I think this has been mentioned here, but wanted to point out from first hand experience... I have a BS in EECE, an MS in Physics, and I took all those
damn courses to get a Ph.D. in EECE (yet to finish dissertation)... as I was going through the Ph.D. program, I witnessed a number of my classmates getting interns at Intel/AMD/etc. Not to be racial (cultural?) but I am a native born anglo-saxon american. All of my classmates are Indian/Asian. I note that I could not get an intern/etc with big companies. My grades were comparable (better), and I had some experience having worked a little between degrees.
A few points. I know a number of these classmates that went on to get jobs at Intel/AMD/Motorola/etc. These are Ph.D.s in EE/EECE/CS. They are paying these guys $37000-$47000 to start, but they give them an H1B visa (or extension), so they are totally happy to take that pay. I am sorry to say it, but a "normal" american who just spent a good deal of cash on this degree just can not get by on this. No offense to any Indian guys (in fact, this is where you have an advantage) but 20 of them can live in a single apartment due to their culture/lifestyle. They have no problems getting $40,000 to start as a Ph.D, where most americans (for better or worse) would balk at that. I was told by one classmate who went on to work at Intel that they practically don't even look at americans for work anymore at that level as they want more to start. /rant
Interestingly, since we americans are no longer going into Ph.D.s in EE/EECE, this creates a catch 22 for the CEOs to go to the govt with. "look, no one is going into the Ph.D. program, give us more H1Bs!"... go look at (for example) Intels job pages. They want Ph.D.s in EE/EECE in mostly other countries now. We will eventually no longer manufacture or design anything here, but for the time being if it helps big companies bottom lines, they will never care if they are destroying us. We will wake up and no one will know how to build or design things here, and then all will be lost.
td;dl, Companies don't pay as they know H1Bs are cheap, no one goes in due to low wages, a manager at McDonalds can make more. Obama/Congress can not fix that, as they are paid by the same companies saying we need more H1Bs. Hey, I could go be a professor when it is done, but I could make more money asking if you want fries with that at the drive through.