close this bookVolume 8: No. 12.1
View the documentSecurity and privacy
View the documentIndustry news
View the documentEmployment issues
View the documentCareer jobs (in our CCJ 8.12 digest this week)
View the documentGames

Microsoft is opening a 25-person software development group in Hyderabad, India. It has a similar center in Haifa, Israel, because not all the good programmers in the world are willing to move to Redmond, WA. [USA Today, 24Mar98. EduP.]

The US issues 65K H-1B visas each year, allowing skilled foreign workers to remain in the US for up to six years. There is no record of how many such visas are issued in different specialties, but it is clear that the 177,034 computer-related applications ("labor certifications") in 1997 exceeds the 65K quota for all occupations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to raise the limit to 95K visas, with 20K increases each of the next four years. That plan still has many opponents who feel that older US workers can fill the need. [Miranda Ewell, SJM, 05Apr98, 1D.]

Computerworld reported in Jan98 that 17% of computing workers over 50 are unemployed. That figure has been widely circulated, but appears to be unfounded. The 1997 unemployment rate was only 4.9% for mathematicians and computer scientists over 55 and 3.4% for engineers over 55, according to Susan Cohany of the Labor Bureau. The 1997 rate for all US workers was 4.9%, and 3.0% for workers over 55. [Miranda Ewell, SJM, 05Apr98, 1D.]

Norman Matloff says that only 19% of computer science graduates are still working as programmers after 20 years. It's not that simple, says Linda Parker of NSF's Engineering Education and Centers Division. Job classifications don't match educational classifications. Many programmers list themselves as petroleum engineers or whatever, with "programmer" being considered an old-fashioned occupational title. Many scientists and engineers have also graduated to "senior manager," which doesn't mean they've been forced out of the field. For those who do list their occupation as "programmer" or "computer/information sciences," more than 50% have degrees in engineering and other sciences rather than computer science -- not a big distinction or migration, given our current academic structures. The fact that few computer engineers have degrees in computer engineering says little about their qualifications, or whether computer engineering enrollments will meet future needs. [Miranda Ewell, SJM, 05Apr98, 1D.]