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Microsoft Says U.S. Science Education Needs $5 Billion

By - Source: Computerworld | B 41 comments

Every once in a while, the tech industry raises its voice and warns the U.S. government that it is not investing enough in the education of the next generation of scientists.

This time, it is Microsoft that says the nation's education system could use a $5 billion injection into the segments of math, science and technology education over the next 10 years.

The note comes from Microsoft's general counsel executive vice president Brad Smith, signalling that technology companies are seeing a considerable shortage of workers. Smith suggested that the $500 million per year investment could be raised by adding 20,000 high-skill immigration H-1B visas for workers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to the already existing 85,000 visas and charge $10,000 for each of them. The visas currently run for $2,800. Additionally, the government could monetize 15,000 unused green cards per year with a fee of $15,000 each.

Smith stressed that the education improvement is necessary because the U.S. would be falling behind other nations. Such claims are not new and are often expressed by tech giants, including Intel. While these companies typically sponsor education programs themselves and run science fairs with incentives for kids and teenagers to begin a science career, they also noticed a trend in which other nations are creating greater numbers of skilled workers than the U.S. For example, it is believed that China surpassed the U.S. in PhD graduates per year in 2010 and graduated more than three times the number of four-year degrees in science fields in the same year.

 

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  • 19 Hide
    sixdegree , October 2, 2012 2:17 AM
    Or the government can cut back a tiny fraction of their military spending and allocate it to science and education instead of selling working visas and green cards. That's kinda solves education funding as well as unemployment problems.
  • 11 Hide
    husker , October 2, 2012 2:59 AM
    freggoIf Mr. Gates really was giving up oh so many of his Billions how come he still has them all ?Or is he just funneling them into his non-profit 'charity' to shelter them from taxation ?

    Two seconds on a google search will lead you to the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. This is from wikipedia:

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF or the Gates Foundation) is the largest transparently operated[4] private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family".[5] The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Raikes. It had an endowment of US$33.5 billion as of September 30, 2011.
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    DroKing , October 2, 2012 2:09 AM
    PhD degrees are overpriced in US. I dropped out of college myself because it was costing 4 grand a quarter uhh to expensive for me. Ill stick with working.
  • 19 Hide
    sixdegree , October 2, 2012 2:17 AM
    Or the government can cut back a tiny fraction of their military spending and allocate it to science and education instead of selling working visas and green cards. That's kinda solves education funding as well as unemployment problems.
  • 8 Hide
    kcorp2003 , October 2, 2012 2:29 AM
    Okay, i'm almost done with my college degree. I see students everyday in the train. Let me tell you, their not interested in math or science or technology. Their more into the entertainment business. They lack honor and discipline with a very short attention span and high temper.
  • 2 Hide
    fuxxnuts , October 2, 2012 2:34 AM
    kcorp2003Okay, i'm almost done with my college degree. I see students everyday in the train. Let me tell you, their not interested in math or science or technology. Their more into the entertainment business. They lack honor and discipline with a very short attention span and high temper.


    Guess they aren't interested in English grammar, either.
  • 7 Hide
    kcorp2003 , October 2, 2012 2:38 AM
    Quote:
    Guess they aren't interested in English grammar, either.


    this is the internet and this is a forum.
  • -3 Hide
    therabiddeer , October 2, 2012 2:43 AM
    DroKingPhD degrees are overpriced in US. I dropped out of college myself because it was costing 4 grand a quarter uhh to expensive for me. Ill stick with working.

    50 grand to double your pay and have that 50k paid off within a few years? Seems worth it to me.

    I am surprised that they say there is a shortage in the tech industry given all of the layoffs that have been happening.

    PS: Bill Gates has 61 billion... just sayin
    And yes I know that Bill Gates is already awesome given how much he donates. Best rich person alive.
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 2, 2012 2:44 AM
    Meanwhile, our country continues to churn out armies of lawyers after lawyers. And let's not forget about those who dropped out the race of success.

    As in, they dropped out of high school or didn't mind straight Ds. Then turned around and applied for welfare.

    And my parents told me that participating in science or engineering projects is useless compared to studying Calculus/Physics, scoring a 37 on the ACT (totally not a joke), and burning the midnight oil 365 days a year.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 2, 2012 2:49 AM
    EDIT: Well, this is interesting: http://www.isights.org/2012/09/microsofts-hypocrisy-calling-for-a-5b-investment-in-us-education.html

    Step 1: Stop tax evasions

    Step 2: Cut your losses and stop trying to force down salaries for high-skill jobs in order to import more foreigners.

    Step 3: Got a problem? Fix it yourself by tapping into your own funds that are located in tax havens. Or wait for 2-3 decades for the government to finally respond.
  • -8 Hide
    freggo , October 2, 2012 2:50 AM
    therabiddeer50 grand to double your pay and have that 50k paid off within a few years? Seems worth it to me.I am surprised that they say there is a shortage in the tech industry given all of the layoffs that have been happening.PS: Bill Gates has 61 billion... just sayinAnd yes I know that Bill Gates is already awesome given how much he donates. Best rich person alive.


    If Mr. Gates really was giving up oh so many of his Billions how come he still has them all ?
    Or is he just funneling them into his non-profit 'charity' to shelter them from taxation ?
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 2, 2012 2:52 AM
    They've been claiming a shortage since at least 1996 when the lobbying for more H1B visas began.
    It did accomplish much of what they were after, pay rates fell rapidly once people were trained and went back home to set up outsourced shops.
  • 11 Hide
    husker , October 2, 2012 2:59 AM
    freggoIf Mr. Gates really was giving up oh so many of his Billions how come he still has them all ?Or is he just funneling them into his non-profit 'charity' to shelter them from taxation ?

    Two seconds on a google search will lead you to the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. This is from wikipedia:

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF or the Gates Foundation) is the largest transparently operated[4] private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family".[5] The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Raikes. It had an endowment of US$33.5 billion as of September 30, 2011.
  • 7 Hide
    confish21 , October 2, 2012 2:59 AM
    this is BS! There are so many over educated engineers doing stuff like QA. Bring the jobs!
  • 8 Hide
    therabiddeer , October 2, 2012 3:05 AM
    freggoIf Mr. Gates really was giving up oh so many of his Billions how come he still has them all ?Or is he just funneling them into his non-profit 'charity' to shelter them from taxation ?

    Bill Gates has given away more than $30 billion and has plans to give away at least another $30 billion in his lifetime. Bill Gates does not avoid taxes either, he is not Microsoft.
  • 8 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 2, 2012 3:13 AM
    freggoIf Mr. Gates really was giving up oh so many of his Billions how come he still has them all ?Or is he just funneling them into his non-profit 'charity' to shelter them from taxation ?


    I don't think he works at MS anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    therabiddeer , October 2, 2012 3:32 AM
    TheCapuletYou're assuming that getting funding is a walk in the park. For my given major and therefor required school, the government loans come no where close to paying for yearly tuition, let alone other expenses. And that's just 4 year uni. I can't imagine 6-8 years of that debt piling up. It'd be a crippling investment that would hinder progress afterwards in most cases, considering this job market and the huge moves required to find any actual jobs.

    You can get 61,000 over 4 years through just financial aid loans and the pell grant. This doesnt include private grants that you can apply for, private loans, or a number of other sources of funding. On top of this, you can work part time to help pay for college and do community college for the first 2 years. If your chosen field requires 8 years, your wages will increase proportionately for 98% of fields.

    Unless you already had a ton of experience from before the college boom, I cant see you making close to what you could be making if you had gone to college.
  • 1 Hide
    bigdog44 , October 2, 2012 3:38 AM
    The problem is Mr. Smith needs some of that money for his own math education... He quotes $500 million, but his two examples only add up to $425 million (20,000 x 10,000) + (15,000 x 15,000)...just saying.
  • 3 Hide
    dark_wizzie , October 2, 2012 3:40 AM
    kcorp2003this is the internet and this is a forum.

    Correct grammar would still be preferred. I'm not saying your grammar was horrible and retarded, but better grammar is always better.

    Anyways, I have to be honest. I am a college student and my work ethic is bad. I need to shape up or ship out!
  • -4 Hide
    bit_user , October 2, 2012 3:51 AM
    It's hard to argue with more science & engineering education, but I think MS' ideal goal is to get the job market flooded to such an extent that salaries will drop to that of factory workers.
  • -1 Hide
    Kami3k , October 2, 2012 4:09 AM
    bit_userIt's hard to argue with more science & engineering education, but I think MS' ideal goal is to get the job market flooded to such an extent that salaries will drop to that of factory workers.


    Yea saturate a job that has a lack of them and will have a greater lack of them in the future.

    I agree with Microsoft on this, the US is falling behind fast in the number of scientists and engineers we produce. Those the people that develop new ideas and technology.
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