(Below is a guest post by Emmanuel Conde, a respected IT recruiter and writer. It is the first in a series of guest posts I will be publishing on CareerDiva offering a different perspective and expertise on jobs and careers.)
By Emmanuel Conde
All the good IT jobs are going to India! Or are they?
We live in an age of fictionalized sensational sound bites on TV. What an undue influence some of this has on our children, and let’s face it, since the television was accepted into our homes we have all felt this influence.
Ask an American kid what they want to do for a living, and you will hear answers based on what TV shows they like. Crime Scene Investigators might be in demand in a few places, but is every wide eyed child going to cut the mustard?
What we do not see are a lot of real world job heroes sensationalized on the boob tube. How do you make an IT geek look good in tights and a cape? It won’t happen! So, we look to our news announcers in their sound-bite worlds saying there are millions of American IT jobs going unfilled. We have to retool our workforce damn it! Well, they don’t generally say damn it, but I do.
There is nothing more boring than watching some geek do geek stuff on TV. Who is there left to influence our young people to step up and take IT careers seriously? The nerds on the TV show, Big Bang Theory are as close as we have come in the USA to glorifying nerds, but they are not IT geeks.
Still, they are inaccurate in their depiction anyway; shouldn’t there be more than one Indian guy? Take a look at the cast and I would challenge any American university to present a ratio of only 25% of a class of science majors who are immigrants. Indian? Yes a lot are from India. Where have all the good IT jobs gone? They are still there, waiting to be filled.
If you look at any population of IT folks I would dare say that because of our blended population here in America, you could not tell without asking, who is from where. What I see that is the most obvious is women are not well represented in the IT professions. But, yeah I know, the question posed that got me started was this: “Have all the good IT jobs been sent to India?”
OK, back on topic, one word answer is, no.
If the IT jobs were sent to India they would all be filled; end of story! I mean it, have you been there? I have, on three occasions in 2011, and there are so many people; there are people everywhere, literally everywhere.
That country has a labor force that could fill all the IT jobs and provide a bench for sick days, not just in the USA but the UK as well. Where are the IT jobs being supported from? Look at the Immigration stats. One I am familiar with is the quota of Indian H-1 visas, which takes about two weeks to be exhausted every year. The jobs are not going to India, India is coming here.
We are not supporting our kids’ knowledge of IT principals and experience as a career option. Good paying IT jobs are going unfilled and the line of candidates extends around the world.
What we do in our daily lives and what our kids do to entertain themselves with the technology gizmos we are buying them in wholesale lots can provide career options. The future programmers, network engineers, IP video Techs, IP phone engineers, PC/MAC engineers, DBAs, and project managers are stillborn in the USA.
I understand this phenomenon as an IT guy myself; I do not see my peers pushing their kids into following in their footsteps. Instead we want them to jump higher and run farther than we did.
In India it is not unusual for an IT professional parent to set up their progeny to follow them. This is the case in many many countries though, not just India. But, India is thrown out there for us to chew over in our sound-bite driven lives. The marrow we grind between our teeth in anger over those damned Indians is better used to inspire to action. We are not sending the good IT jobs to India we are insourcing the talent from there and other countries. Here in the USA the really good IT jobs do go unfilled for ages sometimes.
Companies are often forced to sponsor Indian IT labor through the H-1 visa process, because we do not have the talent available in the USA to fill the roles.
Is retooling our workforce the answer? We educate and export some of the best minds in the world from our universities. Because keeping them here is made harder due to our immigration laws, we often miss out on some of the best international talent.
American labor is abundant but, American IT jobs, filled exclusively by American IT professionals, ain’t gonna happen. And don’t say we can retool. If retooling was so simple then why does it not work well enough to fill the available IT jobs? Huh, why? The short answer is, it is really not that easy to do. It is hard to go from a manufacturing or assembly line to the PC bench or Data Center. We have been our own worst enemy in delivering high tech training to our people. Just as we encourage all to learn to write, we should also encourage all to learn fundamental IT principals in school. If you are going to let your kids spend hours on their Xbox maybe they should learn how it works.
No. Now stop asking the same question over and over again and let’s try harder to stop the stereotyping of a single culture.
Eman (Emmanuel Conde) is an international recruiter known by many as the CCIE Agent. He has traveled the world supporting the hiring of technology resources by Cisco VARs. Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts (CCIEs) of which there are less than 24,000 in the world, are Eman’s specialty. Eman produces a geek eMag called the CCIE Flyer published monthly. He is also published in many blogs and soon to have some of his romance and fiction stories published in Jamaica and the USA. His links: www.ccieflyer.com, www.ccieagent.com and www.cciejobs.com