SAN JOSE, Calif.--The U.S. presidential elections were
"issues-lite," as many observers like to say, but that doesn't mean
the issues aren't going away. Chief among them is immigration,
which, for the technology industry, is usually front and center.
Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett famously said all universities should
staple a green card form onto their graduate engineering degree
diplomas to encourage foreign students to stay and put their
education to work here in the U.S. That hasn't happened, and
compromise over ways to improve high-skilled immigration is
deadlocked at the moment, according to SIA CEO Brian Toohey.
At the same time, other countries aren't waiting for U.S. leaders
to fix our problems. They're building better universities and
curricula, thank you, in the hopes that they'll be able educate,
graduate and retain native students to help grow domestic technology
So, has the view of U.S. engineering programs at the university
levels changed in a generation? I had an opportunity to get one
perspective this week when I sat down with Maxim Integrated CEO Tunc
Doluca (right), a Turkish native who earned his degrees in the U.S. 30
years ago and went on to build a successful engineering career here.
Would he do it again? Or would he stay at home?
studied in the U.S. out of necessity. The Turkish "political
situation got unstabled," and he decided to move to the U.S., where
he got his BSEE at Iowa State University. Afterward, he received his
MSEE at U.C. Santa Barbara.
The Turkish college where Doluca started his education was so strong that when he got to
the U.S. "for the first six months to a year, I did not have to
study that much because I had learned most of that back there."
I think we're making a bad mistake allowing out-of-control real estate prices and inflated cost of living in general. Somehow everyone got persuaded that inordinately rising housing prices are a good substitute for retirement savings and pensions. This is a bad idea for many reasons: it makes older people vulnerable to housing booms and busts, while making it very hard for young people to start their lives in areas with a vigorous economy. It also forces people to move on their retirement---they need to monetize their retirement fund by selling the house (I do realize that from the macroeconomic point of view this may be a good outcome, as the retiring geezers make space for their young replacements).
I actually like my house and I wouldn't mind retiring in it, so to me, real estate appreciation only means increasing real estate taxes. The real estate industry is the main beneficiary of the housing booms, and I think we would be all better off if housing prices increased very slowly over time and RE was a boring and not very profitable area.
Having done the same thing and moved here to Silicon Valley, obtained a green card and having been educated outside the USA I would do it again. However the times are changing in Silicon Valley and it really is a victim of it's own success. Unfortunately it is getting too expensive to live here a as regular Engineer and as a result talent is not coming in which is unfortunate since the experience really needs to flow down to the the newbies. Engineering is not 100% theory, it is more of an iterative thing where the rubber meets the road (theory meets practicality). This is where we need the experienced guys to train the less experienced. The problem is the fresh grads aren't coming so there's a disconnect as Silicon Valley has some incredible talent that needs to be passed on.