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India Becoming a Major Hub for Western Job Seekers 830

MaximusTheGreat writes: "IHT and Financial Express report that many qualified Western professionals are moving to India for jobs. Two of the most common reasons mentioned are adding the Indian experience to the CV and search of better opportunities in a booming Indian economy. According to a Mumbai based head hunting firm, "A lot of the highly qualified talent has traditionally been mobile and attracted to centers of excellence globally. This was true of the US in the early 80s when top flight talent from India migrated in search of better opportunities. Today, the same is happening to economies such as India and China" This should also bust the myth that foreigners are not allowed work in India."
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India Becoming a Major Hub for Western Job Seekers

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  • Outsourced (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:11PM (#8147899)
    The task of getting first post has been outsourced to India.
  • Uh oh . . . (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:13PM (#8147910)
    This is why I got out of computer science to be an electrical engineer. My advisor always encouraged me to study abroad in India because that's where everything is shifting. I did not want to do this. I hope that this trend does not continue :(
    • by SlashdotLemming ( 640272 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:27PM (#8147998)
      I hope that this trend does not continue

      Just curious, is there any outcome to any situation that will not cause mass hysteria among the /. community?

      People come to the US looking for jobs..PANIC!!!! People leave the US looking for jobs...PANIC!!! President tries to solve this problem by trying to kill all those annoying foreigners...PANIC!!!

      Jeez, I feel for you people
    • I am considering such a thing. I was born to do IT, and I could care less about staying in the US. Especially with the War on Terror, and all the other crap going on.

      Plus, for Xmas, I can have my parents send $500 instead of buying a gift. I'd live like a king for a while on that type of dough.

      Not to mention, Indian women are beautiful. ;)
  • Exciting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Perianwyr Stormcrow ( 157913 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:13PM (#8147913) Homepage
    Hey, free movement of labor is required for fairness of free movement of capital.

    Depending on what sort of world you want, I guess.
    • The other part that makes it exciting is they might get nuked by the Pakistanis at any time.

      Livin' on the bleeding edge of technology!

      • Re:Exciting (Score:2, Informative)

        by xzap ( 453197 )
        Not likely seeing how the 'Father' of Pakistan's nuclear program has just been fired [] for illegally selling nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran.
      • Re:Exciting (Score:2, Insightful)

        by spasm ( 79260 )
        " The other part that makes it exciting is they might get nuked by the Pakistanis at any time."

        As opposed to the US, hated by 2/3 of the world's population, & obvious target # 1 for more minor excitements like, um, 9/11..
      • Just like the US and Russia got nuked by each other?

        Just because there are nukes in the neighborhood it does not mean they could get 'nuked anytime'.

        India has clearly told Pakistan: they can take a strike or two, but Pakistan will be wiped off the face of the earth if they pull anything like this. YAD (Your Assured Destruction), anyone? :)

    • Re:Exciting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by terraformer ( 617565 ) <> on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:34PM (#8148045) Journal
      Depending on what sort of world you want, I guess.

      This is exactly the problem w/ free trade. Conservatives want it for obvious reasons and progressives want it since they mistakenly believe it will bring up the standards of living in the target countries. Although it does (bring up the std of living), it does so through achieving equilibrium. The problem with that is to achieve equilibrium, two sides need to meet in the middle and that means decrease in the std of living for the higher income group. To prevent this it requires a smart plan, one which is sorely lacking in this case. In the absence of this plan, the only people who benefit from free trade are the really rich as they income gap increases.

      The facts bear out the assertion that the rich are benefitting from this arrangement since both the US and Mexico have seen a shrinking of their middle class and a growth in the income gap between top and bottom. Also, in the absence of a smart plan for implementing free trade, it allows the corporations to continue to support corrupt regimes with total impunity, with no control by any authority.

      Welcome to the new world...

      • It doesn't necessarily have to mean that the people who started out rich will end up at a lower absolute level of standard of living. It only means that the relative standard of livings are supposed to become balanced. Trade is not a zero sum game.

        That's the theory anyway. As you point out, in practise it doesn't seem to be working out quite so neatly. The rich now control a greater % of the worlds absolute wealth than in the past, and this is only increasing. I have seen several times mentioned that the a
      • Re:Exciting (Score:5, Informative)

        by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:49PM (#8148120) Journal
        From ny experience, 20 years ago inflation in Mexico was running about 125% a year, but everything seemed to remain affordable. Now with NAFTA, inflation may be down, but the prices are almost as high as in the states, but the wages are nowhere near that. Prices still do climb, but wages appears stagnant. Gasoline, electricity, milk, toilet paper, etc. are actually more expensive than in the states. I don't know how the people tolerate it. But they do.
      • The problem with that is to achieve equilibrium, two sides need to meet in the middle and that means decrease in the std of living for the higher income group.
        Fortunately, economics is NOT a zero sum game (see: Wealth of Nations, Smith, 1776.)
        • Re:Exciting (Score:3, Insightful)

          by terraformer ( 617565 )
          I have read it and if you read what I wrote, you will see I was talking about the execution of a specific trade policy, not about generic and ideal trade theory. There is no such thing as a perfect market since there is no such thing as perfect information. Ideal markets do not, and will never exist. So the focus has to be on the trade policy and how that policy has been implemented. My suggestion is that the execution of this specific trade policy has been set up to benefit one group over another.
      • Re:Exciting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ajagci ( 737734 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:03AM (#8149736)
        The problem with that is to achieve equilibrium, two sides need to meet in the middle and that means decrease in the std of living for the higher income group.

        I don't see a problem with that. Some people (us) have been getting more than their fair share for a while. We should consider ourselves lucky to have had such good fortune for so long. It's not our right.

        To prevent this it requires a smart plan, one which is sorely lacking in this case.

        No, it requires a very simple plan: improve the average standard of living of the globe quickly enough so that it compensates for the decrease resulting from equillibration. Anything else wouldn't be a "plan", it would be a fraud.

        Of course, free trade or not, the Western lifestyle will have to change: it simply isn't sustainable, and it can't be scaled up to the rest of the world. In particular, Americans will need to live in smaller, more energy-efficient houses, take public transportation, buy more energy efficient cars, recycle more, etc.

        The facts bear out the assertion that the rich are benefitting from this arrangement since both the US and Mexico have seen a shrinking of their middle class and a growth in the income gap between top and bottom. Also, in the absence of a smart plan for implementing free trade, it allows the corporations to continue to support corrupt regimes with total impunity, with no control by any authority.

        The US middle class has lots of serious, self-created problems; don't blame Mexico or free trade for that.
      • Re:Exciting (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Sunday February 01, 2004 @05:50AM (#8149834) Homepage
        A decrease in the standard of living for the American (or $COUNTRY_X) programmers, because they can no longer charge such high prices as before. But programmers and software companies are in a tiny minority compared to the users of software and business which need to pay for it. The people who benefit from free trade are not just the Indian (or $COUNTRY_Y) programmers, but the Western businesses who are able to get what they need more cheaply, and the consumers who (assuming decent competition) get lower prices.

        Free trade is just bringing together those who have something to sell - the Indian programmers - and those who want to buy - American firms needing software written. I don't see any reason for a third group to whine about this just because they were previously able to get away with charging more.

        This is especially hypocritical on a site such as Slashdot, where readers depend on a steady supply of computer hardware often built in countries with lower wages than the West. In stories about video cards or RAM I don't think I have _ever_ seen any complaint about free trade reducing the price of the hardware and the lost job opportunties for Americans caused by building it in the Far East. Or think of the constant RIAA stories - stop trying to get in the way of progress, stop trying to prop up a failing business model, you don't automatically have the right to keep on getting money just because you did in the past. I know this is partly the fallacy of assuming Slashdot readers speak with one voice, but it's still worth noting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:14PM (#8147915)
    I fear that OSS is soon going to force all programming jobs to move to India. Since OSS companies typically make far less profit than real commercial software companies do, they cannot afford to hire decent programmers. So they'll outsource to India, for 10 dollars an hour. Furthermore, by using underhanded tactics like "borrowing" Unix code, they'll beat their commercial competitors -- and the commercial companies will either be forced to open source, or go out of business. I'm not trying to say that OSS is bad, or it should be banned, but some kind of regulation should be put in place to ensure that the majority of software in use is still good old fashioned commercial software.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:17PM (#8147931)
    Have you ever wondered why all the IT jobs are being outsourced to India? Really, I find it hard to believe why people question this growing trend. Is it not obvious?

    Indians are by nature better programmers. For one, they never have to deal with type casting erros -- they never forget to caste!
  • ...if the jobs can go to India, it would make sense that the workers can too.

    Someone told someone whose job was outsourced to "think outside the box", and look what happened. ;)
  • Suprised. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bagel2ooo ( 106312 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:18PM (#8147938)
    It seems this would be something that would have been up and coming. With so many tech jobs being outsourced to India. Hopefully their booming economy will help give us a run for our money. Historically good things seem to happen when we have competition. At least I hope it will be friendlier and with at least as comparable results as the technology boosts during WWII and The Cold War. :)
  • Myth busting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:20PM (#8147959) Homepage Journal
    Good to see that particular myth busted. The reality seems to be that India is simply embracing software development, and given the lower cost of living over there, are making huge gains in that sector - in the end software is just bits, and it's very easy to ship them anywhere in the world.

    If you don't fancy working in India, just pick somewhere else with a lower cost of living than the US, and set up shop there. You could try New Zealand or Australia - both fairly western countries with a notably lower cost of living (depending on where you go) than the US. Still not as low as India, but then it would provide less of a language barrier (depending on exactly how uninterpretable you consider the austrialian accent), which many here claim is a significant problem with Indian outsourcing.

    So, why not set up your own outsourcing company?

    • I can honestly say it was the first I'd heard of a 'Myth that you can't go to work in India'.

      I've had a couple of friends go to work in India from the UK in the last couple of years and their work visas and in one case naturalisation was all worked out in a timely manner.

      Does this myth only pertain to the United States perhaps?

      I can see that moving to work in India could have some instant financial benefits in that the cost of living (and therefore making a home) in India is presumably less than weste
      • What happens when you want to move back to the UK? You've spend a better part of your best wage-earning years making Indian wages. When you sell your Indian home and convert it to pounds, what kind of home can you buy when you move back to London?

        I can see people working in India for very short periods of time, but moving from a 1st world nation to a 2nd or 3rd world nation (at least in terms of wages) does not have the same benefits as the reverse situation does.

        For now, I take articles like this as an
    • Calafornia isn't the only place tech jobs are available, they it certianly is one of the most expensive. There are plenty of other states with tech industries, many on the rise, where cost of living is much lower. Now with this generally comes lower pay, but it tends to balance out.
    • Re:Myth busting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:33PM (#8148413)
      New Zealand and Australia are extremely hard to get into for employment. Hell, last time I was in New Zealand was 1988 and it was hard to get in if you were black. *ahem*

      Canada requires more than US$30,000 in cash and you must be highly qualified in a professional field to move. Australia and New Zealand last I checked not only require that, but they require an existing job offer to enter--and you are forbidden from changing visa status without returning home. Not many people will be recruited ahead of time. Sure, you can enter as a university student to gain contacts, but how many unemployed computer programmers have enough to pay up front for a AU/NZ degree AND all their living expenses for three years PLUS two return air tickets and six more months living expense so you can go home while the residency visa is granted, at which point you will need a full years' contingency fund that will be checked on arrival or adios muchachos--assuming you haven't been found to break the employment restriction, which in the case of Australia will bar you from ever returning again? Oh, IT'S SOOOO BLOODY EASY. Right.

      The fact is, most countries are practically impossible to emmigrate to--especially commonwealth countries from anywhere but another commonwealth country and especially Australia when your departure country is the United States because too many of us have tried to change visa status while in Australia (read: illegal employment). If you're already out of work, the financial restrictions make it a complete fantasy. If you're not out of work, it's such an enormous gamble, why would you try unless you truly wanted to permanently move to the country in question for reasons other than immediate employment?

      The H1-B program in the United States was not exactly par for the international course. We let in well over 600,000 people on H1-B in five years. Once I see numbers like India granting over one million residency and employment visas PER YEAR (a roughly equal proportion), I'll buy this argument that the lack of reciprocity is a myth. The same goes for Indian academics. Bangalore University has TWO SEATS per department available for international students--and they have a quarter million students. My university had less than five thousand students and we had that many seats--just for Brazil.

      Myth my ass. I would _love_ to go work in a number of countries, not all of them on the economic level of Australia. However, in many countries it often isn't possible at any price--just try to get a work visa for South Africa, for instance. Oh sure, you can get a long-term residency permit if you've got $100,000 in the bank, but you won't be able to seek employment without risking deportation. Most countries are very protective of their labor markets and aren't about to dilute them with Americans who they see as not needing the work nearly as badly. This translates to a cynical lack of reciprocity that basically boils down to "you're American, ergo you're rich, ergo you don't need to take our jobs." Of course, the same voices seem to think we should give up our jobs for them when they show up at our doors.
      • Re:Myth busting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:52PM (#8148501) Homepage Journal
        Oh, IT'S SOOOO BLOODY EASY. Right.

        I didn't say it was easy - I said it was possible. I think you somewhat overrate the difficulty of emigrating to NZ or Australia - no, it is not trivial, but it is far from impossible, especially if you are skilled and have some cash reserves. It is FAR easier than emigrating to the US from NZ or Australia.

        The fact is, most countries are practically impossible to emmigrate to--especially commonwealth countries from anywhere but another commonwealth country and especially Australia when your departure country is the United States because too many of us have tried to change visa status while in Australia (read: illegal employment). If you're already out of work, the financial restrictions make it a complete fantasy. If you're not out of work, it's such an enormous gamble, why would you try unless you truly wanted to permanently move to the country in question for reasons other than immediate employment?

        Let's be honest, the US is generally regarded to be the most anally retentive country in the world when it comes to immigration. Consider all those people stuck in green card lotteries. Comparatively Commonwealth countries are reasonably easy going. They expect you to have work lined up, or a high liklehood of finding work, but that's not at all unreasonable. The plan is not to just try and move there - Start looking for work there, apply for every programming job going in your target country(ies), and once you have a job offer your odds of getting visas etc. skyrocket.

        I know several people who have successfully emigrated to NZ or Australia, it is nowhere near as difficult as you seem to imply (that is, you imply that it is effectively impossible - which it most definitely is NOT).

        • Re:Myth busting (Score:4, Interesting)

          by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @12:07AM (#8148580)
          Anally retentive? More difficult?

          You can come to the United States without a long term visa, THEN find work, THEN get your visa status changed. That's pretty NON-anally retentive. Do that in Australia and not only will you find yourself back home, you can never return.

          It is the fact that we are so ridiculously permissive and the rest of the world still cries that we're "generally regarded to be the most anally retentive country in the world when it comes to immigration" that pisses us off because practically nowhere else is so open.

          Go try to get yourself German citizenship and get back to me on how restrictive the United States is.
      • Re:Myth busting (Score:5, Informative)

        by KavyBoy ( 35619 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @02:09AM (#8149177)
        Sorry, you're wrong on almost all counts. I know because I've done it. I showed up in New Zealand on vacation and had a job offer two weeks later. I went to immigration and walked out with a two-year work visa. I don't even have an IT degree. My wife is here full-term on a work visa that allows her to stay as long as I'm here. A year into it and I'm sitting in my own house in NZ right now. I can apply for long-term residency and probably get it.
        Now, it wasn't a cake walk, but it was FAR from difficult. I work with a 20-year-old American that's here same as me, so it's not like I'm a special case. No huge sums of work experince and cash are required.
    • Re:Myth busting (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
      The IT jobs market in Australia isn't much better than the US. Go compete with someone else ;)
  • Unnecessary hype (Score:4, Informative)

    by Freston Youseff ( 628628 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:20PM (#8147961) Homepage Journal
    It will all balance out in the end.
  • Can't Hurt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danaan ( 728990 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:21PM (#8147970)
    I think anything that gets more people out of their own territories and out into a different part of the world where they have the opportunity to see what it's like in other places can only help in the long run. Sure, a fluid labor force is a "good thing", but people who have experienced different cultures, laws, religions, biases and viewpoints is even more valuable.
  • What needs to be done to get job visa in India? Should I post my resume in Indian newspaper? Will my 10 years of experience in US count? Should I speak any Indian languages?
  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:22PM (#8147976) Journal
    *Foreigners desiring to work in India are welcome only if they locate in Andhra Pradesh [] .
    • Well, as far as I know, its not much different in the US. I live in Scandinavia, and the only way I could move to the US and work would be to get "sponsored" by a large company. I have to have some skill or competence that they cannot aquire otherwise. (Like CS skills AND language) I cannot just move to the US and start looking for jobs. Why should it be any different in India ? (or, well, why is it like this at all. It does not seem like "free movement of labor" to me).
  • unlikely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThoughtWorker ( 747948 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:28PM (#8148002)
    Unless someone wants to move to India forever, it doesnt make financial sense. Indian software companies are not going to pay more for an American working in India just because he is American (or whatever country he comes from). And so people moving there will have to work at the going salaries of that market. And with those salaries, you cant retire very comfortably in the United States, for example. So, anyone interested in a permanent move?
    • So, anyone interested in a permanent move?

      You mean unlike, say, the hundreds of thousands of Indians who have moved to the United States to become American citizens, raise American children, and die on American soil? We think nothing of people forsaking their homelands to move to the United States. We created this system, and we don't have the right to complain when people apply our own rules to us.
  • by boobsea ( 728173 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:31PM (#8148022) Journal
    I'm about to go onto college. I planned on majoring in CompSci, but I don't want to move aboard to get a job.

    Are Electrical Engineers having any similar problems with jobs being outsourced?

    Which degree should I get?
    • The difficulty in answering your question is that you have to be able to predict 4 years into the future.

      Perhaps you could visit a school you're interested in and see whether a lot of Indians and Chinese are in the program you're considering. If so, it's a good bet those countries are taking interest in the field. To me it seems that China, at least, is coming on strong in all technical fields, if a few years behind India in computer programming.

      As a datapoint, apparently Intel's Pentium-M chip (the b

    • Major in what you would like to do--not what you think other people would like you to do. You'll have plenty of chances to explore different areas once you enter a university.
    • Electrical engineering is a lot of physics whereas compsci is a lot discrete math. If you're not interested in physics, then don't go for an EE degree. For example, in EE you'll learn how semi-conductors work and such; in comp sci you'll learn ways to traverse graphs, etc. Though there's certainly overlap in the fields. EE's need to know what they're designing for, and a comp sci that know's what's going on under the hood is typically better off than one who doesn't when doing anything practical.

      If you
      • This advice is terrible. Not paying attention to the job market when you're choosing an education is a recipe for unemployment. This doesn't mean to run after whatever currently "hot", but don't waste your time getting an education in something that has no future. I had a roommate once who got a Master's in Philosophy. What is he doing with it? I have no idea; probably working at Wal-Mart. An aerospace engineering degree isn't very helpful either; look at how our aerospace industy is doing. Similarly
        • This post seems to assume that people who aren't "talented" deserve to have high-end jobs in what's hot when they graduate?

          Look, if you have brains and dedication and confidence in your capabilities, study whatever you want. Get the philosophy degree, have fun, and make sure that you're keeping an eye on something to make money with too. There's plenty of opportunity for part-time work in fields that will make money, and by trying lots of them out you will probably find one that captures your interest abou
    • Business.
      Learn all you can. Then learn plumbing. afer thet, start your own plumbing business. If you still want to program, do some work on OS.

      If I had been spending the last 10 years as a plumber, I would be making at least twice what I currently make as a software developer.
      The hour would be better, and I'd get to go to kick ass comventions in Vegas.
      Believe me, these conventions are far superiour then comdex. Unles you actully go to comdex to learn about what might just be the next trend(but probably isn
  • by divvy ( 620836 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:31PM (#8148024) Homepage
    Perhpas people are even willing to move offshore than lose their respect and work at BKs or McDonalds. But is India really willing to take them in?

    Indian Culture is much different from the American one. Such migration might not help at all.. considering that the Americans will have tough time adjusting to the culture in the first place. Moreover, given India is such a big country, many companies would rather do with a talented Indian who understands the work culture and how businesses are run rather than a foreigner.

    • by tealover ( 187148 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:43PM (#8148097)
      I would imagine they would be hiring Westerners for precisely the same reasons that American or European companies hire Chinese, Japanese or Indian people: To help them do business with Chinese, Japanese and Indian companies/countries.

      There would certainly be an advantage for an Indian company that does business with an American company to have Americans on the inside schooling them on how things work.

    • ...many companies would rather do with a talented Indian who understands the work culture and how businesses are run rather than a foreigner.

      I think "work culture" is a universal - get to work!

      As for the software culture, you have to serve your market. You can bet your bottom dollar that an Indian firm that specializes in US software is going to be happy to have US culture on board.

      Company politics can play a role too and can be used as a quick quality guide. A company writing really bad code for Micro

  • This is pretty clearly a PR puff piece. An obvious part of the trend of the Indian IT lobby to stem the growing US backlash.
  • Yeah but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by carcosa30 ( 235579 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:32PM (#8148031)
    This is just my opinion and all, but I don't think people from the US should have to go to India in order to chase jobs that emigrated from here.

    I know that's against the principles of free trade and all, but we invented this technology, we are the ones who built it, we supported it, and now the corporations we built it for are selling our jobs for pennies on the dollar to third world countries.

    What I'm doing is changing my field, after around 14 years, because the way technical people in this country have been treated is utterly reprehensible.
    • Re:Yeah but (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dev11 ( 635413 )
      In some ways, we (meaning Americans) may actually have some responsibility in this. Creating the Internet, and more importantly, making it cheap and easy to get connected, makes anything that can be done at a distance, such as writing software, economically viable. In some sense, we may have done things too well and put ourselves out of a job.

      I do programming for a living, and quite honestly, most anyone with the proper training can do most common programming tasks. There certainly are those gifted, to

  • by stephenisu ( 580105 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:32PM (#8148032)
    Who's with me?

    We start a hippie commune in India, we would be self sufficient in terms of agriculture and utlities, living by LGPL (we do need to be able to make a living) ideals, religion tolerant, and we could try and land a lot of the US outsoursed contracts...
  • It's no H1B.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psycho_tinman ( 313601 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:33PM (#8148039) Journal

    Yes, you may have a job. But you have to reconcile yourself to a lower quality of life in India. It may cost less to live there, but at the same time, there are a few things that are taken for granted in the West, which aren't as easy to get there. The standards for judging things are far different from life in the West.

    PhD and MSc workers are relatively thick on the ground there, especially in Engineering disciplines. The way things are in India, a lot of people (yes, I have many indian friends) want to move out due to competition from their peers, and difficulty in finding jobs. With this in mind, it's easy to understand why one article openly states that a main reason for hiring Europeans is to "represent their interests" in the home country.

    When you go work in India, you may save some cash, for sure.. but if you don't plan on living there for the rest of your life, when you come back to your own country, you will find that the savings don't necessarily translate to much in your local currency.

    Does all this sound like I am against people moving to India ? not at all. Just that, as the title of my post suggests, I doubt we're ever going to see a vast inrush of Europeans/Americans working in India at low level positions. Indian companies may be savvy enough to snap up a few qualified and experienced personnel, but for the greater majority of those out of work, India isn't the answer. There is a reason why there are STILL so many Indian workers in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs.

    • here are a few things that are taken for granted in the West, which aren't as easy to get there.

      like maybe having your parents ship you a burger in the mail once in a while

    • Yes, you may have a job. But you have to reconcile yourself to a lower quality of life in India. It may cost less to live there, but at the same time, there are a few things that are taken for granted in the West, which aren't as easy to get there.

      An economist could explain it better, but to me it seems that cost of living and standard of living aren't directly correlated. (I know it's not exactly what you're saying, but it's worth adding.) Lower quality of living may be true for India, but it isn

  • by tloh ( 451585 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:41PM (#8148080)
    Won't argue with the job opportunities available in places like India and China, but careers aside, are those really suitable places to live for people who've grown up in western environments like the US?

    Last I heard India is still a developing country in many aspects. How may are prepared to share the road with not only automobiles and pedestrians but elephants, sacred bovines, and pack animals which all produce fair shares of manure? Depending on where in india one might relocate to, problems with roaming bands of monkeys and the ocassional wild tiger, rare as they are, would still be unsettling for one who only see beasts in zoos.

    Though China has come a long way from the 60s and 70's, My parents still carry lasting scars from the exesses of the Cultural Revolution. There are still many things that should/could not be addressed in public without considerable risks to the speaker and the listeners. Despite the incredable westernization/commercialization of the general population, China is still very ethnocentric in some regards. In short, American $$$$$ == good, dragonboats, home-grown rockets & national astronauts == better. I'm optimistic about the direction China is headed but I highly doubt it is a suitable place for a western job seeker unless (s)he is willing to make considerable lifestyle and mental adjustments.

    just my 2 cents.
    • Developing country? Sure. But by no means do elephants and "pack animals" roam around and share the roads. Yes, we did make some progress in the last 2000 years. And no, we don't locate our programmers deep inside our jungles.

      And dude, China is communist. India is not. There's a big difference.

      Just my 2 rupees.
    • You seem to be a chinese origin person, so whatever you say about china may be right, and I will not argue.

      But, puhleese, don't spout ignorant statements about India like roaming tigers on streets in cities.

      Another thing to remember is that India already is a mixed race society, with all shades of the color variations and features from north to south. So, being a puralistic democracy who does not suppress its citizens, are used to living with "different" looking people, free press etc. westereners will ha
    • You would expect to move to another country and not make lifestyle and mental adjustments????

      The can be surprising cultural differences even between western countries.

      I was stunded by the number of beggers in the US when I worked there, in San Francisco at least.
      That and the feet police, in NZ its quite common to strop about in bearfeet. I all most got arrested in a mall because I wasn't wearing shoes.
    • by pamri ( 251945 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @01:34AM (#8149011) Homepage
      Unless you are trying to be another Jim Corbett, you are unlikely to come across even a monkey,forget an elephant or a tiger (???) if you are applying for an executive's job in any of the metro's or urban areas. Of course, cows are there, but nowadays found only in gully areas or residential areas. FYI, I am living in Bangalore for the present and I have contacts with a number of "foreigners", both within my organisation or those visiting it and have yet to find someone who finds the problems you mentioned a reason to leave their jobs here. The person heading the Organisation sharing our office premises has been in Bangalore for around 20+ years and is originally from UK and he not only is v.comfortable, but has mastered the local language quite well. And yes, I am yet to see a sparrow near my house/place of work and come across a cow, only when i take a walk near my house. And economic liberalisation has meant, most upper & middle class attitudes & lifestyles, around the world are more or less the same (ie., good education, a good house in a nice surrounding, good social life, having good spending power,etc.,)

      I am not saying, there won't be any problems in relocation, but rather that some of them may be due to stereotypes you have developed(in your case, seeing a wild tiger) and some could be ignored (seeing cows all around), if your job is challenging or satisfactory enough and you could manage to have a decent lifestyle.

      Some links:
      Myths about Indian Business women []
      Outside execs who have succeeded in India []

    • Your last paragraph points out something very important. When you leave liberal societies, you are leaving your freedoms. That is the most important thing. Things like standard of living, etc can be adjusted. But freedoms are something else. Most countries, including India, offer few freedoms. India is nothing more than a kleptocracy, with Hindu fundamentalist tendancies. You are talking about a country where kissing on film (movies) is largely banned, all films are censored, etc. Some people have even been thrown in jail (for short periods of time) for releasing "controversial" films. You are also talking about a corrupt government. And so forth.

      If you are a conservative, or could care less about criticizing the government, then these governments are fine. But if you say something, watch out.

      Same thing with China, except multiply everything I said by 1000x.

      Sivaram Velauthapillai
  • So you move to India, taking your $40k in savings with you, and live like a king for a year or two, making $8k in salary, tops.

    Then the market in India raises a bit in a few years, and competition increases, making it unfeasible to stay there any longer.

    You decide to move back to the US, with your $2k in savings and... live in a cardboard box, with frequent bathroom trips to the sewer grate on the corner, and the food at the soup kitchen.

    Seriously, if you move there, and live like a king, and ever want t

    • Re:But wait! (Score:3, Insightful)

      With $40k you could live like a king for far longer than 2 years in most parts of India. In fact you can live damn well on that $8k salary.

      As for coming back in a couple of years, you will have more work experience in your profession combined with multicultural and foreign experience. Very healthy things to have on your resume.

      Finally, upon arriving back in the United States you will find that the standard of living will have only dropped further and the cost of living is less than when you left.


  • by hcg50a ( 690062 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:51PM (#8148147) Journal
    From the IHT article:

    " and middle-level executives from the United States and Britain exploring job opportunities in top technology firms. This is in addition to regular middle-level and top-level management positions held by foreigners in multinational companies that have large operations [in India]."

    It should be noted that the Indian jobs starting to be filled by foreigners are middle- and upper-level management jobs--not software or hardware engineers!
  • by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @10:53PM (#8148150)
    Do we really want this?

    Do we want our lives to be traded as commodities to be moved and shuffled about at the whim of the free market? I'm just going to state a few opinions here. Markets should serve people, not the other way around. When freedom of choice (in this case, where to live), is superceded by the freedom of markets we have a problem. Markets are in theory, supposed to maximize freedom. I don't see how forcing a bunch of people to travel across the world just to eat is an example of "freedom". Instead, it's the commoditizing of humanity. I'd be curious, if we were to interview these travelling workers, what their response would be if they were given a choice between working that job over in India vs America. I'd imagine that they would choose to work closer to home. Imagine if we had a choice, any at all. Imagine if democracy (in other words, allowing those who are affected most by a decision, to make that decision) were placed above capitalism. Instead, what we have is the market being rigged to serve a priveledged few, at the expense of everyone else. There is nothing "free" about being forced to transplant oneself every few years just to eat. Freedom from means nothing without freedom to.
    • Markets don't maximize freedom, they maximize productivity. If the market weren't driving people to DO, then everyone would sit on their ass and get a lot less accomplished. You'd have a situation reminiscent of the Soviet Union, where people had a hard time getting enough to eat, never mind other consumer goods.

      Freedom is a joke, do you think being a wage slave is freedom? It's the only way to extract reasonable amounts of effort from an apathetic public.
    • Its a book.
      Remarkably prophetic in many ways.

      I'd recommend it in light of this thread.

  • by laigle ( 614390 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:10PM (#8148268)
    But isn't the current trend to move the offshore jobs from India to even crappier places in South America? It's not like the people in a lot of these jobs actually have to speak English, that's just a nicety. As long as a few local management are bilingual everything generally works out. Sure, India will keep the tech support jobs. Until computer voice recognition can run down the scripts then tell you it's someone else's fault.

    Top that with the cost of relocation, the fact that the Indian market already provides fairly ample amounts of trained labor, and the fact that as an American you are going to be at a significant disadvantage trying to work within the social framework there, and you've got a very unattractive option. Oh, and don't forget that you won't be earning enough to ever move back and not be pitifully poor.

    I think using my master's degree to shill cars for a living in the States sounds a tad better.
  • More propoganda! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ChilyWily ( 162187 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:35PM (#8148422) Homepage
    "Financial Express"?

    whois displays:

    The Indian Express Online Media Ltd (JYXCIDMQMD)
    Express Towers, 2nd Floor,
    Nariman Point
    Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021


    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    The Indian Express Online Media Ltd (KYYHDIAZUO)
    Express Towers, 2nd Floor,
    Nariman Point
    Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021
    91-022-22884113 fax: 91-022-22044654

    Record expires on 03-Jan-2005.
    Record created on 02-Jan-1998.
    Database last updated on 31-Jan-2004 23:31:58 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:


    surely their views must be impartial!
  • The Rise of India? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:36PM (#8148428)
    It seems like every second week there's a story on the rise of India in the global economy and its cost to us in the Western world. But I am worried that our thinking is being dominated by anecdotal evidence as opposed to solid data. I'm no expert but in the last hour I spent looking at the situation I've found some things that give me reason to be skeptical.

    For example, if one looks at the ISI Highly Cited [] website we see that researchers from Western economies still dominate research journals. Suggesting that these countries will countinue to lead the world in technological development in the near future. This of course probably means jobs for those in the industry of researching and developing technology. Just how great the desparity is, is illustrated with a few numbers:

    United States - 2830 highly cited researchers
    United Kingdom - 306 highly cited researchers
    Australia/New Zealand - 78 highly cited researchers
    Switzerland - 60 highly cited researchers
    India - 8 highly cited researchers
    China - 5 highly cited researchers

    Also if we look at the CIA World Fact Book [] we see Western Economies still appear to have a significantly greater GDP per capita which means there is more money to invest in industry:

    United States - $36,300
    Switzerland - $32,000
    Australia - $26,900
    United Kingdom - $25,500
    China - $4,700
    India - $2,600

    Indeed, I can't help but feel that we're overemphasizing India. That they are really the IT sweat-shops of the 21st century and while they may be master code-monkeys the chief beneficiaries of their work will be the Western world. Who will get cheap labor and services but still carry out most of the research, design, marketing and retail. This article mentions specifically significantly reduced operating costs and 500,000 jobs moving overseas, but the latter statistic is useless unless we know how many other jobs are (or are not) going to crop up to replace them and where. My post isn't really an informed opinion on the matter, but what I hope it will do is encourage others to think critically about the situation instead of getting tied up in the tsunami of pessimistic articles posted on Slashdot.
  • by MrMrBen ( 547455 ) on Saturday January 31, 2004 @11:54PM (#8148514)
    Think about it. Let's imagine that it gets to the point that there are so few good jobs in the U.S., that large numbers of Americans decide to emigate to India to get a call center job answering tech support questions for Dell customers in the U.S. Clearly that couldn't happen, because there wouldn't be anyone left in the U.S. who could afford a Dell at U.S. prices anymore. Before any significant number of worker emigrate to India for jobs, the U.S. economy would have to drop to India's level. If the only jobs in the U.S. were at McDonald's, then the U.S. would no longer be a rich country, and we wouldn't be able to afford to outsorce jobs to India anymore.
  • by spanklin ( 710953 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @12:09AM (#8148584)
    Check this article [] out. An Indian manufacturing company built a factory in Virginia.

    Apparently, the VA location beat out Mexico to land the factory. No joke.

  • by zpiderz ( 646360 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @12:09AM (#8148589)
    I for one, know a few people (me included) that are open to jobs abroad after college. Right after college is a great time to do something new and interesting in a new environment. In a decade, having global experience will be a very valuable trait.

    As for the retirement aspect or moving back to the U.S. In a decade or two India's economy will grow big enough to match many of those around the world.

    Many people think India is 3rd world, but from what I've heard about their big cities, they're pretty much exactly like our metropolitan hubs. Yeah, the rest of the country needs to catch up, but don't you think Wyoming needs to catch up the rest of the U.S. too?
  • by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @01:37AM (#8149036)
    I worked as developer in this industry for over eight years. But there is only so much humiliaton and abuse and disregard that one can endure in a career. What the fuck is a softwae developer's career worth anyway? We are always the bottom of the corporate totem pole, we are treated as nerds and misfits and now we don't even have a good paycheck or any sense of security. Fuck that I say. You can kiss my J2EE development ass.

    I'm switching careers to trades. It isn't that hard and most of us can work with our hands and will take twenty seconds instead of twenty minutes to calculate how much tile is needed for the bathroom walls. I've already done a few tiling projects on the side and now I'm getting my electrician's papers. Soon I'll be able to cover everything from finishing carpentry to wiring and plumbing. Pays just as well as the office job did at peak if you're willing to work hard. Last month I netted $5,000CAD (I live north of the border) which is a very healthy sum here especially that that's AFTER TAX money. And wehn was the last time you heard of a plumber being outsourced to India? That's right my friedns, when that pipe bursts in your CEO's house even the 20,000 Indians he's hired arent gonna be much use at 15,000 miles away.

    So my friends, next time you hear that your job is getting shipped to India tell your manager that she can kiss your ass goodbye because it's a great opportunity to give up your (most likely) shitty job and do something useful instead. You'll be surprised how rewarding trades can be compared to an office job.

    Oh and in the evening (that's right trade jobs run 9 to 5 not 8 to midnight, imagine that!) when you get home there is no reason not to fire up the computer and do some open source coding, for fun, without the stresss and aggravation of a PHB meddling with good things and making stupid suggestions. Write some great software and donate it to Open Source. Even Indians can't compete with that pricing model :-)

    So my friends this is our new reality we all have to face. We all love programming but it doesn't make us money anymore. It started out as a hobby (for most of us) and now is the time it went back to being a hobby. For a living however, we must do something more lucrative that can't be outsourced by the next bunch of stuffed shirts. Like trades.

    • by vacuum_tuber ( 707626 ) * on Sunday February 01, 2004 @03:29AM (#8149504) Journal

      MSBob wrote:

      "...You'll be surprised how rewarding trades can be compared to an office job."

      I agree. After 40 years of very serious software development (OS internals, languages, macro processors, protocols, device drivers, machine and peripheral emulators -- not JavaShit or Visual Barfic), I am changing careers because it seems no one wants actual, real software designers/developers anymore. So I say, "Screw 'em all!"

      I got a hint of what was to come in 1990 when I moved into this house and had cable hooked up. The installer seemed too bright, too articulate. We talked. He was a degreed electronic engineer who used to design the "sleds" that give those thigh-mounted data entry devices we see being used by inventory takers their specific functions and behaviors. He quit and became a cable TV installer because of low pay, long hours, abuse and PHBs. He never looked back. In his new job he had variety every day, was outside a lot in fresh air and sunshine, was never seriously put out, and never took his job home with him.

      I've never been ideologically anti-corporate, but it's now clear to me that corporate America is committing suicide. I no longer care. I'll donate the bullet or the razor or the match, however they want to put themselves out of their misery.

  • by foo12 ( 585116 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @03:46AM (#8149556)
    My company just asked me to relocate to the Philippines for a 1-2 years (minimum) so they have someone on-site at all times. Now keep in mind my situation is different from most people in the tech industry --- I'm keeping my hourly wage, and the company is covering my housing expenses (I would have a 3-bedroom villa in a gated community, a maid, a security guard and a driver --- all that is costing them less than US$1000/month). So the deal is sweeter than moving to India, but the principles are the same.

    Right now I'm in the middle of my first trip to the Philippines and it's been... a trip to say the least. Everything about this experience has been positive, largely because Filipinos seem, as a whole, a happy, gregarious people.

    Everyone here speaks at least some English and anyone with an office job speaks exceptional English. The only place we ever stumble is on phrases and idioms. (Quite honestly English here is on average better than in the states --- McDonald's employees speak better English than they do in the US)

    Food is American friendly... if you absolutely must, there's McDonalds, KFC, PizzaHut, etc. but the local food is also quite good. Markets and grocery stores are fine, and you can certainly muster American fare from what you can find there. And everything is cheap --- I ate for about $3/day last week and, last night, splurged and bought a $10 meal at a resort restaraunt.

    After that I went out to one of the hottest clubs in the city and spent about $30 on cover charge, a couple drinks for myself, and a round for 15 of my coworkers. (When I say coworkers I mean "very intelligent, funny, cute, single women all under 30" we'll leave it at that.)

    My advice -- don't reject the idea of moving overseas outright. Regardless if you come back ahead or not, it's going to be a great life experience and be a nice item on your resume.
  • Weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Sunday February 01, 2004 @08:33AM (#8150205)
    I just saw a job posting on a website yesterday that specified that they were looking for people who were willing to work at "Indian Salary Levels" and then pointed to an Indian job web site as a reference to find out what "competitive" bids were.

    That definitely has me a bit concerned. I'm a programmer and I work out of Mexico, so while I can offer pretty competitive rates, I still expect to get paid well. Unfortunately the market is saturated by programmers, and I believe with time, that will change as programers continue to drop out because of job competition.

    Really, my take on it, at least in the States, is that a lot of people went into software to make money. I think now that it's harder to make good money at it, the ones that are going to stick around are going to generally be the ones who really love doing it. Hopefully that will level the market out a bit.

    The fact remains that some of us are quite skilled at what we do and that some people, no matter how hard they try, aren't going to be nearly as good as those of us who are in this field because we love the write software and have a natural ability with it. For the same reason, I'll never play guitar like Eddie Van Halen or paint like Van Gogh (and that's not to imply that I think I'm the Eddie Van Halen or Vincent Van Gogh of computer programming).

    For most of the time I've been in this field (the last 4 years notwithstanding), most of the programmers were people that really loved it and the ratio of really good programmers to mediocre programers was fairly high. That ratio has reversed in the past few years. When it returns, I suspect the pay will get closer to what we expect as well.

    Even here in Mexico, and granted, I live in one of the pricier towns in Mexico, living at Indian pay rates is simply out of the question.

The bogosity meter just pegged.