Parity amongst Patels…

From the mid-1990s to current times, Americans have been stressing about their jobs being “out” or “in” sourced to India. This worry has been particularly acute in the technology field were supposedly one billion Indians were standing poised to take coveted Silicon Valley jobs, ready to live in huts and snatch the dream of a Woodside home from those still carrying Stanford debt.

What is so amazing to me is that its taken just a decade to bring salaries to near par. In this week’s Economist, there’s an article about how skills shortages are threatening the fast growing economies in the region. Particularly…

Technical skills, particularly in information technology, are lacking in many parts of the region, even India. One of the main concerns is that there are not enough skilled graduates to fill all the jobs being created in a vibrant sector. Nasscom, which represents India’s software companies, has estimated that there could be a shortfall of 500,000 IT professionals by 2010. This means companies recruiting at job fairs in India are having to make lucrative offers to capture the most promising students. Even a junior software-engineer can expect to take home $45,000 a year.

$45,000 a year! A mere 11 years ago, my first job out of college paid $45,000 a year. To think that an Indian starting salary is in that range, in such a short period of time is just amazing.

I’ve always believed that the low cost of software engineering in India was an anomoly that would be corrected eventually, though – I was always predicting twenty years. I always felt the real reason software engineering would be prominent in India was talent. Its very difficult to hire top engineering talent in Silicon Valley or anywhere. Companies are looking elsewhere, not necessarily to save money, but to find supply that is so scarce everywhere. (More on this soon…)

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