Microsoft Looking to Pay Gov. for Extra H-1B Visas, Claims Not Enough Skilled Americans
November 26, 2012 2:38 PM
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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.
The Seattle Times
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RE: Seems legit..
11/27/2012 11:20:54 AM
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..
11/28/2012 10:00:04 AM
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.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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