Yahoo Lobbyists Should Read Yahoo Education on Tech Skills "Shortages"

By David North on June 14, 2013

This is one of those "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing" stories.

It shows that Yahoo as a corporation is lobbying for more H-1Bs on the grounds of an alleged "skills shortage" in the high-tech fields, while another part of Yahoo says, in effect, Americans should not bother to study information systems in college because it will not help them get a job.

Here are the facts in the case:

Yahoo in 2012 was the 35th largest user of H-1B workers in the nation, filing for 512 of them, as reported here.

Yahoo has lobbied for easier rules for the hiring of H-1Bs as reported, among other places, here.

Yahoo Education, a news-gathering unit of the mother corporation, however, has reported that one of the college "degrees with high unemployment" is "information systems".

The article is headlined "Want a Job? Don't Bother With These Degrees". It lists four such degrees: fine arts, philosophy and religion, film and video arts, and information systems, in that order.

The Yahoo Education article, in turn, is based on a Georgetown University study, entitled "Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal", the full text of which is here.

The Yahoo Education story says: "You might be surprised to see this particular degree on our list of the most unemployable degrees. But according to the Georgetown Study 11.7 percent of information systems graduates are unemployed."

There is, sadly, no mention in the reporting that one of the prime causes for the high unemployment level of residents is the heavy concentration of foreign workers in the H-1B program working in the information and high-tech fields.

I wonder how long this good piece of education/labor market analysis will stay on the web.