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IT Worker Shortages Everywhere 480

Posted by kdawson
from the when-i-grow-up-i-wanna-write-programs dept.
Vicissidude writes with news from the IT front in India: "The software industry body Nasscom has warned that India faces a shortfall of half a million skilled workers by 2010. The country will need 350,000 engineers a year, but no more than 150,000 of the most highly skilled engineers will be available each year." This shortfall is fueling a new development, the exporting of Indian tech jobs to the US. But will there be workers in the US to do those jobs? Reader Jadeite2 writes with a word from Bill Gates, speaking to a business forum in Moscow, who said: "There is a shortage of IT skills on a worldwide basis. Anybody who can get those skills here now will have a lot of opportunity."
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IT Worker Shortages Everywhere

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  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:48PM (#16755839) Homepage
    or at least the freedom to outsource were confident that, ultimately, outsourcing would be a net benefit for everyone. For India and for America.

    This seems to be confirmation of that.
    • by rovingeyes (575063) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:52PM (#16755927)
      I have a friend who works in Google India. And when I asked about this new phenomenon, he said that there is no shortage of applicants, but there is a shortage of "qualified" applicants. For every software engineering position they anounce, thousands of resumes are received, but none of them meet their requirements. So this shortage is not some random IT position but very specific skilled positions that the Indian tech populace is unable to fill.
      • Define qualified (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plopez (54068) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:54PM (#16755979) Journal
        In the US the phrase 'lack of qualified applicants' came to mean 'lack of qualified applicants who were willing to work for what we were willing to pay.'

        Large difference.
        • by heinousjay (683506) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:07PM (#16756237) Journal
          Considering some of the wildly inflated salary demands I've heard from people in relation to their actual deomonstrated ability, I'd say adjustments need to be made on both sides.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Panaflex (13191)
            Google has a strange hiring practice - they purposfully set the bar higher than the position may actually require - and that's going to be more expensive overall.

            They require many interviews to prove your capacity - and honestly a lot of professionals with many years of experience aren't going to go for that if there are other good paying jobs available. Me included.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by heinousjay (683506)
              Google is something of a special case, though. People actually want to work for them, so they have a bit of leeway. The trick will be seeing how long they think they can get away with it.
              • OT: your sig (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Anthracks (532185) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @05:09PM (#16757347) Homepage
                Completely off-topic, but I wholeheartedly agree with your signature. When was the last time you saw a story whose tag set didn't have at least 2 of these memes: "fud notfud, yes no maybe, itsatrap, tubes"? It's become the new Beowulf / ??? Profit / Natalie Portman craze.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            That will happen, because no one will knowingly pay workers more than they have to. That's basic economics. From a macroeconomic standpoint, labor is a commodity like any other, although it does have some unusual properties (it is less mobile than most others, and highly capital-intensive in that it does not generate much value unless highly skilled, trained, and experienced).
            • Wrong on two fronts.

              First, companies and governments spend lots of money on paying people more than they have to. They do this to deny skills to the competition, and to buy loyalty. Because they do not truly know the motivation of their workers, this will involve overpaying. This is an example of asymmetric information. Unfortunately free and transparent markets exist only in the minds of academics with tenure, who are free from having to worry about reality.

              As for labo(u)r, only the basic kinds of labour a

        • Re:Define qualified (Score:5, Interesting)

          by psykocrime (61037) <(ku.oc.rekcahppc) (ta) (emircdnim)> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:40PM (#16756855) Homepage Journal
          In the US the phrase 'lack of qualified applicants' came to mean 'lack of qualified applicants who were willing to work for what we were willing to pay.'

          Maybe in some places, but that's not always the case. To illustrate with an example: Last year I was working for a small software company in Cary, NC, specializing in telecom software. We were trying to hire a couple of senior software engineers, so we put out the word to several area recruiting companies and got a deluge of resumes... and the candidates we got were largely downright laughable, at least for a senior level position. And we weren't using some esoteric language, we were a Java shop... and our requirements weren't out in the stratosphere either... we just wanted knowledgeable senior engineers who could handle concurrent programming and network programming (our product was basically a fancy proxy server).

          It took forever to find one guy who was clearly qualified, and he took another position before we even had a chance to make him an offer. So yeah, we definitely experienced the situation where there was a "lack of qualified candidates" despite having plenty of candidates in general. But really sharp people who actually know what they're doing proved to be fairly scarce, at least for us.

          I will say this though: some of the folks that came through were clearly very smart, but just lacked the experience we were looking for. We needed somebody that could step in and contribute right away, and we didn't have any budget for hiring junior level people and grooming them. That would
          have been a good thing to do, if we could have gotten the money approved. But that issue is somewhat orthogonal to the original point anyway...
          • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:55PM (#16757097)
            I will say this though: some of the folks that came through were clearly very smart, but just lacked the experience we were looking for. We needed somebody that could step in and contribute right away, and we didn't have any budget for hiring junior level people and grooming them.

            Yep, this is exactly what every other company wants too: someone who's already an expert in whatever little niche they're working in. Then they wonder why no one's qualified for the job, yet there's plenty of people looking. WAKE UP! If someone is already an expert in whatever you're doing, then they probably already have a job, and aren't looking for a change. If you want someone to come work for you, get over yourself and be prepared to train them. Otherwise, stop complaining so much about a "lack" of qualified candidates.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by cthrall (19889)
              Being able to competently engineer concurrent network software is not, IMHO, a niche. Any experienced senior engineer should theoretically be able to handle threads and multiple requests being concurrently serviced.
            • It used to be... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by skids (119237)
              ...the case that if you had references that could attest to you having good work ethic and being fairly bright, and able to take on new challenges, that could get you a job in an adjoining field.

              Nowadays they don't even bother to call your references until they've already decided to hire you.

              So what we are lacking is not "talent" but rather we are lacking "hiring talent" -- we do not have the ability to discern who can ramp up quickly into a position -- we lumber on with the dangerously flawed expectation
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jedidiah (1196)
                This came out while we were watching "Catch Me If You Can". It used to be that you didn't have FICO scores to go off of if you were a loan officer. You actually had to judge a person just based on how they came to you. You had to be a good judge of character and risk. You couldn't just be a trained monkey applying a formula (like now).

                The same thing happened to HR. No one has any real people skills anymore.

                It's sad when an IT geek with severe personality disorders can say that.
            • by wtansill (576643) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:02PM (#16759675)
              Yep, this is exactly what every other company wants too: someone who's already an expert in whatever little niche they're working in. Then they wonder why no one's qualified for the job, yet there's plenty of people looking. WAKE UP! If someone is already an expert in whatever you're doing, then they probably already have a job, and aren't looking for a change. If you want someone to come work for you, get over yourself and be prepared to train them. Otherwise, stop complaining so much about a "lack" of qualified candidates.
              Absolutly, 100% correct. And where do "experts" come from? From years of moving up from more junior levels. That's one of the arguments I have about doing so much outsourcing. I've heard the argument that "We're only outsourcing the low-skill positions". Yes, but where will the next generation of experts come from if you lay waste to the training grounds that breed them? Farmers have an expression: "Eating your seed corn." The PHB's are only looking to the next quarter though, so it's hard to think a season or two ahead...
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by udderly (890305) *
                And where do "experts" come from? From years of moving up from more junior levels. That's one of the arguments I have about doing so much outsourcing. I've heard the argument that "We're only outsourcing the low-skill positions". Yes, but where will the next generation of experts come from if you lay waste to the training grounds that breed them? Farmers have an expression: "Eating your seed corn."

                Dead on correct. There is nothing more pathetic than employers whining about the lack of "talent," when the
          • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @05:35PM (#16757717)
            I will say this though: some of the folks that came through were clearly very smart, but just lacked the experience we were looking for. We needed somebody that could step in and contribute right away, and we didn't have any budget for hiring junior level people and grooming them.


            I see this short-sightedness so much in the industry it drives me nuts: YOU ARE NOT HIRING A SKILLSET, YOU ARE HIRING A PERSON, if your candidate is very smart, personable and obviously would be a good fit, well, what are you waiting for? Hire them at a senior salary level and give them a few months to pick up whatever it is that you are doing.

            We developers are not little interchangeable cogs in the machine (as much as people in finance, sales and sometimes management seem to think), you can't find a candidate with exactly the skills you need, the experience you want AND out of a job too!

            After somebody has been developing for 5-10 years, if they are smart and sharp it's fairly straightforward to pick up a new programming language or paradigm: I am glad that not all companies are like yours, but it does sadden me that the vast majority are, where somebody pulls out a wishlist from the sky and unless a candidate can put a checkmark in every box they won't be given the time of day.
            • by prockcore (543967) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @05:57PM (#16758407)

              After somebody has been developing for 5-10 years, if they are smart and sharp it's fairly straightforward to pick up a new programming language or paradigm


              Then why haven't they? 95% of the people we get applying for jobs only know Java. They haven't even tried learning anything else. They teach java at the Univeristy, and java is all they think they need to know.

              I'm not going to hire anyone who isn't curious enough to learn a few languages on their own.. just to see what's out there.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by MarcoAtWork (28889)

                Then why haven't they? 95% of the people we get applying for jobs only know Java. They haven't even tried learning anything else. They teach java at the Univeristy, and java is all they think they need to know.

                you have to define 'know', every ad I've ever seen requires 'business work experience' with whatever language it is that you are using. What you do in your spare time doesn't count, if on your resume they see that you worked for a C++ shop, well, if they need a java person they won't give you the time

          • by Cid Highwind (9258) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @05:59PM (#16758455) Homepage
            This is what happens after a sufficiently long period without sufficient opportunity for entry and mid-level IT workers. People leave the sector to tend bar or build houses or drive trucks because it pays better and drains the soul less than being a helpdesk tech or an asp monkey. Fewer new people stay long enough to develop the skills required to be senior engineers.

            I realize it's hard to make a business case for hiring locally for a job that could be outsourced to China or continuously training your people in new languages and technologies instead of firing one batch of contractors as soon as their project is done and replacing them with new ones, but it has to be done. There's no self-study guide or college degree that can give a newbie the equivalent of real experience, so if the IT industry isn't creating the people it will need 5 or 10 or 20 years down the line right now it isn't going to have those people. Good luck getting upper managers who can't see past the end of next quarter to understand that, though.
      • by greyparrot (895758) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:04PM (#16756179)
        Because employers (not just in India) have no long-term commitment to the employees, and thus the employees have no reason for loyalty, the employer searches for a fully mature and qualified employee, able to perform instantly (in the current quarter) to satisfy the current requirement.

        This used to require a consultant. But no, consultants are too expensive. Besides, with the falling apart of the markets, consultants have gone into other lines of work.

        What's left? Dragging a net through the pool of recent graduates who studied CS, fewer every year as their older siblings tell them it's a lousy market out there.

        My heart cries for you!
      • ...and a complete unwillingness on the part of employers to train, not a lack of skilled labor.
  • Hey! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:49PM (#16755857)
    Most IT workers aren't short all over. They're only short where it counts...
  • Shortfall? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mydron (456525) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:49PM (#16755871)
    Lets be clear, no market, including the labour market, suffers a "shortfall". When industry types parade around the notion of a "shortfall" what they really mean is that they anticipate having to pay higher prices (or wages in this case). They do this to drum up support for government policy which will effectively suppress prices/wages.

    I welcome such a shortfall.
    • And with those higher wages come higher costs to the US companies doing the outsourcing, and less of an incentive to outsource. Yay.
    • I thought that had been pretty-much refuted...
    • How to fix that issue: pass a law that you have to pay any employee or contracted employee a sum that is at least the prevailing wage for the area in which the company is located, and national laws also must apply.

      This benefits the offshored people because all of a sudden not only must they receive the minimum wage that is accepted by law, but they must get all the benefits and the prevailing wage of their parent company's home. Short term, they make out like a bandit; eventually, the companies find it har
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by kfg (145172)
        How to fix that issue: pass a law that you have to pay any employee or contracted employee a sum that is at least the prevailing wage for the area in which the company is located, and national laws also must apply.

        Cool! All the outsourced Indian IT jobs for Americans, at minimum wage, you can eat.

        KFG
      • by EatHam (597465) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:17PM (#16756427)
        How to fix that issue: pass a law

        If by "fix" you mean "create a giant clusterfuck", then yes, that would fix things nicely.
      • by Kombat (93720)
        How to fix that issue: pass a law that you have to pay any employee or contracted employee a sum that is at least the prevailing wage for the area in which the company is located, and national laws also must apply.

        I'm not sure if you realize this or not, so don't take offense, but I want to make sure you realize that US laws don't apply in other countries. Hopefully, you understand that the country "passing the law" that you're suggesting would have to be the "poor" country being outsource to, since any la
  • by fudgefactor7 (581449) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:50PM (#16755891)
    (See previous story). What this will do is (A) give those spammers a legit job, and (B) take the operators of the spam-bots out of the mix, and (C) keep them busy with other things so they can't be bothered to spamminate the 'Net, and (D) solves the problem of the shortage in that particular area.
  • My get-rich scheme (Score:2, Insightful)

    by qwertphobia (825473)
    1. Quit.
    2. ???
    3. Get re-hired.
    4. Profit!

    Woohoo!
    • 1. You've got #2 and #3 backwards.

      2. #3 should be "For more pay!"

      3. You'll do even better if you eliminate #1...

      "Why yes, my name is Suresh Gauri Shah Babu Ajay Subra Dinesh Bob!"

      [...]

      "Bob?"

      [...]

      "He's the guy we outsourced to in America. There's a talent shortage, you know."
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:52PM (#16755933) Homepage Journal
    to Vietnam or China. Always seems to work that way in outsourcing. Outsource to a place that's cheap and then they outsource to a cheaper place.

    Might be a few years before you see an IT industry in Niger though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Apocalypse111 (597674)
      Yeah, the only people who have any IT skills in Nigeria are all trying to get help moving their vast fortunes to the US, and only need a little help from some willing citizens (who will be handsomely rewarded) to do it.
  • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:53PM (#16755957) Journal
    I have a BSIT degree with a 3.5 GPA, but without real world experience in an IT department, it's impossible for me to find anything in IT that pays above tech support!

    I'm tired of the chicken-egg thing. If I don't have experience I can't get the job. If I can't get the job, how am I supposed to get experience? /rant off
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grasshoppa (657393)
      I have a BSIT degree with a 3.5 GPA, but without real world experience in an IT department, it's impossible for me to find anything in IT that pays above tech support!

      Too good for tech support eh?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ArcherB (796902)
        Too good for tech support eh?

        Yes and no.
        Yes: I've done TS for over 10 years so I feel it's time to move on. With 10+ years experience and a degree, I feel I'm too good to TS. When I started, TS was a way to get your foot in the door to an IT job. That ended shortly after I started.

        No: With my experience, TS jobs pay quite well, but not as good as mid-level IT. With a new baby at home and a wife who is no longer working, I can't afford the pay cut it would take to be entry level IT. So, I'm not too go
        • by nojomofo (123944)
          Why do you expect to get a mid-level IT job with no relevant experience? Just about everybody starts at the bottom. If you're good, you won't stay there for long.
        • With my experience, TS jobs pay quite well, but not as good as mid-level IT. With a new baby at home and a wife who is no longer working, I can't afford the pay cut it would take to be entry level IT.

          That is your concern, not your employers. Take the job that feeds your family and get over yourself.

          That being said... are you looking in the right places? Willing to relocate? Willing to get a masters? Both will greatly increase your earning potential.
        • by cliveholloway (132299) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:28PM (#16756657) Homepage Journal

          "I've done TS for over 10 years so I feel it's time to move on. With 10+ years experience and a degree, I feel I'm too good to TS."

          And there is your problem. From that sentence alone, you say you feel entitled, yet you've not done anything about it. TS is only an entry to other positions if you push the envelope. One of our best sysadmins came from tech support. He was hungry to learn. Every night he'd stay after work for an hour or two to play with Linux/FreeBSD/Qmail etc. If I got your resume, I'd be looking at anything that shows you have a passion for the work - Open Source involvement, tech communities (hell, I link my Perlmonks node from my resume, warts and all - same username as /.). If your resume just says "Tech Support", you've dug your own hole. Get passionate about your work and the money will follow.

          I personally spent 5 years teaching myself and setting up my own business (I failed at that) before I started earning anything near a respectable salary. For the first 2yrs, I was on around $100 a week, living in my girlfriend's mother's house.

          Incidentally, out of the 6 devs here, only one has a CS degree. To me (though not my boss, note), degrees mean Jack Shit in the real world - especially ten years later. I did a Pure Math degree and I can't remember any of it (except the odd gem).

          Don't "dabble" at home. Actually build and release something useful. Commit to where you want to be and start climbing. It's not going to just come and drop in your lap.

        • by asr_man (620632)

          I've done TS for over 10 years

          There's the problem right there.

          Look...DON'T put that on your resume. At least not so directly. It's ok if it gets characterized that way in by an interviewer, but you absolutely don't want to project that karma from your core, if you are looking to move up the tech job food chain. They want a signal from the candidate that says you are MORE than just a TS grunt. And wtf, you are. So make your story fit that mold. And make them know you are hungry for a chance to do somet

    • by miyako (632510)
      As I understand it, you have to either: A: get exceptionally lucky, or B: take a job doing tech support and keep looking for something better.
      Personally, I worked on F/OSS software during school, which gave me some solid experience to point to when it came time to interview.
      • by psykocrime (61037)
        Personally, I worked on F/OSS software during school, which gave me some solid experience to point to when it came time to interview.

        And (smart) employers WILL look at and consider open-source experience. There's a story I posted earlier in this discussion about trying to hire some help when I was working for a company in Cary... while there we interviewed a young lady who had done some work on Apache Geronimo... she didn't have quite the experience we were looking for, but her experience working on Geroni
    • I started out in tech support. Probably most of the technical people on this board started there as well. Take it. Get 1+ years experience, some good references and then move on. Perhaps consult or do some pro bono work on the side to get your chops up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phisbut (761268)
      I have a BSIT degree with a 3.5 GPA, but without real world experience in an IT department, it's impossible for me to find anything in IT that pays above tech support!

      Then get an IT job with a tech support pay, get experience, then renegociate the pay. A degree is useless without experience, and an IT graduate without experience is not worth more than tech support pay, no matter the GPA.

      I'm tired of the chicken-egg thing. If I don't have experience I can't get the job. If I can't get the job, how am I s

    • Your problem exists because I'm still cleaning up the mess the kid right out of college made of our network. I would have never believed a tiny 100-ish person 20 server network could be so screwed up. Get your colleges to stop graduating people who don't know what they're doing and this problem will go away.

    • by dave562 (969951)
      You're on the opposite side of the equation from me. I have 10+ years of real world IT experience but no degree or certifications so no one wants to hire me, despite the fact that I have demonstrated proficiencies in the field.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:19PM (#16756475) Homepage
      That's funny. I know guys without the degree but 20+ years as advanced IT, sysadmin, etc.. they can outright smoke any college edu-ma-cated kid on the PC, DBA, etc... yet they have trouble finding jobs because most places are asking for ridiculous things like MASTERS in CS and 5+ years experience willing to take $35,000.00US a year. These places want $100+K quality for newbie salaries.....

      It sucks in IT and CS kid.... you picked the one career that is in the most turmoil right now. best bet is to start consulting on your own, you can count that as experience on your resume.

      • ...most places are asking for ridiculous things like MASTERS in CS and 5+ years experience willing to take $35,000.00US a year. These places want $100+K quality for newbie salaries...

        What the hell are you people talking about? Where exactly are you all, in the deep south? I could become a millionaire just acting as your recruiter. If any of you are actually programmers (not that helpdesk guy, his "I'm learning advanced skills like Linux and JSP" gave him away) please contact me so that I can make $3K to

    • Should have gone to a school with internships and/or work study as part of the course work. We recently hired a college grad here and he was looked on favorably due to the industry expirence that he got while in school. He has proved a valuable addition to the team. I pushed for his hire over another canidate due to his prior work on his work study/internships. He has been very valuable to me as I know only do the work of two people instead of 3! He probably makes 1/3 of what I do, but thats more than
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by businessnerd (1009815)
      First off, if you see a listing that says x - x+2 years experience and you have none, apply anyway. "Experience" does not always mean "I have been out in the working world with a 9-5 job doing X for Y years. Sometimes it means that you have been using the technology (paid or unpaid) for that number of years.

      Next, if all you do in College is get your degree with good grades, it will not do you any good. People all say "just get the piece of paper, that's all that matters", but that is complete BS. If
    • Do volunteer work for a charity in IT - get a letter of reference after six months, cash in.
      Worked for some friends...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raddan (519638)
      You have to do what every other network engineer/sysadmin on the planet did: work as tech support until you have the experience. As shitty as tech support can get, trust me, it's valuable experience when you become an engineer. Mostly because of all the years of having to deal with frustrated users, you've slowly accumulated the knowledge that end-users are fscking idiots ;^)

      But in all seriousness, that experience does put your decisions into perspective. You know EXACTLY how much pain just yanking th
  • Shortage smortage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J.R. Random (801334) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:53PM (#16755959)
    A "shortgage" of labor simply means that businessmen have to pay people more than they would prefer. There is always a wage at which any "shortage" disappears, but that is not the fix prefered by the business class (importing more cheap labor or outsourcing is). You never hear about a CEO shortage even when they make millions a year.
    • Re:Shortage smortage (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bryansix (761547) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:07PM (#16756241) Homepage
      Actually there is one field where the is an actual shortage. That is in Nursing. You see when a shortage in any other field occurs two things happen. The first is that people have to be paid more. The second is that because of the first less people are hired. So the company does a little less business because it doesn't have as many people to provide the service or make the product. But in healthcare you don't have the choice of doing less business. Your business is defined by an acute need of the public at large that has nothing to do with your ability to meet the need. In addition healthcare is not elastic. If prices rise, people still need care so you can't just raise prices to drive down demand. So in the field of Nursing there really is a shortage. How does that affect things? Well more and more nurses are prepared on the community college level with an associates degree. Also, nurses get stuck with a higher patient count then they should be. Both of these things lead to shitty care. So the Nursing shortage is real and it affects everyone.
      • But as good an analysis I've seen as to why free market forces don't apply to much of health care.
        • Actually, they would, if allowed to. But true competition would be necesssary, and that's what we don't have, because governments artificially restrict the number of schools allowed to train medical professionals, and medical cartels artificially limit entry into those professions, ostensibly to protect quality, but in reality to maintain their own artificially inflated incomes through the artificial lack of competition. In a free market, the high price of medical services would attract more providers int
      • The higher wages paid to employees when there is a shortage may result in higher prices that reduce overall demand for the product (and thus reduce the demand for the labor). But that depends on the price elasticity of the demand. In situations where there is little elasticity (as in health care) increasing wages relieves the shortage not by reducing the end product demand but by encouraging more people to go into nursing in the first place.

        I guarantee that if nurses' wages were doubled the "nurse shor

    • You never hear about a CEO shortage even when they make millions a year.

      Actually, you DO hear about CEO shortages. Whenever somebody complains about how much CEOs get in pay and benefits. B-)
  • by Black Art (3335) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:54PM (#16755977)
    The reason that IT jobs were exported to India in the first place is that US employers did not want to pay US wages. It is the same reason the want exemptions to import workers. So they can pay them sub-standard wages and deport them if they get uppity.

    Until employers get over the slave owner mentality and start paying people fairly for their work, they are going to have a hard time finding good people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Until employers get over the slave owner mentality and start paying people fairly for their work, they are going to have a hard time finding good people.


      I have your answer.... small business. I dropped my career at a major telcom company and went for less pay at a really small shop and never been happier.

      Bosses treat you well, you get paid decently, get fringe benefits like living 15 minutes from home, able to telecommute 1 day a week, free donut fridays, etc....

      you are not going to get the $150K sysadmin
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcrbids (148650)

      Until employers get over the slave owner mentality and start paying people fairly for their work, they are going to have a hard time finding good people.


      If you don't mind me asking, where do you shop for food? Where do you buy your tires? Clothes? Computers and related?

      If you've ever gone to someplace that's a little further away but cheaper than the corner market, should get over your slave owner mentality and start paying local merchants fairly for their work.

      Because it's the same exact thing.

      "But.. but..
  • that I can now get a helpdesk position here in the US?

    "Hello, mhy name is Rajesh, how may I help you?"

    Relax. Just laugh.

  • by sharkb8 (723587) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @03:58PM (#16756065)
    There's not a shortage of IT workers in the U.S., there's a shortage of IT workers who will work for $25K a year in the U.S. Want a native English speaker with .Net programming skills, it'll cost more than that.

    Besides most universities don't teach practical IT skills. Rarely did I ever see a class in Visual C++ or in .Net. Want to learn compiler design theory or advanced data structures? no problem. Want to learn how to set up a WIndows server? that's where ITT Tech comes in. And tech schools in the U.S. have a stigma attached to them where most who are qualified to go to a 4 year university would attend a tech school. I got my EE degree, but learned command-line Pascal in an elective. I had to learn Delphi, .Net, C++ and PHP on my own. The people who are motivated to learn on their own have some drive and expect to be promoted at some point, not to get 4% raises every two years for the rest of their lives.

    Gates needs to be a good little capitalist and pay the market rate.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by calcutta001 (907416)
      Yes there is a shortage if IT workers. I started my consulting company two years after graduation (2004) make $200/hrs. The thing that I am most great full for are the compiler design, the distributed systems, the graph theory classes that I took in college. One has to understand computer science in depth. If you learn to use Windows server you skills will be obsolete in few years, if you learn how servers are built, you will be ready no matter what comes along.

      My biggest gripe is people think they are know
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There's not a shortage of IT workers in the U.S., there's a shortage of IT workers who will work for $25K a year in the U.S.

      AND have a degree from one of a set of (non-State) universities you can count on one hand with fingers left over.

      AND are white or oriental.

      AND are male.

      AND have straight teeth and a blue-state big-city upper-class accent.

      There are PLENTY of intelligent, qualified, competent, and dedicated people available to companies that are willing to hire only on capabilities and ignore irrelivant-
  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:00PM (#16756113) Homepage Journal
    What that means is that India is experiencing its own outsourcing dilemma. Rates are actually too high for India. So they are looking to outsource their development to even less developed countries such as Vietnam, Angola, Malaysia. Even Africa. Those jobs are NEVER coming to America. NEVER. If they can't afford rates in Mumbai they certainly can't afford Research Triangle Park, NC or even Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
    • when the Republicans get done with their vision for the USA, have no fear, the wages for outsourced third world toilet jobs will be like manna from heaven here.
    • Not necessarily true. First, real (inflation-adjusted) wages are rising in India and falling here. Second, businesses will pay more per hour if they are getting correspondingly more per hour. If U.S. workers were twice as productive as Indian workers, businesses would be willing to pay twice as much for their services. What they are looking for is not maximum output per unit of time, but per unit of money.
  • Not surprising... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by creimer (824291) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:08PM (#16756265) Homepage
    I went back to school part-time and started earning my certifications over the last five years when the handwriting was on the wall and everyone was stampeding out of I.T. into health care field instead. Southeast Asia will never supply all the I.T. workers in the world when their economies start booming and they have their own internal needs. With the all the baby boomers retiring over the next 30 years, there's going to be a lot of U.S. jobs but not enough people. I'm looking forward for a long and rewarding career.
  • There's not a shortage of workers. There's a shortage of salaries which can provide a decent living. Been at the same job for 5 1/2 years because the modern salaries are nowhere near what they were in 2001.

  • It was never about a shortage of IT workers. It was always about a shortage of cheap and stable source of labor. I'm shedding big crocidile tears right now over this so-called shortage. It's not like like I'm a disgrunted IT worker that took four years—3 of which were stuck in a call center hell—to find an IT job making half what I was during the dot-com boom. No that couldn't possibly be it.
    • Bingo. And the shortage is going to be filled by the cheapest supply available. If they can't get cheap labor in India... watch them comb through low-income eastern european countries next.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @04:14PM (#16756375)
    What's really rare these days is someone with 10+ years of experience in C++, Java, C#, SQL, can show experience with libraries for Windows, Linux, PalmOS and Symbian, has experience as a team leader, is able to speak 3 languages fluently, is willing to relocate to the other end of the world, is "flexible" (read: Doesn't mind 60+ hours a week) and expects less than 2000 a month.

    Yes, those people get fewer and fewer every day. But they're in demand, I tell you, you only gotta read the job ads!
  • I was worried that the IT worker shortage was going to drag on for months, but now that it's all over I feel better. I just hope that my salary doesn't get cut, what with supply finally meeting demand and all...
  • WTF is going on with this world? Microsoft re-selling Linux, and now this? Now how will we know what is real and what is not on April 1st?
  • Unless you call "shortage" a low supply of qualified people willing to work at appropriate rates for under-qualified people

    I know tons of people who left the industry when the crash happened, not because they could not find jobs or did not want to work in the industry any longer but because they could not find jobs that gave adequate compensation for their skills and experience. Those people are still out there and if rates increase enough they will return

    There is something very wrong with a sector when the
  • It's only Sr. level people that we are looking for in the U.S. I've worked for a major IT outsourcing company for 10 years now as a Sr. UNIX SA. I can say that it is rare that we ever fill an open position on the first interview. When the job description clearly states that we are looking for senior level UNIX admins and we get people that don't can't read cidr notation, don't know how to manage a cluster, don't know the difference between RAID, SAN, and NAS, etc... We get plenty of applicants that I
  • It may be that the IT job market will pick up in the US and wages will rise again. But I don't think anyone is going to bite on this until they see it actually happening. For now, I'd advise young people to stay away from tech unless they really love it and have a backup plan.
  • All you "experienced Java programmers" [thedailywtf.com] are in luck!

  • by MCTFB (863774) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @05:24PM (#16757569)
    People keep saying that once the salary of high-tech jobs gets too high in India, then those jobs will then be moved to Vietnam or China, or some other place with a whole lot of poor uneducated people who are willing to work for a roof over their head and a bowl of rice a day.

    That may be true for low-tech jobs, but certainly not for high-tech jobs like software engineering, because one good high-tech worker is worth an infinite number of mediocre high-tech workers. You either have the skills and desire to do a high-tech job competently, or else you are a liability. It is really that simple.

    In modern militaries, the same trend is happening and is most evident in China's modernization where they are trying to scale down the manpower of their military, while increasing its numbers of elite troops and weaponry (in other words, make their armed forces more like the professional army of the United States). If you are in the special forces, you either have the ability to get the job done, or else you are a liability to your team. Most high-tech jobs, including software engineering (my personal profession) is the same way.

    Now, a high-tech military machine or a high-tech business will inevitably have to pay a premium for labor and tools to do their job, so if your war plans or your business plan cannot adequately utilize that expensive high-tech labor and scale it to meet your objectives, then the problem is not with the high-tech soldiers or workers, but the problem is with your war plan or your business plan.

    The cry by CEO's like Bill Gates that there is not enough high-tech talent out there is really just their myopic view of the business world in that being the fat, dumb, and happy titans of industry that they are, they lack the kind of entrepreneurial creativity necessary to exploit expensive high-tech talent to its full profit making potential. They treat their existing employees like trained monkeys and assume that they are smart enough to write code all day long, yet are not smart enough to demand fair compensation for their profitable work, and then wonder why they have problems attracting qualified candidates at half the going market rate for high-tech talent.

    So really, the problem is not that there is not enough high-tech talent out there, rather it is the slow lumbering industry giants like Microsoft have business models that are simply not profitable for the kind of premium in salaries that smart motivated people in high-tech generally command.
  • by christoofar (451967) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:04PM (#16759699)
    The big difference between now and yesteryear is OJT and learned-training.

    Companies expect a long history of experience. Actually in most programming work, your degree counts as a secondary nice-to-have. Certifications and job history count as #1 (after the salary discussion is over and both sides accept).

    That's the big difference between skilled workers now and skilled workers during WWI and WWII.

    During WWII especially, there was a CRISIS of qualified men to work skilled and semi-skilled jobs.

    Rosie the riveter didn't go from the kitchen to slamming hot rivets into huge plates of steel overnight. She had to learn how to do it, understand quality control, and know what was a good rivet finish vs. a bad one, or her work would lead to structure integrity failure down the road.

    It wasn't until after WWII that women in engineering colleges started to pop up, and employers were willing to start hiring them.

    When employers are REALLY pushed against the wall, then they will make investments in training and education.

    Right now, we don't have a shortage. You'll almost never be able to walk into a company without the skill they want (say, Great Plains experience) and get that training after hire. They expect--they demand that you already have it before you even fill out the paperwork.

    That to me, so no indication of a real tech worker shortage. That's just employers not willing to make an investment in their people so the tasks can be fulfilled.

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