated to complain about it.
I'm not suggesting companies should hire English, Philosophy and Art students who have no coding skill—but I recently had a conversation with an exec from a pretty big company who actually winced when I told him I have an English degree, almost as though I'd told him I'd just been diagnosed with an illness or something. It's one thing for tech companies to invest more recruitment effort in applicants with technical degrees—that's just smart, since this group of people is, on average, going to produce more qualified employees. But it's another thing - a stupider and more insulting thing - for people to dismiss humanities majors as a general rule.
Where I went to school, for example, an English degree would constitute at most one-third of one's unit requirements, and most of us used our remaining course flexibility to develop at least some rudimentary tech skills. Are these skills enough for these English majors to become engineers after graduation? No, not often-- but the skills are certainly adequate for many of these people to contribute in meaningful ways to technical projects. An attitude that instinctively looks down on people with humanities degrees ignores:
a) that linguistic structures with which serious humanities students are acquainted will actually translate quite nicely into understandings of coding syntax;
b) that linguists and critical theory in general cultivate an understanding of abstraction that can actually be pretty useful for developing a working knowledge of how systems are built and how they interact;
c) that humanities majors will often have unique insights into end user expectations and needs (not all end users are engineers, after all);
d) that some of us who majored in the humanities are actually plenty capable with math and science but just happened to find other topics worth studying.
All that complaining side, I have met some tech execs who've told me (without my solicitation, no less) that they'd like to see a more diverse mixture of academic backgrounds working in the tech industry. Earlier this year, for example, Padma Warrior, Cisco's CTO, surprised me with this sort of sentiment; I was chatting with her about tech opportunities for women (an issue she is passionate about) and was surprised when she responded that the tech industry needs not only more female perspectives, but more perspectives from people who didn't necessarily major in tech fields.