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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 V-Money on 11/26/2012 11:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
From my experience there is an abundance of incoming freshman enrolling in STEM programs at universities. If half of these kids finished with degree we wouldn't have a shortage. Unfortunately for these wide eyed freshman their high school education fails them so miserably they are not even REMOTELY prepared for a STEM curriculum. The most intelligent students pass and move on while the vast majority drop out (of the program) within a SINGLE semester.

There are lots of problems with out school system these days. Case and point, I was starting to get a science degree after getting out of the Navy as a nuclear qualified electrician, they (California UC/CSU campuses) gave me 3 credits towards PE for boot camp...WTF

I tried to do it but I eventually changed my degree path because it was so f***ing easy that it was driving me out of my mind. I was taking Biology w/lab, Chemistry w/lab, Physics w/lab, and Calculus at the same time and all it did was piss me off at how much time I was wasting learning things I already knew. Worst part is it would have taken me more than 5 years just to get my Bachelors because of all the budget cuts and BS requirements. My schedule was insane and it took up all of my time for no reason.

Now I'm getting a BA in Accounting taking 18 credits (mostly online) a semester with 47 credits transferred. I spend 3 hours in class a week and about 8 a week on homework and I will have a degree in just over a year. It's not really what I wanted, but something about going from serving onboard the submarine NR-1 to ending up in entry level science classes made me want to cry.

RE: Seems legit..
By RufusM on 11/27/2012 11:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
You know most colleges let you test out of a number of general courses (especially science courses), although you typically do still need to pay for the general course credits.

RE: Seems legit..
By V-Money on 11/27/2012 12:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wow really, I never would have thought to look into ways around it...

So yeah, I was able to Clep out of English and start directly in to Chemistry and Calculus by taking the tests (as opposed to intro to chem and precalc) but that doesn't change the fact that when you spend 6 years studying and operating nuclear reactors which includes chemistry, physics, and math that taking these courses gets a little old. I am good at these subjects but I in no way like them (in fact I hate all three of them with just about every fiber of my being, especially math).

Funny enough there was no way around bio, I had to start with intro to bio. I tried arguing since I took anatomy w/lab during the summer and was top of the class with over 100% that I was obviously capable of handling the class. They wouldn't budge. I actually do enjoy Bio though so it wasn't as bad.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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