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Comments about ‘Utah's challenge: Matching tech talent with tech jobs’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 6 2013 5:50 p.m. MDT

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jwarkentin
Riverton, UT

It seems to me the reason there are "mixed results" is because there are a LOT of candidates, but not so many highly skilled candidates. In my expierience I've seen a lot of people who can write code, but a lot fewer that are passionate about it, that continue to learn and stay up on the latest, and have a firm grasp on the concepts of computer science. Unfortunately, more companies are looking for the ones that really know what they're doing, not the ones that just get by.

While there's a lot of supply, in a sense, there's also a shortage of supply of the type of candidate companies are really after.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Many of these companies that claim there are desperate shortages of STEM workers are unwilling to hire older, more experienced candidates. The top two excuses are the following:

1) they cost too much
2) their skills are not up to date

The rebuttal to 1) is that if there truly is a shortage of workers, then older workers would get hired. It makes no sense to stop a project that has funding just because an older, more experienced worker is the only one available to do the job. When older workers have a low unemployment rate, I might buy the claim of a STEM shortage. But that is not the case, since employers are able to find younger workers, and hence there is no shortage of workers.

The rebuttal to 2) is obvious: older workers are just as skilled as younger workers, and frequently more so given their vast knowledge and experience. Rarely are university computer science programs more up to date than industry, and thus younger workers just out of school are not more skilled. Also, older workers are working for the same organizations as younger workers, thus their skills are comparable.

The shortage is just a myth.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Also, what is wrong with a shortage of STEM workers, should that ever happen? If the claim is that the USA is not producing enough STEM graduates, then nothing better exists to change that than for a shortage of workers to happen - this will raise wages, and college students will get excited for STEM careers and get degrees in STEM.

But I digress. There is no evidence that there is a long-term shortage of STEM workers, and plenty of evidence suggests that there might still be an over-supply of workers. Granted, there sometimes are spikes in employment needs that might suggest a shortage, but recent history has proven that those spikes don't last long. For example, tech layoffs and announcements of tech layoffs in August were 3-times as high as previous months. The government furloughs and shutdowns will also increase layoffs and unemployment. Rather than betraying the American workers with yet another colossal increase in "indentured servants" via the H-1B program, let's put these unemployed American workers back to work. Not to mention, that the indentured servant nature of the H-1B is an unfair advantage that works against US workers.

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

"Many of those who she has seen go through the Master's program are not from the United States. That has many asking, why train people in U.S. colleges and universities and then send them to other countries to become competitors?"

The answer is simple. When these highly trained individuals go home to their own countries they are able to help improve local economies, benefiting their people, including their own family and friends. As other nations become less impoverished the pressure to leave those countries and come here is reduced, and our problems with illegal immigration are reduced.

To many of us this visa program appears to be a mechanism for holding down wages. but if this is truly a world economy then it doesn't matter where these workers are employed, they compete with US citizens either way. Is it better to compete in a world economy of equals or to hold back other nations' growth so that their people can better be exploited?

jbejar
West Jordan, UT

As a Computer Science Graduate I can tell you out of first hand that there have been more and more people showing up at the career fair. In the department there are less graduates based on the pictures of the graduating class. I would attribute the lack of people in the industry to the lack of people that are going into not just STEM, but Computer Science specifically. This may be attributed to the dot com bubble that blew in 2001, and also may be attributed to the fact that computer science may turn away people because of the difficulty. It is an open major, but many people are attracted to other majors.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Its not the government job to match jobs to student or education, it will always never match and never has been a reliable way to create and education curriculum.

The state has no business to listen to business leaders, business don't last long enough to absorb the students they train them to match jobs.

Eduction duty is to supply information and basics in education for for any job and forget the serialized eduction for industrial labor.

This mismatch of education has destroyed everything a student should know for any job, specialization is the responsibility of business not our education system. Now we have a lot of handicapped young amerians who want a job, but they don't have the basic education to learn any other jobs.

anon46545
Dallas, TX

Study after independent study has confirmed our nation has an abundance of citizens with the skills, education and intelligence for available jobs. Every corporate meme from skilled labor shortage", "thousands of unfilled jobs", "best and brightest" to "jobs Americans won't do" is a PROVEN falsehood. And our universities are producing more STEM graduates than US job growth -- as they have every year past, present and future.

Make no mistake; this is legislation about cheap labor, profits and GREED. Even while our nation struggles with nearly 15% real unemployment, falling wages and escalating poverty. Even while US wages stand at record lows with corporate profits at six decade highs.

And Sen. Orrin Hatch? Call him Judas. He PERSONALLY stripped even minimal worker protections. Corporations will have free reign to recruit and import foreign "guest-workers" even as qualified citizens are bypassed and stand idle. Indeed, in Hatch's world, corporations can directly replace their US workforce with imported "guest workers" outside a 90 day window.

This is NOT policy that serves our nation and citizens. And no one should be deceived by the $2 BILLION that tech corporations are spending on propaganda and "lobbying". And Hatch? He doesn't represent YOU.

john80224
DENVER, CO

ow me to sum up the argument: If I can't entice a supermodel or a Maserati, they should be imported/subsidized for me.

What these workers do requires uncommon talents, some amount of practice/training/schooling and an intellect where average probably just barely cuts it. Yet, these companies' inability to value them at more than the going rate nearly 20
years ago is somehow the fault of recent grads? On top of it, they expect that subpar-paid worker to be exceptional.

And just what message does that send? "Be rare and special, just expect to get paid a communal wage for it."

CasualCommenter
Pleasant Grove, UT

Quomation is a terrible barometer for the strength of the technical workforce in Utah. A simple check of their incredibly high turnover rate shows that much. There's a reason they're rated an 'F' by the Better Business Bureau.

Throwing the figures "$80k - $90k" in their salary range is laughable, and clearly only a PR stunt. If you do well there, you can get the $35k mentioned as the "low end", which more realistically represents the average salary there. Their drop-off in applicants has more to do with their unwillingness to pay for talent. You can only abuse the potential workforce so much before it comes back to bite you.

I'd like to see what REAL tech companies in the state have to say about their ability to find qualified candidates. That would show if the conclusion stated in this article was drawn BEFORE or AFTER analyzing/gathering evidence.

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