Friday Rant: A Solution for Groveling IT Professional Looking for Work: Move to India

A few weeks back, the comments section of Spend Matters was hijacked by a handful of protectionist nutcases. I won't delve into the specifics in this column but needless to say, it's a good thing for the pro H1-B Visa camp that it's most vocal opposition is so angry and out of touch that they're incapable of stringing together logical arguments without lapsing into racist, anti-Indian rhetoric. Clearly, even if the world is even partially flat -- which I'm not convinced of -- it's clear these folks will be the ones who are pancaked by reality bearing street pavers along the way, getting rolled so thin that even a Masala Dosa would look thick in comparison (which they'd probably choke on in disgust because their idea of spicy is defined by McDonald's fries with extra salt and a few dashes of pepper). Regardless, I'd love to see some of these sorry souls have to wake up and wheeze their way through a typical day in most parts of the world, realizing how good they have it here. But maybe now they'll get their chance.

Over on 360 Degree Vendor Management, a recent post suggests that, "In a baffling reversal of fortune, IBM has offered its newly laid-off employees the grand opportunity of international employment under the local terms and conditions". The post goes on to suggest that "those unfortunate souls now have the opportunity to compare their unemployment benefits with their Indian counterparts' wages. To give you an idea, California's benefits for those who made over $11,674.01 in the last quarter (which is pretty much all IT workers) are $450/week. That's $23,400/year, or $11.25/hr. Payscale indicates that the median self-reported hourly wage is Rs 1,000 (USD $20.50) for a Sr. Software Engineer/Developer/Programmer."

Having personally developed products both onshore and off, I can vouch for the fact that there are some jobs that will always remain nearby and many others better suited for lower cost regions (trust me: at least in software development, the West has and will maintain a huge advantage when it comes to getting creative, non-commodity work done right the first time, unless there's an MRD document the size of one of India's or Pakistan's typical thermonuclear devices). But in my view, those professionals who remain convinced that legislation will truly protect commodity jobs onshore -- either via curtailing H1-B Visas or banning offshoring -- are clearly smoking too much medicinal cannibis if they think their policy position has got any future at all, with our without all the fiery and racist rhetoric behind it. As 360 Degree Vendor Management jokingly hints at, perhaps they'd be better served by relocating to Bangalore before their unemployment benefits run out.

Jason Busch

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