Don’t graduate if you don’t have the latest tech skills | Politics and Law – CNET News
By Heidi Golledge
The overall unemployment rate is moving at a snail’s pace — and not always in the right direction. Particularly troubling is the stubbornness of America’s youth unemployment rate, which is still hovering over 16 percent. Even for those who do find jobs out of college in the past two years, more than 40 percent are working jobs that don’t require a degree. More than 280,000 college graduates last year were working minimum-wage jobs, according to the Labor Department. We must begin to ask ourselves: What’s keeping these hopeful workers from gainful employment?
The answer is education. A large number of the available jobs belong to the increasingly important technology sector, requiring specific technological or engineering training. Though 1.8 million students are set to graduate this year, only 16 percent will do so with degrees in science, math, or engineering, far less than their foreign counterparts. Looking at the current crop of college graduates, high-tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Intel are struggling to fill their rapidly expanding corporate rosters. As a result, they’ve naturally turned to the rest of the world to fill their needs.
Unfortunately, their hiring prospects are just as challenging when they turn abroad. Expanding companies have been limited by the federal government’s current immigration policy, which awards just 65,000 high-skilled H-1B visas to prospective workers per year. Under a new plan being floated in the U.S. Senate by the so-called Gang of Eight, the number of these visas would increase to 110,000 per year.