"The Economist found that between 2012 and 2015 the three biggest Indian outsourcing firms—TCS, Wipro and Infosys—submitted over 150,000 visa applications for positions that paid a median salary of $69,500. In contrast, America’s five biggest tech firms—Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft—submitted just 31,000 applications, and proposed to pay their workers a median salary of $117,000."
None of those salaries listed are competitive with what a non-H1B (read citizen or permanent resident) would earn. Indeed.com quotes the average SD salary in Seattle (think Amazon and Microsoft) as 126,000 and San Francisco at 134,000. Companies sponsoring H1B need to be held to the letter of the law -- the salaries must be competitive. The demand for H1B visas would fall if the imported labor was paid fairly.
Facebook @ Menlo Park: $152k
Google @ Mountain View: $130k
Apple @ Cupertino: $154k
Amazon @ Seattle: $124k
Microsoft @ Redmond: $120
So comparing base salary alone, these companies are definitely not underpaying their H-1B hires.
To see salaries for yourself, you can go here and filter by year to see the latest data:
That just confirms the OPs first point, that TCS, Wipro and Infosys, with their 30,000 Visas avg. ~$70k, are massively abusing the system.
Its about time these companies were prosecuted for lying to the government:
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to: 1) knowingly and willfully; 2) make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; 3) in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States.
> None of those salaries listed are competitive with what a non-H1B (read citizen or permanent resident) would earn.
>Its about time these companies were prosecuted for lying to the government:
while they obviously abuse the system, i doubt they do it in immediately clear criminal ways - instead i suppose they use various loopholes like bringing people into some cattle grazing mid-states where $70K is prevailing wage (and where is real shortage of programmers, at least if you try to hire couple hundred or thousand of them in a short time, so technically these companies do follow the law here to the letter) and "bodyshopping" the people from there.
And while I imagine accenture's argument will be similar to yours, though much more nuanced, the argument against Accenture will be that those individuals were chosen and use specifically with the intent to bypass local wage laws.
In short, trying to find loopholes in the law, while knowingly violating the purpose of a law, does not result in innocence. Whatever Hollywood says.
I imagine the argument would be along the lines of:
Accenture - Yes, we frequently bus Mexican developers throughout the American southwest. This is because accenture uses many Mexican development shops, and occasionally our clients are interested in having our developers work on site to promote synergy, for small periods of time.
Legal Team - You bussed over a team of 50 devs to Client X, every day, for 2 years. They live in hotels, start on Monday, and end on Friday. This is not a case of the occasional developer meeting with a client as part of a business trip. This is an organized conspiracy to replace the American workforce.
Accenture - While we do run weekly bus services over the border, you will find that in your example, the same individuals do not go every week. Instead, a different 50 were located at Client A on a monthly basis. If there are 200 people working on the project, each 50 will meet for a month. That's four months of busing across the border, while the majority of the time, the team is actually operating from Mexico. We do this to promote synergy across the entire team, not just a select few individuals.
Legal Team - Your honor, we have testimony that when those individuals are in Mexico, their time is split between 20 other projects. When they are in the US, their time is dedicated solely to the client. In short, their claim that they have not somehow intentionally replaced jobs, because they continuously hire and fire different people for the position is patently absurd..
But it doesn't matter, because none of those developers are going to bring the suit, at least avanade doesn't hire US developers anymore, and the last few administrations simply haven't been prosecuting US businesses for labor infractions at a historic rate, so I somehow doubt this case would ever occur.
Their business is outsourcing and their clients always want their consultants 100% on-site. If on-site presence is not required, why acquire an H1-B and cover travel expenses instead of just sending the project details directly to India (as I'm sure Accenture does for projects that do not require direct on-site involvement).
No, that was the article's point. OP's contribution was that everybody is underpaying, which isn't true.
An argument I've heard for the lower paying jobs at the outsourcing companies is that they can communicate with the offshore teams in the local language. One on-site lead is gathering requirements and funneling work to 20 offshore devs. They work a full day during US hours then spend their evenings on calls with the offshore team. There is a huge supply of people overseas wanting those jobs so that they can get their foot into the US and then find something better. Supply and demand would naturally drive down the wages for those types of jobs.
Another path is to transfer from the bigger outsourcing firms to smaller US based consulting and staffing companies to do contracting work.
At this moment it seems that many companies have frozen their H1-B hiring with all of the US visa uncertainty. This is putting people in tough situations where they can't find work and have families to support that they brought with them to the US.
These are my own observations.
That's not really a good justification of claiming that the US Supply is more than what the current market holds. With that same arguement, a business could claim: Banana processing in Costa Rica costs $0.5/hr, so that means that we should have that as a ceiling in the US for the same job. It's apples and oranges.
There is a huge amount of people that would like to emigrate for financial improvement. But, at the end of the day they live there you live here. Want to take advantage of the supply that you're referring to, open up a location there. (And find out why they don't already have that organization there)
> But, at the end of the day they live there you live here. Want to take advantage of the supply that you're referring to, open up a location there. (And find out why they don't already have that organization there)
You are omitting the fact that the labor of 20 ofshore devs is being imported to the US through the one on-site leads. The location is already opened up offshore where the cheaper labor exists. Global markets do not exist in isolation, and the issuing of work visas affects the supply of labor in the market.
There is not a line of US citizens with CS backgrounds looking to work 1.5 shifts a day, and learn multiple languages to be able to communicate effectively with the offshore team. There is plenty of supply on the offshore side, hoping for a shot to make it to the US.
I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it's just one reality of the H1-B system.
And here I thought it was bananas all along.
When I moved to the US (to work for one of the companies on that list of tech firms), their attitude was "Do you need a visa?" (I didn't, as it happened) "Just let us know, we'll get you a H-1B". There wasn't any shadow of a doubt in their mind that it was much more than a formality.
$325 base + $1500 AICWA + $500 fraud protection fee + [potential $4000 Public Law 114-113 fee] + [optional $1125 premium processing fee] = $6325 + [optional $1125].
Legal fees vary from $500 to $3000 on top of that.
But regardless, also add the non-salary benefits, of course: non-discretionary bonuses, stock grants, etc.
I work at a run of the mill SaaS company. We have 60% H-1Bs devs here as contractors from a certain contracting company (more in QA). They live paycheck to paycheck. I get paid, literally, twice as much (I've seen the H-1B Labor Condition Applications for ones we hire directly--The contracting companies pay likely about as much but take some 20% of their salary).
We don't hire them because they are particularly talented. I've been on interview calls with ones from the contracting companies, all their resumes are the same . They are just code monkeys. Our company does it to save costs, period. Upper management knows nothing of the mythical man-month.
The system is being rampantly abused.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13521791
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13525766
 - http://www.vocativ.com/money/business/theyll-sponsor-america...
Having worked as a contractor, I've seen that number typically between 33% and 50%. Staff Augmentation is a horrible, horrible business. The firms also end up stuffing the hiring managers inbox with a bunch of resumes of unqualified candidates to box out other competing firms. No one wins except the abusers of what could be a positive program.
That's starting to drive me nuts. We have to work with a limited set of contracting companies. Whenever we post a new job we get 20 of the same resumes. I usually immediately delete the ones that say "used try/catch statements" but other than that there is no way to distinguish between them.
I know that's an extreme case, but it's pretty bizarre when you start seeing literally identical content on different resumes.
It sound like, other than fixing some of the things with H-1B, what really should happen is some sort of easier O (-1A) visa with mainly a salary requirement.
No I'm saying a citizen fresh grad dev starts at 60-80k at my company, but a H1-B via a contracting company with "5 years experience" (which is a crapshoot but they usually have some experience) gets paid 40-50k. They do the same work.
But that doesn't mean everyone are going to make the same salaries. Foreigners are always going to be more willing to pay their dues, be less knowledgeable of the local market and have more variable skillets.
People are talking about fixing H-1B by things like salary requirements. That isn't so much fixing it as excluding one set of people and giving preference to another set of people.
Getting employed at these companies has nothing to do with "going to the right school and learning the right language".
I'm not sure that comparison works fully. I don't think the ages of the average H1B applicant are made public, but a great many are college graduates - IIRC, a foreign citizen who graduates from a US university is given a one year visa, but has to find their own way after that. So H1Bs represent a lot of people at the start of their careers, wheras the average you've found represents all developers.
One clear improvement would be to allow university graduates to stay in the US much more easily. We've just spent an awful lot of time educating them to a US standard after all - why not keep them?
I suspect that the number quoted is only base salary, includes lower cost locations in the US and professions other than Software Engineers.
Another thing is that this number is the salary when the person got hired, but any other number you can find will be current salary.
It's a fairly common practice, though again, not sure if it happens this way at google.
I'm not sure of the answer, but it could be that these companies make use of both paths. If you're hired directly by these companies, you are paid the same, but a job that is eliminated and replaced through one of the body shops wouldn't be.
For instance, the workers eliminated at Disney aren't technically getting replaced by H1Bs, through a slight of hand. Disney is eliminating the positions, and then hiring a consulting company to provide that work. This way, it can be made to look like the H1Bs hired by Disney are paid the same as their American counterparts- by ensuring that jobs replaced that don't pay the same are no longer considered Disney employees.
Again, not sure if google and other companies do this, but all your data tells me is that developers who are formally hired by google are paid the same. If google eliminates a 150k a year position, and then contracts that job function out to a consulting company paying 75k a year, that wouldn't show up in google's numbers.
As a new grad interviewing for software engineering positions at FB, Google, Etc., I make exactly the same amount as my U.S. peers who have also received offers.
Moreover, how do you know that the SE level of the H1B hires is exactly that of the pool from which Indeed.com calculates their averages? What if the H1B program was taking in a huge amount of new grads right now and not as many senior positions? Then the H1B average would be different than the Indeed one.
Moreover (again), as I make the same amount of money as a U.S new grad, my company would pay for Visa sponsorship, and even pays more to fly me in to interview. Not only that, they put me through more interviews, costing more engineers time.
Then the program in turn wouldn't be abiding by the idea of the H1B program in the first place, which is to bring in people who have skills that can't be found in the US. You can hire new grads from the US just as easily as abroad, just maybe not at the artificially low prices that you want to pay them.
Also being a new grad != employable at one of these companies, and no, training isn't going to help them either.
a) Aren't qualified as the best and brightest since they're still inexperienced
b) Took a university seat from an American citizen
I want to offer a thought. As a country, we want the world's greatest minds to reside here. Those minds generate ideas, make local companies stronger and, at the most basic level, generate tax revenue greater than the average citizen. Creating a pipeline to bring in the best minds in the world is a net benefit for US citizens. Giving up /some/ university seats to attract the brightest from other countries makes sense. Giving up /some/ entry level roles to retaining those minds in the country, to which we've already lent our world-leading educational institutions to, also makes sense.
I've been in a hiring position with a Global 500 company that considers H1-B applicants. At no point during any of my conversations with other hiring managers did we ever consider "Oh, let's take that applicant, they'll cost less because of their Visa." If anything, some folks might hold off because they don't want to deal with the uncertainty of losing a key employee because of a lottery. If companies wanted cheap labor, they'd just use outsourcing. So it's possible H1-B applicants (excepting cheap consultants, see ) have a higher bar to clear than citizen/resident candidates.
The interesting point here, is that there's 3 types of nationalism in this discussion and I find it funny that we're not self aware about it (apologies, my bias is apparent in my descriptions):
1) Protectionist nationalism - "This is America and AMERICAN people born [or naturalized] here deserve our companies' jobs."
2) Opportunist nationalism - "America and its citizens as a whole are better off with more high-skilled H1-B immigrants because we can take the skilled horsepower other countries would otherwise possess."
3) Anti-nationalism - I don't see this one mentioned much, but what happens to the countries America is soaking up talent /from/? Is it a good thing that one country attracts the brightest from all around the world, rather than distributing skill evenly?
Apologies, this is lightly edited as it's long-winded and during work hours.
I'd say, rather, that as a country we (should) want the world's greatest minds to become American, not just reside here. I don't just mean in terms of legal citizenship, but rather in terms of mindset and culture. I don't think it's good for us to import smart people whose ideals are opposed to our own.
Disclosure: I work at Microsoft.
Maybe the "entire South" should increase their rates if they want to compete on talent. I have no sympathy for a company that can't find talent because "we don't pay SV rates because we're not in SV".
Then the "entire South" is going to start charging you and me SV rates for their products and services. Probably not what you had in mind.
Let's assume there is a $FooCorp in Alabama looking for a SysAdmin but not having much luck. They'd like to spend $70k and enter the H1B lottery under our current system. Maybe they win, maybe they lose but can hire an H1B for $80k from $OutsourcingFirm. Under an auction system, let's examine what happens instead.
$Hooli (and other SV companies) are offering $135k for SDEs. Because $135k > $70k no H1Bs can be imported as SysAdmins for $70k. This raises the cost of SysAdmin work across the country for employers. The new baseline is now somewhere above $70k which is the price it takes to attract citizens (or otherwise eligible residents) to $FooCorp.
Under an auction system, $FooCorp still needs a SysAdmin and they have 3 options:
(1) do without a SysAdmin
(2) pay more than $70K to attract an already eligible to work SysAdmin to Alabama
(3) pay more for a SysAdmin than SV pays SDEs in order to hire an H1B
Let's look at those options. If they need a SysAdmin, the first option isn't really feasible. If the role is optional, this might be a situation where they decide to do without. That means there are two options left, and the rational decision depends on what the true market value of a SysAdmin currently is. If $FooCorp can pay a citizen $100k to move to Alabama, there isn't a skills shortage. If $FooCorp can't find anyone to move to Alabama to be a SysAdmin for less than $135k, there might be a legitimate skills shortage and then the H1B program is attractive again.
It's worth noting that if $FooCorp can't find a SysAdmin for less than a SDE to move to Alabama, the true value of a SysAdmin is at least $135k (in this example). Under the current system, SysAdmins are being short-changed, both H1Bs and other eligible SysAdmins in our workforce.
There is no such thing as a skills shortage. There are only greedy employers looking to abuse a system to underpay all workers, whether they are H1Bs or otherwise authorized to work. Anyone who tells you there is a skills shortage is making money off telling you that. Don't be a sucker.
How's lottery status quo a better deal?
I'm surprised by the level of expertise, demonstrated by the economist, given the fact that current H1B system already works EXACTLY THAT WAY. H1B visa holder can transfer to a new employer any time, if new employer is willing to fill in the papers, even without notifying the current employer.
L1B visa is tied to a particular employer (because it just intracompany transfer), not H1B.
Any loophole created for this scenario would be immediately exploited by outsourcing companies headquartering themselves in the South, sponsoring H1's and then immediately arbitraging a freshly arrived employee to a Silicon Valley or NYC client.
> The employee should be able to transition to a new employer without a new visa application.
That is such a great idea that it's always been part of the H1 visa. New employer just needs to initiate an H1 transfer.
And I suspect that for a "brown" skinned persons the south is not exactly a welcoming environment.
Source: Lived in Dallas and Austin for 7 years.
That's very ignorant.
Bench Science at Universities.
Mostly PhDs. Post-Doctoral Fellows. The numbers - state by state, institution by institution - are staggering in my opinion. It's a snake eating itself in how these Universities prepare US students (ahem, expensive via loans more often than not) then when it's time to get a job, funding is so competitive (different problem) that labor prices are forced into the gutter. Enter the H1-B labor force.
The idea that the US isn't capable of meeting real STEM demand is utter bullshit. The demand would be met if there was a living wage. A quality of life. People in the US still have faint memories of pride and not being over-worked and over-debt riddled, and still cling to just the last threads. That's why PhDs aren't lining up to spend $250,000, then take several years (if lucky) to get a $52,000 a year job with limited security.
In many fields, often fields that don't pay well, the PhD students are mostly American. In my engineering program, the vast majority were Indian and East Asian. They have all gone on to get very good paying jobs.
And it makes a lot of sense for them. Most probably wouldn't be getting a high paying tech job back home, so the opportunity cost of spending 5 years in a PhD program is low, and it opens up a lot of doors. By comparison, a U.S. citizen with an engineering B.S. might get paid $65k-$115k year out of college. A 5-year PhD will then cost them $250k-$500k in lost earnings.
Health and Medical Coverage are very poor. Provides only basic coverage.
No Life Insurance.
Never heard of anyone being paid overtime.
Most employees of these companies would be mostly working in odd hours to manage off shore teams.
Which Indian IT company (outsourcing or a product) based pays overtime in India?
2. Masters students with specialized skills and possible prior experience before their Masters.
All countries which attract foreign students in their universities give some sort of a time period for them to use the acquired skill and if prevailing conditions are right, to stay in the country and work. Imagine you want to move to Germany, what will you do? A) Search for an employer sitting in the US and hope they file a Blue Card for you (equivalent to getting an H1-B filed from outside the US) B) you plan to study and then stay there based on your studies (OPT leading to H1-B in the US). Now if you study at University of Erlangen and immediately after graduating you are told you pack up your bags and leave, then what do you do? You can institute such a policy saying no international students will ever get to stay in this country, then it's fine. The only thing would be a tremendous drop in in coming students who are also paying through their noses and investing dollars into the University System. That's how it works worldwide.
The problem here is most of the people here do not understand what Visa options are there, how they work, what kind of extreme vetting takes place to get a student visa in the first place, most folks would have never ever applied for a visa in their lives, would have never seen the inside of a consulate, would not know how visa systems work in the rest of the world and then arrive at a conclusion which is based on shaky foundation.
H1-B visas are not only for Tech, they are also for other streams of education or workers like MBAs. There are two kinds of complaints here which prop up constantly. A) H1-B applied by these "outsourcing" Indian companies which treat their employees shabbily (in fact its the US corporations which use and initiate these), so off with their heads. Sure, make H1-B attractive to maybe people who have invested and studied in the MS/PhD grad system. B) But.. now people moan about H1-B Masters and Phd getting "starting" salary lower than what they "think" should be offered to a regular US Citizen. Anyone who has ever interviewed or worked with the top Tech firms (or has managed to clear their interview rounds hahahaha) or have been part of the hiring groups would mostly say that these companies offer very competitive salaries and make NO discrimination at all in terms of talent.
Which side are we debating on or are we moaning the influx of ALL immigrants as unworthy of the job market? All jobs are ours hahahaha Microsoft can't take 10 rounds of interviews anymore since there are only US citizens available for these jobs. We won!
Australia also has a working visa which is tied to the employer.
> Indeed.com quotes the average SD salary in Seattle (think Amazon and Microsoft) as 126,000 and San Francisco at 134,000.
You cannot compare a median salary with an average salary. Salaries are going to have a long tail of large numbers.
Maybe use stats of companies that are about as good as these consultancy firms, and located in similar areas. That will put things into perspective. I'm not saying Indians aren't paid lower, but your comment is an exaggeration of the issue Americans complain about.
The funny thing is comparing salaries isn't even fair, because total compensation at these top companies is much larger than just salary.
The problem is many companies who can afford to pay good money to Americans dont hire Americans when they can just hire H1Bs at a lower salary.
Example: Infosys 25k visas vs Google 4k, Apple 1.6k etc.
By people here, I mean H1B applicants but also Ivy league and top schools U.S. citizens. As soon as a H1-B employee starts, the company would start sponsoring a green card and cover all the legal fees associated with it.
The problem with H1-B at Apple/Amazon/Fb/Google/Microsoft isn't the base salary, it's the long path to green card for Indians and Chinese citizens, reducing their job mobility and career opportunities.
There is something to be done to the US working class for sure. But when US wants to be the world leader selling high value goods in every country, can it afford to isolate itself from the world's talent?
Not to mention the salaries of H1B employees are public, and that they are bound to a company meaning they have less bargaining power. And that the sampling is completely different, one is more of an homogeneous american citizen and the other is basically every country in the world, with varying degrees of knowledge,education, expertise, cultural fit,language penalties, relocation costs, etc.
EDIT: and remember, for a company to issue an H1B, it costs them many thousands of dollars, that the future employee has to be paying for it to be worth it.
Increasing restrictions helps american tech workers as much as Trump adding a tariff on mexican imports. It hurts consumers, it hurts companies, and it gives americans a small benefit.
I can understand american steel workers wanting protectionism , but i cant understand why people that work creating products world-wide like google, facebook, apple, amazon and microsoft, can find it consistent to believe in protectionism.
It's not unionization. It's a simple case of letting the market decide who's got rare and valuable skills. If you don't command an unusually high salary, your skills aren't that rare or aren't so essential to the company.
With company-tied commitments, high transaction costs, lotteries, field of expertise limitations? Markets gone wild!
> If you don't command an unusually high salary, your skills aren't that rare or aren't so essential to the company.
This is a union-style wage argument. If the company would like to hire you below what the union makes, the company should not be able to and you would not qualify to work in this field.
This is the man who refers to H1B visas as genius visas. I have worked with many Indian outsourcing companies and while talented people do exist, calling their employees genius is wholly inaccurate (as would be calling most software devs in the Western world genius).
I did laugh when I read irving's original post on LinkedIn and some former employer of GoDaddy expressed just how Mr Irving was using his H1B allocation I.e. to get the same job done for less dollar...
I have never been known for my lack of directness and in given so, I used to work with an Indian developer who was very good at his job. So one day I just flat out asked him, I said Karthick why do a good portion of Indian developers suck, his response floored me.
Without missing a beat he responded, look it's a misaligned incentive system. When I go back to India the first question I am asked is how many people do you manage. If I go on a date, it's the first words out of a fathers mouth.
He went on to tell me that you see Indian has remains of the cast system still culturally in place and this stems from that way of thinking, but it has morphed into changing your cast by moving up the corporate ladder. The fastest way to managing people is IT given it's over representation in the Indian economy. So what you have is a bunch of would be MBA's getting tech degrees so they can do their time and make it to management. They have no passion for technology and look at it as doing their residency for management.
Then he looked at me and said, with a laugh. Put Simply they go into IT to get laid. Whereas I went into IT to become and American, because and Indian guy with citizenship is John Don (he meant Don Juan).
Computers in India are not associated with the amazing feeling most of us had the first time we wrote a program that worked correctly. They are associated with a guaranteed (heh) paycheck and a comfortable life, and the quality of the work produced in this fashion is a natural result of that attitude. The outsourcing industry is at the centre of this idea, but it also supports a large number of degree mills and certificate farms producing a mind boggling number of absolutely useless "computer engineers" giving all of us the reputation we do.
I, for one, would love to see companies like TCS and Infosys gone.
I study in an average college in India, and it seems the only motivation for studying computer science is to get a "lucrative" job at an outsourcing company. Getting a job at an top outsourcing company is considered pretty respectful by all of society.
The interviews are pretty rough too. The screening is done based on an aptitude quiz (it's an entirely different thing that is hardly related to the CS curriculum) and once you crack that, the "smartness" factor gets involved. I have had people confess to me that they got the job just because their english speaking skills were good.
A lot of this is due to the fact, which I think is the primary motivation, that the salaries offered at these companies are actually quite high compared to other markets, all you have to do is shell out four years somehow. This leads to students not even caring about computer science as a subject, but a ticket to the "IT dream", if you will.
Also, note that this represents the "average" colleges of India, which is what most of India is filled with. The demand for studying engineering becomes higher every year, and to cope up with that, engineering colleges are built of nowhere with no real regard for education.
I see tons of recent computer science grads who want to do "anything that doesn't have to do with computers."
IT is listed as the third-best paying job in India . In the USA, it's not even in the top 10 . In the UK, it barely scrapes into the top 10, and that's for IT Directors .
In India, the pay is a great incentive for people who aren't necessarily interested in tech.
If you consolidate nine of them as "Medical", I bet IT, or some variant of it, would be in the top ten.
No argument needed. In the US, psychiatrists are fully-licensed physicians.
Edit: I'm talking about lifetime earnings parity, not yearly parity. If you are marking $85k in IT as a 27 year old, you are way ahead of someone who starts making $175k at the age of 35 and has $250k in debt.
How much you make really depends on your specialty as well. Cosmetic surgeons, anesthesiologists and radiologists make a lot more money than general practitioners. Pediatric anything does not make much money.
Cosmetic surgeons make an absolute boatload of money though. Like, an absurd amount. A guy I play pickup basketball with went from being a pediatric surgeon to a cosmetic surgeon, and he said it almost feels criminal how much more money he makes now.
Let's make three assumptions:
* person in IT has zero education debt (per your example). Not likely, but okay
* retirement at 65
* no promotion, pay raises
* education debt is at zero per cent (but since we're saying the IT worker has none, it balances a little)
IT worker has 38 years of useful career at $85K. Earnings: $3.23M
Physician has 30 years of useful career at $175K. Earnings: $5.25M. Minus $250K in debt and we have $5M.
I'm not sure how the IT worker at $3.23M is "way ahead" of the physician at $5M...?
Regardless, I'm not saying that a doctor will make less than an IT worker over the course of their life, only that the IT worker will be leagues ahead of their doctor brethren for a large part of their working life.
On top of that, quality of life is an issue as well. Most doctors I know are still on call several nights a week, and work odd shifts. Most IT workers I know are on call for a fraction of the time doctors are on call, and generally work standard hours.
If money is your only goal, being a doctor is probably a more reliable career path. However, it's not far and away the more obvious career path, at least if you live in the United States.
Plus, loan forgiveness is only after ten years of payments. Doctors will probably not have much money remaining on their loans, unless they spent ten years working for Doctors without Borders or something similar. If you pay back your student loans at the standard rate you will have repaid them after 10 years.
Nobody cares about the revenue of the sites, it's just that if I have more than 10 employees then you're successful. So in India a person making 1 mil / month is less successful than someone who has a company of 10+ employees that is drowning in debt.
Also, while I definitely am much more well paid as an engineer than I ever would have been as an academic, the quality of employment the field (in terms of opportunities available, working conditions, peers, and other factors) is a bit underwhelming, in my opinion. Without some pretty big changes in some of these I'm not sure we should blindly encourage "everyone" to seek an IT career.
Show up for work at the designated time, sit in your assigned seat. Sometimes you will get interesting work. Most times you will get menial tasks. Sometimes you won't get any work at all.
After the first month, you're thinking, "Uh, I was here about the software developer position? Are we going to be building any software?"
We had an abundance of IT people with little actual knowledge and even less interest around the time of the dotcom bust.
I used to work with a guy who was like that. He was a decent programmer but his limitations made themselves readily apparent when the performance of his code was observed.
I guess this is my long-winded way of saying to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.
I think just shoving people into tech is short-sighted. That's not what I want.
That being said, much of American youth sees "business", law, medicine, and even entertainment (including sports) as a great way to succeed. We would do well to put engineering, especially IT, on that list.
In India, IT sector escaped the clutches of red tape, and thrived. So it became a very good option to make a living.
Partly, many of those trades have ceilings. Your salary doesn't always scale with skill and ambition like it can in IT.
...that's a living, but it's not "damn good money" or "only limited by the amount of work you are willing to do". It's not even very competitive with entry-level salaries for IT jobs. It's competitive with "support" roles in those organizations. Like admins, entry-level HR jobs, etc.
That being said, I have a lot of respect for people with "dirty jobs" (my family and I have had them myself), and likewise, I have a lot of respect for Mike Rowe and his message. I'd be very happy if there were a newfound respect for those roles.
...but the money, work conditions, and career advancement prospects are certainly better for STEM degrees.
Lack of a degree and a code camp certificate only works in tech cities where it's hard to find coders who are gullible enough to work for free...I mean get paid in equity in a startup that's really only there to suck at the tit of an angel investor for a few funding rounds.
"the only way..." usually is a made-up fact designed to fit a circumstance.
The town I grew up in had 4 major tech employers.
- A weird segment of Department of Defense contractors that developed "mission simulators" (AKA first-person shooters) for the Army
- A banking umbrella company
- An insurance company
- A credit card payments processor
The state university in the same town had a Computer Science degree and offered a Bachelor's of Science with three different tracks/specializations:
- Games Programming: Focused on learning how to write 3D game engines. You learned C++, OpenGL, a bit of DirectX, a lot of Client/Server stuff like writing your own protocols on top of IP and UDP, and so on.
- Systems Programming: Dig into multi-threaded programming, write parsers as a way of learning how programming languages work, and magically segue into COBOL, IBM HLASM, DB2's unique takes on SQL, etc.
Guess what those four employers filtered every candidate on?
Either 5+ years prior work experience littered with every keyword on the job description or a degree. There was literally zero way for someone without prior experience to get a degree, and because this wasn't Big Tech City X, even with 5+ years you pulled $65,000 tops.
Basically, the whole life cycle worked like this:
1) Tempt new students with cheaper CS degree compared to nationally famous college two hours away.
2) Use CS degree to snowflake their skills into a perfect match for a job with local employers.
3) Continuously have local employers show up on campus and talk up how cheap the Cost of Living is in small military town. Show hand-wavey "$65,000 here is the same as making $200,000 in San Francisco!" Neglect to explain how Social Security and Pensions/401ks work.
4) Convince students to "just get a few years under your belt" then go to Big Tech City with actual work experience.
5) Further pigeon hole skills and provide zero continuous learning, training, certification, or other ways of expanding employee's skill set, making it hard for them to find jobs in Big Tech City.
6) Profit by never paying anyone more than $80,000 to write software.
7) Avoid employing demographic profiles that are less likely to have kids. Grow your employee culture around "setting down roots". Profit even more by having almost perfect retention if you lump all four major employers together and colluding to maintain low wages.
You make it sound like 'every human being is not selfish' or 'most of the human beings are not selfish'. Just work in the service Industry, you see the turnover rate just because people want to make $2 per more elsewhere.
The reality is that caste system never exists, nor does it exist in India. Castes exist, however.
Putting that aside, there is a Fundamental Law of Incompetence which says, "In any random sample of a group of people in any country, the amount of incompetents is a constant". We have a lot of so called incompetent people because A) you may probably outsource to the cheapest bidder/contractor B) We have 1.3 billion people, of course a large number are incompetent. I have worked with outsourcing teams in Romania, and the law still holds, I have worked in Germany and the US, and the law still holds. It has yet to happen that I have walked into a country and observed, "Holy shit, so many geniuses are around here, what kind of Cola do you guys drink?". Now you may know that there are other "legit" multinationals who have captive R&D Centers in India which are awesomely working cause hey each country has a thick creamy layer of talent and those companies employ them. Case in point, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Google, Adobe's big campus near Delhi, Amazon etc etc. Plus a whole slew of startups popping up in India. So your token Indian thinks that all of those people are retarded?
What irks me about your guy is not that he is spouting what is the common understanding of the lot. But you are possibly talking to a regular uninformed guy with pet peeves about family and caste system. I know quite a few of those. What those kids need is a spinal surgery.
Did he mention how crap the infrastructure is in most of the Universities in India? How shoddy the teaching is? Oh it all starts with the School system, which is the base factory of parent/caste/society oppressed individuals who just blame everything else than their own free will to progress and learn in life. That's the reason why so many smart people tend to migrate in order to do a Masters or a Phd program because University Research does not exist in India (even in the top 10 universities).
The boom in IT sector in India circa 1995 was a god send for so many impoverished but educated Indians who could now afford to literally have a decent work environment and pay and that brought so many of us out of poverty. The much derided call centers brought employment to a range of blue collared workers who put their balls to the walls and attempted and mastered not only fluent English to some extent but to copy the American Accent. Now all these whiny newly born Indians with their trust funds piss all over that fact. I know you may think outsourcing is bad and call centers sucked, but hey market forces will decide that. No one asked any US multinationals to make your underwear in China, they all did by their own free will. The world economy will shift focus to something else.
I by no means want to engage with you harshly, you have a genuine curiosity about the subject but I would implore people on hacker news at least to think about the World in a more refined way.
If you peanuts you get monkeys. The Indian developers who dont suck are not working in your company because they are getting a good salary somewhere else.
I recently coordinated a operational outsourcing task where a big vendor took over some specific functions. They sent over these two kids on H1-B visas who are brilliant, but are making something like $25/hr (probably 18% of bill rate) and work 20-30 hours of overtime. Their subcontractor/pimp probably skims more than they make.
My grandfathers immigrated here from Ireland as a chauffeur and laborer and retired as a successful pub owner and senior civil servant. That's the story of America.
Immigration is great -- we should just do a lottery for green cards and let people move here without the corporate overseer. I don't care where your from... you should be here as a free person.
I'm not bothered by immigrants, but the whole "genius" thing is a lie.
Unfortunately the people who end of migrating to the United States on an H1B do form the cream of developers. Infact Indian outsourcing companies use H1Bs as an incentive.
I for one, will be happy if the stakes are increased. This will ensure more smart people stay back in India and fix local problems.
Well that is not necessarily true when it comes to Indian outsourcing companies. If a person has a very good rapport with his manager that person would be preferred over someone who is more technically competent but does not enjoy the same rapport with the manager.
The only counterpoint I've ever heard is "It's not fair for company XYZ in low cost of living Podunk, USA because we can't compete at those high salaries against banks / SV / expensive cities". So what? I doubt they can compete against the ability of TCS or Infosys to game the system and get the lions share of the visas either.
The pharma researchers may argue that this should present an upward price pressure on their salaries but their industry isn't solely driven by salaries alone.
At the higher salary that gets a company enough researchers, the company may become unviable. In addition, if there are only 100 researchers and there are 1000 jobs, rising salaries will still leave 900 jobs unfulfilled.
These are things one doesn't care about if one is a researcher because systemic economic slowdown will take a while to catch up to you because there are more jobs than researchers.
But thinking above that in the long term, it is advantageous to have more researchers since more jobs filled leads to more successful companies which leads to growth.
In truth it's more complicated. There are a large number of unqualified people who carry the credentials claiming they're qualified. For the same title, skill levels vary substantially. This is why people believe good lawyers are far better than average lawyers, that good doctors exist, and that the concept of a good software engineer exists.
This means that while there is apparent supply, there is no real supply. This makes the problem less apparent but no less real.
The government distorts markets for its own reasons and one of them is the long term economic health of the country. The most efficient distribution may be that most companies should be in Africa. The government doesn't want that. It wants companies in the US. It organizes in the long term to allow this.
True, but in another sense, more people will train to be software engineers than pharma researchers? educated people are the common resource? Why should anyone train to go into pharma, when they could earn more as sw devs?
> their industry isn't solely driven by salaries alone
what does this mean?
> if there are only 100 researchers and there are 1000 jobs
Are jobs are not equal. Ultimately, there are only 100 jobs willing to pay a higher salary. Consider an auction, there are not really millions of buyers willing to buy an iphone (at $1), there is just one, the rest lost interest once the price point had been hit.
I understand, an industry can still be hamstrung by lack of employees, but
a) Would this be different in the US compared to other countries? If not, all similar industries will be equally slow to progress; No problem for the rare employees living in good times.
b) If the industry is desirable, people will begin to train for it, or be encouraged to train; high salaries will be just one incentive. In the meanwhile, the growth of the fledgling industry can be helped via investment: this investment could help provide aforementioned training, and also help pay for foreign labour at higher cost than than native, so as not to undercut native labour - hence the nonviable industry is subsidised until labour supply catches up.
> it is advantageous to have more researchers since more jobs filled leads to more successful companies which leads to growth
"job creation" theories are dangerous, much like trickle-down economics. It's easy for the wealthy to act in their own interest by promoting flawed justifications of this nature. I agree, certain high-skilled jobs actually fuel certain struggling industries than actually bootstraps industry in a way that makes existing workers more valuable, especially locally (vs nationally); but I can see how this line or argument, which applies to rare cases, can be abused to argue similar effect where it is not the case; Is is also the case that there would be an point where the visas must stop (when the benefit ends), which again it would be easy to manipulate - you'd need strict criteria to make it fair.
- It is a tacit acceptance of the falsehood that there is a skills shortage.
- It ultimately relies on scarcity of visas. There will be a number of visas to auction off and this number will become a political football that is tweaked and tweaked until it is meaningless. What is the point of an auction if there are a million visas being auctioned off?
- It does not address the corporate/education institution partnership loophole.
Ultimately if they are the best and brightest the visas should be given to the employee not the employer and, if the employee wants, they should be put on a fast track to a green card as soon as they start (6 mo-1 year)
The entire premise of the H1-B program is that there is a skills shortage. It's not specific to IT, it can be used for any field where you cannot find local talent.
> It ultimately relies on scarcity of visas. There will be a number of visas to auction off and this number will become a political football that is tweaked and tweaked until it is meaningless. What is the point of an auction if there are a million visas being auctioned off?
There's already a number of visas auctioned off. I don't see how the number is any more or less political if it changes to an auction based on salary.
> It does not address the corporate/education institution partnership loophole.
I don't know what you're referring to here. Please explain.
> Ultimately if they are the best and brightest the visas should be given to the employee not the employer and, if the employee wants, they should be put on a fast track to a green card as soon as they start (6 mo-1 year)
The visa already goes to the employee, not the employer. H1-B visa holders can move jobs if the new company is willing to take over the H1-B sponsorship (I think it's just a bunch of paperwork).
And it's a bad program even if that was true, since at best it's a band aid that papers over short-term symptoms without addressing underlying problems, and since it is perennially used in the same industries for the same types of jobs, it's clear that if it is addressing a skills shortage, it's not a transitory, short-term problem for which a short-term patch to cover up symptoms is the appropriate response.
Either no one involved in making policy has noticed this, or "skills shortage" isn't the actual reason for the policy.
I'm not saying those people should necessarily be a major consideration, but you did say "everyone besides companies trying to get cheaper labor".
Sure but the point isn't to provide a side door for immigration, it's supposed to be for filling short falls in labor that cannot be accommodated locally.
> I'm not saying those people should necessarily be a major consideration, but you did say "everyone besides companies trying to get cheaper labor".
That's correct though I was specifically thinking from the perspective of the USA, its citizens/permanent residents, and its corporations (both those trying to get H1-B applicants and those that aren't).
I ask for no special treatment for my sister, just the decency of not using the immense power of the state from preventing her for working for a willing employer. Sort of how we don't ban black people from working as software developers even if they replace white people.
I came here on a K-1 Fiancee visa. Which was, ostensibly, a "non-immigrant" visa. Though it allowed the ability to live, work. And to remove conditions on permanent residency by submission of a form.
I'd favor a policy that looks at the ratio of citizens/green card holders to H1-Bs when determining priority. Want more H1-Bs? Hire more citizens and green card holders. This is similar to what other countries do in mandating that a certain number of locals be employed before you can employ a foreigner.
This both addresses the CoL objection you cited as well as the type of business objection I listed. But it would also destroy the body shops that basically only employ H1-Bs.
There are arguments that this isn't the case, though a bit out of my league.
> in those lesser-paid field, there would be problems finding people with the right skills
If a job requires a rare, yet specific skill, then why is it lesser-paid?
All else being equal, I'd wager that the long term tax revenue collected from a guest worker with a higher starting salary will be more than one lower starting salary.
Tax revenue is a function of the worker's salary. Higher starting salaries will lead to higher salaries down the road.
The country is run (roughly) on something resembling democracy and equality. If, instead, the ethos changes to "more power to people who pay more", we give up any pretence at democracy. We might as well just advertise that politicians are for sale.
Which the mostly are right now, but at least they have to pay lip service to the people. Once that's gone, the culture of the country will change enormously. And not for the better.
See William Shirer's "Collapse of the Third Republic" for what happens to countries in this situation. It's less well known than "The rise and fall of the third reich", but I found it a lot more informative.
> The country is run (roughly) on something resembling democracy and equality. If, instead, the ethos changes to "more power to people who pay more", we give up any pretence at democracy. We might as well just advertise that politicians are for sale.
What's not democratic about optimizing need based upon projected tax revenue? Are we discriminating against "poor companies"? Would you classify companies that allow their employees to work remotely doing the same? (ex: I'm sure Google can pay more for a remote employee than any local company in Podunk USA).
I personally have no horse in the H1-B race. I don't employ any nor do I intend to apply for visas. The vast majority of citizens and permanent residents in the USA are in that group as well. It's in their interests to raise the price of said foreign labor. I'd say that's very democratic and keeping the price of it artificially low is short changing democracy.
The unstated assumption in your questions seems to be that optimizing for revenue should be the #1 (or a high) priority for a government.
If so, why not just cut all social programs? They're expensive, and the poor people can find jobs, right?
My leaning is more towards the idea that governments should optimize for something else. Perhaps "the greater good", however the citizens decide that. Money is always an issue, but optimizing for tax revenue is a little to inhuman for me to be comfortable with it.
> It's in their interests to raise the price of said foreign labor.
... to artificially raise the price of foreign labor. Many companies now are trying to artificially lower the price of foreign labor, through lobbying, etc.
And the foreign labor market is in no way free. When I worked in the Bay area, it was well known that many H1B holders were paid low salaries, and treated like crap. Because they wanted to stay in the country, and were willing to accept hardship in order to do so.
That artificially lowered the labor cost, and lowered salaries. If they were paid the same as local talent, the artificial low cost would go away, and more local talent would be hired.
> The unstated assumption in your questions seems to be that optimizing for revenue should be the #1 (or a high) priority for a government.
> If so, why not just cut all social programs? They're expensive, and the poor people can find jobs, right?
Social programs aren't revenue, they're an expense.
> My leaning is more towards the idea that governments should optimize for something else. Perhaps "the greater good", however the citizens decide that.
The beauty of using something objective like salary or even a pure auction where the USA sells the via to the highest bidder is that it's objective and consistent. "Greater good" is a feel good (no pun intended) term that has no objective meaning. It may make you feel better that you've provided a job to a third-world immigrant but that doesn't mean it's objectively a good thing for the USA. And at the end of the day the foreign policy of the USA is for its own interests (which may align with global ones but not at the expense of USA ones).
> Money is always an issue, but optimizing for tax revenue is a little to inhuman for me to be comfortable with it.
If you don't pick something objective where at least the government can get a fair share of the money, you'll end up with outsourcing firms gaming the system. It's the immigration equivalent of "this is why we can't have nice things".
>> It's in their interests to raise the price of said foreign labor.
> ... to artificially raise the price of foreign labor. Many companies now are trying to artificially lower the price of foreign labor, through lobbying, etc.
It's not artificial at all. It's the price of providing that same service locally which is what the H1-B's salary is supposed to be anyway.
If the foreign labor wants to provide that service remotely, more power to them. Let them do so. But if it's done in SF, or NY, or anywhere in the USA, the prevailing labor rate is what should be paid. The point isn't to provide cheap labor to firms. It's to fill gaps in the labor market (or at least that was supposed to be the point).
> And the foreign labor market is in no way free. When I worked in the Bay area, it was well known that many H1B holders were paid low salaries, and treated like crap. Because they wanted to stay in the country, and were willing to accept hardship in order to do so.
> That artificially lowered the labor cost, and lowered salaries. If they were paid the same as local talent, the artificial low cost would go away, and more local talent would be hired.
Well duh. That's what I'm trying to say!!
That's nit-picking. Social programs are negative revenue. If you want to maximize income, you can increase income, or decrease expenses. This is grade 5 math.
> "Greater good" is a feel good (no pun intended) term that has no objective meaning.
"Greater good" can be define to mean that it matches societies preference. i.e. long life, healthy life, whatever.
If only the constitution defined greater good.. perhaps something about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?
> That's nit-picking. Social programs are negative revenue.
No it's not nit-picking, it's basic accounting. If you want to maximize income, you can increase income, or decrease expenses.
Revenue impacts your top line gross. Expense impacts your bottom line net. Income != Revenue.
To use an extreme example, if I have $1M of expense and zero revenue, no matter how much expense I cut I'm not going to turn a profit as you can't go below zero. Conversely, if I have $0 of expense and $1M of revenue, I can continue to increase income by raising revenue.
> This is grade 5 math.
No it's Accounting 101.
> "Greater good" can be define to mean that it matches societies preference. i.e. long life, healthy life, whatever.
> If only the constitution defined greater good.. perhaps something about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?
It's not an objective measure though.
Show me a government with zero revenue, or a government with zero expenses, and I'll believe you.
Until then, it's still nit-picking.
At the scale of governments, expenses == -revenue
Democracy has nothing to do with equality of outcomes: it's about the representation of the citizens.
Why can't I easily get an oil exploration license but some multi-national can? I can't afford millions of dollars. But with a license, I'd have a scarce resource and could easily raise money to drill.
Why aren't radio frequency spectrums allocated by a lottery system? Why is surplus federal equipment sold at auction and not just sold to the first person that shows up?
Pricing is an excellent regulatory mechanism. It works -- until the system is gamed by the well-connected.
Making third Reich comparisons, even tangentially, seems like an unnecessary Godwin.
Insults like this are unethical, especially when you didn't bother reading the link I posted.
The reference was to France, not to Nazi Germany.
I've seen rather a lot more of this on HN recently. People who automatically assume that the comments they're replying to hide some kind of nefarious evil intent.
Stop it. It's anti-social and abusive.
1. Like e.g. employees, all other things equal, tend to work for the employer that pays better. That gives more power to employers that can pay more.
The labor market for foreigners isn't free. There are restrictions in place to prevent foreign immigration.
If it's cheaper to import someone from India rather than Montana, is that OK? If so, why? If not, why not?
As I understand the reasoning behind the H1B visa program:
If it's just cheaper, then it's not ok, essentially because workers in Montana should be protected from wage competition. But if it's unlikely that someone in Montana could / wants to do the job, then it's ok, because then there is no competitive situation and the interest of the business / economy to fill a position takes precedence.
Isn't a good way to ensure that to just raise the bar in terms of wage? If a business has to pay $150k/y for a H1B worker (because otherwise they won't get the visa) then they'd probably prefer a comparable candidate from Montana for $140k/y. If they still hire the H1B it's because nobody in Montana wants to / can do the job for $140k/y, so no wage competition (except of course if someone in Montana does want to do the job for $160k/y - but in that case they're perhaps not in desperate need of "protectionistic intervention" from their government).
So to me it seems an "auction" allocation strategy for H1B visas would strike a pretty good balance, raising the wage bar when demand for visas go up (and lowering it if/when demand goes down).
I don't even agree that a move like this takes power from the people but the democracy/republic distinction wasn't even relevant.
That sounds reasonable, but why then require that a company sponsor an immigrant in the first place? Why not let that immigrant choose where he or she will work?
In fact, why not let the immigrant choose what to study, where to work, where to live, all in response to market signals?
People have posted various lists for the average H1-B salary at what they consider top companies, like Google. $130k. Is that the salary in mountain view?
You know, I actually think that salary is somewhat low for what a talented and well educated person can earn in the Bay Area. Why force these people to get hired as developers? Why make them study what google says they should study, take interview exams on second year data structures and algorithms the way google says they should? Why on earth should google get to have this power, over anyone?
Let's just have immigration. All immigrants arrive in the US free, free to choose what they will study, where they will work, how they will go about it. They can sell real estate, install drywall, write python code, write novels, paint portraits, or whatever they wish to pursue. Nobody owes them success, but in the US, they should have the freedom to pursue happiness as they define it.
Not as Facebook defines it. If working as a dev in an open office so big it has a horizon line for a CEO who says things like "young people are just smarter" for $152m a year doesn't sound as appealing as the flexibility and stability of working as a dental hygienist for $110 a year (roughly the median salary in SF), then that's the market's answer.
I still maintain this - any immigrant system that allows corporations to decide who gets to come here is flawed. Allowing immigrants to quit once they're here would be an improvement, but it still allows corporations to decide who does and doesn't get to come here.
Corporations ARE the workforce market, which should indicate what kind of workforce is needed.
It can only go from employer to employee, not vice versa.
You can also look at that from company's perspective:
You not only paid for someone's visa but also went through all the paperwork and then the person leaves in a month, just because he got a bigger offer. This should somehow work in both directions.
As for the company's perspective, honestly, I couldn't care one whit. If you can't offer competitive wages and working conditions, that means the worker has found a higher value role somewhere else. Why on early would I, or anyone really, have any interest in helping a corporation force an individual to remain in a lower value job? It's a basic human rights issue as far as I'm concerned, but you know, there's a reason human freedom and generally free markets often go together. No, I'm not a market fundamentalist, but the freedom choose where and how you will work seems pretty basic to me.
Don't get me wrong, I'm in the US on a work visa and would be happy to have jobs market completely open for me.
It's disheartening to see so many smart people blame H1B immigration for "harming" the tech econonomy, when the tech industry has comparatively high salaries and low unemployment. The amount of vitriol towards people trying to get by in life is unwarranted.
The US doesn't have a good immigration system, and if you don't have family reunification or a few other avenues, there isn't much left for you, even as a skilled worker. We don't have a "I'm a skilled and decent person, I'd contribute a lot, and I'd like to live and work in the US" program.
Yeah, I completely get it. This is the only game in town for some really good people. No way would I blame someone using this path, considering their limited options.
The nice thing that I really believe that we can solve this problem by expanding personal freedom and limiting corporate power over people's lives. The sad thing is, that's probably why it hasn't happened and continues to not happen.
^^ Rahul Reddy, an immigration attorney, discussing with a group of "body shop" owners how immigration reform allowing free movement of people on H-1B can be bad for business and what can be done to lobby against it.
The point seems to be to let immigrants punish punitive or abusive situations themselves.
It is a two way "at-will" law that supersedes any employment agreement.
From all of the above comments - people are trying to undo only the parts of globalization that they don't like (wage arbitrage is one of them - stop crying!). I truly wonder what would happen if the Indians (and the rest of the world) started treating Americans the same way the America treats them and starts to roll back the impacts of globalization:
1. Stop American businesses from getting favors under trade deals and especially with sales of military equipment
2. Ask each American to provide all their social media account information when entering the country or throw them out
3. Set quotas for American businesses to sell their products/services.
4. Force Google, etc to locate servers and data-centers in China/India directly and give the keys to local governments (if the US government can get access why should other governments not?)
If a trade war did happen:
Specific to India: Their economy is mostly non-export oriented (except the IT services part) - they will probably take longer to raise the quality of living for their population - but it will probably be a better path to take (a trade war would probably help grow domestic businesses faster)
Specific to China: The USA needs access to the Chinese markets rather than the other way. Plus they can always dump all those treasury notes
Perhaps a trade war (rather de-globalization) would be a good idea for the developing world - it would bring better balance to the world and undo globalization as a whole and not parts of it (which is exactly what USA voted for when they elected Trump).
P.S. Please don't give a self-righteous BS response about USA being the land of the free and so on.. I think it's pretty obvious most immigrants are there for the money and quality of living (the kind of quality that comes with money and not society, safety, etc)
China holds about 8-9% US debt. Their entire economic model is based on the devaluation of their currency so that the US and other countries purchase their products. If China dumps US debt, there is plenty of demand elsewhere.
Look, I'm not some extreme pro-America nationalist - but you have to look at the facts and it is simply an indisputable reality that no other country in the world can compete with the US on economic grounds.
You are overplaying your hand if you think that a trade war with the US would end favorably for any of those nations.
It would cause a LOT of short term pain - but 15-20 years later it would show benefits. China and India need to evolve with reduced dependence on exports (and the developed world). In any case they will have the largest markets based on current population projections.
Just look at the kind of income inequality that exists in these countries - I would actually argue that this was a by-product of trying to copy/serve the US model at some level.
The US could be self-sufficient in terms of resources and manufacturing with relatively minor policy shifts and subsidization of domestic industries.
China's export-driven, currency-manipulating economic engine pretty much needs the US as a market so it doesn't collapse under its own weight. China already isn't playing ball by allowing American companies to compete within its domestic market, so it's not like that would be any great loss on that front.
Personally, I'd love to stop subsidizing the third world at the expense of American citizens. Developing countries need the US a lot more than the US needs them.
That's the exact illusion most Americans live on.
"On November 7, 2016, debt held by the public was $14.3 trillion or about 76% of the previous 12 months of GDP. Intragovernmental holdings stood at $5.4 trillion, giving a combined total gross national debt of $19.8 trillion or about 106% of the previous 12 months of GDP. $6.2 trillion or approximately 45% of the debt held by the public was owned by foreign investors, the largest of which were China and Japan at about $1.25 trillion for China and $1.15 trillion for Japan as of May 2016."
China buys US debt because they are forced to do so. They print Yuan to buy it which depresses the value of their currency. Some of the Chinese leadership is well aware that the balance of trade with the US and Europe must equalize. They've been taking measures to encourage domestic consumption and a transition away from an export-heavy economy. I don't think they're moving quickly enough because they're scared of disrupting the economy - fearing the Communist government (and their power) won't survive.
If China stopped buying US debt they'd have to buy European debt. If they stopped buying both their currency would appreciate and their exports would not be so cheap.
The company applied for my position with a salary of ~$100K/yr (on the LCA and the H1 application) but they actually paid me ~$240K/yr. This year and the next, it will be well north of $300-$330K/yr.
Why would they do this? Simple - to be able to pay me a prevailing wage and keep me in status in case the shit hits the fan.
If they applied to the government saying they'd pay me $240K/yr, and for some reason they had to give me a pay cut, I'd be out of status or we would have to make a less-confident amendment to my H1 auth. A pay cut amendment should be viewed with skepticism in my opinion and I would avoid it.
It's like underpromising and overdelivering.
My actual salary will never be reported in an H1 database. But it will be on my tax returns.
This isn't a common case but just something to keep in mind.
The company has to report your actual salary. That's what in this database: http://h1bdata.info/
It's not prevailing wage, it's actual base pay.
I can remember at a previous employer that when you file for an H1-B, the company has to post the information in a public place. The form states the prevailing wage and the actual base salary.
I didn't dispute that the job opportunity had to be posted prominently in the workplace with details exactly as stated in the H1 application.
LCA re-applications / H1 amendments are not required unless the location, the position or the nature of the job change significantly. Pay cuts are simply not allowed without informing the government.
Actual base pay >= prevailing wage? Perhaps my using them interchangeably isn't right. However, given a reasonable chance of approval, I would not apply for an H1 auth promising anything above the prevailing wage.
My tax returns / pay stubs are included in H1 extensions, intermediate steps to a green card and in visa applications. They are well aware of the pay raises.
IANAL and I can check with our lawyer again but this was our company's legal advice. If you are a lawyer or know one, this may be a difference of opinion.
So if OP had a salary increase from $100K to $240K since his original petition, it won't be reported until the company files for his extension or Green Card processing.
Absolute scum. Native workers displaced by H1Bs is ok because the fired workers eventually find other work? Vile.
A significant proportion of IT and STEM graduate are unable to get work in their chosen industry, and proceed to waste years of education by going into other areas out of necessity.
I can't believe somebody could shit out the quoted text and have it published.
What sticks in my craw even more is that, to legitimise the process of issuing more visas, companies and governments have to continually say "there aren't enough STEM and IT grads! Do STEM and IT everyone!" knowing full well that there wont be jobs for these kids at the end of it.
My Niece is in a field that's chronically low on qualified Engineers - she designs and installs automation in factories. So many facets including mechanical, electrical, industrial, chemical, process, thermo, etc. You have to be an all-rounder to get the job. So they work her flat out every minute she can spare (lives in hotels in remote cities for weeks during installs).
Other niece does lithium-battery development for startups in Silicon Valley. They keep going under, but no problem another one starts up the next week. Got all the work she can handle.
Wife's niece does biomedical research, never been a day without work. Canada, East Coast US (Yale actually), then a regular job with Govt.
Anyway, of the 13 siblings and their cousins, exactly 1 has ever had a day of trouble with employment. So all the talk about 'over-supply' might be exaggerated.
Someone will be along with an equivalent tale about how they and everyone they know looked for a STEM job for years and gave up. That's why anecdata isn't actually a thing.
There're other effects, things labeled 'white privilege' or 'middle class ethics' I imagine. So no, not a recipe for escaping poverty or anything. I was the son of a dirt farmer in Iowa (like my sisters and brothers), but worked in Silicon Valley when young so my boys didn't have the disadvantages I did.
The data is all out there with regards to the level of unemployment and underemployment amongst STEM and IT grads, the number of people who have to seek employment in alternative industries, and the level of stagnation of wages in the industry. It's not at a level which indicates systemic failures, but it's significant enough to raise questions.
This doesn't condone what the body shops do, but I don't see a problem H1-Bs being used to address regional shortages in the labor market. But the program absolutely needs to have a regional component given that the scarcity of talent really is regional. We should not be issuing H1-B visas to work in cities where US workers can't find jobs. And H1-B priority should be given to companies that employ the lowest percentage of H1-Bs. With a few other provisions to ensure similar pay, this would destroy the companies that rely almost solely on H1-Bs without hurting tech companies that legitimately need H1-Bs to address the difficulty in finding talent.
If it wasn't for school, I would never had known where to go after I learned the basics, that is, Data Structures and Algorithms come next, then applied knowledge. Because of the school that I went to, I have a high level knowledge of programming language design and paradigms, OS and systems programming, compilers, encryption, security, and privacy. I also, because I double majored, know more than I want about signals processing and really the only thing in your list that I didn't get to touch on was ML/AI which was unfortunate.
But to your point, College has always been about self-education no matter the subject. The general guidance has always been that for every hour spent in class, you should be spend 2-3 out of class studying.
Therefore all the talk about a tech talent shortage is complete and utter bullshit and coding bootcamps and H1B visas are another strategy to keep wages low and make it so companies don't have to pay for training, don't have to have signing bonuses.
Not contesting this statement, but is there some research or data supporting it ?
My very anecdotal experience is that the number of people that I know with a CS or STEM degree that have been unable to find work for more than a few weeks/months is basically zero.
This article links to census data as I recall:
This one's a little older but gives a good jumping off point for academic keywords for further searches:
I'm not saying that the US should shut off avenues for any immigration, but simply that indigenous workers shouldn't have to compete against low wage emerging economies in their own country. If companies want to off-shore, fine.
> "indigenous workers shouldn't have to compete against low wage emerging economies in their own country"
Are you saying that it's ok for foreign workers to displace natives as long as its on the basis of skill, and not costs? I can get behind this proposition, but it sounds very different from what you were saying earlier.
If someone believes that it's never ok for a foreign worker to displace a native worker, even on the basis of skill, the only way I can think of to guarantee this is to shut off immigration completely.
If i get a green card today (no strings attached)
I'll quit my H1b job right now
I'll bootstrap my own startup that'll create 10 jobs in 1 year
Does that sound like a good deal? You are happy, I'm happy, and all the jobs i create, those employees are happy. its a win-win-win deal.
It is similar to the entrepreneur visa DHS just finalized. If you have a certain amount of funding you can stay for a while, with the option to renew as long as you meet certain objectives (creating X jobs and raising $x more funding).
Immigration is not a zero-sum game. Immigrants need houses to live in (they must be built). They buy various goods and services. Presumably their children become productive members of society just like many generations of previous immigrants.
In fact we should allow immigrants to bring their entire extended family. If we did that remittances to $country would drop dramatically and that money would stay here in the US, buying more US goods and services.
Depends, is he funding the startup himself? If so, fair enough, he gambles his labour on a venture likely to benefit the US if it pays off. If not, He gets a 10-year visa, and maybe a chance at rolling the dice.
10 years is long enough to make good money without risking a startup. Put up 10 years worth of dev pay as collateral (7-800k?) and suddenly the deal is only worthwhile if, either:
a) the jobs are indeed created, and a 10yr visa becomes a green card,
b) the startup has considerably more value than the collateral.
Of course, the collateral would be so high it would be unreasonable to be able to give it upfront, so I'm not sure how you'd get round that..
> They buy various goods and services
feels like the Glass-Makers fallacy again; I have no idea how the chain of events plays out.
for example; people still buy goods and services from the US as exports, but without many of the commitments citizenship would entail.
You seem to be agreeing to give a green card equivalent of rights to an immigrant who is willing to bootstrap own startup and probably invest own money in it?
And those on H1b pay max taxes (for that salary bracket).
Most citizens who are sw devs, can work as 1099, drawing similar salary as a W2, but not even pay half the taxes (federal, state, social security and medicare) because most of it can be expensed, and salary they pay themselves will be artificially low.
H1b visa holders dont have that choice of not paying tax.
US competitivity, especially in specialised areas that it does well in, is different to a century or two ago.
H1B visa abuse at its best by an American Company. I am not in US anymore. Left it for good.
Finally the list comprises of 1000's of applicants for whom the Job Position is either falsely certified by Labour Department (LCA). (Dont understand why the Labour department never carries out an investigation).
My small software business can't compete with slave labor from India that large corporations with an army of lawyers can acquire.
Just one of the many reasons that self-employment and small businesses are struggling against a tide of complicated regulations and legislation and immigration meant to crush the workers and small businesses.
As you can see, self-employment has been on a steady downward trend since 1967:
Top H-1B countries: https://apps.axibase.com/chartlab/04040e14
But even with weights controlling for educated population, from rough calculations I've done, H1-B visas seem to be issued disproportionally often to Indian nationals.
If it were somehow possible to see the average H1-B wage per nationality, that would also be very interesting.
But neither would answer why that's the case, a simple (and probably wrong explanation) could be that Europeans are simply less likely to wait for H1-B visas given the benefits inherently provided in those countries. (Edit: What I mean is you still can't tell if this disproportionality is a good or bad thing, only that there is such a disproportionality.)
https://apps.axibase.com/chartlab/6042ea50/2/ - J-1
https://apps.axibase.com/chartlab/6042ea50/3/ - F-1
J-1 is particularly interesting, where India is growing but lagging behind other countries.
"SEC. 414 Collection and use of H-1B nonimmigrant fees for scholarships for low-income math, engineering, and computer science students and job training of United States workers".
I am curious whether they could quantify/prove/debunk the skills shortage theory using the scholarships that are given. Does anyone know about this?
1. Too many tech firms require/opt for low cost workers to subsidize their payroll bill. If you raise H1B salaries, firms that have thin margins might automate and outsource. I think to scrap the lottery, and add the market based approach to H1Bs like in the House Bill that was proposed in Jan is a better alternative, it would force firms to be more productive and boost payroll more organically.
2. The program is underfunded, its entirely fees driven and the fees is clearly not enough to prevent abuse we keep hearing about so much.
Remember top end silicon valley's don't really need to care about the salary issue as long as the reform does not dry the talent from coming to the US completely.
Despite this I have not heard reference of any individual who came to this country on a H-1B visa to work for an Indian outsourcing company who later participated in a significant successful startup. Honest question, does anyone know an example of this having occurred?
I came to the US earning $63K per year at an outsourcing firm.
I am currently in a SaaS co with sales at $800K / year and 3 employees including me, growing and we will at least double our sales next year.
Thanks to my work (and trying not to brag here), earlier start-ups I've worked at (building their marquee products, pre-fundraising) have raised several millions and employeed 10s - 100s of people.
Nevertheless, the process has to restarted - from PERM onwards - at the new job. PERM is a process which carries much uncertainty - your application could get selected for additional scrutiny randomly, in which case it can take more than a year. During this period the priority date can become current and then retrogress again for many years. Both these have happened multiple times in the past, so those possibilities are not academic.
PERM (labor certification) has to be done all over again at the new job? That really sucks. I thought that if the new job was "substantially similar", you wouldn't need to go through PERM all over again at the new position. Are you sure about this?
Also, is there some good reading material, for an H-1B visa holder, to understand how this whole thing works, the process, etc?
> Are you sure about this?
IANAL, but I believe this to be the case. The original sources are all reams of legalese, but this answer on Quora summarizes the basics: https://www.quora.com/If-an-employer-has-applied-for-a-green...
H-1B is really bad because the holder has limited bargaining power vs US citizens hence he's forced to accept a lower salary when competing for jobs.
There's also no clean way to allow talent to move around the world.
A fair solution would be to agree on visa free movement of specialists earning above certain threshold ($100, $150k etc), even if it starts with a group of "most favourite nations".
Bargaining power is an illusion once the employee is in the US.
If I was still on an H-1B, I would never have been able to negotiate that way because of the risk that they fire me and I get deported.
Indians are "international". Or did you mean that only Europeans qualify?
Would love to see some H1B crackdown happening.
There is a lot of hot air between the salary a person would accept versus the value they generate for a company. Having some unemployed people makes it so that the balance always tips towards the low end.
It's odd that the Economist has this sub-head but then goes on to make the case that Indian outsourcing companies are the biggest consumers and paying a fraction of what the others are paying.. so they are abusing the system.
The rumor (proposal?) is that Trump is going to shift the minimum salary from $60k to $130k which makes it closer to software dev salaries in Seattle, SF, NYC which I think would address this.
It's not practical to do that. You can call them "Indian outsourcing firms", but on paper they are American companies too. Compiling such a black list of companies purely based on how many H-1B applications they've filed in the past is not a good idea. Because it'll just give unfair advantage to the other "outsourcing" companies like Tech Mahindra, who probably should have been on that list, but escaped the radar because of these other giants. So these companies will now top the list and they'll hire aggressively to replace TCS, Infosys and co.
So what is the solution? Hard to say. Raising the minimum wage is a good start, but the exact amount will have to vary state by state. Because, for example, $80000 per year is too small for the bay area, but a good salary in Texas, NC etc.
Another approach is provide an easier way to permanent residency for those who complete Masters or above in US. That will eliminate to some extent the mixing up the "Elon Musks and Sergey Brins" along with those abusing the system.
And for God's sake, allow H-4 dependents to work. It's hypocritical to expect high skilled people to work in your country, but they shouldn't be married to someone who wants to work. You are destroying livelihoods, careers and relationships by doing this.
If yes, you don't get the competent ones but the cheap ones who have no choice. The good ones work on their terms for whomever they please.
Edit: combine that with kls's answer about incentives, and you see why this visa system isn't quite working.
What visa do you think exists for the "good ones"? Unless you're an "alien of extraordinary ability"--think major league athlete, widely published researcher, well-known artist, or successful serial entrepreneur--there is no other visa that lets you roll in and work under whatever arrangements you please.
I'd say that this is partly untrue. You can get get a O visa if you're an "alien of extraordinary ability". Usually this means that you have already published articles in your field .
Now, if you want to hire someone who is good, as in has a lot of potential, but doesn't have the credentials to prove it, the H1-B is the only way to get him/her quickly.
Since a lot of companies want to hire great fresh out of school candidates, the H1-B is the shining solution.
But the point is the same - you work at the place that sponsored you, or you risk having to go back home.
Plus, over the last 15 years as what we do with and demand from computing technology has expanded exponentially, the knowledge gap between management/hiring managers and IT workers has grown to the point where management often has no clue at all about how to spec a job or how to filter/evaluate a candidate. This has led us to the alphabet soup that is job specs - the "what did our last guy do before he quit? yeah put all that on the list of requirements" problem.
So it's not just an H1-B problem; it's much bigger. But it probably results in a feeling of futility on the part of hiring managers, leading them to think, "well since we're basically guessing at this hiring thing, we might as well hire the cheapest we can get."
Basically, only Microsoft is among the top 10 sponsors and not of the major sponsors is among the top 10 average salaries.
Software engineer salaries are starting to have a strong bimodal distribution.
Charitably, your statement could very well be true for those American developers who live in the lower end of compensation. But, it's nonsensical when applied to those getting paid in the high range.
Anyway, the long-term fix is not to shift the lower end up by ~10k (if that even happens) for everyone. The fix is for each individual developer to move to the higher range.
ie. quit blaming immigration and get better.
I've always wondered if we want minorities to code and we are worried about job loss in the US, why not stop dumping money into hiring foreigners and instead dump it into CS programs at community colleges?
It would take some time before you could build up a domestic work force as talented as foreigners, but would it not solve several issues? Or is it just not practical for other reasons?
It's the government's responsibility to train people and H1b failure is government's responsibility. Most companies dont even pay tax, do you really expect them to hire ONLY Americans?
Why would they when they can hire/outsource their work for half the cost.
Most big business have at least half their profits from outside the US. I remember IBM Global surpassing US profits when I used to work for IBM.
Cracking down on H1b is a bandaid over brain cancer. Fix the rot in education system, make education free, invest in tech else the big Businesses have no obligation to stay in US and pay more to do the same job (H1b or locals)
I cannot debate this. However given our current situation and seeing our progress the rightful way would be for the government to invest more into education. Saudades is not going to help us. Being more pragmatic and planning accordingly will be much more beneficial
I suggest the opposite. The reason college tuition is so high is because the government backs those loans. Remove the government backing of loans thus lessening the availability of capitol to the educational system and I think you will find it will become vastly more affordable.
I am talking about playgroup!! And 75k is the least costly PLAYGROUP, playgroup is before starting nursery :P
Oh my God, 10k $ per year! That is way too costly, Indian colleges have reached 1/3 or your school's fees, my counterparts at private institutions were paying 1/3 and I have heard that people now in college are paying as far as 1/2 of what you have mentioned, so it is catching up.
This is patently false. Which nullifies the rest of your suggestion.
More data here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsid...
Which is at least partially based on public perception of the company.
> It's the government's responsibility to train people
That's... a weird thing to say. I like to think of myself as an adult. I chose the discipline to study, got loans (yes), graduated, and paid them off. The university I went to was private. At no time did the government tell me what to do.
It is the peoples responsibility to go into programs that will get the decent jobs. If those programs are full, they can ask for new colleges or universities to be made. Or, they can study themselves.
I've hired a number of self-taught programmers. They're not much different from people with university degrees.
How is it not already? The tech industry in particular has made sure it is.
An industry grows when it has supply and demand. There's nearly infinite demand for IT, the way I see it - everything is turning into information. The primary supply for IT is people. Immigration will increase the size of the industry and increase the number of places available for American students as well.
This is more true of software than of any other industry, because software is built mostly with human capital which can cross borders fairly easily.
It is exactly the opposite. Capital crosses borders much more easily than human capital. There are all kinds of impediments for human capital moving (visas, lack of money for travel, ties to families and friends). That is why, if it becomes even harder (because of travel restrictions), that tech companies will move.
If a company of 5 Indian software engineers is booted out of the US, they can get together anywhere else in the world and still develop a product to the same standard. By contrast, other workers have "stickier" skills that tie you to a specific country. An Indian aerospace engineer may find it hard to find work in India, for example.
In Silicon Valley an engineer with 0.5 years of experience makes $100,000/year.
Gee, I wonder why businesses want to employ foreigners and why foreigners want to work for US companies. Hmmmmm
>In Silicon Valley an engineer with 0.5 years of experience makes $100,000/year.
Come on, you've got to compare like with like. In Montana, the median is ~$60,000, and in Georgia ~$80,000.  and 
Here in Poland, I can find decent enough programmers who'll accept $2k/month salary. Their English will be poor, and typically they'll be based in the middle of nowhere.
If I want to hire someone good in the capital city, Warsaw, I'll need to look at paying a minimum of $4-$5,000/month -> ~$50 - ~$60,000/year.
(I've no idea what it costs to live in Montana; I'd hazard a guess that combined with a (freelancer's) 19% flat tax rate + $300/mo social security, your savings will grow faster here than there)
One other area of confusion can be salaries quoted before and after tax. I know it's common to use after tax figures in Poland, and I'm not sure if your $24k is after tax; the figures you read about jobs in the US are definitely before tax.
Do you work at Google by any chance? I'd say a gross salary of $5000 is close to the ceiling pay for a developer in Poland, in Krakow/Wroclaw even $4000 is more than most employers would pay, not to mention your "middle of nowhere"  
And if you're looking for a remote worker what difference does their location make?
Caveat is that everybody who's good is a self emplpyed freelancer working for US companies. So statistics don't capture them. I'd wager the average for those is around 5000/month.
Freelancer flat rate tax in slovenia is 4% if you make under 100k. That part is nice but makes all my friends unambitious. Always found that part unfortunate.
Yeah, and it's difficult to know who reports stuff accurately, whether that takes into account people living in backwaters vs. fancy offices in Ljubljana etc. etc. etc.
For what it's worth, some Slovenians seem to be reporting healthy salaries here, although as you say, there's a good number of self employed there (and workers in Ljubljana definitely affect the average... or the other way around, you know what I mean):
You do that, and I'm really happy that you do; I've had far too many confusing situations caused by people quoting netto instead, it's definitely common enough that it's something I look out for.
I don't understand why you're favouring a race to the bottom in terms of salary in terms of benefits to a business. It makes our talent go elsewhere.
Sure cost of living in SV is higher, but saving 5% of 100k is a lot more $$$ than 15% of 24k. And you're exposes to better opportunities.
By banning competition, the H-1B person's wage and the employer's profits go down and the product price increases.
How much depends on the relative elasticities.
Isn't this richer people banning much poorer people (immigrants) from competing with them?
I'm not a utilitarian.
44% of unicorn startups in Silicon Valley employ H1b or were started by them. And a lot of them Iran too(which was strangely banned by Trump)
I've known a few Iranian engineers and both of them were excellent. They didn't talk about politics either, the ones that come over here at least obviously don't have anything against the US.
And a lot of bright and hardworking people are losing out on visas so that large chop shops can make better profits
H1B applicants have to be paid prevailing wage
Then there must be a shortage, here's your H1.
If that "prevailing wage" were $100k, there wouldn't be a shortage.
who wants to do outsourced QA for Oracle? menial, mind numbing clicky work.
who wants to maintain monster codebases built 20 years ago for some internal bullshit system at a Fortune 500?
most of Software work by now is akin to facilities management. hence you give it to motivated foreigners, just like in farming, etc.
become a hiring manager and you'll see.
you don't even get applications for those jobs by American CS grads or professionals - before any salary numbers are in play.
we run analysis in our HR pipeline trackers - remove Asians and Eastern Europeans and its crickets.
walk into Google, Facebook, Salesforce offices and see for yourself.
i know this is super unpopular on HN were everyone is a superstar coder, but facts are fact. 90% of software work is undesirable and unfulfilling - and Westerners feel entitled to life-changing work.
I just had a 26 year-old US coder quit because he does not want to come to work every day anymore, he now wants to travel Nepal and do something radical. Great for him - while a 1000 less-fortunate-by- birthplace people would give a leg for his job.
I just had a 26 year-old US coder
I think you may be looking at this through a very narrow perspective of SF 20-something startup culture. But look at any other branch of engineering - civil, electrical, mechanical etc - and the backbone of those fields is 30- 40 and 50- somethings who work normal office hours.
1. H1B employers pay wages based on the numbers Department of Labor provides them.
2. Labor department contains a la carte of titles available for the same job to choose from. Employers generally chose a title with lower wages. Programming Analysts and Software Engineers do essentially the same job with upto 50K spread in wages.
3. The limit on H1B works against American Employers who usually pay much higher wages than the Indian consultancies. The American employers have to compete with a flood of applications from India. This forces big companies to subcontract Indian firms.
4. Companies in India randomly select employees to file for visas irrespective of whether they have actual business in US. Many H1B recipients don't actually come to US. Many wait in India for years before their companies arrange for a actual job in India. The lottery forces everyone to game the system.
5. US cannot actually deny Indian consultancies from operating in US. That would be denying market access to India. Indian companies does 60 Billion dollar worth of business in total. That's paltry compared to trade between US and India. US sells everything from Boeing to Starbucks and any restrictions on visas could invite trade war from India too.
6. People who oppose H1Bs actually dream of earning Wall Street salaries in Silicon Valley. That's a pipe dream unless you work in quant engineer jobs in Hedge funds and HFT. You can't build businesses that would pay the average worker 400K in Silicon Valley.
7. Restrictions on H1B would move American programming jobs to Asia much like the manufacturing jobs of rust belt.
8. The world is a much bigger place than America. An Indian worker taking a job doesn't necessarily mean a loss of opportunity for an American worker. It's not a zero sum game. H1B workers take up tech jobs. In most big companies, the ratio of tech to non tech jobs is atleast 1:6. Look at Amazon creating 100K non technical jobs in last few years. A few million technology workers in America make most of the high tech for the rest of the 7 billion human beings on the planet. Trade restrictions are not something you need. There could be a Chinese firewall in every country to protect local jobs and to rob Google and Facebooks of business opportunities. There would be more Baidu's, Youku's, Wechats and Alibabas in every country on the planet.
9. There's actually such a thing as skills shortage at every level. Even at the blue collar end, Many Americans cannot pass tests at 9'th grade level and are functionally illiterate. Tech jobs require a whole lot more skills that the coal miners in Michigan won't be able to take up. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/education/edlife/factory-...
To summarize, if you are concerned about H1B lowering wages in your market, campaign for worker mobility and higher wages for H1B and the market would work it out. Americans are best at creating free market solutions to problems. H1B lottery system and the restrictions is a socialist solution that best works in restricted economies. Also campaign for a startup visas. Both for entrepreneurs and employees. The Frech Tech visa could be a model http://visa.lafrenchtech.com/ . This would help many of the people languishing in H1Bs to create more companies and more jobs here in US.
Many countries have treaty work visas (Canada / Mexico citizens can work on TB visa)
And those who study in US, if their employer starts green card process they can get their EAD before OPT expires.
Only Indians and Chinese have to rely on h1b.
You're excluding all of Europe, Russia, Australia/NZ, Latin America, Africa
Yes, those people have developers, yes some of them are talented enough to want to apply for an H1B. But they have to stand in line because Tata needs another 1000 people to be exploited for cheap
But the rest of your point still holds.
-Do a MS in CS or some STEM field from an accredited school.
-Get a job with an employer willing to start green card process immediately (many will be willing since it means no uncertainity of H1b lottery)
-Before your 3 yr OPT expires, you'll get your EAD (after doing PERM and I-140 on premium).
-Saves your employer a lot of headache and $$$. You get ahead of the rat race
EAD means no need to file for H1b. You are out of the rat race meant to keep Indians and Chinese out of USA.
I dont know what non Indian / non Chinese are complaining about.
H1b issue, the way it is projected in the American MSM, is purely to trash Indians and blame Indians for all the problems USA has. There are thousands of people getting EADs the way I have mentioned, but its all kosher for people who want to point fingers at Indians.
I got an MS from a top engineering school from France last June. I already did 2 internships (with a J-1 Intern) and lived in San Diego during ~2 years in total. I have my friends, my gf, my life there.
I'm not enough "exceptional" to get an O-1 or a green card though EB-1.
My employer don't want to sponsor me for an EB-2 now because I'll have to stay out of the USA for an undetermined duration (years).
I'm working as a contractor right now in Canada, waiting 90 days outside of the USA to get another J-1 Intern and my employer is also filling another H1B this year. I don't know what I'll do in 1 year if I don't get an H1B this year.
See, it's not that easy.
Good luck finding such an employer when you're fresh out of school.
Also, a greencard takes ages to process.
This is wrong. The EAD is just the Employment Authorization Document. It just says you're allowed to work and you SHOULD have it before the OPT.
Ofcourse you need EAD to work on OPT, but thats only for the duration of your OPT
I myself failed the H1-B twice :( had to leave the US earlier this year.
A complete lie. We in Europe are bound by the exact same rules as the Indians or the Chinese when it comes to immigration to US.
In fact when passing the Immigration Act of 1965 (untill then only few hundred indians/Chinese were allowed.) The then president sought to reassure people that country won't be overrun by Indians.
> Because citizens of countries other than india and china don't really need h1 visas to work in US.
Arguing on semantic grounds is frankly expressing white privilege. Just like people who argue that some segregation laws didn't explicitly mention black people. And thus were good.
Even within American lawmakers the current per country system is considered a mistake and several legislations including the comprehensive immigration reform passed by Senate in 2013 eliminated it.
The PERM process in itself takes 6 months.
Ignorant people always think facts are lies. Open your eyes dear European :)
> Ignorant people always think facts are lies.
You're answer to raitom is uninformed bullshit, with a patronizing and insulting tone on the top. I'm well aware of the process, I went through it. I'm telling you Europeans need H1b as much as Indians or Chinese do in order to work in US.
I dont understand why people (who are not Indian or chinese) cannot spare 2 years to get a masters degree and take this step, instead of risking H1b lottery and take the long winded road to work in US.