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Tech Sector Expansion Blunting U.S. Job Outsourcing 360

xzvf writes "BusinessWeek summarizes a new report from the American Electronics Association (now known as AeA) that they think mitigates the effect of outsourcing on IT employment. US demand for tech workers is through the roof, the highest it has been since the boom of the late 90s. The tech sector added some 150,000 new jobs 2006, and there are no signs that interest will flag in the near future. 'There is so much global demand for employees proficient in programming languages, engineering, and other skills demanding higher level technology knowledge that outsourcing can't meet all U.S. needs. "There would have been a lot more than 147,000 jobs created here, but our companies are having difficulty finding Americans with the background," says William Archey, president and chief executive of the AeA. One culprit is the dearth of U.S. engineering and computer science college graduates. Second, immigration caps have made it difficult for highly skilled foreign-born employees to obtain work visas. Congress has been debating whether to increase the numbers of foreign skilled workers allowed into the country under the H-1B visa program.' "
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Tech Sector Expansion Blunting U.S. Job Outsourcing

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  • Incredible (Score:4, Funny)

    by Moggyboy ( 949119 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:42AM (#18857001)
    The industry chiefs finally realized that you get what you pay for. Amazing.

    (Sarcasm stemming from having to spend two years of my professional life on a contract fixing "subcontinental code" - ah well, I guess it paid MY bills).

    • Re:Incredible (Score:5, Informative)

      by rlp ( 11898 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:07PM (#18857445)
      > The industry chiefs finally realized that you get what you pay for. Amazing.

      Not really. This is part of a PR blitz to raise the H-1B cap. Otherwise, in order to increase supply they'd have to increase salaries. And we wouldn't want that, would we?
    • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:13PM (#18857559)
      The industry chiefs finally realized that you get what you pay for. Amazing.

      That statement is true only in a perfect equilibrium.

      Most equilibriums have a degree of lag. Supply increases in one area, demand takes a while to catch up so costs are low. Demand increases in an area, supply takes a while to catch up, so costs are high.

      Businesses are profitable by moving faster than that equilibrium shift and exploiting it. Businesses lose profitability the closer they are to an established equilibrium and they outright lose money when they fall behind it.

      India is a great example:

      There were a lot of very highly skilled engineers with minimal to no demand for their talents and thus would work for next to nothing. Smart businesses identified this and exploited them. Those businesses could now get high skill levels for very low cost.

      Everyone else saw these profits, Newsweek wrote articles on it, everyone moved in to the sector. As demand increased towards supply, profitability decreased. As demand exceeded supply with many dumb U.S. businesses working on articles and quotes from three or four years earlier, costs increased rapidly, the supply of skilled engineered diminished, many poor engineers saturated the market looking for the now great wages, it became a lousy area for U.S. businesses to exploit.

      The same has gone for big screen TVs. A few years ago, Circuit City, Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. were making a killing on every high end unit they sold. About a year ago, Walmart finally woke up, realized there was money to be made, slashed the margins so it could insert itself and killed their business model. For a long time, demand for TVs was greater than the number of stores supplying, profits were high. Once Walmart and Target realized there was money there, supply increased, profits decreased.

      It happened in the U.S. with the dotcom bubble and it's happened more recently with housing. For a while, a given market is massively exploitable. Over time, everyone thinks it's exploitable, everyone moves in to doing it, the margins decrease, it loses its exploitability.

      So, your statement is only partially true...

      Over time, yes, you get what you pay for (you may even get less if you're on the wrong side of the wave).

      BUT, if you're smart enough to identify the trends and get there ahead of others, you really can get far more than you pay for.

      For those that bitch about high executive salaries, that's what they're often really getting paid for: They're people who've established they're good at staying ahead of the wave, surfing its leading edge and keeping their companies hugely profitable. If your ability can keep your company on the leading edge of the equilibrium wave, making $500m more a year than a company that rode the top of the wave, isn't it worth paying you $50m for that edge?
      • by miskatonic alumnus ( 668722 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:27PM (#18857815)
        For those that bitch about high executive salaries, that's what they're often really getting paid for: They're people who've established they're good at staying ahead of the wave, surfing its leading edge and keeping their companies hugely profitable. If your ability can keep your company on the leading edge of the equilibrium wave, making $500m more a year than a company that rode the top of the wave, isn't it worth paying you $50m for that edge?

        In a word, Enron.
      • by syntaxglitch ( 889367 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:42PM (#18858097)

        For those that bitch about high executive salaries, that's what they're often really getting paid for: They're people who've established they're good at staying ahead of the wave, surfing its leading edge and keeping their companies hugely profitable. If your ability can keep your company on the leading edge of the equilibrium wave, making $500m more a year than a company that rode the top of the wave, isn't it worth paying you $50m for that edge?
        I don't think anyone would begrudge your hypothetical executive his huge salary. The complaints usually center more on poor evaluation of performance--the salaries of all executives are set at a level fully appropriate for the highly skilled exec you describe, but underperforming execs are typically not punished much and, because of organizational inertia, may even have already left with big bonuses before the problems they caused become apparent.
      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:15PM (#18858689)
        No one worth listening to is complaining about highly-paid executives of companies with stellar performance. What they're complaining about is overpaid executives who drive their companies into the ground and then collect huge bonuses for it. A good example of this is Bob Nardelli of Home Depot, who drove the stock price into the ground, was almost facing a shareholder revolt, and collected enormous bonuses while in the company and also on his way out. Why are companies paying this kind of money for incompetent people who are ruining their businesses?

        Personally, I no longer shop at Home Depot.

        Another good example is Carly Fiorina of HP; got rid of the test & measurement group that did actual innovation, turned the company into a printer maker and white-box builder, and then took a nice golden parachute.

        Or how about the guy who took over SGI, ran it into the ground by making them move to Windows NT, then took a golden parachute and went to work at Microsoft?

        There's so many examples of this crap it's not even funny. There are examples of well-paid CEOs of companies with spectacular performance, such as Whole Foods, but you don't hear much about these. Probably because no one's complaining about them and the shareholders are happy.
        • by Maximum Prophet ( 716608 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:56PM (#18859423)
          This is how this happens:

          100 mid-high level executives take aim at the corporage dart board. 50 of them miss, 50 hit. The 50 that miss, more on to other "opportunities." The 50 that hit get promoted.

          Someone at company X, that needs a CEO, notices one of those 50 and says, "Hey, lets get them, they hit it big there!!!" Company X makes an offer to hire the executive, but the exec, not being too dumb, won't leave a good thing without guarantees, says "Ok, but I want A, B, and C and you have to give me M million dollars if you let me go early." Company X says, "No good exec would leave their current gig without a guarantee, so OK." Once the new exec is in place, not only do they not have their former support staff that may have been the reason for their success, but now they have the corporate equivelent of tenure and can try any goofy idea they want without fear that they will loose their shirt like if you or I if we lost our jobs.

          Sometime it takes several iterations of step 1 before you can become CEO, but it's a good job when you can get it.

          There are CEOs that worked their way up the ranks of the company they work for. We rarely hear their names associated with big corporate collapse do we? (Usually the insiders are too static for the board, so they go with a outsider to shake things up.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Or they realized that they don't need to pay Americans all that much. It's not just a salary vs. salary consideration. The relatively higher American salaries are offset by the feel-good increase in local stock prices which come with employing Americans. There's also a political consideration, as federal Senators and Representatives are more eager to share information with corporate heads who are employing their constituents.

      Besides, there are now enough startups in India and China that the banks are vir
  • 100% predictable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:45AM (#18857047) Homepage
    This was 100% predictable. I'm too lazy to go find where I predicted it, but every industry consists of a mix of inputs. The inputs are chosen based on their value to the company in producing the final product. If you make one of the inputs cheaper (by including outsourcing) (or by including Open Source [opensource.org]) that causes the industry to use *more* of the product over time. In the short run, they'll use less because all of their processes are predicated on using the original mix. As they buy new equipment, hire people with different skills, and make new products, they can change the mix to make new of the new cheaper factor.

    PLus, I'm in teh race for fr1st p0st.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Russ Nelson ( 33911 )
      2nd post; oh well. But here's where I predicted that this would happen (May 10th, 2005):
      http://angry-economist.russnelson.com/open-source- and-it.html [russnelson.com]
    • So, let me get this straight, in basic econ terms -- you're saying that inputs will be interchanged based on cost of those inputs? I'm with you there.

      And specifically, that since free software is cheaper, as an input, companies will decide to spend more on expensive inputs? That doesn't compute.

      I think what you might be getting at is that free software will, over time, increase the demand for software, and thus the demand for developers and other IT workers. So, in other words, you predicted IT to be a
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:50AM (#18857129)

    thesedays when a plumber or car mechanic or even a house painter can make more money and doesnt have to bother with degrees etc

    dont blame education blame multi-millionaire executives (and shareholders who pay their wages) who think their workers are worth less than the person that paints their house or fixes their car, why would anybody bother ?

    pay peanuts get monkeys
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      thesedays when a plumber or car mechanic or even a house painter can make more money and doesnt have to bother with degrees etc

      I was helping my neighbor, who is in the trades, with his advertising fliers on MS Word - when I showed him the Ctl-Z combo, he loved it and thought is was the most awesome feature in Word. Anyway, I also helped him with his books...

      Me: grossed $87,000 working 60+ hours a week.

      Him: $150,000+ averaging 40hrs/week. Occasional weekends. But if he worked a weekend, it meant that he was

    • by Mikachu ( 972457 ) <burke,jeremiahj&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:19PM (#18857673) Homepage
      Because some people enjoy it?

      I don't know about you, but I could never see myself as a plumber or car mechanic or house painter. They're probably far easier than computer science could ever be, but I don't think I could find a fulfilling life in it.

      Why are people teachers when there's not a lot of money in it? Scientists? Come on.
      • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:22PM (#18858801)
        I don't know about you, but I could never see myself as a plumber or car mechanic or house painter. They're probably far easier than computer science could ever be,

        Oh really. My father was a house painter, I worked at it on holidays for years. Try scraping rusty iron grill work down in 100 degree heat for a week. Try crawling on your knees for another few days sanding down skirting boards. Try lifting 20 foot scaffolds and walking along planks two storeys above the ground while using a power sander. Yeah spending a day in an Aeron chair playing with your nerf gun in between coding is much harder. And if you mean "brainless", well my father served a seven-year apprenticeship. Any idiot can slap on a coat of paint. The test is what it looks like six months later. That work was too damn hard for me to spend my life at. So I took the soft option of earning a Computer Science degree.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BoberFett ( 127537 )
        Do you really think most IT jobs are all that interesting? For every CS whiz who's out there researching AI or writing games or some other area that's truly interesting, there's a dozen code monkeys or network admins who do the same thing day in and day out, and I doubt it's really all that much more interesting than painting houses.
    • car mechanic

      I have heard that mechanics can make over $100,000 a year. The salary tools I checked on-line show an experienced mechanic can pull in an average of $50,000 per year, so I imagine that a GOOD mechanic, with a loyal customer base can make six figures. Anyway, don't think that today's mechanics are fixing your father's 1969 Pontiac Firebird. There are so many computer chips and technical components in today's engines that it can take months for a mechanic to be properly trained.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rotten168 ( 104565 )
      90% of tech workers are worth less than house painters. Just look around on Slashdot... a bunch of bitter, ego-obsessed, antisocial losers. Completely unemployable and unlikeable.
  • by squarooticus ( 5092 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:52AM (#18857177) Homepage
    The tech sector added some 150,000 new jobs 2006, and there are no signs that interest will flag in the near future.

    Emphasis mine. Now where have I heard this before? This should be your warning that the bottom is about to drop out of the economy again.

    Once burned, twice shy: be careful; protect your wealth; keep the best interests of your family in mind; avoid irrational exuberance.
    • That's all I've got to say about the article. Parent is right on the money-- any time someone in the penny stock markets is having trouble selling their shares, the first thing they do is pump the stock as much as they can, get as many people interested in it as possible... "it's going through the roof!" "Hang on it's going to shoot up _fast_!" etc etc...to create demand for the stock. After all, you can't sell without demand.

      How this applies here? Probably one of these two things: either they know we know
  • how skilled is the average US programmer versus the average outsourced programmer? it seems it would be harder to communicate effectively to the outsourced person due to locality and language barriers, and would therefore possibly create some interesting roadblocks to development of a project.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xenocide2 ( 231786 )
      Given the mix of master's international students that remain in the US, I'd say only marginally better. The good news is they communicate well with their foreign counterparts, and India has some history with English.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by king-manic ( 409855 )
      how skilled is the average US programmer versus the average outsourced programmer? it seems it would be harder to communicate effectively to the outsourced person due to locality and language barriers, and would therefore possibly create some interesting roadblocks to development of a project

      My cousin was top of her class in a regional tech college in Jiangmen, China. She can put up a lot of high quality code but she doesn't understand much about algorthms of any sort except implementing well solved problem
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:53AM (#18857201)
    Great but now can we learn from our past mistakes of the 1990's?

    Mistake 1: Thinking IT is on top of the food chain. No we are not IT is on the bottom of the food chain we need to service everyone. You may get paid more then the other guy and you may be more skilled but who ever you are doing work for is your boss.

    Mistake 2: Not being professional. You should not stand out as the IT Guy because everyone else is wearing business casual and you are in tee-shirt and jeans. It is unfair and wrong but it is the way it is you need to dress to fit in. Otherwise you make people uncomfortable if they are uncomfortable your job can be at risk.

    Mistake 3: Saying No. They need to get the job done just not doing it because you personally don't like it will not help anyone.

    Mistake 4: Saying Yes. Being Blind to problems without brining them up in the beginning and getting someone else above you involved in a solution could lead you working on a quagmire.

    Mistake 5: Thinking you are better then everyone else. Just because they don't know the difference between USB and Firewire doesn't make them stupid. Just because you do doesn't make you a genius. Respect the people you are working with, and they will respect you back.

    Mistake 6: Respect your boss. They are a lot of bad bosses out there also a lot of good ones. Even if your boss seems to be cut from Dilbert you should give him the respect that they deserve. For being in that position. It means things like not publicly humiliating them and when arguing your point try not to make it personal.

    Mistake 7: Trying to change the world. Don't try to change the world just try to make your work environment better. Put your feelings about GNU, Patents, Microsoft.... Aside and focus on getting your work done.

    Mistake 8: Money doesn't matter. It does always keep an eye on how you are effecting the bottom line. You can save 10 minutes a day in computation but the cost for you to make that change would take 100 years to recover the costs then it is not worth doing.

    Mistake 9: Work should always be fun. If that was the case most people wont have a job. You need to do the annoying stuff as well as the fun stuff. They hire you to do the stuff that others can't or are unwilling to do.

    Mistake 10: You are separated from the business. Try to be involved in the business not make yourself a separate identity who just fixes the computers try to keep IT involved in the major decisions.
    • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:08PM (#18857465) Journal

      Even if your boss seems to be cut from Dilbert you should give him the respect that they deserve.
      Something tells me maybe I should give them more respect than they really deserve, since it wouldn't be professional of me to spit in their face every time they make a suggestion.

      and when arguing your point try not to make it personal.
      You must be new here, you jackass. ;)
    • by bataras ( 169548 )
      I don't see how your enumeration of stereotypical IT employee behaviors (valid as they may be) falls under "learning from our past mistakes of the 1990's" in the context of the parent article (Tech sector expansion blunting outsourcing).

      Sounds more like your list of pet peeves about local IT workers. Maybe you just don't like tattoos, guys with ponytails or people who do industrial art on the weekends. I'm sure a similar list of stereotypical issues can be cobbled together for outsourced IT workers too.

      The
      • by timjdot ( 638909 ) *
        Duh, some comment about the AJAX craze is definitely in order here. :-) Of course, many programmers wouldn't trade a rats whiskers for seeing what the customers are really doing with the software. The Internet age makes the client-server era folks look like uber-geniuses WRT operational software. I guess since many >40 and most >50 engineers threw in the towel then the industry is repeating itself. Now let's talk about XML EDI! Clearly learning from the past is not something any programmer wants to d
    • 1) IT is dual model, it is TOP and BOTTOM of the food chain. It is the driving force and the force which is driven. Only short sighted people view it one or the other.

      2) Professionalism goes beyond T-shirt and Jeans. Those are only symptoms of unprofessional behavior. On the otherhand, I will not wear a tie to anything but the highest level meetings because it just gets in the way, and the HELL if I'm crawling into a dust bunny cave with anything more than a $30 pair of pants and a $20 knit shirt. But on th
      • by tanguyr ( 468371 )
        3) I say "no" all the time. Well, not directly. I say "Sure, how much money you got". There is NOTHING impossible with Tech, the only questions are "how much" and "what's it worth to you?"

        LOL! Same here - i've found that the best way to calm down user exuberance is to ask "What's your budget number?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sesshomaru ( 173381 )

      Great but now can we learn from our past mistakes of the 1990's?

      You know, I actually remember being employed in the 90's. I remember the mistakes of the 90's.

      Well, except they weren't really mistakes, any more than a 3 Card Monty dealer has made a mistake when it turns out you can't actually win at 3 Card Monty.

      The truth is the mistakes of the 90's were primarily mistakes of finance, and this is a common problem in American business. The trouble is it is fairly easy to turn a business sector that

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AgentSmith ( 69695 )
      A breakdown and rebuttal

      Mistake 1: Thinking IT is on top of the food chain. No we are not IT is on the bottom of the food chain we need to service everyone. You may get paid more then the other guy and you may be more skilled but who ever you are doing work for is your boss.

      Customer Service in an organization is vital. Who you work for is your client. But I ask you this: If IT isn't that important, why is IT is an after thought until something goes wrong? If I had a nickel for every war story where the comp
    • by Knara ( 9377 )

      Wow. While some of these have some kernel of truth, why didn't you just write "conform!" and avoid the space you wasted on the /. hard disks? It is indeed sometimes worth it to learn the political system of where you work, but it also frequently helps to sit *outside* that system, if for no other reason than it makes you better able to do your job. Also, people who "play by the rules" always and stick to the letter of the law rarely innovate in any amazing fashion.

      If I didn't have work to do, I'd sit do

  • Surprise, surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:57AM (#18857253) Journal
    AeA was founded to lobby the US Government for contracts for HP and HP suppliers.

    Today they lobby the US government for increased H1-B quotas to keep employment costs down, in addition to lobbying for contracts. It is in the best interests of tech companies to have an increased supply of qualified labor. Great -- although there will be a lag, if pay and prestige increase for these high-demand positions, more students will enter comp sci and engineering programs. Instead, AeA is asking the US government to subsidize their industry by increasing the labor supply.

    I'm not saying there wasn't job growth in tech sectors the past couple years. What I am saying is that AeA has an agenda to push, and it's not one necessarily aligned with tech workers.
    • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:17PM (#18857643)
      Increasing the number of H1-B visas won't address an important additional problem that the summary doesn't mention: increasing unwillingness of foreign tech workers to come to the U.S. because they have no rights there. Granted, some of them may be coming from countries where they have fewer rights than American citizens do, but once they enter the U.S. they have no rights whatsoever: not habeas corpus, not due process, not anything.

      I've worked in the U.S. in the past, but would be very unlikely to accept a position there since the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, whose passage makes clear that the government believes that no constitutional protections apply to non-citizens, as it explicitly suspends habeas corpus for non-citizens suspected (for any reason) of terrorism. Given that the constitution explicitly forbids congress from passing any law that suspends habeas corpus except in cases of invasion or insurrection there is no reasonable interpretation that can be put on this except that foreigners have no rights in America. All it takes is one baseless accusation of terrorist activity against you, and you're out of luck.

      Given that this has actually happened [maherarar.ca], it is not at all unreasonable for foreigners to want to stay away.
  • why they even give work visas still. It seems like the majority of "red blooded American's" don't even like foreigners.
  • conspiracy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:59AM (#18857315) Journal
    Let me be the first one (I think) to say that this is just another conspiracy to import more programmers to depress domestic programmmers' wages.
  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timjdot ( 638909 ) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:00PM (#18857341) Homepage
    This angers me alot. I grew up in SC and you can walk down the street and find people with IS and other tech degrees. These young adults are stocking shelves at K-Mart, selling cell phones, et cetera. Maybe its racial (they are usually but not always of African American ancestry) or maybe just plain horde mentality but with an annual household income of about $34K (less than 1/2 of most places in CA) I believe the claims companies cannot find American works are just flat out bullshit.
    • I can believe it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:28PM (#18857843)
      A few things you're not considering:

      1) The only two pretty reliable technical degrees on the software development side are Computer Science and Software Engineering; IS/CIS/MIS/BIS/IT are dumbed down, and they pay a lot less on average for the same position because they're assumed to be bringing a weaker knowledge with them.

      2) Non-software development positions are better filled by people with real experience of any kind that people with real technical degrees. There are very few schools that will teach you how to be an admin type.

      3) You may have to move. To get a good job, I had to leave rural Virginia for Northern Virginia.

      4) A lot of people who go into these degree programs are horrible at practical work. Not just lazy, but they genuinely suck at it. I'm not being elitist here, but just because you have a degree, doesn't mean you are capable of performing a job. GPA doesn't necessarily mean much either. Brilliant people often get 3.0 GPAs in Computer Science for a variety of reasons. I've known people who are mediocre at best who had 3.8-4.0 GPAs in the subject, all because of hard work and memorizing the textbook and lectures.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cmorriss ( 471077 )
      I grew up in SC and you can walk down the street and find people with IS and other tech degrees. These young adults are stocking shelves at K-Mart...

      While I'm sure there are some cities in the U.S. that are suffering for a lack of IT jobs, it doesn't mean this is common everywhere. Available jobs of each type tend to group in certain areas. If those people were to move here, NY, I bet they would have no problem finding a job. I know several managers in companies who simply cannot find qualified candida

      • by timjdot ( 638909 ) *
        You're 100% right. I left a few years back as did most everyone else. But my point is the "American worker shortage" is just plain bullshit. You have to consider people from very poor backgrounds: the ability/courage/expectation to get a bus ticket and wing it to another state just isn't there. I think you have to get into the lower middle class before you can start to conceive of these sort of actions. From what I've seen. There are things lower class people think about and know how to do and there are thi
  • "but our companies are having difficulty finding Americans with the background"

    If they didn't spend the past 5 or so years convincing the next generation of potential IT workers that all of their jobs were going to be sent overseas for next to nothing, they might have some people domestically with the skills they are looking for.

    The bottom line is their are people in the U.S. with the skills, they just cost more. Now they are running short of people overseas, and they have to start paying more.

    Yes
  • Consider the WAGES (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheGrapeApe ( 833505 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:03PM (#18857383)
    which have been flat...
    Here's a quote from a Seattle Times article last week, that sums the point up rather nicely:

    Businesses bemoan the alleged shortage of Americans trained to do the work. But wait a second -- the law of supply and demand states that a shortage of something causes its price to rise. Wages in information technology have been flat.

    The companies fret that not enough young Americans are studying science and technology. Well, cutting the pay in those fields isn't much of an incentive, is it?
    I have yet to see any of the people complaining about the "lack of U.S. skill" answer that question adequately...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The companies fret that not enough young Americans are studying science and technology. Well, cutting the pay in those fields isn't much of an incentive, is it?.....I have yet to see any of the people complaining about the "lack of U.S. skill" answer that question adequately

      Oh, please. Hotjobs.com shows that the average salary for an entry level programmer in my hometown (Pittsburgh) is $55,000. No matter how you slice it, that's alot of freakin' money. I even checked a couple of other industries (Acc

      • Oh, please. Hotjobs.com shows that the average salary for an entry level programmer in my hometown (Pittsburgh) is $55,000.

        the problem is their definition of 'entry level' is completely different from other industyries' definition of entry level.

        in business, finance, architecture, or actuarial entry level is fresh out of school.. in programming 'entry level' is 2 years of experience in 4 languages + scripting.

        in cs they dont spend all that much time in languages, they spend the time in concepts, algorithms,

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Oh, please. Hotjobs.com shows that the average salary for an entry level programmer in my hometown (Pittsburgh) is $55,000. No matter how you slice it, that's alot of freakin' money.
        And if you look at the historical data, you'll see that entry level programmers were getting $54,400 5 years ago. After inflation, that means they are paid less today than they were 5 years ago. That's what the OP was taking about - if demand is up why are salaries down?
        • And if you look at the historical data, you'll see that entry level programmers were getting $54,400 5 years ago. After inflation, that means they are paid less today than they were 5 years ago. That's what the OP was taking about - if demand is up why are salaries down?

          At the risk of taking a Karma-hit, might I suggest that many IT persons are overpaid (including me)? Turning out thousands of line of average code isn't that hard.

        • 1997 wages (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tacokill ( 531275 )
          I started at Ernst and Young in 1997 as a "consultant". Back then, there were 5 levels: Partner, senior manager, manager, sr. consultant, and consultant.

          My salary - directly out of college - was $48,500 + bonus.

          And that was back in 1997. Since then, I got out of IT because it "wasn't going anyware". Sure, I had PLENTY of mid-level job opportunities but for me, I could see the writing on the wall. And the writing said: this is a lousy career because nobody will pay you what you are REALLY worth
  • by PingSpike ( 947548 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:03PM (#18857385)
    I'm sure there's significant demand for skilled technical workers willing to work at crummy wages compared to other, easier to learn fields.

    In a related story, there is also significant demand for $1.00 lakefront homes.
  • by arnie_apesacrappin ( 200185 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:04PM (#18857405)
    There would have been a lot more than 147,000 jobs created here, but our companies are having difficulty finding Americans with the background


    Every article about outsourcing or jobs in general has a quote along these lines. And they never qualify it with "for the rates they are willing to pay." Unless a company is doing some serious, way-out, pie-in-the-sky research, there are people that can and will do the job for the right price. Employers just don't want to pay it. If a company really wants a CCIE with 20 years experience in networking for a position in New York City, they just might have to pay a premium rate. I didn't take Econ 101, but it seems like simple supply and demand to me. How come limited supply increasing demand is good when companies want to sell products, but bad when they are hiring?

  • BW looks to have stopped accepting comments. I guess they don't want comments contrary to the viewpoint they are promoting.
  • I understand that our economic system has evolved to dismiss long term thinking*, but what happens when our knowledge-based jobs are fed mostly by outsourced workers, or workers who are intentionally not permanent residents? Management is difficult in the same sense rappers say pimping is difficult - anyone could do it, they just have to be willing to do it. What's needed is the workers... what, aside from unreasonable "intellectual property" schemes prevents outsourced workers from forming companies and
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:13PM (#18857557)
    You harvest what you sow.

    When you sow the message that the path to gleaming limos and the high life is through thug culture and pimping out your women, and not through intellectual pursuits or even good old-fashioned productivity and invention, then that's the kind of youngsters you breed. And the effect on the nation's future in advanced technology is then 100% predictable.

    Cool high tech doesn't appear by magic out of nowhere. You have to be highly educated (or at least self-taught and highly motivated) to work at the advancing edge of technology, and that requires a large amount of skill and deep interest in the topic. The message delivered by the telly is that those things are extremely uncool, unhip, and frankly "really dull, man".

    But it's a free country, right? So people can broadcast whatever they want, even messages that are contrary to our self-interest?

    Sure. But eventually you lose that precious freedom if you forget that real wealth (not just money) comes from progress and invention, because you'll end up in servitude to those nations that understand that you have to safeguard your future freedoms too, not just your current-day ones. And that means making education and technology and being intelligent cool in the public eye.

    There is a solution, and it's compatible with our current concepts of daily freedom. We need special interest group and lobbying corporations and a whole raft of think tanks to be giving the message of "tech and education is damn cool, and very profitable" to media, business, politicians, the to blessed public too, alongside the output of MTV and the RIAA delivering the message of self-destruction.

    It *is* possible. But it will require some effort on our part.
    • by timjdot ( 638909 ) *

      When someone asks me who I want to win some sporting event I reply that I care almost as much about their sport as their leading player cares about technology. When was the last time some sporting idol was known to be a fan of a new computer, cell phone, or software?
      • When someone asks me who I want to win some sporting event I reply that I care almost as much about their sport as their leading player cares about technology. When was the last time some sporting idol was known to be a fan of a new computer, cell phone, or software?
        Curt Shilling started a game design company [greenmonstergames.net]
    • I've seen time and time again, the more intelligent people shun TV that isn't intellectually "satisfying" to them. When they glamorize the "thug culture", the latest high-dollar fashions, and so forth - most intelligent kids reject the message, because they know there's no way it's compatible with their own lifestyle.

      I really don't think we have an issue of a lack of suitable tech workers in America because of MTV, Hollywood, or any other aspect of television media.

      There's actually a surprising amount of t
    • Believing such things will get you a lot of flak from some intelligent people. You should hear the things people say to me when I tell them I want to own a huge company and make a ton of money. Intelligence applied should yield money, but that is not always the case nowadays. That said, if you lead a life to that end and make it known, you will get more resistance than support. Someone asks me why I am learning this or doing that and I reply: "To learn is so I can apply it to make me money." The response is
  • The growth is almost certainly more to do with the M3 figures.

     
  • Simple explanation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:22PM (#18857713)
    Most of us burned int he dot com fiasco gave up. Myself and probably at least 20 friends all lost our jobs while some exec got rich with his golden parachute. We've all since moved on to other things, some, like myself, went back to school and switched careers. Others went blue collar so they could spend time with family. The truth of the matter is the industry is corrupt as hell. I still remember my companies President walking around the office bragging how he was going to sell the company, fire us all, and retire in Tahiti. I had multiple CEO's in a matter of 6 months, each one trying to pimp the company off to the highest bidder. They never wanted to build anything, make anything, or provide any security. It was, and still is, about a quick buck.

    I am a highly skilled IT person. I used to make a lot of money but have settled for less than a third of what I used to make simply to avoid being on call, working 18 hours a day and putting up with management that doesn't manage anything other than their own checkbooks. I would rather have a life, some self respect and dignity. Fuck IT. I'll never ever do that professionally again.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't forget that 180,000 H1-B Visas expire this year. This is the first part of the obscene growth in H1-B's from 6 years ago. We have two more years of 180,0000 limits to go through, because H1-B visas last for 6 years.

    THIS is why all of the H1-B's were issued in one day this year; you've got 180,000+ people competing for 65,000 (or 85,000 to be more accurate) Visas. And you can look forward to the exact same phenomena happening over the next two years, before the limits went back down to 65,000 in 2004.

    A
  • Who find their skills degraded from six years of doing minimum wage jobs for a living. The problem with creative destruction is that there isn't always creation along with the destruction. Why should anybody trust the IT sector for a primary wage now, when the management has failed us so many times in the past?
  • by brain1 ( 699194 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:37PM (#18857997)
    Well, I'm glad I didn't give up on engineering. After 20+ years in the field, working in analog, rf, and digital, I had almost given up and changed fields thinking that outsourcing plus imported workforces would finally kill my career off.

    Hopefully the demand will keep wages where they should be. I'm tired of jerks with nothing more than a "C"-average MBA in spewing worthless marketspeak make twice my salary.

    In order to attract good, skilled, qualified, dedicated people - you have to pay them. And add incentives, benefits, and merit raises to keep them. Not underpay them and have them sit under a dangling axe just waiting to be outsourced into oblivion.

    What sensible person would put in 6+ years of engineering education plus student loans just to be underpaid and fear their job might go away at any moment.

    Looks like the field might still have a chance of survival...for now.

    -dh
  • by DemonWeeping ( 849974 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:38PM (#18858043) Homepage
    I wrote this essay on my personal blog here [thoughtfix.com] but will duplicate it in this thread: Most of the complaints about offshoring service jobs center around the lower quality of service received. When a customer and a customer support representative have a language or accent barrier, the experience is already swinging into the negative. While this is a valid concern, there are more backlashes to offshoring than thick accents. I'm going to tell a story of a young man with no experience and no degree. Through basic computer knowledge and motivation alone, he started out as a level 1 tech support representative for a big modem company. This was a placement through a contract job and when a bigger networking company bought the modem company, the contract ended. (Later, the whole Skokie, Illinois building was sold and support was moved.) From there, he got several other fortunate contract placements that built his resume and experience significantly. From Level 1 tech support, he grew up through higher technical positions, then low to middle management positions, and mid-level to high-level engineering roles. Over a decade later, he's doing well for himself as a systems engineer for a very stable internet services company. While the lack of formal training and education have held him back a couple times, employers found his on-the-job skills and real-world experience to be very valuable. He's also a blogger. In fact, he's writing this post. I am sure I am not the only example of someone whose success is wholly attributed to "climbing the ranks." A decade later, there are more computers, gadgets, and connectivity systems than ever and it would be a great breeding ground the next generation of engineers... Except for one thing: There's no ground level. Entry-level CSR positions are now overseas, so anyone attempting to get into this industry must go into debt for a college degree. Four years and $80,000 later, they have to hope they can land one of the few remaining positions in the tech industry without any real-world experience. From there, it's a long, hard road to the higher positions. And what of the higher positions? What happens when the engineers do not have the experience and history of "face time" with end users? Do the designers know what the people want? Is there some fundamental disconnect that happens when engineers and developers are so far removed from customers? If you ever dealt with Windows Vista's security center, you may know. If corporations continue to destroy the ground floor of the technology base, we will have no more American engineers. Please, tech companies, bring the technical support and entry-level jobs back to America. It shows loyalty to your consumer base, dedication to quality service, and most importantly, a logical path for career growth for the next generation of geeks.
  • Tech hiring has always been cyclical and the severity of the cycles seems to be growing more extreme as companies are moving more toward Just-in-Time staff instead of "for lifers".

    In light of this, it would be nice if gov't would shut off tech visa workers during down-times, perhaps sending some home. We need an Alan Greenspan-like figure to monitor techie jobs and visa workers. The gov't tinkers with interest rates to (try to) soften downturns, so why not visa workers also? Things were nasty during the las
  • by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:42PM (#18858093) Homepage Journal
    Maybe, instead of rasing the cap on H1-B visas, it would be wiser to INVEST in our education infrastructure starting at the high school level. I don't know how many HS's are left that even teach things like basic electronics or engineering skills, but the earlier you start such the more likely you are to fire up interest in the students.

    Keep the peace(es).
  • You know, i've actually had little brothers and sisters of friends come and ask me about a career in computing. And i've been extremely honest in telling them that unless they have an extremely high resistance to bullshit and doing crap jobs for a few years post graduation "so they build experience" to forget about it, and do something more constructive for society than work for the computing industry.

    I'll give you a hot tip : because most of the "new" jobs are mostly trenchy and/or computer service over th
    • I agree with you 100%. I even considered becoming an electrician but am senior enough to make about as much programming and don't want to be a journeyman for a few years. I always tell youngsters not to go into tech for the money. I tell them to be lawyers. That's who runs this country. (And I hate having to tell them that too!)

  • Where are these jobs? Where is this huge demand for experienced people?

    I can't find these jobs anywhere I look. They aren't in the want ads. They aren't on the web sites. And the few people I know who are still making a living are holding on with their finger tips, sweating blood over whether they will have a job this afternoon.

    This is just part of a PR campaign to increase the H1B visa cap.

    Stonewolf
  • Imagine that.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:58PM (#18858373) Homepage Journal
    saving capital on one type of cost (90s era IT positions) frees up capital to spend it on other types of costs (domestic IT sector positions in 2007).

    Wealth is not a zero sum game.

    It sucks in the very short term to be a worker who is laid off because someone else can do their job more cheaply, but its better for everyone else in the entire world economy. By and large, those who direct the employment of stock do not simply horde it, as they know that they can get more return by skillfullly investing it.

    Humans are not insects. We can specialize when it suits us and we can adapt when it suits us. Do I ever fear losing my job? Sure. Do I have some money saved up to help? Yes. Am I developing contingency employment plans? Yes.

    Security and Freedom are often at odds, and employment is no exception.
  • Entry Level Jobs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emeri1md ( 935883 )
    One thing I have noticed in the past few weeks is the lack of entry level jobs. Many of them seem to require 1-2 years experience. One required 3-5. Furthermore, many required knowledge of something that cannot be found within the realm of academia. With all these requirements, how are college graduates supposed to find work?
  • Bullsh*t (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @02:55PM (#18860395)

    Wages have been generally flat since 2000. (disclaimer; mine have been going up but that's what the paper said today-- interesting that multiple sources are pushing this slant today with non-identical articles-- astroturf campaign??)

    Our company has over 200 indian nationals working for us from infosys INSTEAD of Americans.

    And there are rumors they plan to offshore the rest of our jobs in the next two to three years. It is really a race against inflation and appreciation of the rupee (18% combined inflation and appreciation means indian workers will be *double* the cost in only four years).

    While I hope these companies fry in the pan they made by destroying so many american IT people's lives that the students all got the correct idea that you didnt' want to spend $50,000 to train for a field where you might get 3-5 years of work before being laid off for a year- lose your house- your insurance- etc.

    I understand that indians are cheaper and speak english. I have nothing against them and obviously work on a lot of projects with them. They can take these wages and live like kings back home for now.

    But I don't understand and agree with paying $5.50 a pill for my BP medicine that sells there for $.10. I don't understand paying $20.00 for the same DVD that sells there for $2.49. I dont' understand microsoft GIVING AWAY .net development software to them while it wants to charge me close to $800 for it.

    And I understand but burn with the hippocracy of laying off a $80k programmer but not laying off a $800,000 executive (whose job could easily be done by a competant indian executive).

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