Saturday, April 05, 2008

H-1B Labor Economics

I've begun tracking the media trajectory of Vivek Wadhwa, who has established himself as one of the leading authorities on globalization. Mr. Wadhwa does not shy away from polemics and the IT industry's cry for more talent is no exception:

“It seems like every three years you've got one group or another saying, the world is going to come to an end there is going to be a shortage and so on,” said Vivek Wadhwa, a professor for Duke University’s Master of Engineering Management Program and a former technology CEO himself. “This whole concept of shortages is bogus, it shows a lack of understanding of the labor pool in the USA.”

As a skeptic about the shouts that their isn't a shortage, I found the article compelling, particularly Mr. Wadhwa's solution to any short-term lack of talent:

“If the demand was really there, if these critical shortages that Gartner is forecasting started to happen, guess what? Businesses would start sending some of their experienced users to technology school and a few months later they'd become technology experts who understand the business very well,” Wadhwa said. “So it’s a very shallow, very biased perspective that they've presented and I’m surprised that Gartner put something like this because there is a very deep pool of experienced talent out there which can be trained and which can understand the business side of IT.”

The H-1B visa is helping big tech companies to keep salaries lower. If anything, there is a labor surplus and that's the reason IT wages aren't growing. You want more IT workers Pittsburgh? Offer more money for those jobs. However, most small companies do not enjoy the kind of revenue margins that would allow for a big bump in pay that would attract new students to the field. Wadhwa offers a way around that. Take someone with an advanced degree, say geography. Train that person to write the code you need or whatever else you might require. That's what the GIS industry did.

In 2005, an MBA from the following academic programs would earn you right of entry to the UK:

* Harvard Business School (USA)
* Columbia Business School (USA)
* University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (USA)
* University of Chicago (USA)
* Dartmouth College: Tuck (USA)
* Stanford University (USA)
* Insead (FR/Sing)
* University of Oxford: Said (UK)
* MIT: Sloan (USA)
* Ashridge (UK)
* North Western: Kellogg (USA)
* London Business School (UK)
* New York University: Stern (US)
* University of Strathclyde (UK)
* IESE Business School (SP)
* Yale School of Management (USA)
* Warwick Business School (UK)
* City University: Cass (UK)
* Rotterdam School of Management (Neth)
* UC Berkeley: Haas (USA)
* University of Cambridge: Judge (UK)
* Georgetown University: McDonough (USA)
* Instituto de Empresa (SP)
* Cornell University: Johnson (USA)
* University of Michigan (USA)
* Duke University: Fuqua (USA)
* University of Virginia: Darden (USA)
* Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
* SDA Bocconi (IT)
* Emory University: Goizueta (USA)
* UCLA: Anderson (USA)
* Manchester Business School (UK)
* Cranfield School of Management (UK)
* University of Toronto: Rotman (CAN)
* University College Dublin: Smurfit (IRE)
* University of Southern California: Marshall (USA)
* University of Rochester: Simon (USA)
* Vanderbilt University: Owen (USA)
* Rice University: Jones (USA)
* University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler (USA)
* Babson College: Olin (USA)
* Melbourne Business School (AUS)
* Ceibs (CHN)
* Australian Graduate School of Management (AUS)
* Universiteit Nyenrode (NTH)
* University of Western Ontario: Ivey (CAN)
* Boston University School of Management (USA)
* University of Maryland: Smith (USA)
* Bradford School of Management/Nimbas (UK/NTH/GER)

If you need a certain kind of talent, then the UK demonstrates how to go about it. The H-1B visa is a sham.

No comments: