Old engineering immigrants may be asking themselves, "Would I do it the same way all over again?"
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."