Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Shortage of tech workers in US becoming a "genuine crisis"

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 28, 2012, 4:54 p.m. EST by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

One of the biggest problems contributing to unemployment in the US is that the unemployed people aren't qualified for the plentiful jobs that are available. Many fields are desperate for workers.

Microsoft is pushing for the right to pay $15,000 extra per employee to get access to foreign tech workers. Tech workers who are paid the same as their American counterparts.

Microsoft: Shortage of tech workers in the US becoming 'genuine crisis'

Microsoft unveiled a lobbying push on Thursday to produce more applicants with the skills to fill technology and engineering jobs.

The proposal would boost visas for high-skilled foreign workers and invest millions of dollars in federal funding for education.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president, said at a press briefing that the lack of qualified job applicants is "approaching the dimensions of a genuine crisis" for tech companies.

He said Microsoft has 3,400 open jobs for researchers, developers and engineers — an increase of 34 percent over last year. "We fear jobs will start to migrate to other countries," Smith said, adding that other countries are putting a higher priority than the United States on preparing students for high-skill jobs.

Microsoft will push Congress to pass legislation to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math, fields collectively known as STEM.

The funding would boost training for teachers, offer more computer science courses for high school students and invest in community colleges and four year universities.

The company proposes paying for the education spending by adding an additional 20,000 H1B visas to allow high-skill foreign nationals to work in the United States. Employers would have to pay $10,000 for each employee that receives one of the visas.

The proposal would also reallocate 20,000 unused green cards for high-skilled immigrants. Employers would have to spend $15,000 to hire an employee under this program.

He insisted that even small start-ups would be willing to spend the thousands of dollars to hire qualified foreign workers. He also said Microsoft does not pay workers differently based on their nationality.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/258985-microsoft-lack-of-tech-workers-approaching-genuine-crisis

79 Comments

79 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

The big challenge is "not enough teachers/professors" to provide this training, but also, we lack enough capacity in our university system (both public & private) to accommodate demand (which is causing an inflation rate in the cost of education, three times the general rate of inflation ... obviously unsustainable). Bottom line, we need to train more teachers in science & mathematics, we need to significantly expand our higher education system, and we need to make college affordable (and ideally, provide more cost free alternatives).

One of the ingredients of our past success was a public education system that ensured our citizens were educated enough to understand what needed to be understood -- in the context of the contemporaneous state of technology. A century ago, public education through high school was enough, this is obviously no longer true (and we need to adapt to these changing circumstances, or accept decline).

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Filling a relatively small number of jobs in high tech jobs is not the solution to today's problems of unemployment and economic collapse. We need programs that will create tens of millions of jobs which solve problems that urgently need to be addressed.

One example is the water problem in the US south west. We are rapidly using up our underground water supplies, and will be in deep trouble as they are further depleted.

The answer is large scale infrastructure projects, like those of FDR's New Deal. A specific example is NAWAPA, which would bring water from Alaska to the central American desert to provide for immediate needs and replenish our underground water supplies.

NAWAPA would create millions of high paying white and blue collar jobs. It would require a system of on the job education, that would gradually develop workers from low to high levels of skill.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

"The answer is large scale infrastructure projects, like those of FDR's New Deal. A specific example is NAWAPA, which would bring water from Alaska to the central American desert to provide for immediate needs and replenish our underground water supplies."

Fully agree. Here's a proposal from Dennis Kucinich which could fund something like that as well as many other jobs.

Currently our monetary system is set up to give unlimited resources to the banks... and nothing for the people. It's time for a fundamental change in this system.

As the nation struggles with long-term unemployment at rates not seen in generations and as infrastructure crumbles across the nation, Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a dramatic new proposal to address our structural economic problems directly by creating over 7 million jobs.

The National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act of 2011 would allow the federal government to directly fund badly-needed infrastructure repairs and fund education systems nationwide by spending money into circulation without increasing the national debt or causing inflation.

“Today, nearly 25 million Americans are either unemployed or cannot find a job on which they can live and support their families. FDR’s response to such circumstances was the New Deal. Today, we need similarly bold solutions,” said Kucinich. “We need a solution that will revive our economy in a sustainable way that will put millions of Americans back to work.”

“There should be work for those who are able to work. The private sector is not providing the jobs. When the private sector fails to provide the jobs, the public sector has a moral responsibility and a practical responsibility to step forward to put the country back to work.

“The ability to coin money is an inherent power under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The NEED Act would control inflation because it will enable the government to invest in America by creating infrastructure, which is real wealth. Inflation is caused when new money is created without the creation of new wealth,” explained Kucinich.

The proposal would also establish fiscal integrity, reassert Congressional sovereignty and regain control of monetary policy from private banks.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Dennis Kucinich is a good man, and one of the few politicians that I admire. I hope he makes rapid progress with that proposal.

[+] -4 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

"The private sector is not providing the jobs." But it is. People just aren't filling them. I posted a list of fields with nearly full employment. Nursing, pharmacology, elementary education, all kinds of things. Not just tech.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I'm not just talking about tech. I'm talking about all of the high-demand fields with low unemployment. Nursing. Pharmacology. Elementary education. Mechanical engineering. Physics. Finance. All of those fields have virtually full employment right now.

Why is it that so many people want to see a government handout in the form of a new Civilian Conservation Corps for unskilled workers -- instead of workers training for the jobs that are already available? People complain that our economy isn't creating jobs, but it is! Just not the jobs that people want. Nursing school is only two years. Plenty of people go into tech jobs with no formal training at all. But people are still fantasizing about a New New Deal that would create unskilled jobs, instead of fantasizing about training for the skilled jobs that already exist.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Government funding of infrastructure projects is not a hand out, but reasonable pay for work that is desperately needed. According to the Army Corp of Engineers, most American infrastructure is C and D rated. This represents a multitude of disasters that are just waiting to happen, such as, for example, hurricane Katrina, and the damage it did, that could have been prevented.

A first world country's first world status is mostly based on its infrastructure. Don't we want to be a first class, first world nation that provides leadership to the rest of the world?

There is a desperate need now, world wide, for people to do the unskilled labor of digging ditches and pounding nails. I don't think that high tech professions can exists without the foundation that is built through unskilled labor. We live in a physical world, so we need a substantial number of people who interact with that world physically.

All over the world there is a need for water projects which are the foundation of civilization, as it provides both food and drink, as well as being necessary in industrial processes. Nurses, pharmacists and engineers do important work, but unskilled work is desperately needed as well.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Building infrastructure in America is not a government handout. It's making out cities better.

Why not have beautiful cities with great architecture? I see no downside of doing that.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Well except for the debt.

Why not have a country full of high-skilled workers instead of low-skilled workers who are dependent on the government? I see no downside to that.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You should read what the bill actually does.

Construction is not low skilled work. Teachers are not low skilled workers either. The government is responsible for roads. It's one of their duties. Your computer tech positions do not solve the trillions in infrastructure that we are behind on in this country. There is no downside to making our cities better.

If people don't want to work tech positions they don't have to. Are you going to pay for their college?

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Any business needs investment in order to grow, our economy needs investment in order to grow as well. Starving the economy or a business of necessary financing will lead eventually to the bankruptcy of both.

Investment, if its done right doesn't cost, it pays. Many infrastructure projects of the past are still paying off today, such as hydro-electric projects.

JKF's space program was an infrastructure project of sorts. While its immediate goal was to put a man in space, its spinoffs created innumerable technologies that were adapted into our societies infrastructure. Its claimed that for every dollar invested in the space program, we received a return of ten dollars in terms of economic development.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1271) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

There's nothing wrong with American workers.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Except that a lot of them are trained for jobs that don't exist and not trained for the jobs that do exist.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1271) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Who's fault is that?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Blame doesn't seem very productive. Our education system hasn't adapted very well to training people for the jobs of the future but that's only part of it.

[-] -1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

Who pays you? You aren't an OWSer. You don't share our values, you don't share American values. Please leave.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Wanting to help people to train for high-paying, high-demand jobs is un-American?

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

You so funny. Your lying statement, "Except that a lot of them are trained for jobs that don't exist and not trained for the jobs that do exist" is designed to undercut OWS's purpose and undercut the American worker's morale.

Your statement is designed to shift the blame for the state of the economy from the bankster gangsters and the corpoRAT looters onto the back of the workers.

There is no reason to try to engage you in honest dialogue. I consider you a propagandist for anti-American, anti-middle class corpoRATs. Get lost.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Pointing out these problems has nothing at all to do with OWS. Don't flatter yourself. Are you also going to attack Buttercup for posting this article from Joseph Stiglitz that says the exact same thing? Read the article and tell me if Stiglitz intended to blame workers or undercut OWS when he wrote that.

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

Get lost, punk.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

While TJ does not necessarily need me to speak for him, and while I have differing political views from him, you are being unfair and unreasonable. He is only trying to help out one segment that can be helped. I don't hear him saying there are plenty of jobs for everyone.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Thank you, that's correct. I'm not saying that at all. I'm probably partly to blame for the fact that a lot of people are misinterpreting what I said because the burden was on me to be clear from the beginning and I can see how I may have not been as clear as possible. Mentioning Microsoft and H1Bs was also very distracting for a lot of people.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

No problem.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

This is a flat out lie. Bill Gates gives to charities to give moral backing to his lies. He's a corpoRAT criminal fraud who built his empire on constraint of trade schemes and marketing muscle. It certainly wasn't built on the quality of his product with it's short lifespan (how about all those adds on TV to speed up his crummy product), clunkiness and multitudes of updates for security and bad initial design.

These anti-American anti-existence-of-a-middle-class corpoRAT CEO 1%ers have been singing this song for a long time. This strategy is similar to the years (decades?) long attacks on the health of Social Security (which is actually healthy) that has succeeded in persuading many of its false merits.

From http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2009/02/16/obama%E2%80%94president-of-special-interests/ :

"“IT is a prime example. The companies used the bust to lay off hundreds of thousands of tech workers around the US and Britain, citing low profits or debt. The public as a whole accepted this, as part of the economic landscape and protests were few, especially with a prospect of the situation turning around. However, shortly after the turn around in the economy, it became very clear that there would be no turn around in the IT employment industry. Not only were companies outsourcing everything they could, under the cover of the recession, they had shipped in tens of thousands of H-1B work visa-ed workers who were paid on the cheap.” "

From http://www.cwalocal4250.org/outsourcing/binarydata/No%20Shortage.pdf :

"No, The Tech Skills Shortage Doesn't Exist"

From http://www.cwalocal4250.org/outsourcing/binarydata/Racket.pdf :

"“Skill Shortage” Racket Driving Americans From Science And Engineering"

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

Ah, TechJ, I see you have no response for my comment. Wouldn't want publicity of your lies being exposed now would you?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Microsoft could just as easily spend the money to train people. There are people from other tech field like hardware repair that could easily fill those positions. Mr Gates is part of an idea in education right now that schools can serve as a government paid training program thereby shoving the cost of business onto the tax payer. The STEM program is one such example. The truth of the matter is that if Microsoft wants trained employees, they should be lobbying to fix the debt issue for students attending our centers of higher learning and trade schools instead of harvesting high school student who have been trained on the governments dime for specific industries. You have no idea how close the STEM program is to the communist (not socialist, but Stalinist) version of public education.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

Student debt is typically not a problem for people who get degrees in well paying jobs that are in high demand.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

This is true. Importing more workers will decrease that demand. The tech field is perfect right where it is. Average unemployment levels for programmers even now is 4.4%.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

It costs a lot more than $15,000 to train a guy who replaces the power supplies in old Dells to be a serious software developer. And the larger problem is that it takes a long time. Tech companies don't need workers three years from now after they've finished their corporate-sponsored remedial education. When they need to hire they need to hire NOW. I understand that because I also need to hire NOW. I don't need trainees that may or may not be useful two or three years from now. When companies have job opportunities it's because they have work that urgently needs to be done, not because they have money that they feel a need to burn for the greater good.

You get the emails from the tech recruiters every day, right? Here's a sampling from my inbox this week:

Urgent requirement for the position of an UI Engineer

We have an urgent requirement for a Mobile Apps Developer.

Immediate: Job Opportunity - Sr. Application Developer at Tampa, FL

Urgent requirement for Ruby on Rails Developer

Urgent Requirement Ruby. Seattle,WA. 6 months contract

We have an urgent Direct Client requirement for the position of Mobile Android Developer – Contract based.

Urgent Requirement//Contractual// Rhomobile with Ruby on rails Consultant

edit: another one came in just after I posted this comment:

OPEN POSITION FOR iOS DEVELOPER @ PA--- IMMEDIATE CLOSURE---

Any random idiot with the right key words in a resume on Monster.com will get spammed with a dozen of these every day.

I really do want to hear this about the Stalinist STEM education program though?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

It costs a lot more than $15,000 to train a guy who replaces the power supplies in old Dells to be a serious software developer.

The company or individual should pay for it. I will not pay for targeted training through the public school system, that isn't it's function and it's creepy. If they extended public school for an additional four years, I would be willing to pay for that because it involves higher learning not job recruitment.

Check out the STEM program. It's something that should be already provided by the public school system but it's a public/private partnership program which again, is abusing the school system to save businesses money in training and fast tracks student into jobs which is not the function of public schools and it's creepy.

Once the school system is transformed into a job training center, intelectuals, higher learning, and even higher thought will be a thing of the past. Schools should never be for anything but self empowerment through education and enlightenment. Things that cannot be measured in dollars. Taking away this beutiful aspect of human culture is the final frontier of capitalist corruption and a perversion.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

You have tech people. You know this is a lie. You know it.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I hire tech people and that's why I know for certain that this is not a lie.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

Keep looking. At the bottom of this you will find the HBI Visa. will have people imported to the US, trained, sent back to places like India where they can open up shop and then those jobs go with them. It is the way the game is played. It is right out of the Bill Gates play book.

[-] 0 points by JackTG (-194) 1 year ago

I don't know all the details, but I know I never had any difficulty at all finding software engineering jobs in US. There are a lot of ads. Not only can you find a job easily, you can be picky about your salary and working conditions.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Yes, that's the point here. Microsoft is begging to hire more H1Bs (not HBIs) because they can't find enough qualified Americans.

Do you think that somehow it's to Microsoft's advantage to spend $15,000 extra to hire somebody from India instead of somebody from the US, when they get paid the same? How does that work?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20495) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

60 Minutes did a spot on this a couple of years ago. They pay foreigners less. And ultimately they are temps. I've forgotten the details - but even someone who starts a business here, they still have to go home, and they often take the business with them.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

My larger point here is that there are a lot of jobs in the US that Americans are not filling because they're not qualified.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20495) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

On that I wouldn't know - GF might.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

Yep. I sure do. Especially, if you open a business in India and now have the people trained who will work for much less. Then the entire business is shifted to India. It is closed down in the US.

It has been happening, Tech. That is where all our R&D jobs went.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Our R&D jobs are right here waiting for people to fill them. I'm on the trenches and I can assure you that it's nearly impossible to hire qualified web software developers right now because of the technology boom.

It doesn't seem very cost-effective to pay $15,000 extra (plus relocation generally) to bring somebody from India who is already qualified and then wait 1 - 3 years or more for them to work through the visa and go back to India -- if your goal the whole time were to fill offices in India. Keep in mind that these are people who are already qualified, not trainees. If your goal is to fill an office in India with qualified tech workers and you've got qualified tech workers there, then why spend $15,000 and wait years? Why not just hire them to work in offices in India? (Which BTW is what ends up happening, since it's so hard to hire Americans instead.)

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

That post immediately discredits itself by starting out with this:

Anyone who's ever worked in IT knows tons of skilled, experienced and unemployed programmers who can't find work - while companies are crying they can't fill jobs.

There is a web technology boom in progress. Companies are falling all over themselves looking for qualified software developers. An unemployed "IT guy" is not the same thing as a qualified software developer.

Second false assertion: that companies hire H1Bs to save money. It is in fact far more expensive to hire an H1B than to hire an American. H1Bs get paid the same as their American counterparts but they're far more expensive to hire because of all of the red tape.

Third false assertion: that H1Bs are the Indian equivalent of unskilled Mexican migrants. In fact, the H1Bs at any given company tend to be the best and the brightest around, and that's why it's worth it to spend the extra time, effort and money to attract and hire them. I've worked with a lot of H1Bs in my life and many of them were PhDs.

Your own citation provides the statistic from Microsoft's HR department that it takes them over two months on average to fill an open position, and there are thousands of open positions in that one company alone.

Between just three tech companies, Microsft, Apple, and Google, there are tens of thousands of open positions that are not being filled by Americans because there are no qualified Americans to apply. that's just three companies in just one industry. Companies aggressively poach each other's talent and acquire entire companies simply to "acqui-hire" the talent.

I know that this doesn't jibe with the OWS mythology that there are no jobs. And that's why I'm talking about this. There are jobs. It's just that the people who are complaining that there are no jobs are not qualified to fill the open positions.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

Gates is a member of NASSCOM. There wasn’t a shortage. A GAO study and an Urban Institute study stated that there was no shortage. Then there was this http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=120787

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

another one i sent to the junkie - "Last month, the Labor Department reported that about 14 million people were out of work............ Its latest report showed approximately 3.2 million job openings in July in the United States

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Let's try to get past conspiracy theories about Microsoft and H1Bs, because that wasn't my point anyway. My point, which you dispute, is that there are a lot of fields with open jobs that Americans are not applying for. Software is just one of those fields, and Microsoft is just one company within that field. My point here is much broader.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics computer and mathematical occupations are expected to add 785,700 new jobs from 2008 to 2018. Are enough Americans training for those jobs? No.

In 2009 the U.S. graduated 37,994 students with bachelor’s degrees in computer and information science. This is not bad, but we graduated more students with computer science degrees 25 years ago!

It isn't hard to see just from those statistics that there is a shortage. But there are a lot of other signs that are obvious to people in the high-demand fields. There is nearly full employment for college graduates in computer science, for example. There are in fact quite a few popular college majors with nearly full employment:

Medical technology technician 1.4%

Nursing 2.2%

Treatment therapy professions 2.6%

Medical assisting services 2.9%

Agriculture production & management 3.0%

Industrial production technologies 3.1%

Pharmacy 3.2%

Communications & disorders sciences 3.3%

Elementary education 3.6%

Special needs education 3.6%

Miscellaneous education 3.7%

Mechanical engineering 3.8%

High school teacher 3.8%

Theology & religious vocations 4.1%

Management info systems & statistics 4.2%

General education 4.2%

Health & medical administrative services 4.3%

Transportation science & technologies 4.4%

Finance 4.5%

Physics 4.5%

PE/health education 4.5%

Criminal justice and fire protection 4.7%

PE/Park & Recreation 4.8%

Civil engineering 4.9%

Electrical engineering 5%

Environmental science 5%

Mathematics 5%

And more to my point in this entire thread, there are some unpopular majors with nearly full employment:

Astrophysics/astronomy 0%

Geological and geophysics engineering 0%

Physical science 2.5%

Geosciences 3.2%

Computer science 3.5%

Again, why is computer science in the "unpopular college majors" category, if it's a nearly guaranteed path to a high-paying career? Those are the statistics. Beyond the statistics, anybody working in technology knows that there is a shortage because it's obvious. Qualified workers get multiple job offers per week, sometimes per day. Companies offer equity and ridiculous perks to lure talent. Larger companies acquire smaller companies and then kill off their products because they want the talent, not the company. This has been happening for years, right through the recession after the financial collapse. If you're not close enough to the industry to see it, just glance at Hacker News some time and you'll quickly get a sense that talent is a seller's market.

Unemployment in the United States is still at a brutal 9.6%, but for software engineers the job market couldn't look much better.

Everyone in tech knows that there is a serious engineering deficit, but apparently no one outside tech knows about it, so new talent isn't flooding in to fill the demand. We've heard from startups like HowAboutWe that have already secured series A funding, and are offering equity, and are still struggling to find good engineers. Paul Dix, a former Google engineer who is launching his own startup, Market.io, tells us he gets multiple job calls per week even though all his public profiles explicitly say not to bother him.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-09-10/tech/29957413_1_software-engineers-demand-early-stage-funding

I'm here to tell you that the exact same thing happens to me. And the above quote is talking about the exact same problem that I'm complaining about here. Anybody in technology knows that there is a shortage of workers and that learning the right job skills is a guaranteed path to a job. But people like yourself who are outside of the high-demand fields can't see it. And some of them resolutely refuse to believe it. And so some people end up investing more time in complaining about unemployment than in training for any of the fields that are hungry for workers.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Companies offer equity and ridiculous perks to lure talent. Larger companies acquire smaller companies and then kill off their products because they want the talent, not the company.

I want to break this up in two parts.

Companies offer equity and ridiculous perks to lure talent.

This is addressed by Grassley as the reason he suspect companies want to bring in foreign workers to the tech industry. Your own point about the shortage only reaffirms this. The reason labor is so poorly paid is because the labor market is flooded. Once immigration is made to cater to industry, tech will also become a saturated field and your job that you so enjoy now will soon become an $8 an hour job, Geek Squad at Best Buy comes to mind.

Larger companies acquire smaller companies and then kill off their products because they want the talent, not the company.

This is true but the owners of the companies are to blame, not the industry or workers. And, If the companies, one or both, are publicly traded, thats the downside to WallSt and our current usage of capitalism.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

When I was younger, I always thought that by the year 2012, software developers would indeed be a dime a dozen. But yet they're not. I make six figures working from my bed in my pajamas with my baby on my lap because they're not. And at the current rates that we're producing new college graduates, the shortage will continue for decades. A few thousand H1Bs from India every year is not going to put a dent in the demand for software developers, and that's not even considering all of the other high-demand fields that I listed. Why are so many people more interested in complaining about unemployment than in training for the jobs that are available?

And the Geek Squad guy at Best Buy doesn't create technology. There are technology creators, and there are technology users. People who make technology will always be in high demand, regardless of the saturation of the IT workforce, who are technology users. The guy at Intel writing Verilog code for a GPU is a technology maker. The guy at Best Buy who plugs the GPU card into the computer is a technology user. Web designers are technology users. Web software developers are technology makers. The 'genius' at the Apple store is a technology user. A mobile app developer is a technology maker. "Social media gurus" are technology users, but developers at Facebook and Twitter are technology makers. If you want to guarantee that you'll be in high demand for the next couple of decades at least, then learn the skills necessary for making new technology.

I don't even understand the word "blame" in the context of employee perks at all. Are perks for high-demand employees a bad thing? When I had not even graduated from college, a company flew me to California and set me up in an apartment and hooked me up with massive technology so that I could help them to build one of the world's first consumer GPUs. We had a fridge that was always stocked with soda and Snapple and craft beers and fruit and snacks, a pool table and video games, free lunch and dinner at expensive restaurants all over Silicon Valley on the company's AMEX card, and every Friday afternoon we had an "all hands" meeting that was catered, with a keg and bottles of wine and champagne. They were trying to lure us into spending our entire lives at the office and it worked. Decades later, this kind of thing is still common practice.

How does a week in a beachfront Florida condo with your significant other sound? Your airfare will be covered, as will lodging, and even a meal (and a beer) or two and you may also get some spending money. Not too shabby, right?

How about if I also told you that you’d be spending each day of the week doing pair programming and being evaluated on your technical skills? Still sound like a vacation or more like a long job interview? If you’re a developer looking for a job with Hashrocket, a small design and development shop in Jacksonville, Florida, it’s the latter, part of the process you’ll be required to go through to get hired.

This kind of thing is so common that a lot of us have become so jaded that we resent it. I've turned down at least three "hackathon" invites in the last year.

It’s a joke and I’m tired of it. Developers aren’t monkeys in a cage who can’t wait to do the next “hackathon”. They’ve got families, bills to pay and every other pressure that normal people do. They don’t want to drink Red Bull all night and sleep under their desks.

Next time someone asks if you want to crash at their hacker mansion for the summer (which has a ppol, BBQ and pool table!) or team up for a 24-hour hackathon, think twice. They’re probably just trying to cash in on your youth and optimism.

We're spoiled brats, I guess? I can see how it might seem that way from the perspective of an unemployed person with a degree in clinical psychology, where the unemployment rate is nearly 20%. But why do people go into fields with such poor employment potential when there are fields that you can go into where the world will kiss your ass to keep you working?

[-] 2 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

ok, so the question is how long will they be kissing your ass - can you tell me which fields will be valuable in 20 years? again your point applies to a very small number of people - if the whole incoming college class of 2016 went into the tech field - how would that work out?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Software is obviously going to be even more important 20 years from now than it is now, and the people who know how to make it (not just use it) are still going to be in demand. But software, and tech in general, is just one example. Just looking at the demographics of our country shows that health care professionals will be in strong demand in the coming decades as our population ages.

On March 9, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job growth in the healthcare sector was outpacing the growth realized in 2011, accounting for one out of every 5 new jobs created this year. Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other ambulatory care settings added 49,000 new jobs in February 2012, up from 43,300 new jobs created in January. As the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, RNs likely will be recruited to fill many of these new positions. The BLS confirmed that 296,900 jobs were added to the healthcare sector in 2011. www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2010-2020 released in February 2012, the Registered Nursing workforce is the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020. It is expected that the number of employed nurses will grow from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020, an increase of 712,000 or 26%. The projections further explain the need for 495,500 replacements in the nursing workforce bringing the total number of job opening for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.2 million by 2020. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t06.htm

According to the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030. In this state-by-state analysis, the authors forecast the RN shortage to be most intense in the South and the West. http://ajm.sagepub.com

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-shortage

This nursing shortage has been going on at least since over a decade ago when I was going through the EMT program at a nursing school at a community college, and it's projected to go on for decades more. So the people who were in nursing school back then will be in strong demand over their entire careers due to the never-ending shortage that is projected to get much worse. Nursing school is only two years.

My overall point here is that there are jobs. The OWS narrative is that there are no jobs, but there are. I don't see how it makes sense to spend trillions of dollars trying to artificially create public-sector jobs on the theory that there are no jobs when there are lots of open jobs in lots of different fields right now. Anybody who had employment problems after the financial crisis has had almost four years to position themselves for those jobs that are available.

[-] 2 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

i have two comments on this - one is that it is possible (and i use possible for good reason) that there will be lots of tech jobs in 20 yrs if the world looks like it does today. i think it will be very different so i don't agree with your assumptions - can we agree on maybe? 2nd point is that there are not enough jobs (by millions) to take care of all those who want one. if you think there are i would like what you are smoking - can we share?

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

this is from 2011 but i doubt things have changed much - "Last month, the Labor Department reported that about 14 million people were out of work. ...........It's called the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, a relatively new report that was started by the Labor Department in late 2000. Its latest report showed approximately 3.2 million job openings in July in the United States

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Hmmmm. I really can't argue. It's a pretty valid point. ^

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

Tech, this is about depressing wages. That's it. You have no idea what I do and, therefore, no idea about demand.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I posted this page to talk about the fact that there are jobs. The OWS narrative is that there are no jobs, but there are. People just aren't qualified for them. I'm not interested in talking about conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and India.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

There are no jobs. Gates and India are not consipiracy theories. The jobs are outsourced for greed. Journalism jobs, R&D, tech, legal, so pretending that this has not/is not occurring is like burying your head in the sand.

[-] 2 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

he has not reasaponded to be - not sure what he is talking about. no doubt there are some fields with openings but so what? - "Last month, the Labor Department reported that about 14 million people were out of work............ Its latest report showed approximately 3.2 million job openings in July in the United States

[-] 2 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

just sent this to the tech man - can you tell me the point of all of this. i don't know the numbers but i do know that we are employing millions less than in 2007. i hope you are not saying that there are jobs for all of these people. there are fields where there is a need for skilled labor but the numbers are very small. we don't educate enough doctors either - why is that? my wife has a very high level of skill in the financial field and was out of work for two years - and when she found a job it paid about 2/3 of the last salary - no raise or bonus for the last two yrs! can you give me a bottom line to all of this

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21783) 1 year ago

The point of this is to depress wages. Mo' money. Not educating doctors was very intentional and in an effort to keep rather high salaries. We have the people that are skilled but the companies do not want to pay them.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I posted statistics that show full or nearly full employment in lots of different fields. And if you worked in technology then you would be aware that there are a lot more open jobs than workers right now. Especially in super-hot fields like web software development. Mobile application development. ASIC design. The whole point of this entire post was to point out those high-demand fields, where there are jobs. In some fields, workers are desperate for opportunities. But in other fields, employers are the ones who are desperate. If you can show that you've got a well-rated app in the App Store then you can write your own ticket. And it doesn't require a degree or student debt or certification to get there.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

can you tell me the point of all of this. i don't know the numbers but i do know that we are employing millions less than in 2007. i hope you are not saying that there are jobs for all of these people. there are fields where there is a need for skilled labor but the numbers are very small. we don't educate enough doctors either - why is that? my wife has a very high level of skill in the financial field and was out of work for two years - and when she found a job it paid about 2/3 of the last salary - no raise or bonus for the last two yrs! can you give me a bottom line to all of this

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 1 year ago

This is not suprising in a culture that uses terms such as geek or nerd for inelligent people.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

The karma for that is called "unemployment".

I'm pushing 40, and for my entire life it has been really obvious that technology jobs would be plentiful in the future. Everybody has always known that, since at least the 60s. This situation isn't something that suddenly snuck up on us.

Which means that the failure to train workers for the jobs of 2012 has been a massive, decades-long failure on the part of our entire society.

Just curious if anybody knows... Do they still teach cursive in elementary schools instead of typing?

[-] 1 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

I agree it's been a massive failure on the part of society to gear up. At the same time that manufacturing/blue collar jobs were being outsourced to Mexico and China, college graduation rates have remained largely unchanged and the cost of higher education has sextupled over the past 20 years. Resulting in a macro level disconnect between supply (workers lacking higher education) and rising demand for highly educated workers.

But it is not an appropriate social policy response to think that this situation will simply correct itself. If people would just work harder/pull themselves up by their bootstraps etc. This is absurdly naive at best. Downright ignorant and cruel at worst.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/01/stiglitz-depression-201201

http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/download/papers/2012_Sectoral_Dislocation_Long_Run_Crises.pdf

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 1 year ago

Not sure about typingbut they spend more time memorizing things like the multiplication tables then they teach how to figure the answer out by doing actual math.

[-] 0 points by elf3 (2044) 1 year ago

Maybe all this technology is taking society into a regressive state... I'm seeing a lot of technology being horded and monopolized and created to cut employees and for negative purposes. If those who did study in this field would use their skills for better purposes than to join the one percent, maybe I could get on board with the current speed of things, but... instead of curing diseases, all of our would be scientists, are working on the latest APP hoping to get rich in a hurry/ or working for for a giant evil monopoly corporation...Higher math is a special skill, not everyone has the brain for it - and those who do I fear have lost a sense of greater good and are working on stock dividends and i phone apps vs curing diseases or solving the worlds problems. Maybe the tech types should get out of the box and take a look at the worlds needs get back to nature, stop thinking about money. Think about how Wall Street accomplishes all it's dirty deeds it's all done on computer. And noone in the tech field seems to have a conscience about helping them create the programs to do it. It takes good math to figure out for instance all those insurance statistics, and all those equations on screwing people or baking up chemicals that pollute or make GMO foods... who is doing that... hmmm begs the question who are the sell outs selling us out to Wall Street? Tech Junkies? Math and Science types? Maybe we do need less math and science? !

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Less math and science. Brilliant! That will definitely solve our employment crisis. We'll be a nation of technology users who have to pay Chinese people to create technology for us. I mean, it's not like you're going to give up the computer that you used to post that message.

Sarcasm aside, our farming jobs evaporated in the 30s and our manufacturing jobs evaporated in the last few decades. We have nothing left but service jobs. But we have a lot of high-paying service jobs that people are not filling because so many people share your attitude toward science nerds.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2044) 1 year ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw22wZxvmcQ

See Video "consumed" on You Tube

I love science but sometimes people need to stop and think not could we but should we

http://vimeo.com/24558849

and yes technology is bringing us here

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

You wouldn't be able to spread those videos around if nerds hadn't built YouTube and Vimeo for you.

And isn't it kind of a leap to go from anti-consumerism to just being an anti-science Luddite?

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2044) 1 year ago

I'm talking about more than you tube for a smart guy you have trouble processing information - I'm talking about people working on bank derivatives, people who make voter machines that can be hacked, chemical science that creates pollutants, people who work on banking systems, or for insurance companies.... ever stop and think about the fact that their "job" that makes them lots of money is enabling the worst things to happen. Where are the ethics ? How are they better than Wall Street. We all need to stop and think about our personal contributions to this world we have now. Maybe technology is not the way to the future maybe getting back to nature and our roots as beings is. Not sure that playing a video game or staring at youtube all day is a good thing. Aside from which Comcast and Verizons tech people are busy helping them figure out how to censor the net and derail net neutrality. The schmucks at the top would not know what this was had it not been for some tech guy leading the way earning a big fat raise along with it. Google helped China sensor it's citizens and who is behind google? Don't think we're not next.

http://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home

[-] 1 points by MattHolck3 (34) 1 year ago

the automation of tasks should be nature reduce work .

a problem arises when the automations is owned by a smaller and smaller number of people

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

...and so wouldn't it be better if more people were empowered to create things like Facebook instead of just being slaves to the people who use things like Facebook?

A lot of people have had a lot of complaints about the way that this web site works, as one example. But everybody here is helpless to do anything about it because Jart is the only one here other than Thrasymaque and myself who can build a web app with this kind of complexity.

The confined that people live within are already dictated by source code as much as by the legal code. But where the people have input into the legal code, few people have input into the source code that creates the walls that dictate what options we have, and what behavior is allowed or not allowed. Mark Zuckerberg wants you to keep coming back to Facebook day after day, and so there is no way to disallow your friends from tagging you in photos. So college kids have to wake up at 7:30 AM on Sundays after a night out to start un-tagging themselves in photos before their parents find out about the keg party the night before. Everybody is subject to the whims and self-interests of the few people who create technology.

That's what I call an "oligarchy". OWS is supposed to be against that kind of thing. Power to the people.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck3 (34) 1 year ago

one still chooses where one posts

facebook has the advantage by being given broadcast media news and a hollywood movie for the "creator" of facebook (who happens to be from harvard)

thus many that were not keyboard jockeys before join facebook because they know the name

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

You joined Facebook because you have no idea how to create your own Facebook so you have no other option other than to ignore it. A tiny number of people create the rules that everybody else lives by. There are the 1% who own almost everything, and there is a different 1% who are the only ones capable of altering the confines that you live your life within. You're a slave to an oligarchy and you don't even realize it.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck3 (34) 1 year ago
[-] 1 points by MattHolck3 (34) 1 year ago

I get the point

i heard the daily KOS was the big alternative news board

am checking it out

[-] 0 points by HeatherL (-30) 1 year ago

You can blame that partly on some of the "useless" unionized teachers that are not teaching kids

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1271) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Can't find qualified workers in the US? Set up shop somewhere else. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

That was disappointing and predictable at the same time. Go ahead and ostracize somebody pointing out where the jobs are, since it doesn't jibe with the popular narrative that there are no jobs.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Who wants to study tech when you can eat BigMacs and drink Pepsi?