Bill Gates recently addressed congress and made a compelling argument for filling a shortage of IT jobs. According to him, the US creates 100,000 new computer jobs each year but it only turns out 15,000 US graduates in engineering and computer science. According to his testimony before congress, the worlds most successful Harvard dropout thinks that we will get the most innovative computer workers from graduates with computer science degrees:) Ironic? That being said, my BS in computer science from Columbia University has provided me with a great deal of opportunity, and I’d recommend it to anybody looking for a career choice.
Our educational system needs to produce more engineering and computer science students, but I DON’T think that increasing the H1-B visa program is the way to go. If foreign students come to the US to get their degrees, and spend money in our country getting their degrees, then we need to offer those people citizenship, not some indentured servant program like the H1-B visa. If we really have such a deficit of talent in the US, then our congress needs to provide full citizenship to those engineers and computer scientists so that they can come here, raise their families and invest in our future! If we bring young engineers to work on our soil, pay them the lowest wages possible and then send them home to their home countries, what we will be doing is subsidizing the flow of talent away from our shores.
What are we anyway a high-tech half-way house?
A few minutes of Bill Gates testimony is at the Washington Post’s web site.