- 63% of H1B recipients for FY 2020 held Master’s degrees
- For software companies, work experience is often considered a better teacher than universities
- American labor markets also hit by new immigration policies
If you are thinking of working in the USA, get a Post Graduate degree. The new US immigration policy favors applicants with postgraduate degrees over others. While this may seem like a smart move, the tech industry often gives more weight to experience over degrees.
The mismatch may make it harder for companies in this industry to find the talent it needs to maintain its competitive edge over other countries. Read on to learn more.
Who we are today depends on the choices we made yesterday. With US President Trump choosing to prioritize immigrants with degrees over those with work experience, tech talent in the USA may become harder to find. Why? Because a lot of technical knowledge isn’t learned in schools but only through actual work experience.
Working In The USA – Where Do Software Engineers Learn To Code?
According to a survey conducted by Hired, amongst 700 software engineers, only 46% of software engineers have a degree in computer science. While tech companies do consider such degrees and a background in computer science to be valuable, technical talent hoed while working is often given a higher weight.
In many cases, tech companies look for skill sets that aren’t tied to any particular degree. Of all the software engineers who participated in the survey, 21% claimed to be self-taught and had no degree to back their talent. See the snapshot below:
|Background||Computer Science Degrees||Other Relevant Degrees||Self-taught||Bootcamp participants|
Working In The USA – Immigration And Degrees
In the past year, the US administration has made a number of changes to the country’s immigration policy to prioritize immigrants with postgraduate degrees.
This includes reversing the order in which the H1B lottery is conducted for immigrants with graduate and master’s degrees. This change in order could increase the chances for an immigrant with a postgraduate degree to get an H1B visa.
According to data from the USCIS, around 52% of the all H1B applicants for the coming year have a master’s degree from a university in the USA. This is double the number of applicants with a master’s degree in 2015.
|Financial Year||Applicants With BA Degree||Applicants With PG Degree|
Percentage Of Petitions And Selections With A Master’s Degrees For The H-1B Visa
There is also a marked change in the type of immigrants being awarded the H1B visa. In the lottery held for the H1B visas in the financial year 2020, 63% of recipients held master’s degrees. In the previous year, this percentage was only 56%.
Working In The USA – Why Are Degrees So Important?
The idea behind these changes was to ensure that American jobs aren’t awarded to immigrants who are willing to take up the positions for lesser pay than American citizens. It is however interesting to note that this is something already prohibited by the H1B rules.
A study recently conducted by information site, Glassdoor confirmed that there is not much of a difference in salaries paid to US citizens and H1B visa holders. In some cases, H1B visa holders are being paid higher salaries based on their age and occupation.
Working In The USA The Effect Of New Immigration Policy
The change in immigration policies has resulted in favoring some industries over others. Small companies in the tech industry, in particular, have begun to find it difficult to fill open positions. It is interesting to note that tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook received 99% of all H1B visas in the previous year.
Thus, large companies who can afford to offer high pay packages are not majorly hit by the changes. Along with the tech industry, the American labor market is also facing a crunch in terms of H1B workers. This has resulted in lower wages and fewer jobs for immigrants and US citizens alike.
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