Are American Engineers in Short Supply?

I understand that one man's experience doesn't create a truth, but since you asked (in your other post), every single foreign national I know who has a Masters had it before they were hired or they were hired as interns while they were grad students. As I explained before, and as you mentioned, there are many schools in other countries and it is hard enough to get noticed when you are from a middle tier school in the states. The layout on this page is horrific to the point where I am not going to go find the exact quote or who said it, but my defense of the educational path of foreign nationals was a response to someone claiming (paraphrasing here) that their educational paths were "easier" or somehow less relevant than US workers' paths. Please don't assume my beliefs beyond that as my opinions on the relevance of education in the workplace could merit an entirely separate discussion. I'm sorry I don't have time to directly respond to every single counterpoint you made (have to work my bones off to compete with those foreign "indentured slaves" and all ;) ), but I want to address two things quickly. Salaries for positions vary greatly and that has nothing to do with who is being hired. I only have my experiences to comment on, but depending on how people report their salary, bonus, stock options and other compensation to, a range of 60k-100k for a base engineer is not out of the question. If you would like to have a conversation offline about my experiences with Qualcomm's compensation, I'd be happy to have that discussion with you privately. I am aware that Qualcomm uses third party contracting companies. This business arrangement is complicated and I admittedly don't know a lot about it. Perhaps the salaries you are looking at are what the contracting companies are paying the contractors and not what Qualcomm is paying the contracting companies? Perhaps the H1B is having a larger impact on contract employees compared to full-time employees? I can't give you any counter perspective on this beyond that I don't personally see Qualcomm actively attempting to replace full-timers with contractors, so if there is something happening in this space, I believe it to be isolated to that domain.
— March 11, 2011 9:41 a.m.

Are American Engineers in Short Supply?

Disclosure: I am a US born citizen working for Qualcomm. Competition is a bitch, but it's an undeniable positive force in technology. As long as entry into employment is based upon a fair comparison of previous accomplishments, I think competition for jobs should be allowed. It is by no means easier for a foreign national to complete the education necessary to get hired by Qualcomm than it is for a US National. In fact, most of the foreign nationals working for Qualcomm that I know have their Master's degree from a US University. It's my understanding that this is all but required in order to have an easier standard to compare candidates. So, unfortunately for US born engineers future and present, other countries have learned the importance of education in skilled labor. Also unfortunate for Americans is the perpetuated illusion that Americans have some unattainably high work ethic. We don't. In fact, if anything we have a misplaced sense of entitlement. There also seems to be an illusion that there is a large labor pool of skilled US laborers who are being displaced by foreign labor. That seems to be the exact opposite sentiment of this article by the UT: I think some of the points that people discuss about "indentured servitude" might actually hold water if they weren't almost completely fabricated. Does it make more sense that Qualcomm hires the largest percentage of foreign nationals from a few countries due to the extremely long naturalization time, (Green card wait times are based on the number of applicants from each country.) or does it make more sense that a small number of other countries are beginning to understand the importance of education and skilled labor? I think perhaps the most damning aspect of this argument is that Qualcomm average pay and benefits are competitive, if not at the high end, for San Diego for software engineers. Don't believe me? Go check Why aren't these "indentured servants" (which is a laughable phrase at this income level) having an effect on Qualcomm's compensation among its peers? I do agree that the naturalization process sucks. If you want to blame someone for having to stay at the same company for the naturalization process, I don't that entity is Qualcomm. Furthermore, I have not once heard of Qualcomm abusing this process to make their employees work hard and I can tell you that the people who don't have immigration issues hanging over their head work just as hard as those who do. Perhaps I'm the only one in this group, but I try to encourage people to apply for citizenship. I'd prefer the foreign nationals want to become citizens, so they can vote and take their rightful (if they want it) place in America's upper-middle class.
— March 10, 2011 9:55 a.m.

Football First, Water Last

Did anyone catch the KPBS coverage of downtown redevelopment? If you didn't, a transcript is here: To me the article reflected a perception from the San Diego populace that is very apprehensive of sending more money to redevelopment if it will be used for a sports stadium. Faulconer never committed to voting no to a Charger stadium, but he did say that he was against funding it from the general fund. The article also gave me an interesting insight into how the CCDC actually collects funds and how the CCDC being funded doesn't /directly/ impact the general fund, although it's clear that there is some indirect influence. Coming back to your article, Don, my perception (and you can correct me if I'm wrong) is that the Sanders is facing a lot of justified resistance on the Chargers stadium from the people of San Diego. The people of San Diego know there's a water issue and they know there's a budget issue and they're pissed that the the Mayor is considering going forward with the Chargers nonsense. It seems to me that the Mayor and City Counsel have an investment in making Downtown succeed in addition to addressing the other major issues across the city. Lastly, if the CCDC does get an extension on funding, I'd realy like to see that money go to more social services. I've seen all the plans for development downtown and I think they're great for tourism and creating more public spaces and opportunities for business, but I also think it's time San Diego started taking care of its homeless people. The CCDC is capable of using additional money for that and I wish that it would.
— February 4, 2010 11:01 a.m.

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