Good read on the faux-STEM shortages

Good post over at Math Blog. There is no short of STEM folks in the US, and hasn’t been for a long … long time. Any shortage of STEM folks would be well represented by a number of economic factors: 1) rapidly rising compensation rates (economic scarcity impacts upon costs of labor), 2) very short job search times for STEM folks, 3) additional market based initiatives to find and retain STEM folks.

None of these is occurring. Instead, we have apparent collusion to avoid competing for talent, which has the natural effect of near term suppression of compensation rates, and a hard lobbying, by the very same alleged collusion groups, to admit more STEM folks via immigration.

The post is somewhat light hearted in its treatment, and one of the points made is this

Empirically, many factors separately or in combination seem to frequently push software engineers out of the ?hot? software engineer category into the ?unqualified? category despite impressive actual qualifications. These include:

Less than three years of paid professional experience working for a commercial firm.

More than ten years of paid professional experience

Over 35 (sometimes over 30)

Look over 35 (even worse)

Gray hair (really bad)

Has a Ph.D.

Freshly minted Ph.D. (even worse)

Membership in some low-status ?minority? groups (e.g. Black or Hispanic with American Indian Ancestry)


An extended period of recent or current unemployment ? over six months

Lack of a college degree

Stated skepticism about currently ?hot? technologies even if knows them (e.g. the applicant thinks Git is an awful version control system after using Git for years)

Scores perfectly on a coding test interview (better than interviewers could do)

Just plain different in some other way

Yeah, while this was partially tongue-in-cheek, there is far too much truth to this.

Good read. Strongly recommended.

As a greying (way over) 30-ish Ph.D type, I am deeply into unqualified territory … (/sarcasm)

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