No, you prove my point. You remind me of the Silicon Valley tech firm that offered me only 55K during the tech boom in Silicon Valley (1997). Even though cost of living was off the charts, this company said, "Our wage scales are fair and reasonable." Two years on I found a more realistic wage (65K).
I made 75K as a perm (not temp) at Cisco, in 2000, for crying out loud.
"Be realistic" means "Pay what you need to to attract talent".
Realistically, it proves my point all the more, wages in the industry are generally higher than other industries requiring same level of education, because of lack of supply. Some estimate of equilibrium wage levels are what the Dept of labor stipulates for "prevailing wage" minimums
2)Temping in every industry commands a higher premium to compensate for lack of permanency, (whatever that means). I have temped too at those levels in the late 90's when the tech economy was booming, You did not mention if 70/hr was for a one needing a H1 sponsor or US citzen/perm resident.
Also certain niche skills/industries also command a premium. We are not talking outliers here, but averages.
When you stayed in a company for your entire career (more often) that made sense, businesses were more apt to invest in their employees and think long term. With employees changing jobs more it has started a spiral in which businesses do less for their employees and the employees have to job hop to do better. And with businesses looking at employees as expeses instead of profit centers the feelings are mutual.
My experience is from about 10 years ago, but I share the desire for H1B workers.
I was CTO of an Internet software company in the pre- and post- 2000 era, and so I experienced both when it was impossible to hire and when there were plentiful unemployeed software engineers. I ran several teams of about 40 people total, about 35 engineers.
My top 4 software engineers, who I depended on to get everything done, and who ran architecture as well as core coding were:
1) A British-educated Master of computer science
2) A Brazillian H1B masters of computer science
3) A French H1B Masters of computer science
4) A US software developer, I believe self taught, I think he had a college degree
While #1 had extensive video game console experience coming to us, #2 and #3 came to us striaght out of school - and were fantastic.
Almost consistently, my good US software engineers either 1) had no college degree or 2) had a dis-related college degree and had taught themselves to program
From my own experience at UCLA computer science, which may not represent other top 20 engineering schools, the curriculum was far too theoretical to turn out an engineer who was immediatley usable on a job. In fact, the only UCLA grads I knew who were usable, had worked on side projects throughout school - in essence, they were good engineers before they got there and continued to improve despite the education.
My sampling is only in the 40-50 person range, but it was consistent enough that it still affects my hiring choices today:
1) I prefer foreigners because of their work ehtic (not hours, just discipline at work)
2) I prefer foreigners because of their educational background (to get a masters you had to DO something meaningful, and make a whole system work, not just some theoretical essay on one obscure point)
3) I prefer foreigners because they seemed to have WANTED to study that field (I ran into US engineers whose 'parents told them to study C/S" or "who thought it was a good career choice", not a passion)
4) I prefer foreigners because they get the American dream and overtly stated that the reason they were here is because in the US there's this drive to succeed and that attracted them
I'm 4th generation American, late 19th century, so I don't consider these new Amercians any less American than me. I think you can be American anywhere on earth, if you believe in our values and come to our country and live the American dream and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you're one of us and welcome here.
I wonder how many of these companies who complain that they can't get USA STEM candidates have simply earned themselves the reputation of being bad places to work? While I haven't tried them myself, I have heard of sites where you can find out about the work environment of companies based on the opinions of people who are working there or have worked there, so it's not like you can keep company culture and disfunction secret. There are quite a few companies whose management and policies are indistinguishable from Dilbert, and like the PHB they can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to work for them.
It's not just the CEOs saying it, it's all the "business channel" reporters saying "breaking news, there's three million STEM jobs GOING BEGGING!!" OK call me silly or naive, I briefly undertook a campaign actually emailing some of these clowns to try and get them to exercise a bit of restraint regarding the "industry propaganda" they were willing to spread. It turns out this vicious nonsense is being spread by every "conservative" think tank in DC as well as the "usual suspects" like CEA etc., there's apparently lots of lobbying money supporting this too. I also learned if you try to say something to try and stop immigrants from taking abusively poor salaries, the political right calls you "anti-immigrant" and the left denounces you for trying to prevent them from recruiting more poor people to vote in favor of huge government. In other words it's perfectly hopeless (or it seems that way), every political entity on both sides is not only steadfastly against reasonable tech salaries, they're also foursquare against telling the truth about almost anything having to do with the job market. Lots of luck trying to change things through the ballot box!!
Just get VERY tired of all these CEO's saying that they cannot find 'American' STEM employees for their companies. IF they would pay a fair salary then they would have NO problem finding USA citizens to fill the jobs. They want to pay engineers with Master and PH's degrees the same as a BS graduate straight out school. Would not be so bad, but there are MANY qualified people without jobs, and they do not even try to actively recruit them. They go straight to the overseas market and try to bring the H1 canidates. Who they then expect them to work 55-60 hours a week, without even the promise of over time or bonus'es.
RGARVIN640, just the first sentence of your message ought to be a whole barrel of cold water in the face of the parents of US students, especially the ones who fervently get their kids to enter science fairs and local robotics competitions. The truly sad part about this is they're still in the mode of "oh you can't possibly mean this applies to little Johnny (or Jane), he/she's really SMART!" And you know it doesn't get through until the kid gets the sheepskin and tries to enter the job market, THEN it's all about how they were lied to by all the teachers/guidance counselors etc. Sure these kids have benefitted somewhat from a tech education and can change course later, but it's far easier for some to change course than others who have their entire identity wrapped up in what they succeeded in in school. I predict there's going to be a good-sized chunk of an entire generation headed for extensive psychological analysis, suicides etc. For myself it's just the Cassandra complex deja vu. I'll bet these CEOs who set these salary caps feel just as strongly about their motivations but I'm also sure they'll find ways so they only have to answer to Wall Street analysts, NOT to Johnny's irate parents!