Bill SJ makes a good point at the end ... what is the relative cost of living in each location? I once lived in the Chicago area and a lawyer friend got a job in Manhattan for a 25% raise. The problem was that she would have needed a third or even 50% raise just to break even! I went the opposite direction and for the same base salary, got the effect of a 10% raise in a cheaper market. For $22K per year in India, an engineer may have a lot of other benefits or lower costs to live, in some ways, better than the $116K person in North America.
Your graphic cuts like a knife into a business practice that has long needed to be examined.
Twenty years ago work went to Taiwan and Singpaore. When they got too pricey it moved to Malaysia. When prices went up there it went to India and China. Ten years from now we will be offshoring to Africa. Then what?
When will this industry think about building a sustianable and fair model? I suspect about the time the ocean waters are rising in New York and San Francisco and we start thinking we better take action on that global warming thing, too.
Until then, hey we are helping other countries raise their standard of living. It's just good business.
My 2-cent worth opinion.
A lot of engineers in China, for example, may have just 3-year working experience after college before they move on to manager or something else. Also during their 3-year as engineers, they hardly do truly real development, i.e. world-class product. The salary survey should include what kind of commercial products engineer produced.
I cannot comment on engineers on other countries. However, I worked at may Massachusetts and Silicon Valley hightech companies for 18 years after got my Ph. D. I, and many others like me with 10+ years experience, are still worked as developer, day-in-day-out, and chucked out products millions are actually using (which also indicate our career are utterly failure).
We pay much higher income tax. If we count the social security, medicare that we may never see a penny, and state and local tax, sales tax. If we are double earning family, AMT kicks in and we only bring home half of the income on paper.
Also, our cost of living are much higher (SF bay area). Therefore, the income on paper is really not a good gauge on compensations. EE-times survey should adjust those factors.
I think this article glosses over the assumption of 'equal work' and 'same qualifications'.
I think all of your readers are well acquainted with the real cultural differences between Eastern and Western engineers. Eastern engineers, because of cultural differences, often can't perform even the most basic tasks without specific step by step instructions, whereas Western engineers are more prone to self-guidance and self-management. (Note this is a generalization and potentially dangerous stereotype, not applicable to all people, but is used to illustrate a point.)
The pay inequity is not truly an inequity when one group is so much harder to manage and direct.
For those Eastern engineers who are self-directing and truly have equal qualifications, I have no quarrel with their unrest or demand for equity.
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