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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the not-so-fast dept.

Businesses 392

walterbyrd (182728) writes in with this story that calls into question the conventional wisdom that there is a shortage of science and engineering workforce in the U.S. "Such claims are now well established as conventional wisdom. There is almost no debate in the mainstream. They echo from corporate CEO to corporate CEO, from lobbyist to lobbyist, from editorial writer to editorial writer. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? What if this conventional wisdom is just the same claims ricocheting in an echo chamber? The truth is that there is little credible evidence of the claimed widespread shortages in the U.S. science and engineering workforce."

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Links (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#46541555)

Why link to an article about some studies that "prove" common knowledge is false, instead of linking directly to the studies themselves?

Is it journalistic courtesy?

Re:Links (1)

Bruinwar (1034968) | about 6 months ago | (#46541721)

It is a nicely written article, long read though. It puts into words, with links, what I've been saying for years.

Want to write a kernel ? (5, Insightful)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46541557)

yup there is a shortage.

Wanna install windows 8 on 100 machines ?
Nope .. no shortage ..

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (2)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 6 months ago | (#46541561)

I don't feel like there should be a shortage of embedded systems programmers, but part of me feels like there could be.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541581)

How many kernels do you need to be written? How many Windows-8-machines do you need installed? "Shortage" does not mean "there are only a few of them", shortage means "there are not enough of them". This is quite different. We only have a single Mt. McKinley, but to go around and tell everybody that there is a shortage of Mt. McKinleys is just crazy.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (2)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46541625)

What i'm trying to say is , what what a "scientist" or an "engineer" is, is a matter of perspective . I've seen a school dropout create fantastic software in plain perl . What is he?

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (4, Funny)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541639)

A programmer.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1, Insightful)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46541651)

so isn't a great programmer an engineer?

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (5, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46541683)

Rather difficult to say. In some countries, the term/title "Engineer" has a specific legal status and requirements, which this guy apparently doesn't meet.

Perhaps he's a "craftsman", but this whole issue is a ten-beer discussion.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542153)

Perhaps he's a "craftsman", but this whole issue is a ten-beer discussion.

I'm so tempted to troll the world with "Software Craftsman" on my next batch business cards! I never got my degree, so I'm not an "engineer", but I'm past the "programmer" level. I'm a developer, but the word "developer" doesn't convey much meaning to the world. "Craftsman" on the other hand... at least they'll ask what the hell that means :) I'm not a cubicle drone, so that works out nicely.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541697)

No. A programmer is a programmer, and an engineer is an engineer. There are programmers who are engineers, and there are engineers who know how to code. Engineering is about design, programming is about putting down code. In an ideal world, an engineer's design for a program can be coded by one programmer in C++, in Fortran by another one, and in LISP by a third one.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46541733)

Your reply is a little ambiguous .What about programmers who design and code ?

________
Another round of beer please ...

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (3, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46541787)

That's because there's a fine line between coding and designing. A design done in such a way that it is too expensive to code is not a realistic design. For realistic designs, it helps to have coding experience. Similarly, merely following specs for coders negates their influence on design when they spot an efficiency or feature that should be reflected back up into the design. I think this is what you intended to say.

For the GP: "one programmer in C++, in Fortran by another one, and in LISP by a third one". Nah, this should be "one programmer in C++ and/or Fortran and/or LISP". Good coders can use just about any language given a bit of experience with it, and these mainstream languages should be known by anyone who calls him/her self a coder.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 6 months ago | (#46541979)

Your reply is a little ambiguous .What about programmers who design and code ? .

The coder/designer would be an Analyst/Programmer. However, the title "Engineer" is both a very specific one (referring to someone who maintains and operates an engine), and also a very generic one (a catch-all title for people trained and *hopefully* skilled in the design/construction of various types of machines or structures - Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, and so on).
I would suggest that a programmer or analyst/programmer is a specific class of engineer.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541829)

1. Didn't we abandon the waterfall model in the 90s? There's no clear distinction between design and code any more, therefore no clear distinction between engineers and programmers.
2. There are significant differences between C++, FORTRAN and Lisp, which yield different idioms and different design patterns. Design has to take this into account, you can't design in a vacuum and then except a programmer to implement that well in any given language. Again, didn't we abandon the waterfall model in the 90s?

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (2, Informative)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 6 months ago | (#46541911)

No, is someone who is great at putting on bandages a doctor? "Engineer" is a legally protected term, you need a bachelor's degree and to be a member of a professional association/order. You can be terrible at everything but as long as you have your degree, your ring and paid your dues, you're an engineer.

You can be really good at what you do, be very well paid and not be an engineer, but if you call yourself an engineer, or just let it be thought you are one you may one day get a visit from the said association/order...

Simple test: can you sign off on drawings or specifications? No? You're not an engineer. End of story.

Re: Want to write a kernel ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541963)

It's called industrial exemption.

Re: Want to write a kernel ? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 6 months ago | (#46541999)

I have no doubt that some people, like myself, end up as "member of technical staff" and are even sometimes presented as engineering to clients since I work at a desk, but I've never signed a spec or a drawing. If I did, I'd be in deep trouble. I don't call myself an engineer. I'm not one. But I tell people I meet that I work "in" engineering which is easier than saying I didn't go to university (social stigma!) but somehow managed to avoid the repercussions of that bad life choice.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46542027)

Simple test: can you sign off on drawings or specifications? No? You're not an engineer. End of story.

I wonder who signs the designs and drawings of microsoft products .

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#46542125)

What you're talking about is a Professional Engineer. Often there will be many engineers working on a project with only one PE to sign off on it. As for requirements on calling yourself an engineer, they are state based, not universal.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (4, Insightful)

MrBingoBoingo (3481277) | about 6 months ago | (#46541671)

A large problem in trying to deal with "scientists" and "engineers" as a macro problem is people in those professions aren't very fungible. To be a scientist or and engineer is to have a substantial degree of professional specialization. A micro biologist is not fungible with a zoologist, and even most microbiologists are not fungible with other microbiologist or zoologists fungible with other zoologists.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (3, Informative)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46541801)

That effect is because it takes so long to get to the front of any field, which I suspect you know. However, each field seems to do its damnist to exclude members of other fields or prevent one subfield from influencing another. Academia promotes this sort of fraternal organization and pisses on any cross-disciplinary researchers. In most companies, however, one is almost required to be cross-disciplinary at PhD level. I do not mean to imply that academic should be training PhDs for industry, but they cannot all get tenured at some university. So in the looking out for the well-fare of their graduates, they should be promoting cross-disciplinary research.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 months ago | (#46541659)

No there isn't. If you really wanted a fresh kernel you would have plenty of people to choose from. Same for hard core numerics. Lots of smart people want to do that work, but sadly there isn't much of it to go around. Many people work quite cheap for those jobs (at least for awhile).

I did VMS internals back in the day. Hard core, big fun. When VAX work dried up, life was quite uncomfortable. I don't work on internals any longer because I won't hitch my career to a specific hardware platform again.

Put another way, I have never seen shortage and at times I have been part of the glut.

Re:Want to write a kernel ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542137)

I think there is a psychological element of "I can do X, so there must be a shortage of people like me, thus I am above the fray" too.

How much you want to be the OP thinks he can write a kernel and/or all work should be done at the level of kernel developers.

Preparing for the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541583)

I think it's mostly politics trying to improve conditions for STEM students. They are worried that if the amount of graduates goes down their might be a shortage, studying takes four years. Most people don't want to depend on graduates from India or China.

Also it could be that these warnings prevent shortages...

A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541589)

Just like the myth that the U.S. is a capitalist oriented economy.

We are full on socialists, have been for many many years and the socialists in charge seek only to confiscate more and more of the wealth of the citizens.

Because that they have taken so far has created ever so much prosperity, hasn't it?

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/20/Illinois-to-Follow-California-s-Lead-With-Millionaire-Tax-Referendum

"The real goal of the proposed referendum may not be fiscal, but political. The winner of the Republican primary this week was billionaire Bruce Rauner, a political newcomer who enjoys close ties to Democrats such as Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, yet has vowed to take on the public sector unions and the Madigan machine."

Uh huh. Unions, confiscatory taxes, globul warming (a state mandated religon if there ever was one), socialised medicine. Yea, this is exactly what our founders fought and died for so many years ago.

Re:A myth indeed. (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541621)

We are full on socialists, have been for many many years and the socialists in charge seek only to confiscate more and more of the wealth of the citizens.

You have no clue what it means to live in a socialist society. So stop putting completely inapprobriate labels everywhere just to appear alarmist. The U.S. is capitalist. Pure and simple. With a very small amount of socialist icing on top. I've grown up in a socialist state. To call the U.S. socialist is akin to calling snow black.

Re:A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541673)

When the returns on capital are used to buy representation, extend time limited legal protections and defend monopoly positions you no longer live in a capitalist society, it could even be argued you no long live in a democracy. So pure and simple, the U.S is ......

Re:A myth indeed. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541685)

"The U.S. is capitalist."

Perhaps your time in whatever state you are from has clouded your view some?

What us capitalist? Wikipedia tells us "Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy."

We do have private property ownership here in the states, but then you are allowed to own private property in Europe, in Russia, even in China, are you not?

We are taxed here at all levels, income, sales, property, capital gains, death. Local, state and federal. These taxes pay for all manner of social programs from food stamps to SSI (it's a tax), Obamacare (medicare/medicaid), unemployment, I could go on. And this is a progressive tax, that is those who earn more are taxed more, excluding of course those elites who find themselves very powerful and connected to the state decision makers and this get themselves out of these things. These people exist but they are not large in number, basically unless you are very poor, or very rich you are paying anywhere from 60 to 80% of what you earn to government in one form or another.

And for all that we live in a society of regulations from cradle to grave. You cannot buy a light bulb without the permission of the state. You cannot buy a toilet without the permission of the state. You cannot wash your car without the permission of the state. Your food must pass the inspection of some nameless faceless beauracrat. Likewise your medicine. Your clothes. Your home. Your car. Your barber cannot cut your hair without a state license.

This isn't capitalism, not by any stretch of the imagination.

And by the way, I am not trying to attack you in any way, I have no doubt whereever you are from it is also highly socialised. I am just trying to make the point that so many "progressives" and liberals (a terrible word but it's what people here use) constantly accuse us of being "evil capitalists". We haven't seen the free market here for generations, and every year taxes go up, government get's bigger and individual liberties go away.

I don't know about you but I rather liked the whole "freedom" thing we used to have.

Re:A myth indeed. (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46541765)

60-80, stopped right there...Most people, excluding the rich and the poor, are not paying 60-80%, in fact I would be willing to bet no one is paying anywhere near that much, unless you are fairly well off. The max is 43% for federal those making over 200k a year, which I would argue puts you in the rich catagory. Add in about 8% for state taxes and you get up to 51% as about the highest tax rate.

Re:A myth indeed. (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541789)

You still have no clue about capitalism vs. socialism. In a socialist country, you have a strong state sector in the economy, private ownership of companies, of resources and even of tools is frowned upon. Call me back when more than 80% of the economic output of the U.S. economy comes from the state owned sector. Call me again, when the house you are living in is state owned or at least state administered, like 95% of all other housing. Call me back when taxes on privately owned enterprises like a pub or a bakery are 90%. Call me back when all mining is a state owned monopoly. Call me back when every trade and every shop has to be member of a state controlled society.

You just don't know how it is when a farmer is blackmailed to join a farmer's collective by having a truck outside his house all night with a running engine, shining the beams into the bedroom. When his son is put in jail for trumped up traffic violation charges, and the charges will only be dropped if his father joins the collective. You don't know how it is when a private owned print shop just doesn't get any paper, because the order for new paper was put back and back and postponed again by the state owned papermill. You don't know how it is when you can't rent out your house anymore, but you are required to report all available appartements to the municipal appartement administration which then will send you whoever people they allocated the appartments to.

Stop your clueless musings about how socialist the U.S. would be. It just isn't true.

Re:A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541831)

"Call me back when more than 80% of the economic output of the U.S. economy comes from the state owned sector"

That's not socialism. 80% state ownership, heck if you have that then you might as well have 100% ownership, wich as we all know is full on communism.

Socialism (statism is a better term truth be told) is all a matter of degrees, there is no back and white rule, there is no formula that will tell you a is socilast, b is not. It's not that simple, never was.

"You don't know how it is when you can't rent out your house anymore, but you are required to report all available appartements to the municipal appartement administration which then will send you whoever people they allocated the appartments to. "

And I would argue that we face essentially this level of oversight here already, though the details have different names of course.

Like I said, I have no doubt you live in a tyranny, I am just trying to point out that we actually do also. Why are you so resistant to that? It's true!

Re:A myth indeed. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541877)

That's not socialism. 80% state ownership, heck if you have that then you might as well have 100% ownership, wich as we all know is full on communism.

Nope, socialism means the state owns the means of production, communism means the state has vanished and the people own the means of production. Socialism is a transitory phase towards communism.

What Americans call "socialism" is actually the welfare state built by "social democrats" which may employ similar methods as socialism does but which has a completely different goal - it's goal is to maintain a capitalist economy and soften it a bit to make it more bearable. It is a concept that you Americans constructed to immunize Western and Northern Europe against actual socialism.

Re: A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542045)

American "socialism" is more rightly "parental corporatism". In that corporations are allowed to own so many resources the little folk cannot compete at all. The government taxes and distributes to keep the masses busy working and shopping at Walmart so the USEFUL ones can go to work peacefully and reap only 50% of their work as wages.

Re:A myth indeed. (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46541891)

Socialism is, when the means of production are socialized, that means owned or at least controlled by the society and not private owners.

And no, you don't still have a clue. You come across like the american jews in the 1930ies and 1940ies, who told their European brethren who could barely flee: "we also had hard times." Yes, there are regulations in the U.S. and there are taxes. That doesn't make the U.S. in any way socialist. The municipal appartement administration has no comparable counterpart in the U.S.. The owner of a house under the municipal administration can't enter any contracts anymore. Not even necessary repairs. He can apply for repairs at the office, but the administration will determine the time, allocate the money, will hire the craftsmen (or send their own), and oversee the execution.

Re:A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542077)

"Socialism is, when the means of production are socialized, that means owned or at least controlled by the society and not private owners."

Waaaah. Sorry Hans, you are just plain fucking wrong and the truth is I am starting to really get fucking sick of you. I have tried here to engage with you in a discussion, I have tried to be polite and civil, I have tried to reach out and give you the benefit of the doubt. It seems to me that in the end your only fucking goal in life is to prove the American wrong becuase it seems you have no possible position otherwise. Well GFY then.

"Socialism" is a descriptive term that applies to a society and an economic system in general terms, it is not a system in itself that directs or measures property ownership. In fact as such it is a poor term to use, just as liberal here in the states is a poor term, but these are the things most people say, so we are stuck with them. I prefer statist, this term covers all evil governments and cover pretty much all socialists as well, so there you go Hans, you are a statist and your evil fucking European governments are pretty much all statist also, does that fucking help you?

Let's just ask Wikipedia.

"Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1][2] as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[3][4] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[5] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them."

Socialism is a matter of degrees and relates to the priority the government and society place on social programs finances by imposing taxation on the individuals. That is the state exerts power over the individual through taxation to implement social prpograms. Property ownership being state or private itself is not a requirement of socialism but obviously those societies where state ownershup of property exceeds private ownership are more socialist. Again, statist works better, for example how do you address a sociciety where property is putatively owned by individuals but in fact there is a large degree of state and corporate collusion such that the coprorations effectively act in the interests of the state anyway? Is this a free market Hans or is this a form of socialism? Fuck you that's what it is.

You are wrong and I am right, as per usual when we have a weenie European discussing matters of impportance with an American. How do you like that Hans?

Ehh, this is exactly what I deserve by trying to make an attempt to give a Euroweenie the benefit of the doubt. I should have stayed with my instincts.

Oh and this bullshit by the way, does not fly;

"You come across like the american jews in the 1930ies and 1940ies, who told their European brethren"

I don't care what you think the Jews told you, you can take your self important European anti semitism and go straight to fucking hell as far as I am concerned. Truly.

Oh, and in case you didn't get it the first time. Go fuck yourself.

Hah! Captha; 'idiotic', or in otherwords, HANS.

Re: A myth indeed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542053)

An ex-Soviet satellite nation was communist, not socialist (despite what the CCCP stood for).

USA is, like many places, a blend of capitalism and socialism. Public-sector support and aid to the private sector, tax breaks for companies, etc. are a form of socialism but it is rarely framed as such.

Re:A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541793)

What you are describing is a bureaucratic society, which the US indeed is. Bureaucracy can thrive in both capitalist and socialist societies, dictatorships and democracies alike.
What matters is who makes the decisions and who is in power. In the US, it's the money that brings power, more that ideology, religion, or social status. Therefore americal society can be described as capitalist.

Re:A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541627)

You are so full of shit you can't even see straight. I'll tell you what, you will never be among the millionairs, so why are you fighting their fight for them? It's better to let the millionairs to enjoy life and the rest of us just work our asses off, right? That's fine, if you like working like a slave, but i want to work the mostly 8 hours a day (of course special situations are special situations) and have a summer vacation and do something i like doing.

Re:A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541705)

"You are so full of shit you can't even see straight"

You don't even know me. Feh, and I am right and you are not, and I didn't attack you. Are you sure that's the kind of point you are trying to make?

"I'll tell you what, you will never be among the millionairs"

Really? Is that what Bill Gates thought? Steve Jobs? Sergey Brin? I think not.

Oh and I would ask, maybe your chances of being a millionaire are small, don't you think you should be allowed at least the chance? And fine,if you personally have priorities other than simple wealth then I say fine, good for you and good luck. But do you not want the man who does seek to become successful and wealthy - and productive, do you not want to see him have his fair chance?

Why the need to attack?

Re:A myth indeed. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46541859)

Well gates was already from a well off family, so he would have been rich anyways, and even then pointing out the exceptions does not dismiss the general claim, which is you will not become rich.

Re:A myth indeed. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46541633)

So you're saying they want to raise taxes on bazillionaires back to where that pinko Eisenhower had them?

Re:A myth indeed. (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 6 months ago | (#46541695)

You're an idiot, AC. You have _no_ idea what it's like to live under full blown socialism.

Stop watching Fox News. It's filling your head with shit.

Re:A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541741)

Boy you socialists sure are fast with the name calling and the unfounded assumptions.

I think it is you who need to open your eyes and think about the things your heads have been filled with.

That's what I think.

Have a good day.

Re:A myth indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541759)

And I would also advise you to consider this.

How is it that I make a fairly simple observation, referenced to a factual report that supports my assertion, and I do so politely and coherently. You may disagree with me and that is your choice of course, but then again, I disagree with you. And I am rated a -1.

And you immediately lash out, call names and make unfounded, and indeed untrue accusations, and your comment is adjucated a "+2".

And you seem to like to think of yourselves as "smart" "logical" and I am guessing "reasoning" people, generally, don't you?

Heh, I'm not so sure of that one either.

Re:A myth indeed. (5, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46541865)

Apparently, you don't believe in education either, or you wouldn't spell "global" as "globul" or "religion" as "religon". Tax rates in the U.S. are well below those of other countries. That alone doesn't make the U.S. not-capitalist, but it does put it in perspective. Yes, the company tax rates need to be adjusted, that usually happens about every 20-30 years, so hold on to your britches.

Socialized medicine? Errr....how come the insurance companies are still in business and the new ACA requires everyone to get insurance somehow. Ma and Pa Kettle do get Medicare, but that is because the sainted insurance companies want to cherry pick the healthy people and insure them. Death panels you say? What do you think actuarial boards of insurance companies are?

Global warming is a fact, stop trying to turn it into a political issue. Don't believe me? Look up Miami and the plans they have for sea level rise and how expensive it will be for them. And even if you do not believe in global warming (although frankly I think it is like not believing in gravitation), observe the data on the acidification of the oceans. That's directly due to CO2 we've pumped into the atmosphere. It's killing coral in....Florida and throughout the Caribbean. Localized? Hardly, it is also killing coral in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. They expect it to be gone within about 50 years if something isn't done. Yes, I know, what's a good Libertarian care about coral. Well, the crux is the ocean is the bottom of the food chain. Maybe you've heard of it, you're at the top...for now.

And if the U.S. isn't a capitalist economy, how did the real estate market manage to tank the U.S. economy and give the world's a cold? The basic problem is that a pure capitalist economy spawns bubbles and monopolies. In order or to level that out, laws and regulations were needed. Don't believe me, look at the U.S. before the Great Depression. The economy was a wild west of an economy and lurched from crisis to crisis. Of course, if you lost your money in one, your days of lurching were over. The Great Recession happened because the Bush Administration did not believe in regulation. The head of the SEC was a puppet of Wall Street. That allowed Wall Street to run amok. Realtors, the local zoning officials, the builders, and the sainted American people worked with almost no rules and...splat...there went the economy.

Re:A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541897)

"...you don't believe in education either, or you wouldn't spell "global" as "globul" or "religion" as "religon"."

Ah yes the inevitable cry of the man with no argument whatsoever. "You mispelled eleventy!!!"

Go fuck yourself.

Re:A myth indeed. (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 6 months ago | (#46542113)

The reality is that US History courses don't do enough to explain what it was like to live in the 1800s and the kinds of shit people had to put up with.

http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/us_history.html

It's easy to look at that on paper and say "well that wasn't very long!", but there was a period of 68 years between the first state law limiting child working days to 10 hours and the push for national reform. Most of the people on slashdot have not been around for 68 years...At 68 years, some of your friends have already died after working in factories for most of their lives, and you are on the edge of your death bed.

Oh, it was also Unions that made this happen.

There's far more involved with labor situations in the early industrial era.

Re:A myth indeed. (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 6 months ago | (#46542061)

Spare us your juvenile politics. You obviously have NO idea what true socialism is. You americans make me sick , sitting between 2 oceans without a clue what its like in the rest of the world, whinging about trivia.

"Yea, this is exactly what our founders fought and died for so many years ago"

Your founders were a bunch of religious extremists. Be thankful your country isn't run by them any longer or you'd be a christian version of Iran.

Re:A myth indeed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542123)

"Your founders were a bunch of religious extremists. Be thankful your country isn't run by them any longer or you'd be a christian version of Iran."

Pathetic. This is what makes me glad we have the most fucking A bombs. Fine with me Hans, you stay the fuck over there and leave us the hell alone, I have no problen with that at all.

Summary misses the interesting points ... (5, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | about 6 months ago | (#46541593)

There is a lot more to this article than the mythical labor shortage. There is a discussion of the complexity of the issue. That includes things like labor market cycles, shortages in some specializations with surpluses in many, the cost of misinformation to graduates, and a fair bit more.

To the summary skimmers, this article is probably worth your time.

Re:Summary misses the interesting points ... (1)

Slayerwulfe (3440869) | about 6 months ago | (#46541775)

i agree, companies trying to maintain a dominant status require 'elite' laborers. i don't want to work for a company i want to be their competition and they view that as shortage. the article is about exposing how vulnerable the existing structure is. a transition is in progress, investors wanting to be rewarded for my productivity. do they deserve it ? at times yes, are they willing to invest in my education ? then i'm willing to invest in their retirement. your comment is to the point and i hope others recognize it. thank you slayerwulfe cave

Aging Workforce (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541597)

Speaking for only the IT shop where I work, there is a shortage of young people (under the age of 40) who want to work for State Government (union dues must be paid). Average age is 58.

So can the "shortage" be quantified within specific limits? Union dues, age, location, pay?

Fuck this BETA crap (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541609)

Fuck slashdot Beta!

Re:Fuck this BETA crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542121)

Looking in the wrong place... (5, Insightful)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 6 months ago | (#46541619)

An analysis of salaries and salary trends for STEM employees will tell you exactly whether there is a shortage or not.

Re: Looking in the wrong place... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541689)

Exactly. When there are shortages in a free market, you can see the shortage from the rising price. It's an objective, quantifiable measurement of the shortage.

Do STEM salaries indicate a shortage ? That is, are they increasing at a rate beyond other areas ? I don't see it.

Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541717)

The authors agree:

"Most studies report that real wages in many—but not all—science and engineering occupations have been flat or slow-growing, and unemployment as high or higher than in many comparably-skilled occupations."

Re:Looking in the wrong place... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541805)

An analysis of salaries and salary trends for STEM employees will tell you exactly whether there is a shortage or not.

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of available STEM people to conduct the study at this time.

Re:Looking in the wrong place... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#46542075)

Yet, whenever someone talks about raising H-1B limits, there's the inevitable concern about how the flood of cheap labor will drive down salaries. The other perspective is that STEM salaries are already overinflated, and bringing in foreigners will keep labor costs at reasonable rates.

Steady salaries just indicate that any disparity between labor supply and demand is also remaining steady.

Of course there is a shortage. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541643)

If you need to have ten engineers above of the 10sigma distribution of capability and have use for 10000 engineers otherwise, of course you have a shortage of engineers when you have only 100000 available.

Unless joblessness and consequently insurmountable student debts are "somebody else's problem", increasing the number of students is not the solution. In particular not if you push people into the education that are not interested in engineering and are certain not to reach outside of the 10sigma range.

Instead you need to increase the quality of education.

Countries like Germany traditionally have a two-pronged approach here: university education is free. Any student loans are purely for the cost of living. That increases the base material. And there is basically no externally organized effort or incentive to keep students from failing and/or procrastinating (there are student organizations trying to help, though). That causes a wider sigma.

In a way, it is a lot of social Darwinism based on capability, whereas the social Darwinism of the United States is based on silver spoons. The latter, of course, creates more stable social castes.

Shortage of people or people with degrees? (1)

James Ruiz (3570201) | about 6 months ago | (#46541657)

I often found myself wondering the same thing for those in the field of software engineering. When I was straight out of high school, I tried applying for many software developer jobs (being that I had picked up coding as a hobby in school) but I couldn't even get an interview without a college degree. Now, a few years later, I'll be graduating in a month with a bachelor's degree in the subject. Now tons of people are extending interviews and phone interviews for me. The job offers seem to be at a decent starting wage, around three times what I made in traditional jobs before college. However is the money decent because companies are competing for a scarce resource of developers? Or is it because companies dismiss most applicants that don't possess a degree thereby limiting the available pool of potential developers even more?

Re:Shortage of people or people with degrees? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541707)

The degree shows that you are able to go through a significant amount of nonsense for years and prevail with reasonable access.

What do you think a job is like? Putting your skills to a task, finishing it, and going for vacation for a few years before the next? No, the work you and most particularly the work others have designed and done will come biting you in the ass until retirement, and much work will be a total waste of time by muddling along best with stupid and psychopathic customers. And thanks to "intellectual property", you will be reinventing the wheel for most of your life as well as trying to come up with non-round wheel shapes because the circular ones have already been patented.

A degree shows that you can do something of moderate relevance in the presence of frustration and idiots.

Re:Shortage of people or people with degrees? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541725)

Companies have no desire what so ever to train up employees. Which is of course part of the shortage right there. Companies bitch that they can't find people with the exact skill set they need, but are unwilling to hire and train. Also the management set has their heads very far up their asses and have convinced themselves that engineers and other highly skilled workers are overpaid.

Consider that to be an engineer requires 4 years of 'work' during high school (unpaid). 5 years of college (also unpaid and requiring taking on debt). 2-3 years work experience. That's probably an investment of 15000-25000 hours. An investment worth 3/4 to a 1.25 million dollars. Certainly a 5-10% return on investment is very reasonable right? Well that's 50-100k per year.

Unreasonable to the political and management class, why? Cause reasons.

What gets me is these guys think, oh lets just outsource this to India and China. Forgetting that then India and China get the factories, trained work force, supply chains, technical know how, etc. And while the managers still control trademarks, patents and distribution, that won't last either.

Re:Shortage of people or people with degrees? (1)

grainofsand (548591) | about 6 months ago | (#46541843)

If only I had mod points today .

You have hit the nail on the head - no investment in growing and developing exactly the people that are now in short supply.

Huh (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46541667)

Is it me, or does "a shortage of workforce" make no sense at all?

There's a shortage all right.. (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 6 months ago | (#46541687)

There isn't a shortage of STEM graduates.

There's a shortage of _cheap_ STEM graduates for businesses too cheap to pay properly.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#46541751)

There's a shortage of _cheap_ STEM graduates for businesses too cheap to pay properly.

I think you'll find that defining "properly" in this context runs into the same critique you made about "shortage".

Not really (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542089)

With rising income inequality (the 1%), there is an element of hypocrisy coming from those (generally) making any critique that STEM workers are overpaid.

When Zuckerberg et. al. speak of a shortage of STEM workers, they are speaking as vastly overpaid CEOs. For someone paid in the $2B range, to claim that $100K-$200K is too much for a STEM worker is madness.

Additionally, we have salary data points for other professional level occupations with similar training, hours, and expertise required.

Finally we see can look at STEM salaries vs inflation, and find that in many cases they are flat or falling. (But admittedly I am not able to find a good, comprehensive source to put this in proper perspective). Google "STEM Salary vs inflation" for more.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (2)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 6 months ago | (#46541755)

Exactly this. Employers want to see the market flooded with STEM graduates so they can drive wages down. Schools are on the bandwagon to crank out STEM graduates because they get their money regardless of whether the graduates get a job or not, thanks to the student loan system. STEM is the next humanity major degree.

This will work for a while when there are jobs available, but eventually this is just going to dump a lot of graduates out into the world with poor job prospects and mountains of debt. The employers can then sift through the mass of humanity and select the best of the lot who will work for whatever amount is offered.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541763)

I would phrase it slightly different: There is a shortage in willingness to pay.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541855)

There's a shortage of graduates in all disciplines that have realistic expectations of the workplace and their initial pay grade. An entire generation went to college assuming it would entitle them to big bucks later. They were wrong. If they're now out of work because they don't think companies pay "properly" that's their own problem. Something is only ever worth what people are prepared to pay for it, and if the jobs are there but people don't like the paygrade, then they're unemployed through choice.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541921)

(This being the case it's perfectly feasible that Google or Microsoft experience a shortage of STEM graduates, even though there are lots of out-of-work STEM graduates. In which case, the shortage is real, and we need more H1Bs, unless you want to hand out clue-sticks to volunteers around the country instead.)

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about 6 months ago | (#46542043)

Fox fan is off his meds again.

Re:There's a shortage all right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542067)

The is a shortage of good STEM graduates though

Actually, H1-B visas (0)

wrp103 (583277) | about 6 months ago | (#46541701)

I think the real shortage is probably for H1-B visas so that companies can hire foreign workers at lower salaries.

Re:Actually, H1-B visas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541985)

This idiocy comes up time and time again. On what planet is it cheaper to hire an H1B than a local worker? You don't get to pay them lower salaries, but you do have to cover their moving expenses, and the lawyer work to get the H1B isn't cheap either, never mind what you're paying to your global recruitment consultancy. There is no cost saving associated with hiring H1Bs whatsoever. You use an H1B when you want the best guy, not when you want some low-cost faceless drone. The local labor market can provide no end of low-cost faceless drones, or you can just outsource the work to India if it's that inessential to your company's success, then the whole project gets done by foreign workers at lower salaries. H1Bs are not the issue, and it's a worrying trend that American nerds are now playing the nationalist anti-immigration card in this debate.

Re:Actually, H1-B visas (2)

BVis (267028) | about 6 months ago | (#46542049)

On what planet is it cheaper to hire an H1B than a local worker?

This one.

You don't get to pay them lower salaries

Ohh yes you do. It might be against the rules on paper, but when you can threaten the worker with deportation back to their third world hellhole of a home country, they tend to not complain about you breaking the rules.

You use an H1B when you want the best guy, not when you want some low-cost faceless drone.

You use an H1B when you're too cheap to pay market rates domestically and you just want to tick off a laundry list of skills without any assessment of whether they're actually good at their job or not. Have you seen any code H1Bs turn out? It might run (technically) but it's shit.

Time shift (3, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46541727)

We had plenty of qualified workers back in, say, 1997 when the internet first boomed.
The economy was strong as ever.

Can't we just pretend it is 1997 again?

Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 6 months ago | (#46541735)

I've taught off and on for 30 years now, and over the entire time one thing has remained pretty constant: About 10% of the students completing the programs are really good; they will be star programmers and eventually software architects. Another 40% are competent - they would be able to carry out plans created by others, but should never carry any larger responsibility. Good, solid programmers. The remaining 50% manage to graduate, but frankly should never work directly in the field. Maybe they can be testers or write documentation, but never let them write a line of code in a real project.

Unfortunately, it's not always obvious what kind of person you are hiring. Add to this mix the people who are self-taught, who are coming from some other field, and may have wildly inappropriate ideas. Just as an example, I am currently working with a company whose star programmer (and he really is very good) comes from process control - and has zero clue about testing or quality control. He writes code and assumes that it works, and his company is so glad to have him (at a grunt-level salary) that they refuse to insult him by testing his code - so they deliver his work untested straight to clients - you can imagine how well this works.

tl;dr: There is no shortage of bodies in STEM fields. However, there is a shortage of good people who also have a solid education in and understand of their field. This is true in computer science, and almost certainly in every other STEM field out there.

everyone Shouldn't go to college (3, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46541893)

Do the Colleges and Universities bear some of the responsibility for the quality of graduates they're churning out, or are these chickens coming home to roost from a well meant but misguided push to give every child a chance to get an advanced degree?

Re:Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (4, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46541905)

I've taught off and on for 30 years now, and over the entire time one thing has remained pretty constant: About 10% of the students completing the programs are really good; they will be star programmers and eventually software architects. Another 40% are competent - they would be able to carry out plans created by others, but should never carry any larger responsibility. Good, solid programmers. The remaining 50% manage to graduate, but frankly should never work directly in the field. Maybe they can be testers or write documentation, but never let them write a line of code in a real project.

Unfortunately, it's not always obvious what kind of person you are hiring. Add to this mix the people who are self-taught, who are coming from some other field, and may have wildly inappropriate ideas. Just as an example, I am currently working with a company whose star programmer (and he really is very good) comes from process control - and has zero clue about testing or quality control. He writes code and assumes that it works, and his company is so glad to have him (at a grunt-level salary) that they refuse to insult him by testing his code - so they deliver his work untested straight to clients - you can imagine how well this works.

tl;dr: There is no shortage of bodies in STEM fields. However, there is a shortage of good people who also have a solid education in and understand of their field. This is true in computer science, and almost certainly in every other STEM field out there.

Sturgeon's Law all over again. Which itself was a somewhat embittered re-observation of what had already been seen in the Pareto Principle (ratios may vary somewhat).

The saving grace of that is you don't need 100% of your staff to be rock stars. There's room for the stars, the supporting cast, and even a few janitors, and that actually makes a lot more economic sense, since those of us with star talents are neither being efficiently used when we have to do the grunt work nor likely to be very happy to so so.

What it more telling is that companies these days typically don't attempt to take their existing assets and train them to become worth more, they want to hire in new people who can "hit the ground running" - trained at someone else's expense, and if the existing people cannot be found a place, they're summarily discarded. Along with their accumulated knowledge of how the business works and how to efficiently support the business.

Re:Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (1)

Xest (935314) | about 6 months ago | (#46542063)

I don't think training is the panacea you're implying. The problem is that there are people who are just untrainable, I really don't know if this is because some people are genetically dumb, whether it's a social thing whereby they're brought up with an unchangeable attitude against taking anything in, or whether it's simply because they don't have a genuine interest in the topic and so can't actually bring themselves to learn anything about it even when the opportunity is thrown at them.

Given this, I can see why companies wont blow money trying to train people - it's too much of a risk, I've seen companies blow 10s of thousands of pounds trying to train the untrainable with no actual benefit to show for it at the end of it.

You're right that companies need a mix of all levels of talent but the problem is that you can't make any use of the lower levels of talent without the high levels, right now the talent is weighted too much towards the bottom, so whilst yes there's no shortage of those folks who are "trained" in STEM topics, there just aren't enough at the top of the pile to guide them. If you need 1 good dev for every 5 bad ones to push a project forward the issue is that we have only 1 good dev for every 10 bad ones - that means only one project gets started, 1 good dev and 5 bad ones get employed, and the other 5 remain unemployable because there's not enough good devs to guide them.

Re:Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542025)

Anecdotal evidence that doesn't even prove your point.

There's always some guy like you, who knows a guy, and has been "teaching", and tries to re-frame the argument with anecdotal evidence about what constitutes "good", especially regarding programming.

This doesn't change shortage myth. And in fact, your anecdote seems to indicate the company in question is taking advantage. Paying grunt salary for someone brilliant in the wrong field -- sounds like they got exactly what they paid for. This could even be by design, but it's irrelevant because it's an anecdote that plays off emotional and constitutes a single data point when discussing industries.

Companies cant all have the top 1% in talent for average or below-average salary. So shortage of good? How does your classification that some people are good at coding, some are OK, and some are not, translate into workforce-wide percentages? How is the number of "good" programmers somehow different from the number of "good" doctors, or lawyers, or any other field. There will always be a range of skill in the workforce. Saying that there is a range, doesn't constitute a shortage of skill. Nor, is your definition of "good" equal to profitable.

However, as TFA states, there is a HIGHER rate of unemployment in programming, compared to similar level non-STEM professional occupations. /Also most programmers and comp-sci-types are notorious for thinking everyone else is "bad" at coding. Partially because everyone has their own goal posts.

Re:Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 6 months ago | (#46542033)

"About 10% of the students completing the programs are really good; they will be star programmers and eventually software architects."

Good programmer and good designer don't dovetail as neatly as you seem to think. Someone may be a first class at writing code and designing algorithms, but useless at the overall design of the project so there is no way they could be a software architect. Conversely , plenty of shit coders make good overall architects.

Re:Shortage of *good* scientists and engineers (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 6 months ago | (#46542109)

tl;dr: There is no shortage of bodies in STEM fields. However, there is a shortage of good people who also have a solid education in and understand of their field. This is true in computer science, and almost certainly in every other STEM field out there.

If that was true, it would show in rising salaries for those jobs. Companies don't believe they can continue to attract a sufficient number of employees, by paying wages which have stagnated for a decade.

I know there are horrible inefficiencies in the recruiting/hiring process... that may make it seem like there's no-one when you need them, but the majority of open positions seem to be big companies that are doing just fine, but leaving it open in case a hot-shot or someone with ridiculously-low salary expectations comes along.

Simple (2)

The Cat (19816) | about 6 months ago | (#46541767)

There's a shortage of people who want to work a temp job for half pay after earning an education and building a professional resume.

no shortage of deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541773)

liars touts & shills oh my http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motive%20shortage%20weather%20WMD&sm=3 free the innocent stem cells little miss dna cannot be wrong

Propaganda? (1)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#46541799)

Just as there is in every other area of media coverage, manufactured crisis?

No shortage.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541807)

There is shortage of people who will work with as low pay as possible.

CEOs want to reduce payments and have worse work conditions for science and engineerig people. It is all about money.

There is no major shortage that would hinder economy signficantly.

It is like saying there is shortage of medical people because there are no people unemployed that can be hired to do whatever you like.

the myth of the science and engineering shortage (1)

Slayerwulfe (3440869) | about 6 months ago | (#46541851)

to the wealthy investor look to individuals as an investment. a young person selling themselves on an open market is becoming an option, i think investors are familiar with that word. slayerwulfe cave

Absolutely a shortage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541857)

There's absolutely a shortage of experienced, top notch talent who know how to do something.

Unfortunately shoehorning the unqualified unmotivated masses into it will prove to be the same result as what happened with the supposed "Teacher Shortage"

It's all about cost (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46541937)

For any skilled profession the resource availability usually dictates what the wage price would be for that resource. The exception being lawyers and healthcare because they've been given a licensed right to charge prices outside of market forces. When Businesses look at labor costs they always want the cheapest price because usually labor is the highest cost by percentage, meaning anything they can do to drive that cost down is thought to be best for the bottom line. That's why H1-B Visas exist, not because of a shortage but because of the mythology that somebody from another nation with a lower standard of living and costs can be brought in to do the same work for less. That's why you have lawyers and companies who specialize in gaming the system by lobbying and helping companies avoid legal risks for skirting the law to ostensibly demonstrate that yes, the H1-B system does lower labor costs and it's good for the economy and allows businesses to compete in the global marketplace. That means we need more H1-B workers. All it really does is devalue your domestic workforce and place more experienced people out of work by putting up a laundry list of reasons why you shouldn't hire somebody even though they have the skills. The same can be said for "diversity" initiatives in companies which are really which are quota systems that allow legal discrimination. Because a company has a "diversity" program, some even have senior level positions for diversity with absolutely meaningless job functions [vt.edu] , they can claim that they'll promote the hiring and accelerated advancement within the organization for people who are considered "diverse." So H1-B programs logically follow into this because the company has an "active diversity program." Again, all a smoke screen for the fact that they just want to screw local resources looking for work. As they say be cautious in trying to buy a $10,000 Ferrari because finding one, while possible, will take a long time and when you get it it'll probably be a piece of shit.

Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46541947)

Engineers who don't believe in fairy tales are very rare in the US.

Glad to hear it! (1)

Erich (151) | about 6 months ago | (#46541949)

Now come here and show us the stack of qualified, talented people for these open positions we have? Oh, wait, you're not actually trying to hire people? Maybe you mean there's no shortage of people writing crap on the Internet?

My total compensation as a qualified Engineer is similar to the average compensation for a doctor. I think that's reasonable. It's very hard to fill positions right now.

CEOs and lobbyists cannot find engineers? (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 6 months ago | (#46542007)

Granted, the vast majority of CEOs and lobbyists are good at what they do, but their jobs do not involve finding an engineer. The lobbyists do not need engineers, and the CEOs have minions who can find engineers for them. I suspect that the typical CEO thinks that an engineer is a cross between Dilbert, middle management, and a random faceless guy with a pocket full of pens and bad personal hygeine plus the social skills of Sheldon Cooper - "if all those factors are not present, the person is not an engineer, and I am right because I am the CEO".
I would, however, be interested to see how strong the correlation is between people who say that there is a shortage of scientists and engineers, and the groups who are advocating for broader H1B visa use, because I suspect that what the CEOs and lobbyists really mean is not "there is a shortage of trained engineers and scientists", but "there is a shortage of qualified individuals who are willing to work the hours we demand for the wages we are willing to pay".

Business as usual (4, Insightful)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 6 months ago | (#46542057)

This is a business as usual so far as I can see from what companies claim.

There's no shortage.

There's a shortage of highly competent, high producing, years of experience individuals willing to work for peanuts.

Everyone else needs training, which companies are no longer willing to pay for. In some magical fashion, employees are just supposed to be hired and become immediately productive.

This is not conventional wisdom (4, Informative)

Pollux (102520) | about 6 months ago | (#46542071)

This is political wisecrackery with no legitimate basis to back it up. Congress has been informed for over seven years that this is an untruth. (Here's an article in Businessweek [businessweek.com] from all the way back in 2007 citing a study done by the Urban Institute [urban.org] debunking this myth.

This information has been reported to Congress on both the floor and in committee hearings. (Sorry, at one point, I had an old printout of one report supporting this statement. I can't seem to locate it, either in paper form nor on Google.) Congressional leaders willingly refuse to accept this truth, simply because there is more to gain politically by not accepting it. (Huge amounts of money are circulated by lobbyists in support of political agendas influenced by this...opening up more H1B visas, for example.)

Shortage (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46542079)

Well now... I'm not so sure it's as much about corporate greed as everyone on slashdot makes it out to be. Most of the year we have our normal work and what-not... and most of our full-time employees are from the US or were temps that were damn good so we hired them and they may have emigrated here from wherever (usually India/Russia) but they're a part of the team now... But then every 6 months to a year upper management gets their panties in a knot and need "The migration project done in 3 months!!!!" and so we go to a temp agency and they, of course, provide a bunch of H1-B's who are mostly from India... and honest are probably a lot better than a lot of us are at what they do, and we get the project done. They leave and we're all better for it.

If we actually hired for these sprint projects we'd like end up in a constant Hiring and layoff cycle that I would not find comfortable at all. Ok, I don't know what it's like to work at a huge software company like Google/Microsoft or whatever... our IT/IS is under 200 people at its peak. But I can't imagine most of the country is run much differently. The Google type of organization to me is a more of an anomaly than a norm.

Its just a bit more complicated. (1)

Shados (741919) | about 6 months ago | (#46542119)

The issue can be experienced first hand by anyone in a big tech center trying to build a team or expand one.

Finding people isn't too hard. Finding good people, at a price where there's SOME return on investment (that is, as much as you'd like to, you can't pay everyone 7 figure...but you can still pay them high enough to all toss them in the top 2%, and still be looking), is really hard.

If you put your office in the middle of nowhere, you won't have enough people. If you put it in a tech center, you'll be competing with google, twitter, amazon and all the other big names, so that even if you offer more money and benefits than they do, you still lose. You can offer telecommuting, but only a small portion of people work effectively like that (a few days out of the week, most people can handle, but all the time, not so much), so that doesn't scale either.

So you're boned, boned, or boned. Pick your poison. Oh, or you can hire the peanut gallery, train them for a year or two, and then lose them to Google or a video game company the moment they get good.

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