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obi1
02-22-2013, 01:44 PM
So there is every likelihood that the comprehensive immigration reform bill that will eventually be passed will have a portion devoted to promoting the immigration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) graduates with advanced degrees. But has anyone looked closely at the contents of the two most recent bills (the Startup Act 2.0 legislation (S. 3217) and the H.R. 6429: STEM Jobs Act of 2012) which will likely form the basis for whatever will probably go into the CIR bill? I ask because I have been following these bills closely and they have some requirements which will prevent a lot of the very people that they are meant to help from fully benefiting.

In the past I have complained to anyone listening about the Startup Act 2.0 legislation, which appeared to be designed for FUTURE graduates in STEM fields with advanced degrees, not taking into account foreign students who have graduated with advanced degrees in the same fields and have stayed back in the country to work as highly skilled workers (such as H1B), but are stuck in the queue for permanent residence cards. For a bill with the intended goal of encouraging highly skilled workers to found start-up companies, to favor new graduates over their more experienced peers seems quite puzzling. Like all endeavors, STEM are fields whose practitioners only get better with time. While students just leaving the university with advanced degrees in STEM are definitely highly skilled, it is also true that a few years down the line, with additional work experience, such graduates would be better equipped to innovate and contribute to the economy by starting businesses and employing others.

On the other hand, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, is quite similar to the Startup Act 2.0, and seeks to create a new category of green cards for foreign students graduating with advanced STEM degrees from American universities who are sought after by American employers. This bill however, requires the STEM graduates to hold a doctorate, or a masters degree from an ELIGIBLE U.S. university. An eligible university being one that amongst other things, is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a doctorate-granting university with a very high or high level of research activity, or classified by the National Science Foundation after the date of enactment, pursuant to an application by the university, as having equivalent research activity to such schools. Speaking as a masters degree graduate in Computer Science, this is a very stringent requirement which will end up eliminating most of the very people that it is meant to help. This is because, STEM graduates in fields such as Computer Science and Engineering mainly enroll in TAUGHT masters degree programs, which are tailored to equip students with skills that are immediately transferable to the work place as against RESEARCH masters degree which are mainly sought by academicians. As to be expected, most non-ivy league universities that offer TAUGHT masters degree programs in STEM fields will have a difficult time qualifying under the conditions that have been set forth in this bill.

Thoughts anyone?

NB: I do apologize of anyone else has written about this and it looks like a duplication. I scanned the various discussions but did not see anyone discussing this issue :)

pd052011
02-22-2013, 02:02 PM
Very good elaboration. Thank you. I agree that the focus seems to be on new graduates with an increased focus on research and most likely just PhDs. I had posted about this earlier. I feel IV needs to bring this to the attention during the Advocacy Drive.

honest123
02-24-2013, 06:59 AM
In reply to member Obi1, you said "This is because, STEM graduates in fields such as Computer Science and Engineering mainly enroll in TAUGHT masters degree programs, which are tailored to equip students with skills that are immediately transferable to the work place as against RESEARCH masters degree which are mainly sought by academicians. As to be expected, most non-ivy league universities that offer TAUGHT masters degree programs in STEM fields will have a difficult time qualifying under the conditions that have been set forth in this bill.

Thoughts anyone?"

My personal opinion is that both "Research and Taught" Master Programs are equally important. Taught Master programs increase your level of academic knowledge but Research Master programs increase your skill to discover a new level of knowledge. Without new level of knowledge, you don't know how to apply skills for "research" purpose to discover a new level of knowledge. Therefore, both "Research and Taught' methods are inter-dependent of each other.
Like some clinical programs such as MD, Pharm.D etc , they are "taught " clinical programs in health science but those degrees can do both clinical and research health science jobs. In US, most States require that you must have US green card and then get the Professional health licenses or apply for post-MD or post-Pharm.D residency. However, in all States nearly all health professional schools have foreign students to study those health science majors but they can't get the US green cards and back home. They don't have US licences to transfer back home to take their home countries health professional licenses exam and what they have learnt in US in those health professional degrees are totally wasted because without home countries licenses exam, they can't get health jobs in their home countries. In Canada, all health professional degrees especially in medicine and in pharmacy or dental medicine are all granted Canada green cards but US are NOT. So personally I do think those having US health professional degrees (post-baccaulearate) should be granted US green cards to foreign students too.

obi1
03-14-2013, 04:56 AM
Thanks Harry22.