So I guess it is time to ask the CEO's of US companies out there that what
skills do they need to meet their needs that Universities in the U.S.A. are not
teaching. A very bright childhood friend of mine went to MIT and before he
graduated he was getting a lot of offers from big tech companies so again, what
skills do these US companies need to meet their needs or are they trying to
resort to hiring people from overseas so that they won't have to pay for
the educational credentials of our young educated crowd here at home?
My two-bit’s worth tells me that there are probably very few entry
positions that really require a four-year degree. Most skills, I mean the
knowledge and capability to perform the job, can be taught/trained in a
vocational or junior college setting, maybe even on the job via an apprentice
program.If Eisenhower warned of a military-industrial complex, I
think it stands to reason we have created or allowed to flourish an
educational-industrial complex that cons us into thinking college means
education, and a four-year degree is worth the effort, frustration and appalling
expense. Educators, the new word for people who used to teach, build
new buildings, programs and staff to attract more students, which over-fills the
buildings which require more buildings and faculty. The sad truth is that many
students in our colleges don’t belong there, intellectually or
emotionally. They would fare better in both short term and long run with
training at a Vo-Ed or JC level. To add to the situation I feel
capitalists want to get the most labor out of employees for the least amount of
pay possible. This accounts for low wages and pleas for foreign workers to
Graduated from BYU with a Computer Science degree and solid GPA (3.7), and
finding a job was still a huge hassle. Many employers didn't even get back
to my application. Found a job- on East Coast. In the end I did have two offers,
but it's interesting to see how they say there's a "shortage"
of skills when there are so many new STEM graduates who have such a tough time
getting a job. Even those new graduates with technology focused degrees. Also
interesting that I didn't end up with an offer around Utah - one in CA and
one on the East Coast.Are we SURE there's a skill shortage? Or
do businesses just not want to pay high enough salaries to justify the cost and
on-the-job-training of US based tech workers? Programmers in Utah don't
make as much as many in other places even after adjusting for cost of living.
Businesses should be more open to entry level workers, especially
those who have relevant degrees.
You guys are completely right and these "Executives" are completely
wrong. There are numerous articles out there that predict a tough time for
Utah's economy because of all the companies moving in and the lack of
people willing to move to our market because of the lack of compensation our
market is willing to dish out. Not because of the lack of talent to pull from
but because Utah's income is not up to par with other growing markets
(Denver, Texas, etc...) They can't attract the people they want or need
because they don't way to pay them. And now the housing market is growing
beyond what Utah's average single income home can afford. I'm actually
quite shocked by what companies think these positions are worth especially when
there are numerous websites that state national averages for salaries and Utah
is below that when we should be above those averages.
An old publisher of the Deseret News used to complain: "What will these
college students do with a Communications degree? Nothing, there's nothing
you can do with it!"And yet, it's a huge major at the U of U, and
it recently tripled in size at Utah State. And it's just super easy . These state schools give no advice or planning--and take no
responsibility--about what their students will do when they graduate with these
soft and useless degrees. They should be honest with their students--and tell
them there are virtually no jobs for their big degrees.
When good jobs open up in the knowledge economy, who shows up? Indians, by the
dozens, who are trained and motivated; they fill the applicant pools--and there
are few Americans in the running. This is not moving slowly. Indians
hugely value education and work hard; they're ambitious for the best jobs
and positions--and over time that really pays off. Increasingly, they're
now even the CEOs of many top companies--and this is just starting. We
have 2 massive weaknesses, and they are very present in Utah: 1) Weak
education and effort nearly across the board. School is somewhat of a joke
here, as teachers teach down to the middle of the grade. There's very
little focus on quality education from parents, communities and certainly
leaders. We care more about winning games than learning. 2) People here
always look at the easy path for cash--like becoming a realtor, sales person,
developer, builder or whatever else it is we do here; just fast money.
There's no drive to get the hardest degrees and jobs--and grind it out for
years. There's a passiveness about getting ahead; people feel like they
have enough, but soon it won't be.
People keep saying we need more STEM degrees but in actuality we already have so
many STEM degrees that almost half the STEM majors end up working in something
else and you increasingly have to go to graduate school in order to pick up
those STEM positions (and even then you can still have to wait months or years
to get a decent paying job).
Time to get rid of Common Core in schools. It dictates what the kids SHOULD
know instead of finding out what kids DO know. Budget cuts in schools have kids
going down a single path. Not every student learns the same way. We don't
allow the average student to do their own thinking. We have eliminated their
options and expect them to problem solve when they reach maturity. Maybe this
problem could be solved by talking to educators..... Except the people with the
$$$$ don't think educators know anything.
I don’t see Zion’s Bank ponying up the money to educate the children
of the workers they are bringing in. There are several schools in South Jordan
that are getting an influx of children due to this program.
I have worked in tech for decades, mostly for financial companies, but NEVER a
bank. Early in my career I interviewed at a few banks and I quickly found that
they spend very little on technology, the bare minimum possible. Thus, tech
workers at banks must deal with keeping old, antiquated equipment up and
running. Many tech workers, myself included, are not interested in working with
old technology. I quickly found that brokerage firms and hedge funds often use
cutting edge technology and pay much better than banks.So, I have no
doubt that Zions Bank has difficulty hiring for some tech positions in the U.S.
and must look elsewhere. Zions should look at funding education in return for a
minimum work commitment. Many students would gladly take that exchange over
having student loan debt.
tqseal - Liberal Central (Sugarhouse), UT---Well, this is another
observation that degrees like Lesbian Dance Theory don't pay the bills.
Kids and teens need guidance on what the economy needs as they make these
important decisions.---A quick check indicates there may be
about 200-300 colleges with majors in 'dance', all forms of dance,
ranging from classical to various modern dance programs. According
to the US Ed dept. there are over 4000 colleges in the US, with 1600 or so 2
year colleges, and 3000 or so for year institutions.So, 300 colleges
that have a dance major program, are less than 10% of the colleges, and one
would perhaps conjecture that "Lesbian Dance Theory" as a major, is far
less than the 300 that have a dance performing arts program.In other
words, the number of persons getting such a degree is so minuscule as to be
almost nonexistent, and hence, should form no grounds for being stingy when it
comes to supporting post high school education.
Nonsense. Even during the recession when lots of highly-skilled technical people
could not get good jobs, these same companies claimed they couldn't find
skilled workers locally and abused H-1B visas to bring foreign workers here at a
fraction of the salary a citizen would be paid (or else off-shored the jobs
entirely). Most companies are currently making record profits, yet salaries have
not kept up with profits, housing costs, and inflation. Pay what you should for
those skills and you will find qualified people to work for you.And
remember that companies traditionally understood that they would do significant
on-the-job training of their new employees, but they now expect you to already
know every specific thing they do before you even apply. They are much more
likely to say "10 years of previous experience in X, Y, and Z required"
when X or Y has only been around for 5 years than they are to hire someone who
is generally and sufficiently qualified and then train them on the specific
details of the job.
We need to be funding more useful, technical education, and less
politically-driven leftist indoctrination education. Education needs to be
something people do throughout their life and career, not just a one-time thing.
@USAloverRE: "For every company, the specific skill that is needed is
different"...---Correct. That's why our Universities
should not be to train people to work at Company X... It should be their goal
to identify and prove people with talent, ability, and interest to learn the
type of skills needed at any company. And give the student some serious
exposure to the type of work and skills that will be needed to succeed in that
industry (not just at that one company). If they can learn tool-X, they can
probably learn tool-Y (used at another company). Even if they learn tool-A in
college, they will probably be using tool-B at their first job, and tool-Z by
the end of their career.Like you pointed out, It's important
for people who want these jobs (that require "highly educated, skilled
workers") and executives at the companies to understand that these
"highly educated, skilled workers" need to keep learning new tools and
techniques throughout their careers, or in a short while they won't be
useful in their industry anymore.Executives need to provide
opportunities for continued education, and employees need to keep learning
throughout their careers.
I've been working in tech for more than 20 years. The issue in Utah
isn't necessarily a lack of skilled workers. It's often unwillingness
to pay skilled workers well. That's what drove me to take my family all
over this fine country. I've been lucky enough to get work and come back
home to Utah, but many workers are driven out of state by low wages. Very many
of them would come home if they could afford to live on the salaries offered by
Utah's tech companies. The H1-b is a whole different problem. I
have very many co-workers from India, and I've found them to be (in
general) hard workers and great people. It makes me a little sick to know that
they're making so much less money than I am, and that their residence in
this country is dependent on my employer's goodwill. It's unfair both
to the local person who didn't get the job and to the person who uproots
their life and moves to the other side of the world to be indentured to this
corporation. I won't deny that our education system is a hot
mess. It's a disaster. "More education" won't solve this if
the plan is just more of the same nonsense that got us into it.
If one studies the "rules" for h1b workers - it doesn't take much
to understand that they are actually indentured servants.If they
"lose" the job they were imported for - they are automatically subject
to deportation, so the employer can basically treat them any way they want and
if they complain - they get deported.There are ALSO rules in place
(seldom enforced)that dictates the employer MUST demonstrate that they
absolutely CANNOT fill the position with legal citizen candidates.The obvious answer is to rigidly enforce h1b applications - but I don't
see that happening. Business persons are IN CHARGE of our economy, in case you
I wonder if Harris’ father, Roy was reluctant to hire Harris? Roy’s
good fortune allowed him to send Harris to Harvard to get
“educated”. Otherwise, Harris’ position would most likely be
held by someone else. The good news, Zions hasn’t forgot who keeps them in
He made his choice..... low taxes, uncompetitive schools in favor of foreign
labor. Its a choice. Own it. Don't pretend your sorry.
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.We
don't need more "education" and "college" we need practical
courses targeted at actual jobs that people want filled. There is a huge
demand for plumbers, electricians, mechanics, A/C techs, builders, etc who never
need to waste a day in higher education courses.While Zion's
may want IT workers, they may have to pay the going rate for those skills.For "students" who want to become "workers" (and sadly
not all students want to work in real jobs) they need to stop wasting time and
money on basket weaving and feminist study courses. And realize that entry
level jobs come with entry level pay and you have to perform well and earn
raises, they are not entitlements.
He could find skilled workers here. They just cost more than immigrant labor
One good solution would be to eliminate the SJW and "Identity politics"
majors at universities. We should not be funding political indoctrination at
Why Mr. Simmons -- who is not primarily in the STEM business per se? Answer: Because he and his associates have a vested interest in avoiding
paying an American a fair wage -- regardless of right and wrong and the various
social costs.@tryingtosmileYou are correct about
everything, except Trump. You are overlooking the many well-paid Americans he
Utah has lots of jobs, but mostly fast food.Not a lot of brainy talent
around here...not enough, anyway.
Total baloney. This country is flush with IT talent. Zions Bank is just trying
to hire people on the cheap. This is the same song and dance we've heard
Many years ago I was in the jobs market. Applying at Zions was a nightmare and
I finally walked away from the process. There were other employers who had a
much more "user friendly" process.If Mr. Simmons can't
find people, I think his first stop should be his recruiting folks office. They
are driving the good talent away.That being said, I think, like
others, that this is just a play to get the cheaper talent while trying to avoid
any negative press.
Sorry, this story is complete garbage. You can find all the cyber security
skills you need in Utah - this guy just wants cheaper labor.
Denverite - Centennial, CO---When my father-in-law graduated from
the U in 1966 in electrical engineering, he got a job with General Electric and
was almost immediately sent to their HQ for training. ---Those
days where mega corporations would take in new grads, train them in the Company
Way, and essentially keep the employee for the duration of their career.The current mode of operation is to expect that an employee will be
moving on in 3 years of their first hire out of college, and depending, may
settle down at some mid or upper level management after about 10 years past
college.From a brief review of the US Ed government statistics the
dominant type of degree for under grads is 'business', followed by
health services, social services, and eventually STEM degrees.Perhaps it does take a 'rocket scientist' to figure out that if
colleges are graduating 'business' people, in far greater numbers than
the 'technical' majors... there is going to be a lack of
'technical' workers, since the expectation is that the business grad
will be managing the business, and by extension, the technical people.This produces a top heavy condition, where neither group finds work.
This is about money. No more outsourcing to India. If Zions goes this way I hope
people show the displeasure with thier pocket book.
He could hire the employees "disrupted" by his colleague A Scott
Anderson's disastrous reorganization of Intermountain Healthcare.
There is a constant complaint about lack of 'skilled' labor in the
modern world. There is also a complaint about H1B visa holder edging out those
in the US with lower wages.One element of the situation on the H1B
holders, say India, a popular source of technically skilled labor, are the
beneficiaries of a 'free' college education. Of course it's not
'free', but is paid by state and national tax.A quick
search yields that the cost to a student for attending a stage college in India,
may cost a low $50 to the student.Does Utah have a $50 per year fee
for all qualified students? With state institutions for post high school
education reaching in to the 10s of thousands, and private schools even more, it
is no wonder there are more available skilled workers from
'elsewhere', than locally provided.The penny pinchers at
the State and Federal levels have given the tax payer a marginal reduction, at
the expense of providing competitive educational possibilities with the world.
The problem with this article is its lack of specificity. What,
exactly, is the CEO of ZionsBank talking about when he says that in Utah he
finds a "dearth of highly skilled, educated workers." I can't
imagine any skill sets he can't find in Utah or in the USA in general.
I'm left with the impression that what he is really trying say is that his
bank can't find highly skilled, educated workers who are willing to work
for the peanuts his bank is offering to pay. The author of this
article has done us a disfavor by failing to tell us exactly what types of
occupations this CEO is talking about.
It’s just that the ZIONS ceo can’t find skilled workers here in the
US willing to work for peanuts or that the pool of potential employees that are
grown on US college campuses are only fit for social justice causes who just
aren’t that intelligent.
Well, this is another observation that degrees like Lesbian Dance Theory
don't pay the bills. Kids and teens need guidance on what the economy needs
as they make these important decisions.
As a business owner with over 130 employees, I simply don't think this
article is accurate. This claim is decades old and the majority imbibe it
wholesale. I believe the problems lies in executives not knowing how to train
already smart/skilled employees and articulate exactly what the company needs.
For every company, the specific skill that is needed is different. Period.
RE: "Utah has desperate need for highly educated, skilled workers"...---The problem is, "highly educated" and "highly
skilled" workers, are "Highly PAID workers.Employers
don't mind paying a lot when they are in the startup or development phase
of the business. But they tire of paying a lot for skilled workers when they
have their product and the focus changes to selling it and maintaining it (which
doesn't take as many highly skilled workers). That's why it's
so cyclical. Most companies hire a lot of highly skilled workers when they
need them, then let them go when they don't.Some companies
always need highly skilled people. Finding these companies which are not the
most flashy or highest paying companies, but more stability) is the key for
people who want a long career, not a few years of high pay followed by
layoffs.The other problem is H1B recruits eventually replacing the
highly paid Americans with cheaper skilled workers from overseas. Where
earning half what a highly skilled American earns is more than double what they
can earn at home. Eventually every smart company figures this out, and uses H1B
visas to remain competitive.
There are a lot of people out there who have disabilities who have the advanced
education and skills to do these jobs and do them well. The problem is, they are
never given a chance before being dismissed as useless by prospective employers.
Many of these places have numerous ways of getting around the ADA by being picky
about only hiring the ones who need little or no accommodations to do the job
and they take full advantage of this legal loophole. The blind are especially
hit hard by this. Just for the blind to gain the opportunity to show how
adaptive skills will allow the job to be done and have this taken seriously is
an insurmountable process at best. A lot of these people are veterans or people
who have valueable life experience that most employers consider to be in hot
demand and this is counted for nothing because of dissability. Now companies
are recruiting in India because they think there is no one here to fill their
jobs? What is this world coming to?
This is ironic. I am a high-skilled STEM graduate and I've been struggling
to find a job for about 8 months. I know how to program in Python, I know
statistics, and I am skilled in math.I think the other issue is that
Utah companies don't know what they are looking for. A lot of companies
want to hire skilled workers, but there really isn't a need for the high
skills they think they have.
@Rural. Great idea. You're right, the elementary school teachers, 3rd
grade and up, are so busy teaching toward the tests. With 30+ students in a
class and no aide, it would be impossible to do some of the STEM curriculum.
And we haven't even addressed the behavioral issues, which
account for a great deal of my daughter's teaching headaches. With five,
hard-to-control resource boys in one class a few years (plus the other 26
students and no aide), she almost lost her mind. These kids come to school with
a lot of baggage and the parents and district expect the near-impossible to be
accomplished. Much of the blame is on the parents who allow too much screen
time (TV and video games), require few family responsibilities, and simply
aren't emotionally or educationally available for their children. Throw in
marital issues, divorce, and weekend house switching for shared custody and
you've got kids who have to cope with a lot. Who do
"they" expect to fix all of this that should have nothing to do with a
child's classroom experience? It's the elementary classroom
teacher!!!! Go figure...
It would help significantly if businesses were invested in training their
It is interesting to see 2 different write up today. One saying we need the
people and another saying Utah doesn't pay the people. 30th in the country.
If you read the Building Salt Lake website their post is about how stingy the
companies are here. You are right the visas are too easy to get. That way the
profits are high. Trump is the same way he brings in workers instead of paying
the salary. Oh but wait the corporations got this big tax cut so they could
spread the wealth among their workers. You know hire more americans. How many
come over on these visas and NEVER leave??? They are a temporary visa and that
is how not all illegal people are from South America.
This "Shortage Shouting" as I call it has been going on for decades.
Even in 2000, and in 2008 when massive layoffs in the technology industry
occurred, employers complained they just couldn't find workers. I am a technology worker and I was laid off recently. While I found work
rather quickly, I still had to send out dozens of resumes - all of which but
only a few were ignored. Also, I had a few interviews in which I was
well-qualified, only to be given a rejection because of a minor discrepancy in a
skill. Many employers are being hyper-picky about the skills they
are seeking. When they do so, they overlook many very qualified people, and then
complain to politicians that they really can't find qualified workers.
When my father-in-law graduated from the U in 1966 in electrical engineering, he
got a job with General Electric and was almost immediately sent to their HQ for
training. So even back then, colleges weren't cutting it for
career prep--and, companies understood they'd have to train people to
compensate for what colleges were not doing. The first part of that
(colleges) hasn't changed; colleges still teach baloney that doesn't
help you get a job. But somewhere, companies have gotten the idea that they
shouldn't have to train workers in anything; "if they don't know
it already, why should we pay to teach them?" The affordability of that
depends on a company's size, but as in the article's example, if
you've got $33 million worth of work you might get with a few more trained
people, then you're big enough to spend some money training people. And the whole salary issue in Utah, as previously mentioned,
doesn't help that, either.
In order to meet this challenge, I believe we need to start providing STEM
education in elementary schools. The challenge of course, is there is already
too much on elementary teachers' plates. There is still to much pressure to
meet state testing standards in Math and English, so other topics may not get
time and attention. Perhaps we need more integrated curriculum or project based
curriculum that can incorporate English along with STEM concepts in hands on and
engaging curriculum. It exists and the State board sees the need to start in
elementary schools, but change is slow in education.
Harris Simmons, chairman of the State Board of Regents, said he plans to travel
to India later this month "to find skill sets we just can't find
here."Translation: We don't want to pay what the market
demands for the skill sets we need, so we'll pretend they can only be found
in cheaper labor markets.H1B visas are for oversea workers to fill
jobs that aren't filled by Americans, but tech companies OFTEN post an
unrealistic (or impossible) job listing (like 8years experience with a tech that
is only 2 years old), then pretend it can only be filled by Indian workers who
cost 1/5-1/3 as much on an H1B visa, or 1/20 if they work in India. If only one in 10 workers hired in India are worth anything, but they only
cost 1/20 of what the market demands in the US, the company makes out like
bandits.I see it all the time. The big tech companies are the worst.
They're driving a narrative that Americans can't do the jobs they
need, but really its they don't want to pay what skilled Americans demand.
That's why they want everyone and their dog to learn to program. It has
nothing to do with helping workers and everything to do with keeping wages low
I still hear about recent college graduates struggling to find jobs because they
lack experience. I think some of these companies would be better served by
bringing in some of these young workers and training them and teaching them and
then paying them as they gain more skills. However, that doesn’t match
with the corporate culture where layoffs are common. Maybe people would be
inclined not to jump at the next opportunity if they had not seen layoffs any
time there is a new CEO or a recession. They clamor over these highly skilled
employees now, but these same highly skilled employees are on the chopping block
as soon as they are replaceable.
Shaun is absolutely correct. I am formerutahn because 20 years ago after having
worked as an engineer in a highly technical field, the company I worked for
closed. I got several offers for jobs in Utah, but at half the salary I was
offered elsewhere. And "elsewhere" isn't California where the cost
of living is nuts. It seems that businesses in Utah have the mindset that the
quality of life is so fantastic in Utah that they can pay very low salaries.
This article says nothing about the salary issue.
I don't buy it. Nor have I bought this excuse in the past. The H-1b visa is
so attractive that many of my friends in STEM fields have been replaced by them.
As a condition of receiving severance pay they had to train their replacements.
Ah, perhaps the parents could help out if the students are having a hard time
negotiating the road map of life. We do need more skilled workers, that's
How much impact does the high cost of housing, along with suppressed earnings,
have upon retaining and maintaining a skilled work force?
If capitalism is what these businesses believe in then they need pay to attract
talent to their business.