Asian-Americans have made double-digit employment gains in the Bay Area's technology workforce, according to a numbers analysis of Census Bureau data by the San Jose Mercury News.
Mercury News claimed that this “dramatic shift” had come at the expense of technology jobs from white tech workers, while California's Hispanic and African-American communities also lost some ground – but not much.
Though Mercury News doesn’t seem to have taken into account population growth as part of its statistical analysis, the paper claims the numbers show that the percentage of Asian tech workers increased from 39 percent in the year 2000 to over 50 percent in 2010 for Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties combined.
Meanwhile, according to Mercury News, “white workers saw their more than 50 percent majority of tech jobs in 2000 fall to nearly 41 percent.”
The African-American tech workforce reduced from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent, while Hispanic tech employment saw a similarly small decrease from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent.
The paper points out that Hispanics make up 27 percent of Santa Clara County, so the numbers do appear disproportionally low. Not that any good explanation is proffered by the paper.
Instead, the Mercury News article makes the case that Asian-Americans are seeing increased success thanks to an early emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, though it fails to say whether this emphasis comes from local American schools or from pushy parents.
The software field is where Mercury News claims there has been the largest demographic shift, though the numbers appear fairly in line with demographic growth. Apparently Asian-Americans made up 45 percent of software developers in 2000, and now total 53 percent in Alameda County. In San Mateo and Santa Clara, the numbers seem to show a rise from 50 percent to nearly 60 percent.
While questioning this purportedly significant demographic shift, Mercury News saw fit to note that while 34 percent of African-American and Hispanic students started out studying engineering, only 13 percent went on to leave college with engineering degrees.
The paper again blames lack of STEM education for all communities other than the Asian-American one for this seeming failure.
While that may or may not be true, the entire piece leaves a bad taste and stirs up sentiments perhaps better left well alone. After all, is the Mercury News implying it would rather the Bay Area start using affirmative action in the engineering space? And would that make things more fair? Is the Asian-American community to blame for seemingly having found a better way to channel children into science?
Statistics and numbers are certainly interesting, but put those tools in the wrong hands – say of an extreme politician or the bitter unemployed masses-- and you have a recipe for disaster. Or just plain racism.
One of the key statistics is the Asian population growth in Bay Area. It will tell us whether the tech domination is due to population growth or solely because more Asian Americans prefer tech job over the others.
I've been in the Bay Area for more than 10 years. To my observation, there are actually more Asian Americans living in the Bay Area over the pass 10 years. There isn't much doubt Asian population has grown significantly. I keen to believe there is growth of Asian American in the other professions as well. Let's check the fact. :D
Hell no, US tech firm (almost) don't care about your academic backgrounds.
like micron which 's favorite college is ... Boise State , o man, where it's former CEO and group of top excutives from.
TI 's CEO is also from a 100+ ranked college.
In a tech company connection, chemistry with your boss rules.
I read bias against Asians in elite university admission before. These universities cap asians students admission in accordance with their policy, which nothing but racial bias.
Now if the silicon valley companies value meritocracy then high proportion of Asians in high skill jobs is not surprising.
@ Bert, ya ya, forget about your article, let me tell you a story.
one of US top10 EE dept admitted a group of underqualified white males (and they are still doing it.)
In the end a piece of diploma from a top 10 or MIT whatever means nothing to them, they just can't find a job and wandering around.
That 's why engineering sucks, cause nothing (maybe except real talent) will save you. American whites better use their racial advantage to get into a law major or sth where diploma matters more.
Perhaps it would help if you became more sensitive to the discrimination faced by Asian Americans in college admissions and the workforce.
To start with read this detailed article from the American Conservative about the admission bias against Asian Americans in America's top schools:
In the top private schools of the US, Asian American enrollment has been capped at 15% over the last decade. The average SAT scores of Asian Americans are significantly higher (140 points on a scale of 1600) than White Americans admitted to the Ivys.
I know of many well rounded Asian American students with 4.0+ averages from the most competitive schools, excellent leadership records, and strong community involvement who do not get in to private schools, while their non-Asian class mates who they outdistance on all metrics, get in.
Beyond a certain level, it is who you know which matters, and Asians get the short end of the stick. Effectively, Asians are being shut out of the truly lucrative professions in America, especially those which lead to political and economic power.
As a result they tend to go towards careers where what you know matters more than who you know. And the tech industry is one refuge, along with medicine.
But even in the Tech industry they hit the the glass ceiling. Can you count the number of Asian Americans in this meeting of Silicon Valley execs with Obama?
I can recall even more than forty years ago (in an Ivy League school that will remain unidentified) Asian professors with tenure protection blatantly steering their attention to the careful education of other Asians (even to the extent of occasionally "lapsing" parts of the lecture into Mandarin or other tongues) and the few of us "round eyes" actually qualified to attend these classes got rewarded for our diligence with dirty, heavy foam chalk erasers thrown at our heads with great force DURING the lecture! These profs would get a pass by the administration because we'd get told things like "Asians aren't racists, they're just culturally collectivist" whatever the hell THAT means. Then add in that employers really like the premise that their recruiting departments can "tap into" whole overseas villages and extended families of well-trained Asians who know each other and are willing to work for low wages and poor benefits and you'd have to question the sanity of any employer who WOULDN'T hire "Asian first", it just leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those of us still hanging around waiting for our own "pot of gold". I'm sure there's also SOMEONE who wants to declare that I'M a racist just for finally telling the simple truth, there never really was a "safe" circumstance to bring all this up, especially in academia (although I didn't go that way myself) where just acknowledging that this behavior is rampant is more than enough to permanently "nuke" one's career, and this particular form of "political correctness" is an essential form of self-preservation.
Nothing like race battles to egg on the readers...
Anyway, as @dthayden alluded to, to get a better picture of the statistics we have to examine the number of whites that have fled to other states. If they're leaving en mass then of-course some other group has to replace them. I'm sure the native Americans can attest to this.
Another factor is age. Are the whites retiring? or more likely being age discriminated out of engineering? What are the age demographics for Whites vs. Asians? Willing to bet the whites are older.
Sorry, I don't know what you think you know, but the article I pointed out tells the story. Universities are actively recruiting foreign students who pay full freight, as well as actively recruiting any number of other demographic groups who have historically been under-represented (women and minorities). The result of which is that what was once over-represented, white American males, are now under-represented, especially in the universtities that are most aggressively targeting the different demographic groups.
That's what "bragging rights" means.
Again, if you look this stuff up, you'll see for instance that women are now over-represented in medicine and law, and even in universities overall, but not in STEM. Asian males are going to those STEM courses.
So in part that explains why Asians are talking the tech jobs. It's because they are actively being recruited, they are interested in and succeed academically in STEM programs, and especially in California, the absolute number of whites is declining. Need anything more to explain the shift?
Kids who really want to take STEM courses in college are not likely to choose law or medicine instead.
I think it's time to rethink the politically correct "bragging rights" orthodoxy. Things change.
As someone who would not consider living in the Bay area for any amount of compensation, I think part of it comes down to tolerance for big city life, and putting money as a priority over quality of life. If you come from expensive, huge, congested cities, you are more likely to enjoy or at least be tolerant of living in such conditions. I would guess most Asian immigrants come from big cities.
Being in Idaho, we get many immigrants fleeing California. Lot's of whites, not many Asians. The folks immigrating here are willing to trade quality of life over maximizing compensation.
In this discussion, we see so many different issues are being touched upon.
1) Immigration, legal and illegal;
2) Income Tax and welfare;
3) Recrimination of race and sex and Age;
To me, it comes down to one thing: profit.
Individual need profit, family need profit, company need profit, that drive each group doing something best to their interest.
We should take a view on this important issue from interest of USA as a whole:
1)Do we need more STEM immigrants to stay competitive? Competing against China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India?
2)Shall we recruit people based on racial percentage or their capability?
For the first question, many of you will agree, we need more highly technical skillful engineer and scientist to enter USA, right now EU, Canada, Japan, Australia all allocate high percentage of immigration quota to technical immigrant.
USA better continue to attract the world best engineer and scientist to stay competitive as a nation.
Apple already lost its crown to Samsung on smart phone, which is highest growing sector in high tech industry. Although Google and ARM replace Intel and Microsoft in mobile industry, but they employment can not replace Intel and Microsoft. Job market in high tech industry looks pretty bleaching long term, that's why a lot of white male do not want to enter this industry.Just like Google layoff massive people from Motorola.
USA is losing its technical dominance right now, China and Korea, and Japan are growing much faster than USA now.
For second question, it is very simple, we interview and hire people based on their capability and contribution to the company, not anything else. It is very hard to find qualified white and black male in today's market, especially entry level engineer, or entry level marketing engineer, there is just no resume. From that standpoint, white and black make chose to leave this industry, because it need hard work, overtime all the time, not because they are discriminated against.