Americans Underqualified For Thousands Of Microsoft Jobs

Redmond proposes: "Give foreigners visas, we'll pay up".


Microsoft has come up with an interesting proposal for increasing the number of foreign tech workers in the US: Use money to coax the government into giving out visas, thus raising the HI-B visa cap.

The company's general counsel, Brad Smith, suggested that US tech companies could pay the government $10,000 for each foreign national they hire under a new H-1B visa program, and $15,000 for each green card that is issued for a tech job. Smith's proposal came 27th September, at a discussion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in the US.

There are, apparently, six thousand jobs at Microsoft that US citizens aren't able to walk into. These include jobs for programmers and computer scientists. quotes Smith: "We are creating unfilled jobs... We have a shortage". He also hinted that Microsoft wasn't the only tech company with this kind of problem: The US economy creates 1,20,000 jobs each year that require science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, but US colleges produce only one-third that number of STEM graduates.

At the CES 2011 in San Francisco, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt spoke disparagingly about sports therapists: "There's a million and a half engineers graduated in China every year. There's still more sports therapists graduated in the US than electrical engineers. So that's a losing equation. ... I mean, a good massage is still good, but it shouldn't stay that way."

Paying the government for H1-B visas and green cards seems the logical way forward, where everyone wins — except that logic and politics don't go together. At least not close to election time.

TAGS: Government, Microsoft, RMR