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UC Davis Study Concludes H-1B Workers Neither Best Nor Brightest 353

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-neither-are-the-americans dept.
CowboyRobot writes "American companies are demanding more H-1B visas to ensure access to the best and brightest workforce, and outside the U.S. are similar claims of an IT worker shortage. Last month, European Commission VP Neelie Kroes bemoaned the growing digital skills gap that threatens European competitiveness. But a new study finds that imported IT talent is often less talented than U.S. workers. Critics of the H-1B program see it as a way for companies to keep IT wages low, to discriminate against experienced U.S. workers, and to avoid labor law obligations. In his examination of the presumed correlation between talent and salary, researcher Norman Matloff observes that Microsoft has been exaggerating how much it pays foreign workers. Citing past claims by the company that it pays foreign workers '$100,000 a year to start,' Matloff says the data shows that only 18% of workers with software engineering titles sponsored for green cards by Microsoft between 2006 and 2011 had salaries at or above $100,000."
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UC Davis Study Concludes H-1B Workers Neither Best Nor Brightest

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  • So Microsoft lies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:09AM (#43077035)

    What else is new?

    • by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:15AM (#43077045)

      A somewhat on topic first post?

      That's fairly new.

    • by stepdown (1352479)
      Might the costs of securing employees green cards etc. be treated as a benefit or part of the first year's salary?

      The study also notes that 34% of financial analysts and 71% of lawyers hired from abroad earn over the $100,000 mark, when you consider all professions the figure is 21%.
    • Not just Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:24PM (#43079611)

      Practically all US tech companies are hiring as many visa workers as they possibly can. Keeps the remaining American workers in line.

      IMO: it's way past time for US tech workers to organize, and stand up for themselves. If not a union, then a worthwhile professional organization, like the AMA.

      • Re:Not just MSFT (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NickGnome (1073080)
        "IMO: it's way past time for US tech workers to organize, and stand up for themselves."
        ...

        I'm already organized, and standing up for myself.

        Oh, you mean give over my personal sovereignty to leftist union thugs, giving me another faction to struggle against to try to retain my earnings. No thanks.

  • schadenfreude (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:16AM (#43077051)
    So when nerd inventions blast away other people's jobs, most of the people around here start screaming about buggy whip manufacturers and the need for a rapidly adjusting workforce. When US companies go outside the priesthood and get overseas IT people because the locals don't meet their needs, then suddenly protectionism is awesome. The rest of the country has zero sympathy here. Nerds have constantly pushed technology that has cost people jobs. From replacing checkout operators, to devastating travel agencies, to Google self driving cars getting rid of taxis to "disrupting education" so you can fire a lot of university staff. When a nerd looks at someone with a job who isn't in IT, all they seem to be thinking is "how can I automate it so that this sack of meat is no longer in the equation"
    • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:33AM (#43077355)

      Nerds have constantly pushed technology that has cost people jobs.

      ... but this time its serious because they're talking about nerd jobs.

      • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:51AM (#43077429)

        Nerds have constantly pushed technology that has cost people jobs.

        ... but this time its serious because they're talking about nerd jobs.

        Bah, bullshit.

        It's serious because we are talking about government screwing with the labor market. It is neither open competition (so that H1-B visa holders can at least compete and move job to job) nor is it fully closed so that it is Americans competing internally

        Instead, you have indentured servants brought in using the H1-B visa program artificially lowering wages. It is not natural competition or progress in any way.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Stormthirst (66538)

          Anyone who works for a company is an indentured servant. Do you really think companies pay you what you're worth? No. They pay you what they think they can get away with.

          • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:37AM (#43077573) Journal
            H-1Bs are different. If a US citizen decides that they are being screwed, they can give notice, quit, and find another job. If an H-1B decides that they're being screwed, then they can't move jobs unless they can find another company that will go through the H-1B sponsorship process, which takes time, before the short grace period expires and they get deported. It gives their new employer a really strong bargaining position if every day that they delay finalising the remuneration agreements puts their potential employee a day closer to being deported.
            • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:03PM (#43079291) Journal

              There's some disturbing news trickling around the employment process market that you have better chance to get a new job *if you already have one*. If you quit, you risk screwing yourself because then if you don't land one you often don't get unemployment benefits either, and then if your resume goes stale then you're shunned. Scary.

          • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Informative)

            by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:56AM (#43077669)

            Anyone who works for a company is an indentured servant. Do you really think companies pay you what you're worth? No. They pay you what they think they can get away with.

            An "Indentured servant" is midway between an employee and a slave. Technically, the Indenture is a debt that must be paid off, and employers can buy and sell indentures, thus effectively buying and selling the person attached to the indenture.

            In that sense, H1-B is metaphorically accurate, since an H1-B without an employer loses their right to be in the USA. It's not technically accurate unless the H1-B worker is actually working off a debt (say, because he signed up with some body shop back home and had to pay to get the Visa and posting).

            Nobody ever gets paid what they're worth. Not garbagemen, not teachers, not software developers, not CEOs. They get paid what they can get away with. Some get away with murder, others get murdered. That doesn't make them indentured. All of them can quit. Some of them can find other positions elsewhere, others may only be able to afford to quit in the sense that they can afford to starve. When you are indentured, you can't quit.

            • Try quitting when the cost of your degree is multiples of the yearly wage you're on, and you can't go bankrupt because unlike most other forms of debt, student loans are immune.

          • by dkleinsc (563838)

            Anyone who works for a company is an indentured servant. Do you really think companies pay you what you're worth? No. They pay you what they think they can get away with.

            That's not indentured servitude, that's wage labor under capitalism. And yes, wage labor under capitalism is exploitative - you're being paid less than your contributions, but have some semblance of security of a bi-weekly paycheck.

            First off, historically speaking indentured servants in the Virginia colony were routinely beaten, abused, starved, and often dead before their indenture was up. The primary differences between the indentured servants in Virginia and the slaves was that the servants were white an

            • by MaWeiTao (908546)

              You seem to be implying that under a communist workers would somehow be paid a fair wage. All historical evidence indicates that you're deluded.

              In a communist system you've got the same exact downward pressure on wages. Worse, in fact, because of direct government involvement. Everyone doing the same job gets the same wage. That means there's no competitive pressure. There's no risk of workers quitting and taking another job because there's nowhere to go. All workers are at the whim of the state and rarely

              • by dkleinsc (563838)

                You seem to be implying that under a communist workers would somehow be paid a fair wage. All historical evidence indicates that you're deluded.

                I implied no such thing: There's actually only one completely non-exploitative labor arrangement I can think of, and that is the work the laborer does for themselves (cooking your own dinner, cleaning your own home, etc).

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > Anyone who works for a company is an indentured servant.

            If my company treats me badly, I can leave them without the threat of being DEPORTED.

      • So when outsourcing and automation came for the nerds, there were no other "meat bags" to speak for them?
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          H1Bs aren't outsourcing though.

          They are the creation of an underclass. From a basic fundemental political perspective, that is far worse than either outsourcing or automation.

          Sending stuff to Mumbai sucks but it's better than creating an underclass here.

    • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:50AM (#43077425) Homepage Journal

      If you don't see the difference between technological progress, and distorting the market and lying in the name of profit, then that's your problem.

      • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:29AM (#43078305)

        This isn't distorting the market.

        Something you regularly hear on slashdot is that recruiters are saying that they can't find the IT talent they need, but they are just lying so they can get H-1B visa's because there is more IT talent in the US than demand.

        This is wrong on so many levels. The term "IT talent" alone doesn't really mean much. A database admin isn't necessarily a network admin. A network admin isn't necessarily a web admin. A web admin isn't necessarily a programmer. A programmer doesn't necessarily know all there is to know about operating and maintaining large scale SAN's. Yes, there is some overlap between these, but not much. One thing about business is that you can say enterprise structures revolve heavily around active directory, yet most people you talk to on slashdot don't have the slightest clue on how to actually run an active directory infrastructure because it's "icky microsoft proprietary crap." Most nerds don't know, for example, how to manage a VMware ESXi 5.1 cluster with a Cisco Nexus 1000v virtual distributed switch (something very big these days, btw) or even any idea what a mezzanine card is.

        These are the things businesses want, not "hey, look at me, I just built a neato kernel module."

        Is there plenty of IT talent? Yeah. Is there IT talent that employers actually demand? Not so much. That's where H-1B visa's come in. Employers would rather find domestic talent than talent abroad because there is far less red tape to deal with and far less risk involved. However domestic talent is very limited. Majoring in IT, I am should probably be more concerned about H-1B visa's than anybody. Yet I am not. Unlike most in IT, I am aiming for what businesses are looking for (which also happens to be something I like) rather than just figuring that if I simply know how to build my own PC, magically somebody will want to hire me.

        I've seen what recruiters have to go through to find talent. I've actually sat down with recruiters and they've told me how much of a pain in the ass it is to find what they're looking for (and they have somebody breathing down THEIR neck if they don't.) Yes you can have people out there talking up a storm about how much they can do, but most of them aren't worth a shit, so there's also the matter of separating the wheat from the chaff.

        They still try to find local talent and will prefer it, but if they can expand their search abroad then there is so much more to choose from.

        One thing I find highly ironic is that many on slashdot will act as though deporting illegal immigrants (or just calling them illegal to begin with) and denying them the ability to work is some sort of crime against humanity. This is ignoring the fact that illegal immigrants are far far FAR more likely to depend on the dole system and become a liability rather than an asset. Yet when it comes to H-1B workers, who are practically guaranteed to be an asset, they're mysteriously anti-immigrant.

    • Only true if you're focused on the big picture.

      Automatic telephone switching sure as hell costs some short term jobs, but opened a marketplace so wide that the jobs created outweighed to operator jobs by many, many times.

      However, again you have to remember the market is far from a fair market right now. The biggest corporate entities (the ones that can afford lobbyists) have undue power in the market. A good example of what Adam Smith wrote about this is not.

    • So when nerd inventions blast away other people's jobs, most of the people around here start screaming about buggy whip manufacturers and the need for a rapidly adjusting workforce.

      Increasing productivity per worker, per capital invested, per energy unit consumed is always good. Or isn't it? The rest are social issues, you may choose a bad solution for those or a good one, but how does that bear on the former issue?

      When US companies go outside the priesthood and get overseas IT people because the locals don't meet their needs, then suddenly protectionism is awesome.

      If they're lying and the locals actually do meet their needs, then it's not "protectionism is awesome" but "stop lying and suck it up, bastards".

      • Increasing productivity per worker, per capital invested, per energy unit consumed is always good. Or isn't it?

        If you could talk about this as an activity totally isolated from the rest of the society, yes. But once you start looking at the social milieu in which this activity is placed (necessity of workers to have jobs to earn money to keep their families from starving and to keep them from riot and robbery), maybe not so much, unless you can also ensure that the economic gains derived from the productiv

    • Re:schadenfreude (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:50AM (#43078005)

      We have this thing called "government". We also implicitly subscribe to the concept of a "nation" with physical borders and an idea of citizenship of that nation.

      As long as we are operating in this framework, the government of a nation should be implementing policies which are to the benefit of the citizens. Importing 20 million illegal immigrants to compete for unskilled labor positions and importing hundreds of thousands of foreign IT workers to compete with citizens for jobs are policies which are detrimental to the vast majority of the citizens.

      A technological innovation creates an increase in productivity. Importing a foreign worker to do the exact same work as a citizen doesn't make an hour of labor more productive. It simply increases supply and drives down the price of labor.

      There is NO "shortage" of labor, skilled or unskilled, in this country. In fact, we have a vast surplus as demonstrated by the employment picture(the real data, not the BLS BS).

      Let's see MS publish an ad for an IT position. $120,000 salary plus benefits. They'd have no problem whatsoever finding skilled applicants.

      • Ah, you've hit on one of the subtle broken bits in the U.S. Jobs are posted without any hint of salary, and there's implicitly a requirement that all workers are super secretive about how much they make, so that every single person can be taken for a ride. There is no real competition, no informed labor marketplace, and never appropriate raises. Ever.

        • by frinkster (149158)

          Ah, you've hit on one of the subtle broken bits in the U.S. Jobs are posted without any hint of salary, and there's implicitly a requirement that all workers are super secretive about how much they make, so that every single person can be taken for a ride. There is no real competition, no informed labor marketplace, and never appropriate raises. Ever.

          The legal world (well, large firms) have set salaries for all associates based on what year out of law school you are. Everybody of the same year makes the same money. End of year bonuses are variable, but typically based heavily on the number of hours you've billed in that year according to a published schedule.

          It's an interesting system. In order to bill hours, you must be staffed on a case, which is entirely based upon whether anyone wants to work with you and whether the client is willing to accept y

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      When US companies go outside the priesthood and get overseas IT people because the locals don't meet their needs, then suddenly protectionism is awesome.
      The locals would meet their needs, but the locals demand prevailing wages, and the companies would rather not pay that.
    • by Rob Riggs (6418)

      What is the purpose of national borders if not to protect a nation's citizenry and economy? It seems the groups lobbying for lowering trade and immigration restrictions are those that operate above the level of national boundaries. These organizations have no national allegiance. Their goals are not necessarily in the best long-term interest of the nation. The long-term interests of the nation are not a factor for them.

    • Firstly, "Nerds" haven't "pushed technology that cost people jobs". Corporations, business owners, and even the government push the technology to save money and increase efficiency. "nerds" are usually either the ones discovering the technology, implementing it, or debugging it, and many of us rarely get the credit or the financial rewards.

      Secondly, would you rather hold back technology so everyone continue to work in factories and sustain long term medical problems from doing repetitive tasks? Or have e

  • Supply and demand (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You increase supply, and demand price drops. Train them up, after 5 years they have to leave (H1B is time limited), so they return home, rehire in their home country at a discount, (well after all living costs are cheaper). Then you've cut your costs.

    What's good for American business is good for America, well the business part of it anyway.

    Just think, if demand was high, Americans would be trying to get good University degrees and filling those jobs. Instead, USA has become a net importer of IT goods and se

    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:23AM (#43077083)

      Just think, if demand was high, Americans would be trying to get good University degrees and filling those jobs.

      I think you got it wrong.
      Americans have university degrees. Unfortunately, they demand a competitive salary (since getting a degree in US is expensive). Also, Americans tend to leave and get another job if they are underpaid

      H1B employees, on the other hand, are forced to take what they are offered or lose their visa and go home.

      • Re:Supply and demand (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:13AM (#43077495)

        Americans have university degrees. Unfortunately, they demand a competitive salary (since getting a degree in US is expensive). Also, Americans tend to leave and get another job if they are underpaid

        I know lots of students who are paying US college rates for a masters degree (Ph.D students generally get paid by the university/grants) and so need a competitive salary as well - and no student who gets a degree from a US college (whom I know) is working for peanuts. They get the same salary as their US counterparts (you could argue that the increased workforce is driving down costs overall, but that is supply and demand). And 90% of the class are international students, almost all of whom want to stay in the US. And many H1B workers switch jobs when they can/need to. They just have to get the new job BEFORE quitting their old job (or within 30 days of quitting or something like that).

        The real problem is the H1-B to green card process - the rules stipulate that once you apply for a green card (which many H1Bs do) you can't switch jobs (even within the same company) till the process is complete (3-5 years). Or else you need to start the application from scratch. The US is the only country that makes it so hard for even skilled workers to get a green card. It is easier to get a EU/Canadian/Australian green card sitting in the US than it is to get a US green card. If the US made it simpler to get a green card for skilled workers, many H1Bs would not be tied to an employer for so long.

        Now, if you are talking about hiring overseas workers from outside the US - by getting them H1Bs from within their home country - then the issues you raised might be true. But a LOT of H1Bs are given to international citizens in the US itself.

        • by baffled (1034554)

          In what field, may I ask, are all these people with degrees not working for peanuts? I've been avoiding a degree on the basis that it won't guarantee me stable employment, just cost me time and money. Just wondering if I'm way off here.

          • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125)

            In what field, may I ask, are all these people with degrees not working for peanuts? I've been avoiding a degree on the basis that it won't guarantee me stable employment, just cost me time and money. Just wondering if I'm way off here.

            Obviously, my experience is anecdotal (but from a large state university) - I know people from electrical engineering (VLSI/Signal processing), and Computer Science (video/image processing, and data mining) who get paid (at or above) the standard rate, as per glassdoor. But if you are a citizen, the best bet is control theory, if you are slightly mathematically inclined. I know several defense contractors who are unable to fill in control theory positions - a good international student who worked with NASA

            • But if you are a citizen, the best bet is control theory, if you are slightly mathematically inclined.

              Hah, automation again! Control systems, robots and stuff. The best paying job is putting hard-working people out of business! :-) Well, it makes sense.

              • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125)

                Hah, automation again! Control systems, robots and stuff. The best paying job is putting hard-working people out of business! :-) Well, it makes sense.

                Really? Even your computer has lots of automation (frequency control, fan speeds - I know of a person at Intel working on exactly this), your power line does (regulators), aircrafts do (autopilots/guidance systems), your car does (cruise control, temperature control), etc. There is almost no modern electronics that does not have a form of controls. Not every application involves replacing people - and in any case, from an individual's point of view, it is better to have a job enabling automation than not h

      • by wren337 (182018)

        What if H1B workers became free agents after 6 months? No paperwork on the part of the hiring company, they just accept a new offer and file something to say they are switching employers. If the problem is that there are not enough qualified people in the "hiring pool" then this shouldn't matter, right? After all they will tell you that they're paying a competitive salary already.

        This whole artificially depressed salary thing could blow over if they weren't indentured servants, unable to move. You could

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I would go farther than that.

          If they are worth importing, then they are worth treating as a person. They should get full rights the moment they hit US soil.

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      Just think, if demand was high, Americans would be trying to get good University degrees and filling those jobs.

      I don't think I like that idea. I got my degree because I enjoyed it, not because of money. There were a lot of idiots in school and even more out of school. I don't like the idea of people getting degrees "because they're in demand".

  • One more thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:17AM (#43077057)

    Critics of the H-1B program see it as a way for companies to keep IT wages low, to discriminate against experienced U.S. workers, and to avoid labor law obligations.

    Also, H-1B employees cannot easily go to another company if they are abused at their current job.

    If invited H-1B workers were able to jump ship for better conditions, the market would reassert itself soon enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Amazing how even though lower-skilled people, even considering savings in labor, are often less profitable to the company than higher-skilled, competent people, many companies still prefer the former.... My guess is a lot of it has to do with how managers are paid at big companies. Obviously every company is different but at the few I've been to a manager's salary is primarily determined by:
    a) headcount
    b) labor costs

    Obviously the 2 seem a bit contradictory, but doing a little linear programming yields
    • Most publicly traded U.S. companies are driven more by what effect decisions have on stock price. This drives them to do things that stock buyers perceive as good for a company's bottom line. Sadly, one of the better things one can do for this is to lay people off. In the human resources field, outsourcing is almost as good (though not as good because you still have costs), then hiring lower paid foreign nationals. So, while this seems to be saying the same thing as your a) and b), it's really a little more

  • If you have an industry who is trying to compete solely on cost then the work is going to be done by the lowest bidder via H1B or outsourcing, take your pick. The tiny advantage of H1B being slightly more jobs and dollars manage to stay in the US. Unfortunately software companies have demonstrated that if they can't bring the workers to them then they have already demonstrated they are willing to send the whole kit and caboodle overseas. The US software industry can only compete with this by competing on

  • Bogus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wienerschnizzel (1409447) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:46AM (#43077161)

    First thing - the Economic Policy Institute is clearly a political think tank rather than a pure research institution. Biased.

    I was wondering how would you evaluate the skill of IT workers on a large scale so I looked at the actual article. These are their metrics:

    - salary

    - rate of patent production

    - Ph.D. dissertation awards

    - alma mater university rank

    - employment in R&D

    The data then comes from surveys.

    I call BS on this study!

    • TFA is a load of BS. H1-B students need an MS to get hired, compared to most Americans who can be hired with a BS. Thus, we push weak F1 students into grad school. An American white guy with an MS in EE or CS is a strange bird. Did he fail to get a job with a BS, or fail to get his Ph.D.? If the study compared a typical H1-B MS to a typical American MS, I think we'd see the Americans doing poorly. On the other hand, an American with a Ph.D. is often someone who loves the kind of research he can do in

  • I think one of the biggest hurdles is the language barrier.

    As a software developer, your job is converting the truth into software. If you can't communicate fluently with the source of the truth for that software, then you can't do your job well. Many of the foreign workers that are my peers speak broken English. *I* find it harder to understand them, and I'm their colleague, working on the same subject matter, so I have concerns about their ability to gather requirements and produce software for the laymen

  • by Sterculius (2856655) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:31AM (#43077347)
    Supply and demand right? The "Free Market" right? Once again, brainwashed Corporatists who believe they are Free Market Capitalists think it is OK for corporations to simply manipulate the supply through H-1B visa abuse rather than pay the free market rate. These are the very same boobs who squawk that CEO pay is based on "talent" and the great scarcity of ex-football players with big egos who want to make 50 million a year. Tell me Corporatists, why is CEO pay OK, but programmer pay gets under your skin so much? Ah, because you believe that if you suck up to Big Daddy he will take care of you. Infants.
  • by gatkinso (15975) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:49AM (#43077417)

    Now that thousands of DOD/NASA/NOAA/FAA/ect technical contractors are going to be looking for work.

  • by paper tape (724398) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:00AM (#43077455)
    The standard procedure for companies when they want to do this is to first post a job opening with outrageously high skill and experience requirements, and a sub par salary.

    Any American workers who are qualified for the position are generally already employed at the same or better wages, in positions with lower requirements - so few if any apply. If a qualified worker does apply, it is a win for the company - they've just hired an overqualified worker for 1/2 to 2/3 of the salary such a position should command.

    In the more common case that no workers apply who meet the qualifications set, the company applies for an L1 or H1B visa on the basis that it "cannot find qualified American workers". They then bring in foreign workers who do not meet the original requirements, for even lower salaries.
    • by Ecuador (740021)

      The main problem I see is that H1Bs are very restrictive, so the really talented people will prefer to not go to the trouble and find another developed country that will appreciate them more. Think about it, it is an expensive (ok, the company eats the cost - but you are tied to them) and lengthy process (you apply on April for an October VISA), you can't easily change companies and, most importantly, your spouse is not allowed to work. So, while H1Bs can be relatively well-paid, due to the difficulty of th

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:44AM (#43077599)

    It's not surprising US PhD's are more focused on the higher ranked schools. The premium, over an MS, for PhDs, is small relative to the cost so there is little incentive to earn one; and if you do the opportunities are far greater from a top school. For foreign students, a PhD has far more prestige and value and hence higher demand. lesser schools can use that demand to generate cash and fill programs.

    Why not make H1B's more mobile - after six months or a year in the US allow them to freely change jobs. That's enough time for them to prove their skills and get an idea of their true worth in the job markets. Companies would need to be meet real market values for talent and would be more selective on who they hire and what they pay to avoid losing real talent while paying to get them here.

    I can understand why people who are have the talents for STEM leave the field. I make far more in a non-STEM field than I ever made in engineering and haven't hit a plateau as many of my friends still in engineering. I remember when I first got my degree being shown a graph that showed salaries peaking and then real income declining as you gained experience since at some point it was cheaper to hire someone with less experience than pay you. The advcie I got was get some experience and then bolt - either to management or another field where your skills are rarer and experience is valuable.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:58AM (#43077675)
    The whole point is H-1Bs are cheap and *compliant* - being nothing more than indentured servants and all. Please, please also ignore the massive percentage of industrial espionage against US companies that is conducted by recent or 1st gen emigres.
    • The primary/secondary educational system in the US, unlike those of Asian countries, emphasize individualism over obidience. Here, slight slap on a kid's back and you might have a lawsuit against you for "child abuse".

  • You know, these brilliant "free market" gurus are right, so let's go all the way with this idea. Whatever your job is, be it in accounting, sales, plumbing, whatever ... let's allow every foreigner who wants your job into the United States and let them work at whatever pay they will accept. Come on, after all you are SO DAMN GOOD that it wouldn't effect YOUR job, right? In fact, let's just open the borders. Anyone can come to the United States without restriction, except that if they choose to take your
  • by goruka (1721094) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:45AM (#43077979)
    The argument about H1B is completely stupid and misses the point.
    The reality is that the US is one of the biggest markets in the world and products are developed for that market all around the world.
    I live in an emergent economy (South America) and 90% of the companies that develop software or expot other kind of product/services have the US or Europe as target.
    The main difference between here and the US is that, even though people does not earn as much in the US, talented or experienced employees are much, much cheaper.
    And about the saying that American companies will always prefer to deal with other American companies, it's really easy to set up a company in America even if your workforce is somewhere else.
    My point is, it doesn't really matter where the brightest people is, but that it's much easier to "steal" American jobs by not being in America than being there, and this is not even about outsourcing. At least with H1B, the worker will pay taxes in America and will help create jobs, as they will be a part of a team.
    Other countries, like Canada or Germany, understand this much better than America and welcome reasonably talented people and gives them citizenship very easily, because they understand it's much more benefical to have them inside the country than outside.
    That is why, the fact that H1B itself exists is proof of American arrogange and stupidity. It's the old xenophobic political fallacy of blaming those outside for the problems inside, and by judging the arguments of most posting in this article, it is really working.
  • by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:59AM (#43078059)

    Government thinks it's a great idea to allow companies to cut IT expenses by importing cheap foreign workers. I think it would be a great idea to import a bunch of people to take over government jobs. I'm sure we could find plenty of TSA workers who could do a better job at half the cost.
    We should also fill up the financial regulatory agencies (OTS, CFTC, SEC, FDIC, OCC) with H1B candidates. Nobody could possibly do a worse job than the employees of these agencies. I'd rather have incompetent people working there than the current people who are either past or future employees of the companies they're supposed to regulate.
    Let the mass layoffs of federal workers begin. Welcome H1B replacements.

  • Matloff has been on a crusade to stamp out immigration of high tech workers for many years, because he wants the supply of high tech workers to be low in order for salaries to go up. That's economic nonsense, because doing so simply would make the US tech industry less competitive and just cause more jobs to move overseas.

    As for his study, he picks and chooses measures that superficially sound sensible, but without necessary statistical controls. One of his main conclusions is that prior foreign student sta

  • The study defuses the idea that "foreign student that graduate from US universities are brighter". The (obvious) conclusion is nop, they are not.

    Now, what a surprise. People that go to the same school are in average the same level of skills. Unbelievable.

    H1B are not distributed to students though. They are distributed to professionals. Many of whom have graduated from a foreign university. Some of whom have exclusive skill sets that are not taught at US universities. Not to shock you, but there are a substa

  • In some overseas country's (asia) it's all about the tests in school and IT needs more hands on learning like a trades system not paper MCES or people with schooling that is manly high level theory. Now in some areas the people with the high level theory are needed but the that should be learned up front with little to no hands on / learning on the more day to day stuff.

    Also schools should being turning people with just the high level stuff We don't need that many high level people who can't do the lower le

  • by concealment (2447304) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:54AM (#43078561) Homepage Journal

    Not to be crass about it, but these H1-B workers are the high tech equivalent of the guys who hang out outside your local Home Depot and wait for someone to pick them up for a day job.

    Business likes them because they're cheap, coming from countries where the cost of living is much lower and so our salaries here seem magical, and they're also obedient, which means that they do whatever management says and do not criticize it.

    It's not about them doing a better job. It's about them being better cogs and, when their usefulness is done at age 40, business can spit them out into society at large and externalize the costs of their living, medical care, etc. to social costs.

  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:17AM (#43078791) Homepage Journal
    The H-1b program is a program to support ethnic nepotism in hiring. That's what's really going on. If it were actually about substituting equal or better quality labor while lowering labor costs -- which is, of course, an illegal use of the H-1b program -- the companies engaging in the most H-1b fraud would be more viable than their competition. So what happened to Sun? What is happening to HP and MIcrosoft?
  • They are hiring for the cheapest. If they can get the best and brightest at the same time, they'll do that, but that's not the primary selection criteria.

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