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Thursday, April 28, 2005

The H1-B Bomber

Bill Gates says that the H1-B visa quota should be eliminated. He wants us to believe that there is a shortage of engineers.

The truth is, Bill Gates wants more cheap engineers. There are lots of experienced, older engineers out there, who are unemployed or underemployed. They are unemployed because they are more expensive, rather than out of date--the fundamentals of most engineering disciplines have not changed in many years, only many of the tools and tricks.

If engineers are in such tight demand, you would expect that their salaries would be skyrocketing. But they aren't (mine isn't). If engineers were so hard to get, you would think that companies would work hard to keep them, instead of laying them off when things get tight.

If there was a shortage of engineers, the market would adjust, and sweeten the deal, to attract more students to engineering. But college students are not beating down the doors to get into engineering programs, because they know how engineers are treated. The kids are pursuing law, medicine, finance--if you are going to be worked like a dog, you might as well get paid for it.

A good, compact article on this subject is here.

2 comments:

Tom DC/VA said...

Basicly Microsoft (and by extension America) wants to freeload off of other country's education systems. This is hardly unusual. What always surprises me is that the population buys into it, instead of demanding better education for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Lifetime employment in any discipline based on seniority and 'experience' and job security is a delusion. The only model that will survive is the consulting-type but a 'skills auction' model, whereby everyone will have to 'win' assignments based on their ability to get them done - on time, on budget, and without frills. Read a Fortune article published in 1993 called 'the end of the Job'. I am also a Detroit-based automotive engineer, but a consultant - holding both a PhD in engineering and an MBA. So, I've been on both sides of it. Engineers better get used to the global competition and act like 'free agents' in terms of their attitude towards the 'job'. The party is over, folks! Everyone will be responsible for their own retirement, job security and health care. Deal with it or perish. Read Tom Peters, to know what I mean, and quit whining.