General discussion


Out Sourcing and H1B visas

By pnevai ·
There are serious issues regarding the job market and it has nothing to do with the types of jobs immegrants are taking. It has to do with the loss of highly specialized and technical jobs. Jobs that once lost cause losses all the way down the chain. These are the types of jobs that had fueled the boom of the 90's. Let me see if I can clarify this.

Cheers, Shouts, Fireworks, and much drinking, resolutions, friends, family and much more drinking.

Ok so where are we? 2001, was the beginning of pretty rotten succession of months. 2002 and 2003 were pretty much down the tubes as well.

So what do we, in the heart and soul of the Telecom industry have to look forward to in 2004. If recent events in the news are any indication 2004 will be no different than the last four years.

The current administration gives all indications that IT and Telecom jobs will continue to flee the shores of the United States in ever increasing numbers. Almost all of the high tech companies are lobbying aggressively against attempts to limit moving jobs offshore. They give a number of reasons that they need to send work overseas. And none in my opinion has any merit besides fattening the corporate wallet.

Some insist that we are not educating our children well enough to fill the open vacancies. This is patently ridiculous if one looks to see the number of institutions giving technical education in America. Ever since the fabricated technology manpower shortage of the late 1990?s. Americans have been flocking to computer science and technology education programs through out the United States in increasing numbers. Students and established professionals spent years of hard work and considerable money getting the education, and experience to support the new wave of jobs that were becoming available. As a telecommunications professional, I made sure that I kept up with the latest technologies and focused on learning as much as I could in order to be able to do my job in the best possible fashion possible.

Another indication of this fact is that currently for every single new IT / Telecom job that opens up, recruiters are getting several hundred applications. Even while not every one of these applicants are best qualified. You cannot state that out of 500 applicants there is not one that can reasonably do the job.

I know some very highly skilled and educated people who have been without work since 2001, people that I would hire in a heartbeat if able. But we are being led to believe that these people choose to be unemployed because they feel that the available IT / Telecom jobs out there are beneath them or do not pay enough. Will someone please explain to me how these individuals are willing to loose their homes, their life savings, battle through medical emergencies without health insurance and loose any shred of self worth just because they would have to accept a pay cut?

During my two-year national job hunt, I have, lost my home, lost all of my family possessions; my wife was diagnosed with cancer and has no insurance. I have been aggressively applying for any and every job I felt that I could make a contribution to. Yet out of hundreds of applications submitted for positions that I was fully qualified for, 99.99 % have fallen into some black hole. I also had the time to do some research.

Go to and do a global search for jobs under telecommunications and IT. Note that the number of listings for telecom and IT professionals leans heavily towards countries like India. Heavy, like a ratio of approximately 10 to one. There are hundreds of openings listed for telecom / IT professionals of every classification. Seems like the offshore market is having difficulty meeting the amount of jobs that US companies are shipping overseas. Think I am making this up? Well just go to the top job search sites and see for yourself. Like me you will be shocked.

Another interesting thing I learned is that while Americans are loosing their jobs in increasing numbers many tech companies are increasing their demand for H1B visa workers. They are claiming that because there is a shortage of educated and skilled tech workers here in the US they have to import from overseas. Not only are they shipping jobs out, they are bringing workers in. Why? Because they can be paid less! The law says they have to be paid the same prevailing wage but there are so many loop holes in the laws, that this is rarely enforceable. Plus if you consider that if you can save just $3,000 per year on each H1B and you have 5 or 6 hundred foreign contractor filling positions. Your savings can be quite substantial over the period of the contract.

Are these companies first offering these jobs to Americans? Well yes, they have to by law. But have you ever noticed the job ads that list a set of requirements that just about any experienced professional can meet. Then added to the requirements one obscure qualification or requirement that is a possible 1 in 1000 match? Some specialty in a obsolete, obscure, or supremely specialized technology? I see these types of job postings, regularly. This is tactic used, so if the company should come under scrutiny they can show the applications received or lack there of and prove that they could not find an individual with these highly in demand, important, skills. Think this is my imagination? As an experiment I have applied to such openings, I drafted a resume detailing word for word the requirements outlined, with a cover letter emphasizing the requirements. I have yet to get any response back to the applications. For research purposes I have applied to over 50 positions that in my 15 years of experience told me were requirements next to impossible to meet by a single individual. Mean while they open a H1B request to fill the same position but lo and behold the job requirements are just a tiny bit different. This is supported by the fact that while several major companies slashed their American work force by 40 to 60 percent. H1B contractors remained in position and even more hired.

On one hand the Technology sector is complaining that they do not have enough qualified people and on the other they claim that qualified people are not willing to take the jobs, or they can not afford qualified people so they have to go outside of the country, and they lobby for tax breaks to fund research and development! A tax burden that then has to be picked up by the very same people they laid off to pay to hire foreign contractors to do the research and development! CEO?s and top-level executives even have gone on record with the nerve to say that the American worker must compete internationally for their jobs from now on. I do not see any CEO, Director, or other top-level Executive positions being outsourced! So why does that attitude not surprise me. Should it be accepted the norm, for a person who invested years of time and substantial financial resources going to school, getting trained, gaining experience to work for wages at or below minimum wage, in a country with a cost of living like the United States in order to compete with the salaries paid to foreign tech workers in third world countries? Well this is exactly what was suggest by the CEO of HP corporation this week!

Is American technology setting it?s self up for a huge fall in the not so distant future? Where Americans no longer see technical work a viable means to earn a living. Where, the majority of the software, hardware, infrastructure, and operations that the United States relies upon is created and supported by foreign providers? Are we risking the possibility of being held hostage by foreign interests that control the technology that we use? These are not TV sets and Walkmans we are talking about any more. Talented individuals in increasing numbers are being forced out of the industry here in the United States. The prospects for new graduates are diminishing. But in the tunnel vision of boosting profits, companies, that created the technological revolution across the world, powered by American know how and determination, are now selling America?s lead in technological innovation to the lowest bidder.

Mean while hard working educated people are left floundering on the wayside. Were the people laid off from HP, Cisco, Motorola, IBM, Nortel, Lucent, AT&T and dozens of other companies offered the option of taking a pay cut in order to keep their jobs. Well on the whole they were not. I wasn?t. The only ones that had that luxury were the top executives in those corporations. And we were made to feel that they were force to make monumental sacrifices. Like not getting that 1.2 million bonus this year. Or instead of making $864,000.00 this year they had to squeak by on $734,000.00

If we as a nation do not take our politicians to task and implement real protections to American jobs in this country, we risk becoming pawn to those who we are teaching and tasking to do our work for us. Not because we do not have a local talent pool, but because unfortunately the US has become a place where Money Talks and the rest walk. At the lowest levels we are outsourcing the need for this nation excel in the sciences, to learn, to expand horizons by allowing these vital skills and knowledge to be outsourced.
In closing finally let us take a look at whom we are outsourcing our technologies to. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Korea, Malaysia. Am I crazy but are these not some politically hot and unstable areas of the world? India and Pakistan are a hairs breath away from a nuclear shooting war. China, Korea and Malaysia are certainly not Americas best friends. Some of these countries are even home to known terrorist groups, or have people in government sympathetic to radical causes.

As more and more of our technology gets developed in foreign countries, more and more of what keeps our national infrastructure intact, falls under the indirect control of individuals who?s motives and actions can not in any way shape or form controlled.

Here is a What if.

What if networking software code developed in (Pick a Country) had written into it a routine to completely crash the network and take down any network connected to it. Say this routine is buried in amongst million lines of code. Since the software was developed and written by a Indian software outsource firm, paying it?s engineers the equivalent of $15,000 per year and they are the only ones who can economically test and debug the software. What if the engineer who wrote the harmful code wanted to make more than $15,000 so was open to suggestion from a distant relation who just so happens to be tied up with some radical faction. What if that software was now running major networks in America?s banking system, Telephone system, Heath care system. Think about it, and like I did get mad, and go out and do something about it.

Think that this can not happen? Ask any software pro, Testing and debugging millions of lines of code is a time consuming and expensive process. Heck this is one of the reasons the US companies are outsourcing the work. If you had to then hire American engineers and developers to test, debug, and modify the software you might as well not outsource it at all. So it would be child?s play to embed malicious code into a application and get it through undetected. Programmers have ever since software was born left back doors in applications. Up until now these were for relatively harmless reasons, with the exception of a disgruntled employee or two. Plus as they lived and worked in the US for US companies with American colleagues such things were not as hard to catch and track.

Now just imagine a environment where none of the developers are American, some may or may not have issues with US policy. Screening applicants is far less stringent, records far harder to access. You have to remember these are third world countries. Is my ?what if? that much, a stretch of imagination?

Stop, Think, Act.

A few notes about the author.

Peter Nevai

Over 15 years experience in the deployment, and support of complex telecommunications / IT systems and networks. Having contributed to the efforts of several leading and prominent Telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Responsible in efforts that led to successful networked systems deployments in 8 countries and in the United States. Approximately 20% of the world population uses or has used at one time or another telecommunications services provided by the systems the author was instrumental in deploying.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Good Points

by Oldefar In reply to Out Sourcing and H1B visa ...

Except for the "What It" scenario. Yes, it can happen. However I don't think the risk significantly changes when the work moves to other countries.

The workers there are dependent upon work from the developed countries (this is an issue in Europe and Australia, and will become more of an issue in Canada in the near future). Most have a work ethic and personal ethics as high as any in the developed countries.

We are seeing a global change in social and cultural interdependencies unlike anything ever seen before. Looking beyond our local, regional, and national affiliations will be a key challenge for all of us. Let's hope we find we have more in common than we ever suspected.

Collapse -

Needs to be cleared up

by Oz_Media In reply to Good Points

"The workers there are dependent upon work from the developed countries (this is an issue in Europe and Australia, and will become more of an issue in Canada in the near future). Most have a work ethic and personal ethics as high as any in the developed countries."

The way I read this is that Europe, Australia and Canada are not developed countries? I don't think that's what you were implying but need to clarify anyway.
or do you mean "the workers there" (meaning USA) {which would change the context of your response}


Collapse -

Won't Play

by Oldefar In reply to Needs to be cleared up

Sorry Oz. You can read an insult into my previous post if you like. It wasn't there at my end. To repeat - the developed nations are losing work to developing nations.

Canada has been a recipient of outsourcing from the US, a labor cost and location advantage coupled with a general feeling of good will towards our northern neighbor. Global communications ruins the location advantage, and the cost advantage is not as good as other places.

Collapse -

That wasn't it at all.

by Oz_Media In reply to Won't Play

"Won't Play
Sorry Oz. You can read an insult into my previous post if you like. It wasn't there at my end. To repeat - the developed nations are losing work to developing nations."
It was either the grammar used or just the way I read it. I saw it to mean, Europe Canada and Ausdtralia are undeveloped nations. As I said, I'msure this isn't waqt you meant but need to be clear, just as all of my posts are scrutinized based on grammar. I have no problem explaining my ideas and statements if misunderstood though.

No need to apologize, no I wasn;t insulted, I was just unclear of the meaning of the sentence.

You're right though, Canada is already outsourcing some jobs to India, the difference is, Canadian companies feel that suporting and hiring Canadians is more important than a slight increase in profit. We have less capitalistic corporations here, although they do exist, usually not for too long though. Wetsren Canada's largest (by a long shot) food store almost went out of business one year when the owner was said to have practiced poor ettiquette when he was young and selling cars. THis was turned around by providing a much higher level of service, better quality products and lower prices. Without catering to people, you business WILL not and CAN not succeed here.

For the most part, the ompanies that have capitalistic business practices here succeed when selling to a US market, not the Candian market. They often relocate or sell to US based corporations, where such practice is accepted or at least put up with because there's no paradigm to be compared to.

Collapse -

Guilty as Charged

by Oldefar In reply to That wasn't it at all.

All posts in a forum are subject to being read only within the context of that post. To be sure the intended meaning is conveyed, the post should stand complete as written.

My post was written in the context of a response to a post, and without that context the meaning was ambiguous.

Readers will also apply prior experience with a poster to their interpetation. Again, I am guilty of reading past experiences into a post.

Collapse -

Telecom? No kidding!

by Oz_Media In reply to Out Sourcing and H1B visa ...

I know that Telecomm outsourcing by Notrel has been very big since the late 80's as has NEC's and Panasonic's. I also worked in the industry for BC's largest interconnect and Canada's largest VoIP and Key System dealer. I know that telecom outsourcing for building of circuit boards and components has been done for a lot more than a few years, I was dealing with Nortel's developers in India and the Phillipines in the mid-late 1980's.

This is a fact, it has been for a long time and it is not the same as IT outsourcing in the sense that it has almost always been done overseas, India or Phillipines.

Some of the best techs are from the Phillipines and the most popular university courses there are in telecom wiring and circuit switching.

Thuis hasn't effected sales or quality, it HAS reduced cost though. How is that bad? Because SoME people lost jobs? You will always be undercut for work, that's why we need to be more diverse in our fields of knowledge. If IT dies, I fix cars, if Cars become obsolete, I am a machinist, if machines become obsolete, I m an artist development manager, if music becomes obsolete... That way I never have to complain about the state of industry and simply find something more lucrative to do. Am I being arrogant? No. Am I more capable than others? I don't think so. Do I have more time? No. I just learned at a young age in another country, learning a single skill and expecting a career is alost cause and a dead end. One must be flexible in experience, ability and knowledge of industry to stay employed. In Canada and the USA, life has been much simpler as it is a gravy train for those who come here, jobs are aplenty and fame and fortune is available to all, not just the elite. As time has passed, youo must have skills, people get MCSE certs, PHP certs etc. But what if IT dies? It's harder to find IT work than it was ten years ago, is this only due to IT outsourcing? NO. It is because everyone thought IT was the gravy train, they all got certified and now wonder WHY there's no work and everyone is kloooking for iT jobs. In the same sense, Japan has a massive lack of skilled labourers, as they were heavily into IT as the future. Now it is hard to find a crew to build a new office building, everyone's an IT expert.

Certs are great but don't look at them as a future, just another thing you can do.
What I did see the other night, was a fact that few people know. If you go to you Income Tax preparation company, even the larger one's (H&R BLock etc), they will SEND you taxes to India to be filled out in India in a secure and paperless office then returned to the preparation company for submittal.

How many people know that thier private information is sent across the net to India, someone you have never seen prepares your return and sends it back to you reputable tax service?

They used to send it to local houses where teams filled in the forms and sent them back, when you consider salaries, 400-500 month in India, 4000-5000 month for the same accountants in the USA or Canada, it's no wonder they are being outsourced.

this continent is too new and too used to being wealthy. Other European countries are a little more 'grounded' as they've been rich and prosperous, been downtrodden and now simply get by. One thing I notice in Europe that dies in North America. Many here live check to check, cost of living is high and money is less each year as more skilled people vie for our jobs at less pay. My middle class friends don't do too much. The odd night at the bar, dinner out when possible, movies less and less each year etc.

My upper class friends are the same, they have more money and do more but still not as much as 10 years ago.

In England, almost everyone is broke, yo live check to check, but the people ENJOY thier money. A two hour lunch at the pub is common at many companies, every night at the pub. Every other week at a concert or club.

They don't have more money, in fact most have less. The cost of living isn't REALLY cheaper. They are just used to not having a Playstation, or a new car lease or DKNY clothes or Prada shoes or... And simply enjoy the money they do have.

I find in North America it is MUCH more material, you are what you have. People will not go out, will skrimp and save to make sure they have a new Lexus, Prada shoes, Gucci handbag or whatever. It is WHO you are not what you have.

I'd give Noth American's another hundred years (less if you keep pissing away your money on the military)before low income and no Lexus becomes reality. the nice part of it is, people are more humble and accepting of one another.

I can't remember the last time I was giggle at for not wearing the right shoes in Germany, or hearing snickers as I wore a basic t-shirt without NIKE on it while in London.

Money and economy in North America needs to uindergo some serious pains before it becomes stable. The recession was nothing.

Collapse -

If it were only true

by worker bee In reply to Telecom? No kidding!

If the United States were headed in the direction to becoming more like Europe where people have lower living standard of living but a better quality of life then many of us would welcome it. But that is not where we are headed.

The reality is that unlike Europe, the U.S. economy tends toward the most brutal and darwinistic aspects of capitalism. If I can discover a way to make myself rich by making thousands of my fellow citizens poor and miserable then I will be praised as great captain of industry and treated no differently than someone who acquired their wealth by actually creating something of value. This means that as far as Corporate America is concerned it is perfectly acceptable to make themselves rich by transforming the United States into another Argentina or Haiti.

As we see others tossed one by one out of the liveboat into shark infested waters, many of us comfort ourselves by saying "He deserved it. He did not keep his skills up. He was weak and worthless. He was inflexible." But the lifeboat is getting emptier every day, and one day it will be your turn. The water is cold, the sharks merciless, and spending your golden years trying to decide which brand of dog food goes best with toast is not what any of us bargained for.

Collapse -

Thanks for saying that

by Oz_Media In reply to If it were only true

If I myself make such statements, I am quickly jumped on for being anti-American or simply WAY wrong. This is another reason why American companies qren't welcomed in Canada, they have no business ethics that coincide with our own.

Canadian's have no problem going an extra block or paying an extra dollar to spsend in a store with high customer service and employment ethics.

WalMart is just such a store that is abhorred here, they explot third world country workers, pay lower wages than others in thier field, although meeting our minimum wage requirements and offer no support in the sense of knowledgable staff, just workers who will work in several different departments as needed with little or no knowledge of the products they are supposed to HELP with.

I am glad to live in such a Liberal country without the same capitalistic corporate views as the USA, although I will admit not ALL companies toe the line and not ALL Canadian companies are better than in the USA. It is just a gereralization, but a somewhat realistiv one at that.

Collapse -

Anti-Canadian Rant!

by mrbill- In reply to Thanks for saying that

I'm tired of you Canadians thinking your country is better than all the others. That Arrogant attitude is why nobody likes you. "Our companies are better, our society is better, our politicians are better, our country is better..." Quit waving the maple leaf nobody is buying it. Nobody is standing in line waiting to get into Canada, except maybe as a stopover for terrorist trying to get into other countries. I'm also tired of your portrayal of how we would be lost if not for the Canadian Recon forces, you did not save the world, get over it.

How does it feel to be on the receiving end of you style of attack. Sorry if I offended any Canadian friends.

Great, now I?ll be accused of being anti-Canadian.

Collapse -


by Oz_Media In reply to Anti-Canadian Rant!

Actually mrbill, I find it quite amusing and flattering that you would think of us.

I would agree with your wholy if Canada was tryig to get the rest of the world to follow her, I wouldn't impose out way of life on anyone, it would be too crowded here.

I have NEVER said you are lucky to have Canada supporting you, I have never said that Canada was better than the USA.

I have said on many occasions, I love Canada but it has it's faults as does ANY country on the globe. Fot this exact reason, I would never expect someone to believe me in saying tha Canada was better.

The difference, we donn't THINK we're better than the rest. YOU do. We don't fly to foreign countrys and show them how to build a government that coincides with our own. We don't expect ANYONE to follow our lead, and more than anything, VERY few people have much faith in the PM. We just let him have his meetings with whoever and say or do as he pleases. When there's no fish in the lake or I'm not allowed to take my dirct bike into the mountains, I'll have my say.

It would be really amusing to see Canadians wave the flag in other countries, it's is hard to imagine how many friends and ladies you'd pick up, we are loved in Europe, not hated because we are neutral and passive as a society, leave us alone and we'll leave you alone type of mentality.

When we are dragged into politics by the US or chastized for NOT joining in, we get pissed of at America. If you want to make enemies, be disloyal to your allies and poke your nose into things, leave us out of it and don't ***** that we didn't see your point.

But it would be funny if we were like that, what a clash of the borders that would be.

Related Discussions

Related Forums