New STEM legislation could affect IT hiring landscape

By VAR_Staffing
In Channel
September 14, 2012

VAR_Staffing / VAR Staffing

There is a new bill preparing to make its way into Congress that could have a major impact on the technology job landscape. The legislation makes green cards available to as many as 55,000 foreign nationals who have earned an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or math – otherwise known as STEM. This potential influx of new talent could have IT Principals and Solution Provider looking at a much deeper talent pool.

Patrick Thibodeau breaks down the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 and its provisions in a new Computerworld article. The legislation would eliminate the random lotteries that are currently in place. First preference of green cards will be for students that have earned a doctorate, followed by master's degrees.

Qualifying students must have received a doctorate or master's degree from a U.S. university. Employers petitions for the job candidate, who must agree to work for at least five years in a STEM field.

Democrats and Republicans in each chamber have pitched legislation to create a STEM visa program and there is bipartisan support of the bill.

"STEM legislation proponents argue that these advanced degree graduates are in demand worldwide and the U.S. is competing for them," Thibodeau wrote. "But there will be critics of this visa program as well, who will argue that the labor certification process, now used with employment green cards, offers little protection to U.S. workers."

Effect from the STEM bill will take some time to be seen but IT Principals need to be thinking ahead. Trusted resources like VARs and MSPs are sure to be keeping a close eye on the IT channel and any possible changes.

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