New Study Busts STEM Education Myth, Sheds Light on Cheap Foreign Labor

John Miano | April 9, 2019 | 3:33pm EDT
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(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The H-1B Cap for FY 2020 has been reached. USCIS's annual April 1 start for taking visa petitions is the business version of Black Friday. On Black Friday, consumers buy up all the cheap TVs and video game consoles that are available. On April 1, businesses buy up all the cheap foreign labor that is available.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America counters the persistent myth that the United States is falling behind in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). The study looked at the skills of computer programmer graduates around the world by using a standardized programming test.

The study strikes several blows to the great American STEM shortage myth.

Blow No. 1 to the STEM Myth. The study found that “Seniors in the United States exhibit much higher levels of [computer science] skills than seniors in China, India, and Russia.”

Blow No. 2 to the STEM Myth. “Although seniors in elite programs score much higher than seniors in nonelite programs in China, India, and Russia, they still score lower than seniors in the United States.”

Blow No. 3 to the STEM Myth. U.S. computer science seniors from elite schools greatly outperform computer science seniors from elite schools in the foreign countries.

Blow No. 4 to the STEM Myth. "The substantial advantage of [computer science] students in the United States is not driven by the presence of international students."

Collectively, foreign computer programmers do not bring higher skills to America. They simply bring cheap labor.

John Miano, a leading expert on the effect of foreign labor on technology workers, has been a Center Fellow since 2008. His legal practice focuses on U.S. job candidates and companies in violation of H-1B rules.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Center for Immigration Studies.

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