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Print 119 comment(s) - last by rocketbuddha.. on Nov 28 at 6:15 PM

Microsoft wants 20,000 extra green cards per year too

Microsoft is willing to pay the U.S. government for additional H-1B worker visas, saying there aren't enough skilled Americans to fill its available job openings.
 
More specifically, it suggested that the government raise $500 million a year by tacking on an extra $10,000 fee for each newly created H-1B visa or $15,000 for each new green card. This money can then be used to offer better education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for Americans. Microsoft noted that not enough Americans are skilled in these areas to keep up with demand.

In addition to raising the number of visas offered, Microsoft wants the government to give 20,000 extra green cards per year.

H-1B visas allow foreign workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in their field. They can renew their visas every three years. Green cards, on the other hand, allow foreign workers to live in the country permanently. Currently, the government offers 65,000 visas a year, but in the past has seen numbers as high as 195,000.

Microsoft is one of the largest sponsors when it comes to H-1B visas. Ten percent of its 57,400 U.S. workforce are H-1B visa holders. From 2010 to 2011, it applied for about 850 visas annually for new employees on their very first H-1B visa. In 2011, Microsoft sponsored over 4,700 H-1B workers for green cards.

Many worry, however, that Microsoft is just looking for cheap labor. An issue is that Microsoft and other corporations don't need to prove that there aren't skilled Americans to fill these jobs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) even warned that there are "inadequate safeguards" that protect skilled Americans from being booted out of jobs for cheaper foreign workers.

"The biggest myth people have is that a company like Microsoft somehow looks to foreign workers as an easy supply to displace American workers," said Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for human resources. "We simply cannot find qualified Americans to fill these jobs."

An analysis of Microsoft's green card applications shows that 25 percent were entry-level workers and 61 percent were a step up as software engineers or marketing managers. Most hold technical jobs, but most also make fewer than six figures while many graduates usually demand over $100,000 annual salaries.

Source: The Seattle Times



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RE: Seems legit..
By bsd228 on 11/26/2012 10:02:24 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry - if the English teachers are a stickler for the formatting and they state this (Shrunk & White, for example), and you then proceed to ignore it, they're going to flunk you, no matter what your major is. Saying these standards aren't important and you have a high IQ isn't going to sway them a bit. Nor can you claim you have a great work ethic if you ignore these.

The point of writing in English comp is to articulate an argument. A paper describing how to assemble a computer lacks an argument...that's why she did not like it. Even something a trite as Intel vs AMD would have been a better paper than a tutorial, which is what you presented. I'll say that I did not understand this after 4 years of honors English classes in high school. It wasn't until college that this became clear. Writing is not about showing that you can demonstrate knowledge of both sides of an argument. It's about taking the information and then using it to make an assertion and to support it.

An AP score let me skip one semester of the two required for English comp and I was able to meet the second one taking a Western Civilization lit class, which covered writings throughout the Industrial Era. You may have found that more approachable. But if you don't think you need knowledge of economics or psychology or history to be your best...you're wrong. A programmer might have an easier time without these, but as a sysadmin you need to be able to work well with others, not be the unix troll in the closet.


RE: Seems legit..
By RufusM on 11/27/2012 11:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the point of college is to produce well rounded individuals. If you want specific training you'll need to take private or online classes or attend a vocational college.

You're right in that a number of computer science jobs are heavily focused on experience rather than education, but there are many companies requiring a college degree. There are only so many jobs where it's okay for an employee to perform their core function but have problems communicating with customers or writing an email with correct punctuation. Employers will only put up with that until they find someone who's good at both.


RE: Seems legit..
By Wererat on 11/28/2012 10:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
The point of a Bachelor's degree is to teach you how to think -- although many universities appear to have abandoned that in favor of teaching _what_ to think.

This is my problem with the IT industry today and H1Bs. Most H1Bs come over here and can code in the language/API they're hired to code. However, anything more -- writing (even code documentation), speaking coherently, understanding _why_ they're coding something, or thinking beyond the spec isn't included.

Worse, as a whole, most of them act as if they've been raised to consider independent thought as a Bad Thing. This makes them great IT insects and terrible professionals.

On the corporate side, HR departments have really worked hard to turn software into an insectoid career. Nobody wants an engineer proper who solves problems; they want a code-robot with the right acronyms on his resume.

This is because actually evaluating the ability to think is hard and parsing a text resume for keywords is easy, but mostly because companies have shifted from the idea of retaining and nurturing a career employee to employing a disposable work unit.

This doesn't actually work as planned; it takes a lot of design overhead, QA, project management, and rework to handle the fact that you just hired a code generation unit and not a person.


RE: Seems legit..
By fic2 on 11/27/2012 1:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
You must have missed the part where he said, "One, in a "write directions" paper". He would have gotten an F if he turned in an Intel vs AMD paper since that wasn't the assignment.

I agree that English is pretty important for communicating with colleagues since I have to try to decipher emails all the time. Some people have an extreme lack of the writing "skills".


RE: Seems legit..
By bsd228 on 11/27/2012 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
> You must have missed the part where he said, "One, in a "write directions" paper". He would have gotten an F if he turned in an Intel vs AMD paper since that wasn't the assignment

hmm, I guess so. I have no idea what such a paper is, or why it would be in an English Comp class. And if it was a "write directions" paper that means what it sounds like, why would she complain about the argument presented?


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