Outsourcing Computer Technology
Manufacturing is not the only industry that’s being damaged as the U.S continues to outsource its jobs and move production offshore. University of California professor Norm Matloff warns that outsourcing and H-1B visas, which bring overseas workers into American firms, are destroying the U.S. software engineering profession. Computer science departments have been stymied, because they are heavily dependent on research and faculty funds from the very firms whose outsourcing practices are destroying the occupation in the United States.
Falling enrollments mean fewer faculty positions and graduate students. Despite their funding being threatened by fewer enrollments, most computer science professors are unwilling to contradict their corporate benefactors’ erroneous claims that outsourcing is good for America.
Many professors acknowledge that programming is a lost occupation for Americans and claim that there is still a future for American students in designing computer systems—a field dubbed “computer software systems architecture.” Matloff, a computer science professor himself, does not agree with this. He points out that it is impossible to design computer systems without having years of programming experience. If you lose programming, you lose the base for the occupation, and all the rest goes offshore as well.
Some economists claim that lost occupations will return to the United States once wages rise in India and China. Matloff disagrees again, pointing out that manufacturing work has not returned to the U.S. as foreign wages have risen. America is carelessly forfeiting both its manufacturing and high-tech occupations.
Other economists allege that other new high-tech professions will rise to take the place of the lost computer engineering profession. But, as Matloff points out, venture capitalists routinely demand that the new companies they finance outsource as much as possible to maximize profits.
U.S. universities have educated enough Indians and Chinese to fill every high-tech job American firms have to offer. The false claim that only drudgery jobs are outsourced is laughable. It is just one more example of an entire industry slipping away from the grasp of America.