Silicon Valley Companies Looking For Cheap Labor Overseas
from the a-problem-or-an-opportunity? dept
For years, there has been a very vocal group of people in the US trying to get the government to cut back on the number of visas given out to foreigners, saying that we can fill those jobs with American citizens. Now, some are realizing that strategy may have additional unintended consequences that have made things even worse for themselves. Instead of bringing in new workers, technology companies are now moving entire jobs overseas where workers are much less expensive. For years, this trend was slowed down by the fact that many overseas workers weren’t at the same skill level as their counterparts in the US – but that is quickly changing. Just this weekend I had a conversation with some foreign-born engineers who fear that they need to start looking for other careers as plenty of jobs seem to be moving back to where they originally came from. Some companies are apparently encouraging foreign-born workers to take their jobs back to their home countries – where they will pay them a much higher than standard “local” rate – though, still well below what they would make in the US. While some are predicting that this will be the end of software development in the US, others aren’t so sure. There is still something to having a team of people who can collaborate in person. I know some engineers who work with programmers in India say that development slows down because they can only handle one issue a day, before it gets passed back to the other side of the world to be dealt with the next day. In the end, people can complain about these things all they want – it doesn’t change the economic reality they’re facing. Companies need to realize that there are benefits and tradeoffs in employing workers overseas – and some will continue to go in that direction, while others will find value in keeping employees here.