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US firms outsourcing to India

George Steiner
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 22, 2002
Posts: 1
I know this topic was discussed awhile back but I am bringing it up again now because it has hit close to home. The company I work for in Pittsburgh, PA has signed a contract to outsource IT jobs to India. Their plan is to start off slow - 21 people are being 'displaced' at the beginning of 2003. The contract is for three years so my assumption is that number will increase in time. Since the announcement was made a few days ago, I have read a lot about outsourcing. Views differ from it's nothing to worry about the number of jobs being outsourced to overseas is a small fraction of the jobs in the US to the days of developer/programmer in the US are numbered. In fact, the threat of all IT jobs is real in some people's minds. My question to you is, do you feel your job is in jeopardy because of corporate outsourcing? If you had a son/daughter about to enter college, would you encourage or discourage him/her from entering the IT field?
I have a young son and I worry about my future and whether I will be able to provide for him in the future if I stay in this field.
George
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I would not recommend this field to anyone.


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Guy Allard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2000
Posts: 776
Nor would I.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16145
    
  21

This is not a good time to be entering the IT field. Nor, alas, to be an established expert in the field. Look for a career that requires an on-premises presence, such as McDonalds counterperson or Wal-Mart greeter. Anything that can be done cheaper somewhere else using the Internet will be. That will probably include brain surgery before too much longer.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16145
    
  21

BTW, the slaughter continues. Convergys Corp is discharging 35 Cisco senior support reps here, Bank of America want to unload 145 IT positions in the next year, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield is dumping 450 local positions, about 125 of which are in IT, though the bulk are things like HR which may not be practical to ship off-continent.
Barry Gaunt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 7729
A company I know attempted to outsource but abandoned it because there was no domain knowledge available. Cheap programmers yes but they didn't have a clue what to program. And those guys that worked for the company attempting the outsourcing were not going to let go of their domain knowledge in a hurry, bless them.
I've got one of my sons at school doing a commerce and informatics combination. Maybe he'll become a suit with a decent computer head on him.
-Barry


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Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Don't forget our very own beloved Sun (said with more than a hint of disgust) outsources Java development to India. They are as much guilty of the willful slaughter of the US IT worker as anyone else. That in itself would be enough to make me choose C# (if Microsoft isn't doing the same thing that is) or C++, if I had that choice.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I highly recommend the IT field, but only if you understand what the required skills are. if you expect to sit in frnt of a computer all day and write code, then you're in trouble. Not everyone, but that market will get tighter. You can write general code anywhere in the world and it works the same.
What IT work must be done locally? First there's analysis. The programmer of the future will need to have the business skills necessary to converse with the client, define the needs and propose a solution. That can not be done by phone or email. Also, jobs which require taking OTS components and customizing them and/or integrating them into a system require working locally.

--Mark
Seyi Aluko
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posts: 2
I am sorry i completely disagree with the previous message. The question is: how many analysis people does a typical project need? typically only one or two people as compared with several developers and testers needed. What does this mean -- fewer opportunities for anyone entering this field. the only opportunies left in the US will be niches or specialized skills which are either difficult to get or difficult to outsource because of the customer interaction that would be neccessary. The IT field has changed and we all have to accept that and look for new things to do. It is easy to "higly recommend" the IT field but anyone entering this field beware, the glory days are gone.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
As the number of IT programming jobs contract, the current field of programmers will be fighting over the few jobs left that Mark described. New entrants into the IT field will have little chance of getting the experience required for architecture and analysis jobs. You are better off getting an MBA.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
The net effect is that the software industry will have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. They made the fraudulent claim that there were not enough domestic developers, and a sa result we got the H1B fiasco and now they are shipping American jobs overseas. As a result of fewer jobs, fewer people will choose IT degrees in school, and many people already in the industry will have left it. The result being that in the end the software industry will have made themselves correct, there will not be enough domestic developers.
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
As a result of fewer jobs, fewer people will choose IT degrees in school, and many people already in the industry will have left it.

You can already see evidence of this on TV. I think almost every 5 minutes there is a commercial for ITT technical institute, on almost every channel. As little as a few months ago there were very few of them. I can only assume that they are starting to see a large drop off in new admissions and/or a lot of people stopping what classes they have already taken.
As a comment on the jobs going over seas, I think it was in this forum a while back, there was a similar discussion and not a few people mentioned jobs that had left but then came back for various reasons.


Dave
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
When corporations start looking at long term corporate health instead of short term gains, they are going to look at foreign outsourcing and start to realize that it isn't always in your best interest to have a key corporate resource (software) controlled outside of your company in a foreign nation.
Thomas Whalen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 123
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I would not recommend this field to anyone.

For many reasons, including the above quoted statement, I have decided that any work I might ever do in the computer industry will be done on a voluntary or part-time basis. The computer industry is saturated big-time IMO, and those just starting out in programming? You're way behind the game!
My decision has been to pursue teaching as a career, since I really enjoy tutoring fellow students in C programming and other programming languages. I want stability and security, not the biggest paycheck!


if you don't know, then ask. if you do know, then share. love is knowledge.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Thomas Whalen:
My decision has been to pursue teaching as a career, since I really enjoy tutoring fellow students in C programming and other programming languages. I want stability and security, not the biggest paycheck!
I think this is very wise. If I could start it all over again that is exactly what I would do.
Michael Bronshteyn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 85
If the pool of programmers is going to shrink, and new students will pick other fields other than programming, why do you think being a programming language instructor is a safe job. As a matter of fact with outsourcing of IT jobs, which are paid pretty well, a lot of other fields in the US are going to suffer due to the money leaking outside of US economy.


Michael
SCJP2
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Bronshteyn:
If the pool of programmers is going to shrink, and new students will pick other fields other than programming, why do you think being a programming language instructor is a safe job.

Because all the foreigners will come here to get degrees in programming. I didn't mean to imply that "programming language instructor" is a good job. I meant that "college professor" is a good job.
Michael Bronshteyn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 85
Actually there is a lot of technical schools overseas which are not worse, sometime better, than US colleges. They are cheaper and the college life is as good as you can get here. If majority of programming jobs is going to move overseas, the experts in programming are going to be there ( you can see a lot of software conferences happening in India already ). After all US will loose its leadership in programming if the current trend going to continue.
Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 15, 2000
Posts: 59
<ahref="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/comp/articleshow?artid=27544144">News Item<
REUTERS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 07, 2002
BANGALORE: Software giants Wipro and unlisted Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had won an information technology outsourcing order worth between $50 million and $70 million per year from investment bank Lehman Brothers.
[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: aniruddha mukhopadhyay ]
[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: aniruddha mukhopadhyay ]
[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: aniruddha mukhopadhyay ]

Aniruddha
Peter Crowther
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2002
Posts: 18
I�m currently working for a UK university and was speaking to a senior computer science lecturer yesterday. He stated that although the Bachelors degree intake has remained pretty steady (probably because they have four years before hitting the job market) the drop in numbers of the conversion Masters has been �devastating.� The number of students enrolling has fallen by 80% and this is very much case for other universities over here.
Donald Nunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2000
Posts: 200
The bad thing with this outsourcing is that it doesn't allow American's to support their families. You can't make your house payments, car payments you can't send your children to college etc. These corporations don't care and it's ridiculous. I wouldn't recommend this field to anyone and I love it, however, the days of making a living in IT are over unless these US corporations wake up. Let's flip the script. I bet you if these CEO's and all of the fools making these stupid decision to outsource US jobs oversees had their jobs outsourced it would give a lot of people a wake up call. The sad thing about it is the whole shorted scenario was a scam to begin with. Y2K in my opinion started it all and it's gotten much, much worse. You go to school and spend thousands of dollars on education to get a degree and what good does it do you if you can't make a living in that industry. You have experience, so what. You have certifications, so what. You're a great engineer, so what. We don't have any work for you because you job and your childrens jobs will be OUTSOURCED and my fiends it's going to get much, much worse! And as for Sun Microsystem's laying off American engineers and keeping the H1B's made me sick.
One day I happen to be in the lobby of a US corporation and the elevator opened and developers from oversees came out of it for 10 minutes. I thought, I was in the Twilight zone.
I can understand companies cutting cost where they can, but they shouldn't intentionally lay off American workers and replace them with oversees cheap labor and in some cases with developers who are not up to speed technically.
Concerned


<b>Donald Nunn</b><br />Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I have a question for you. What brand of sneakers do you buy? I'll bet they were made by cheap labor overseas that replaced an American worker. And it wasn't so the sneaker could be sold cheaper. I only buy Converse because they are made in the US and they cost less than half of what a pair of Nikes cost. What kind of car do you own? I own a Dodge and a Plymouth. My cars before these were another Plymouth and a Ford. So if you are going to complain about your job being shipped overseas then what are you doing about other Americans jobs?
Fred Grott
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 346
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I have a question for you. What brand of sneakers do you buy? I'll bet they were made by cheap labor overseas that replaced an American worker. And it wasn't so the sneaker could be sold cheaper. I only buy Converse because they are made in the US and they cost less than half of what a pair of Nikes cost. What kind of car do you own? I own a Dodge and a Plymouth. My cars before these were another Plymouth and a Ford. So if you are going to complain about your job being shipped overseas then what are you doing about other Americans jobs?

I wouldl liek to point out to you that no American name car is fully made in Amercia, the last report lists 50% foreign mad eparts in all american named vehicles inclduing the ones you have mentioned..
what matters more is quality..when my consultant contract is on the line of whether a proejct gets competed to customer satisfaction or not I choose quality and relability in firms..
Price is only a small consideraiton in that equation..
The software and developer tools middleware vendors have choosen India as an outsourcing opportunity simply because they can weld their products to the develoepr's mind as mind control.. whereas American devloeprs tedn to make choices of implentation, tools, and software base dmore logiccal reasons such as does it work and does it compete the task it was deisgned to complete..
The press never highlights this fact..Sun is only in Indaia becasue they want an iPlanet lock..forget that you might want to concentrate on making iPlane tthe best it can be... that has not occurred to sun yet..
In closing if you really wnt American fully 100% made products..you are goign to have go without clothes, vehicles, steros, tvs, houses( wheee do you think 20% of the building materials come from?) and etc..wake up its a world economy not ealry 1900s..


MobileBytes blog - Sharing Technology - My Programming Knols
Donald Nunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2000
Posts: 200
Hello, Thomas. I completely understand what your saying. I for one am really concerned about this outsourcing of IT jobs. I plan to write my congressman and I may even send a letter to 60 minutes including other avenues in an attempt to stir up more awareness of this problem. I know a lot of engineers who are at the top of their game and are at home watching day time television because they can't find work. I mean guys who will work for a lot less than they're use to making because they realize that some pay is better than no pay. They watch while openings that could be filled by American's are going oversees or let's be real here, that are going to Indian developers. They take US dollars convert it to their currency and live like kings in their country. What about us. What can we convert. Mark my words this will eventually back fire in one form or another. Once you have a ton of homes in foreclosure, cars reposessed, people defaulting on their school loans, bankruptcies, US colleges empty because you can't afford to send your children to college then people will start to take notice. I'm pissed off about this whole thing because I see what it's doing to the infastructure of this country and the IT worker and it's going to get worse. If you don't believe me, get out of a job and see what you up against. I've heard Indian developers make comments amongst themselves that the reason why they're getting all of the work is because they're better than the US developer.
Regards,
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Fred Grott:
[QB]I wouldl liek to point out to you that no American name car is fully made in Amercia, the last report lists 50% foreign mad eparts in all american named vehicles inclduing the ones you have mentioned..[QB]
An excuse. Since only 50% of the car is made in the US you will go buy a car that's 0% made in the US? Well, don't expect me to cry for you when your job is moved to India. Then you can put on your Nikes and drive your Toyota to the unemployment office. Why should any American care about your job when you don't care about any other American's job?
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by Evan Donaldson:
I've heard Indian developers make comments amongst themselves that the reason why they're getting all of the work is because they're better than the US developer.

If there is any truth in what you have heard, I would feel ashamed of my own countrymen. Indian programmers as whole CANNOT be compared to American Programmers or Russian Programmers or vice versa. This is not a race or ethnicity thing.
That claim is as wrong as someone else said in this thread that outsourcing for cheap labour will cause poor quality software. Cheap labour doesn't necessary mean poor labour.


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Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
What kind of car do you own? I own a Dodge and a Plymouth. My cars before these were another Plymouth and a Ford. So if you are going to complain about your job being shipped overseas then what are you doing about other Americans jobs?

The relevant difference here being that the US government recognized the potential damage domestically that could have resulted from the foreign car market, and applied the appropriate tariffs to ensure that there would be fair competition.
Like the auto industry, and unlike the footwear industry that you alluded to earlier, the IT industry is essential to our national infrastructure. The IT industry requires a highly skilled and well-educated workforce, moreso than even the auto industry, and unlike the footwear industry. We could regenerate a domestic footwear industry at almost a moment;s notice if we needed to. The same cannot be said of IT. If this recent trend in outsourcing continues and increases, not only will it destroy our domestic capabilities, it will take decades to regenerate should the need arise.
The government needs to step in and apply tariffs and other regulations to protect our domestic capabilities. If new laws need to be written to protect domestic IT in the same manner that the domestic auto industry was protected, then that's what we need to do. This isn't merely an issue of people being out of work. The real danger is losing the domestic capability provide for a piece of our vital national infrastructure.
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
I say go into maintenance, learn to be a sys admin or a DBA. I don't see anyone outsourcing them (they do call them in midnight alot on the downside).
Yet Another Developer
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 10, 2002
Posts: 1
Originally posted by Evan Donaldson:
I've heard Indian developers make comments amongst themselves that the reason why they're getting all of the work is because they're better than the US developer.
Regards,

First of all, lets take it easy here. This is not the first time that the US has seen jobs being lost to countries where it is cheaper to produce the same goods/services. Have you seen the number of goods sold in the US that are manufactured in China? Ever talked to someone here who was put out of business because of that reason?
The only reason people are getting their panties in a bunch now is that the economy sucks in general and more so in the IT sector. This is less a fault of jobs being shipped to India (check out how much development is being done in Ireland) than it is a fault of the madness that investors and the stock market gave birth to.
Anyone bother to verify these claims you heard? Nope? Well, take it easy with the "foreign" bashing then.
William Barnes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 16, 2001
Posts: 986


I've heard Indian developers make comments amongst themselves that the reason why they're getting all of the work is because they're better than the US
developer.

Posts like this only belong in the "Meaningless Drivel" forum.
I don't care if you did hear it. One off-hand comment can't be used to represent more than the single person who made the comment.


Please ignore post, I have no idea what I am talking about.
Michael Bronshteyn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 85
I don't think anybody here can speak on behalf of all Indian developers or all American developers. There are good and bad developer everywhere. The problem is your neighbor CEO, CIO, who are US citizens outsourcing US jobs there. Thus don't blame the wrong people overseas. The problem starts here.
I think Jason is right. Should IT jobs will be shipped overseas, people will switch to other fields where they can apply themselves. At the same time new people will not consider IT fields for future carrier either. Manufacturing jobs are easy to regenerate, because it does not take five years in college and years of work experience to hire somebody who can do the job.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
"Yet Another Developer",
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Chris Mathews
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 2712

Microsoft to stake $400 million in India
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
There are street demonstrations, journal articles about street demonstrations, and Phil Donohue TV show on the H1-B/L1 issue. Please view messages (#1838, #1840, #1841 in particular) at the American Workers Coalition web site:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanWorkersCoalition/
Fred Grott
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 346
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
An excuse. Since only 50% of the car is made in the US you will go buy a car that's 0% made in the US? Well, don't expect me to cry for you when your job is moved to India. Then you can put on your Nikes and drive your Toyota to the unemployment office. Why should any American care about your job when you don't care about any other American's job?

in a world interconnected economy you cannot expect the consumer to want to pay the highest price..
It put many USAW out of the field pernamently..

Think! What unique porgramming skills do you have that India's current crop does not..wehen you have that answer act on it..
It doens't take millions of dollars to program..but it does take millions of dollars to correct programming proejcts when the programmer does not have good skills in business modeling and etc..
I never said I don't care about American jobs that was your wrong assumption..

You cannot fight consumerism it drives our market economy.. so you must learn ot live in it and work it to your advantage..or else it will run you over..

QuestionL; How many fruits an vegatbles an dproduce do you eat every week? Do you kow a large protion that is foreign to our country? Did you holler about the american farmers when he lost his job?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Fred Grott:
QuestionL; How many fruits an vegatbles an dproduce do you eat every week? Do you kow a large protion that is foreign to our country? Did you holler about the american farmers when he lost his job?
The fruits and vegetables that we eat that are foreign grown are from the off season. For example, we get grapes from Chile during the time of the year that California doesn't produce grapes. Some fruits and vegetables do not preserve well so its hard, for example, to get good NY grapes in February. Apples do store well so you can get US apples all year round. No American farmers are losing their jobs because Chilean farmers are producing cheaper crops.
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Just FYI, the arbitrary high tarifs charged by Chinese government in the past on US imported cheap cars/rice/wheat/etc.(compare to the domestic made/produced) are gone because China joined WTO, which have huge impact on Chinese auto industry and farmers. Global economy impact actually is multi-directional. China, of course, benefits from joining WTO in many ways too.
Don't be surprised by the above news! The word cheap can also be connected to US products!!! California grapes and American Turkey can be seen on Shanghai market everywhere. There is no need to mention Coco-Cola or KFC or Boeing 747.
The fights between Microsoft-China and Sun-China are even more brutal than here!
BTW, the software we are making in Texas are sold to three airlines in P.R.China, plus China Airlines in Taiwan, R.O.China.
Don't forget that People on both side of Taiwan Strait think we have only ONE CHINA, but just different governments.
I just checked, I'm the first one to put smileys on this thread!
[ November 12, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
sonny kher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 06, 2001
Posts: 83
people stop bitching. How come when you guys(americans) have so much and still every little thing seems to bother you?
THese are tough times and if you have friends who are unemployed its not because India took all the work away, its coz the domestic job market sucks.
I'll give you an example, Wipro is the biggest software comapany in India (i think) and the CEO of that company briefly had his personal fortune at $35 billion back in 2000 when he became the second richest man in the world. I am not sure, but I bet he is sitting at less than 10 billion now. So with ALL the outsourcing work that his company is getting, do you think the dude is happier now? or would he rather see it go back to the way it was. Ofcourse I'm not implying that it will....anytime soon.


_ __________________ _ <br />RHCE<br />SCJP<br />??:-(
George Lawniczak
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 12, 2002
Posts: 27
In my opinion the general malaise in the US IT market as a combination of several factors:
1. The technology itself. It just doesn't take as many bodies as it used to in order to develop software. Now software can be cranked out by wizards. Object-orientation means that many routines which required a lot of man-hours to complete are now shrink-wrapped components, or even available freely on the Internet. We've been "Napsterized."
2. The bad economy in general. Companies simply are not spending on as many new projects as before. Everything is based now on the almighty ROI. In the nineties everyone was getting upgraded to client/server, then to web apps. Most of that work is now done. It's like once the railroads are built, what else is there for railroad builders to do? New projects are geared more towards integrating the stuff that already has been built, rather than upgrading apps to the technological "flavor of the month."
We will never again see the quantum-leap in computing as we did during the last decade. There will be change to be sure, but it will be much more subtle.
3. Global competition. Simply put, now the world is our competition. Get used to it.

Bottom line from these three points, less demand, more supply. A recipe for disaster for IT workers, in terms of wages.
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Hi,
If I may, my rather ill informed 2 cents on the matter
I think the outsourcing of skilled labour from richer countries such as the US to poorer countries such as India (sorry no offence meant to our Indian friends) is a natural progression of a maturing industry. If the same task can be carried out for far cheaper than native labour, without a noticable change in quality, then it will happen. And I think this has already been happening for a while.
The question I feel has to be asked is "How much of company X's IT can be outsourced?" Its clear that the answer is not "Everything!". Go to Wipro's site and check out their presentation on Outsourcing.
I feel that there is a definite benefit to outsourcing ie lower costs, but this is offset by risk. Not everything is suited to outsourcing, as is clear in Wipro's presentation.
I fear that in the current economic climate, with CEO's and CTO's doing everything they can to reduce costs in the short-term, they may be outsourcing too much, and this will come back and bite them at a later date.
With regards to the US's current IT Job market woes, its clear that there is definitely the case where the supply of skilled labour at the right price, outweighs the demand for said labour. In this case, I would propose the following:
1) That the US government severly curtails or eliminates completely the ability for companies and to apply for IT workers under the H1-B program. I know Im going to get crucified for this and some may brand me a racist, but again I point you to the simple economic fact that there is currently an oversupply of IT labour. Otherwise why would places like Silicon Valley suddenly have high unemployment?
Cheers, and hey Im donning that asbestos suit right now so flame on!
Mark


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