The technology business is back, if H-1B visas are any indicator. There was a rush for the specialty long-term visa this year, and on Friday the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services division said H-1B petitions exceeded the number of visas available.
The division held a computerized lottery on Sunday to distribute the visas in random fashion.
There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year, and an additional 20,000 available to students from overseas who have received an advanced degree at a U.S. university. The USCIS said it received 124,000 petitions between April 1 and April 5, and that the cap was exceeded for both the general and advanced degree categories. Applicants for the advanced degree exemption who did not receive one were put into the general lottery.
azscot - If there's a shortage of talent, why were I and many of my friends laid off from our engineering jobs, which then went to Singapore?
And why, after I went back to school and earned a PhD in EE, did it take me almost a year to get my first job offer?
And why are several of my grad school friends, with Master's in EE or Physics, still looking for jobs two years after graduating?
Interesting comment. It turns out that one of the changes made by the German government, to turn its previously stagnant economy around, was to incentivize people to work. In part, by reducing welfare benefits to 1 year (I believe that's right).
But forget the facile welfare reference.
As the population ages, and fewer working people have to subsidize ever larger number of retirees, the notion should be that unless you are independently wealthy or physically incapable, you SHOULD be working. Not so much a matter of "want." Every household has to be self-supporting, and then some, except retirees or the physically impaired.
Whether we're handing out H-1B visas for less-than-exceptionally needed engineers, or the way more prevalent problem of hiring illegal immigrants for cheap manual labor, the result is that people who should be working are unable to find a job. Which drags down the economy.
It's a travesty that young engineers in the US can't find a job. If the job market needs IT types or software types more than RF engineers, then you suck it up and learn the new skills. Any EE has to do this anyway, unless he plans to work for only a handful of years after college. And companies need to be made to quit pretending that their needs are so highly focused that only a couple of people in the world can meet their needs.
The need for H1B's may get a lot greater. You may have read the hoopla in the newspapers over this weeks' publication of the "Next Generation Science Standards" which will guide high school science curriculum for the indefinite future. The philosophy is "depth not breadth", deeper analyis of fewer science topics. So what was dropped? There will be no requirement to teach electricity & magnetism in public school education-no ohm's law, no electric circuits no amps, ohm's, volts, induction, nor right-hand-rule. Read 'em for yourself at www.nextgenscience.org. I teach high school physics -- public education in the US is led by fools -- now bringing you a disaster in science education, with fewer students who will be motivated to choose EE as a college major.
A slight change to the topic:
It is very obvious right now no matter where you go for food, it is immigrants, mostly Mexican people, working in the kitchen.
For landscaping, it is Mexican people.
If you take a road trip, you may find a lot of immigrants working at farms.
There are tons of jobs available. Yet millions of "jobless" and "poor" American people do not want to work.
This "American" culture, mentality, and social structure is biased, unsustainable, and destined for failure.
Interesting opinions @
Fact 1: Immigrants represent a big portion of the technical talent in US firms and universities.
Immigrants represented 24% and 47% of the US math- and science-based workforce with bachelors and doctorate educations in the 2000 Census, respectively.
Immigrants account for 60% of the math and science doctorates from US universities. (1)
Fact 2: Immigrants represent some of the best technical talent in the US.
60% of the top science students in the United States and 65% of the top math students are the children of immigrants. (1)
Foreign-born high school students make up 50% of the 2004 U.S.Math Olympiadís top scorers, 38% of the U.S. Physics Team, and 25% of the Intel Science Talent Search finalists, the United Statesí most prestigious awards for young scientists and mathematicians. (1)
I saw an article last week showing up the Pi-Chart on the Categories and Companies who tried to apply the most H1B's. About 5 IT Staffing/Services companies applied for more than 90% visas just for IT. It's a crystal clear abuse of H1B VISAs. It's creating artificial demand for VISAs and the lottery system simply leaving it to the luck than getting the real and deserving talent required for the projects causing the debate asking for more H1's or not finding talent.
I think legal system should fix this issue first before they talk about other stuff.
I guess I'm saying that most IT folk, most of the time, deploy and install applications and services that have already been well figured out and debugged. They won't be developing these from scratch. Not as IT people, at any rate. If they will be developing these tools, it is a software experts at software companies.
Same goes with the network itself. They will likely want to go through Cisco or Microsoft certification programs, to learn some of the finer tricks of the trade, and should certainly do their own reading on network topics, but this is hardly beyond the reach of a EE grad.
And yes, I do believe that companies like to pretend that their IT candidates must already know how to "author" their own mirrored server software, how to author their own IETF RFCs, how to write multithreaded programs, but quite frankly, that's what this rukus is all about. The companies end up hiring H-1B candidates who have none of this knowledge anyway, mainly because they can be offered a lower salary. It's a big scam.
Wait a minute Bert, I think we're talking about two different types of IT. When I think of someone fully qualified in IT I'm thinking about someone who is completely capable of programming, tuning and deploying applications, someone who has vast knowledge of topics like Microsoft Foundation Classes, distributed component object model (DCOM) and CORBA and multithreaded architectures and using them to author and deploy applications across multiple servers, someone who can set up and manage a secure VPN. If you think these topics are things some EE freshout can teach himself in a few hours you are very wrong! I mean I'm not saying I believe it's "beyond the intellectual capacity" of an EE to master this stuff IF he's being formally trained by his employer (which seldom happens, as you point out) but if I were using this technology to run an international enterprise that's live online I certainly don't want someone "learning on the job" - and bringing down the network to do so! If your notion of IT is just doing the tasks of the average sysadmin then I might see things your way, but once again you're displaying the tendency I've observed of many US managers to vastly oversimplify the problems IT guys deal with to keep these complex applications online and running smoothly, which was really my point in the first place. (And I admit at least things have gotten better than the days when all program testing had to be dome between 3 and 6 AM Sunday morning which was the only time system maintenance could be scheduled...!)
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 2 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...