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.
My insinuation is that the first thing nearly every Asian engineer does when he /she gets settled in the Valley is to import his/her aged parents and extended family most of whom end up suckling on California's generous (by US standards) welfare state.
Even with the engineer earning good to great money and paying California income tax it is not enough to offset the burdens imposed by the rest of his/her clan.
In Silicon Valley or in the US in general?
I went to an engineering school in the Midwest (late 90's) and then an engineering grad school on the east coast (2007 - 2012).
Most of the white engineers were native born US citizens. Some were first generation Americans (mostly the descendants of Russian Jews who were allowed to leave the USSR a la Sergey Brin).
It bears repeating that California is *very* unrepresentative of the US as a whole particularly in workforce demography.
The remainder were Eastern/Central European who came over for late high school, undergrad or grad school. This second group impressed me the most in terms of technical talent especially with respect to other non-native engineers.
Yep. My other degree is in Cognitive Science with an emphasis on the neural correlates of general human intelligence.
Northeast Asians (Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese) tend to have disproportionately strong visual-spatial and symbolic reasoning at the expense of verbal and conceptual reasoning.
Consequently, you would expect Northeast Asians to be over represented in engineering and other technical fields that emphasize visual-spatial and symbolic reasoning.
However, the disparity in visual-spatial & symbolic reasoning between Northeast Asians and Northwest Europeans (from whom the majority of white Americans are descended)is too small to explain the workforce demographics at play in Silicon Valley.
Rather, I suspect the *over over* representation of Asians in Silicon Valley is due to proximity to Asia, the collectivist nature of most Asian cultures and the fact that Asians are viewed (rightly or wrongly) as cheaper employees.
It's this latter point that probably, mostly explains their representation in a very high cost state like California.
To test this out, CA in fact can balance the budget and cut the welfare. This will lead to a win-win situation. The budget will be balanced, and the AsianAmerican will still stay in STEM because I think the root-cause is the culture.
Danny, you should really consider a career change, from engineering to politician. You certainly have the quility, Crooked and Incompetent.
California state government & local government collected record amount of tax. The government employee salary & benefit is more than doubled the past decade. In San Jose, city employee cost alone is more than 80% of the city budget.
Asian made up 10% of california pupolation. They also have the highest household income, which uaually translates into more tax dollars. BTW, in the current immigration system, it's nearly impossible to bring the extended family here. How could they suck up the welfare of CA?
It's really your second cousin or third niece, those who worked at all level of government, sucked CA dry.