Published: Monday, Sept. 23 2013 5:55 p.m. MDT
Evidence of a STEM shortage:* Edison New Jersey area is filled with
manufacturing jobs.--Seventy percent of the people are from India, and China.* Many affluent areas in our country are made up of people from India,
and Oriental countries.* A third of our college graduates are from
other countries.* Engines, and transmissions in American cars are
foreign engineered.As a retired teacher, and one who has given
educational speeches through out the country, IMO- there is a serious shortage.
There is not a STEM shortage. There might be temporary "spikes" in
employment needs, but long term, there is not a shortage. Also, in some years
there have been more workers imported on the h-1b visa than jobs were created -
meaning, that corporations had lay off of US workers, but still hired foreign
workers.Studies done from the 1990s to 2011 by respectable
organizations such as Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown
University, Harvard University, etc. have shown that there is not a STEM
shortage. Recently numerous corporations signed a letter to
Washington politicians saying that they want massive increases in the h-1b visa.
Yet, many of these corporations have already laid off thousands of US workers
recently or have announced they are laying off in the near future.
The H-1B database, showing which companies hire H-1B workers is public, search
for it. Most of the visa workers make 30-50k. Nurses, accountants, legal
researchers, school teachers, food and beverage managers, etc are all being
brought here on the H-1b visa. Once you search the database
you'll see what a joke this is.
That large numbers of foreign workers are employed in the U.S. in so-called STEM
jobs doesn't prove there is a shortage. Foreign-born and foreign-educated
workers will take a U.S.-based position because the entry-level wage in the U.S.
is superior to what they would be paid at home, and the U.S. standard of living
is far higher (taking into account safety / security / health / environment
factors compared to India or China, for instance). The result is lower demand
and wages for American-born and educated workers in these technical fields,
where skills are a measurable commodity and workers are interchangeable, whether
in technology or research.
Whether there is a shortage or not, the STEM education in our country is
detrimental to our youth. All creativity is being thrown out in order to get
STEM forced fed to our students. Although the decline in arts and humanities has
leveled somewhat, the hard rule of everyone must be proficient in math is
causing huge drop out rates. Our public school systems are requiring more and
more math trying to fill this so call shortage. So we take students that
don't understand math and don't even have a desire to learn it and
make them take more of it. It does not make sense to me.Hey. I love STEM
but forcing everybody to like it is not a good idea. I remember in college
staying up late working on trigonometry and just loving it. But that is not for
To Worf: You state some interesting "facts," but not one of them
constitutes "evidence" of an STEM shortage. The fact that
"foreigners" live in affluent neighborhoods in the US or make up 1/3rd
of our college graduates in no way indicates an STEM shortage. It indicates a
very liberal policy towards education and immigration and nothing more. I have
30 years experience in the semiconductor industry. I have worked with a lot of
engineers from all over the world. Our company has a strong policy towards
importing engineers. At the same time, I have seen layoffs in our cyclical
industry render 30% of the workforce unemployed over a 12 month downturn - and
many of those more experienced engineers are never re-hired during the upswing.
"Cheaper" labor, whether new grads or foreign workers are actively
courted instead. The market, not politics will more effectively resolve any
real shortage in the labor force. Politics takes a temporary imbalance and makes
In my day as a practicing engineer, you expected to learn at least 1 new
software package at every new job. Employers understood it was necessary, and
employees understood it even if they didn't like it because it was
"new." There were people even back then complaining about
lack of trained workers. Even then, there were times that with an EE degree and
speaking 3 languages, I had trouble finding a job.The feeling I get
now is, A) multiple new software packages may often be needed at each new job,
B) companies don't want to accept now that some training expenses are still
required with new employees, and C) the more an employee knows, the more money
they expect--and companies really don't want to deal with that. Thus, all
the complaints about "lack of qualified workers."
One of the problems with our H-1b program is the abuse it allows. These folks
bring in people from overseas and hold so much power, whether in illusion or in
reality, that they can seriously underpay the person while abusing them badly.
This abuse can be mental, financial, emotional, or simply 18 hour days.
The STEM rhetoric is simply another message brought to the public by those who
wish to see our public schools system fail. It is a myth and it is
purposefully misleading the public.
Regarding schools-I've known tat it was a crock since high school. I
transferred from a Brooklyn school and they thought they had to hold me back a
year. A test showed I should skip a grade. As for jobs, look in Ohio. Every
second or third person needs a job and is quite willing and able to do it. We
just need business that don't expect you to unionize or take third world
There is no shortage, only a desire by corporate donors (to congressional
campaigns) for pushing down wages. H-1b and L-1 visas are abused on a regular
basis. Here is how they are used.Our entire IT department was
brought into a room and told they'd be laid off, but first mgmt said
"We want you to train your replacements, then we'll have a severance
for you when you leave."About 20 days later, in comes a slew of
TATA India employees, holders of H-1b and L-1 visas. Thinking this was wrong,
we contacted our FL Senators and Rep John Mica. Our replacements
were mostly young graduates with little to no experience in middleware data
sharing applications that we had developed. The long term goal was to move the
jobs abroad, but that can't be done without "Knowledge Transfer".
Using H-1b/L1 visas is the KEY to moving jobs abroad, it's the only way
to get the "Knowledge Transfer". Our replacements even created
"Knowledge Transfer" documents. That's what H-1b and
L-1 visas are used for.
So after reading the whole article, I am a bit lost as to the answer to the
question on whether or not there is a H1b visa shortage. The article did not
make clear the closure of the article.There are some very
interesting posts here, and if they are factual, then there really is no need
for more H1b visas. @Troup's post is just plain frightening. @Jefferson
seems to talk from inside the STEM system and makes interesting points against
more H1b visas. Jefferson also seems to clearly rebut Worf's post.
@VickiB's post about bringing in H1B visa holders that seem to meet STEM
standards is done to bring human resource costs down by paying out of country
workers who come here lower wages is disturbing.I guess, with this
untested data, there really is no need for more H1b visas. There are more than
enough STEM qualified college grads. If this is true, then the need to modify
this part of the current immigration laws is not necessary and is one more
reason to leave the current immigration laws alone.
Silicon valley companies and all those who signed the recent petition to
Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas for STEM workers have one goal in
mind: cheap labor. Already, the U.S. issues over 1.5 million permanent work
permits annually. Often the monthly numbers are in excess of the number of jobs
created. This has gone on unabated throughout the recession as well. There are
millions of unemployed American STEM workers and American companies continue to
layoff more. Many have given up looking for work and are no longer counted.
These kid-CEOs want disposable employees-- young immigrants who will work for
sub-par wages for untold numbers of hours without quitting. I've seen job
descriptions here tailored for a specific immigrant-- it happens all the time to
cut out Americans. What incentive do American kids have to go into STEM fields
only to amass $70,000+ in school loans to work for depressed wages due to the
massive influx in foreign employees?? It's a unethical Catch-22 created by
companies who want to increase their profits at the expense of the future of
America. NO INCREASES IN IMMIGRATION, NO MORE H-1B VISAS!!
Another thing that didnt seem to be taken into account, at least at THIS company
of 180K+ employees, the age distribution is a severe double hump. The older end
is from 45-65 and contains nearly 70% of the total population. This is mostly
due to heavy layoffs after 9/11 when orders PLUMMETED. The other end of the hump
is from ~25-32 with a deep trough inbetween them. Right now, today, 45% of the
Engineering staff could retire within 90 days.Not only would that be
a SEVERE brain drain with centuries of "tribal knowledge" and practical
experience going out the door, but there wouldn't be enough experienced
hands left to teach the newcomers. As noted in another comment we roll some
business systems and engineering systems every few years and more KBE tools are
being introduced that require training. So the hole is a real one, as the
Aerospace industry has consolidated for decades now and it is not replacing its
@JeffersonKalispell, MT:* Half our entering college students
are in need of remedial classes. That leads to a shortage, because many
don't gain the skills needed.* Many college professors (my wife
being one of them), will tell you, our students aren't prepared for
college. Math skills are very low. That too, leads to a shortage.*
Companies hire engineers who will increase cash flow. Lower wages do not out
weigh the need for skilled workers. * With engineers I've talked
to, I would guess the younger aged engineers are mainly foreigners, because
there aren't enough American students skilled enough to do the work.
Companies have greater trust with foreigners.* Our largest hospital here
in McAllen, has a skilled work force of eighty percent foreigners. They offered
wages of eighty dollars an hour, and still couldn't find the American
workers. Wish I was wrong, but I see little evidence of American
students being STEM qualified. At least, not in a large number.
@worf:What Americans lack in Math skills, foreigners lack in
communication skills (in English), an equally important set of STEM job
skills.Too many American schools are forced to teach at an ESL level
because of the increasing number of immigrant kids put into our schools (on our
tax dollars). With No Child Left Behind, the whole class is slowed down and
bright kids are forced to learn at the slowest pace, setting the speed at which
they acquire math skills.Yes, companies watch their cash flow, but
if they have the choice between hiring two equally skilled applicants, they will
hire the immigrant at a lower rate.The Catch-22 of our STEM degrees
is a factor. What American student wants to rack up, say $50-$70k in educational
debt (studying 5 years minimum for a STEM degree) only to find wages in STEM
fields depressed by the ever-increasing number of immigrants brought in on H-1B
visas who are hired at lower wages, or worst case, never get hired because a
lower-priced immigrant is given the job? What kind of incentive are we giving
them?The population of MT justifies your lack of candidates.
The last thing we need is more gosh darn smart people messin things up.
H-1B is a way to lower the wages of American workers and allow companies to hire
more foreigners. It is a hoax at best. STEM has a tie in to political
correctness, students need to choose what is best for them to study. What
I've heard is we have plenty of STEM job lookers but they want a decent
wage so corporations want to pay less and that means hiring immigrants.Hiring
our own citizens will be much more profitable in the long run for companies but
maybe not the nest quarterly report.
I work at an Engineering firm and there is no shortage of qualified employees,
provided they are paid fairly, work full time, and have benefits. The shortage of STEM workers is a fraud. Far too many employers simply want
low coat labor. Using labor with a temporary visa, keeps wages low, especially
if you churn their ranks. Send the older ones home and continuously replace them
with new, low wage workers.Some of our engineering skills are
developed over years of training and education. Unfortunately, these employees
are redundant and terminated. Only to be replaced by a low wage visa holder.I have 25 years of solid experience, but work as a 1099 employee without
benefits. As long as I never need health insurance, I'm ok.
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