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National Science Foundation data demonstrates that there is a massive glut of information technology (IT) expertise

12/9/99 

1995 National Science Foundation (NSF) data demonstrates that there is a massive glut of information technology (IT) expertise instead of the "shortage" that is being loudly claimed by employers interested in minimizing their staff expenditures.

The 1995 NSF SESTAT data surveyed the more than 12 million people trained as or employed as scientists and engineers (S&Es) in the U.S. in 1995. Essentially everyone in this group has at least a bachelor's S&E degree.

All S&Es are well - versed in IT, since it is the foundation of modern science and engineering. The nonworking percentage as determined by age ranges from a low of about 6.5% in the 45 to 49 year old age bracket to over 83% of S&Es over 75 years of age. NSF figures also claim a total of 10.6% of bachelors - level S&Es are "involuntarily out of field." (IOF) This figure is suspiciously low.

Further examination of the data shows only about 1/4 of the survey group are employed in S&E fields. A majority, 57.57%, are working, but not in science or engineering fields. That means almost 7 million talented American men and women are not seeing economic benefits from their sacrifices required to earn a science or engineering degree. This is a massive waste. It is strong indirect evidence for illegal employer age discrimination. In comparison, the entire 1992 population of the Washington, DC - Baltimore, MD metropolitan area was only about 6.9 million. 

In 50 pages of Dr. Nelson's testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives on August 5, 1999, there is documentation of some of the fraud and abuse connected with this talent glut. A particular concern is the controversial employer - designed "H-1B Visa." More than 650,000 H-1B visas will have been granted by September, 2000. Most of the visa holders have been recruited for IT positions. Almost all H-1B holders will eventually become permanent U.S. residents. The H-1B Visa is structured to effectively indenture an immigrant for up to six years, contrary to the U.S. Constitution. The H-1B program, in conjunction with the overproduction of scientists and engineers by U.S. colleges and universities have caused S&E career problems for an additional 1.7 million people since the 1995 NSF survey.

The program was also designed to insure that almost all H-1B visa holders would be paid substantially below - market wages for their expertise, so they are very attractive to employers. This "temporary" H-1B program has proved so popular that about 1/2 of the annual quota of permanent residency visas for scientists and engineers are left unfilled. (There is no indenturing feature for permanent residency visas.) Another concern of Dr. Nelson's is the permanent displacement from S&E of slightly older scientists and engineers by these immigrants. Their loss of career is an "uncompensated taking." There are direct and indirect national security concerns raised by this program.

 

02/28/01