Salaries of software engineers are basically flat, rising at 2 percent or so per year for established workers. The rates are similarly mild for new graduates. This belies the industry’s claim of a tech labor shortage. And while Silicon Valley wages appear high on the surface, they come nowhere near matching the astronomical local real estate prices.
Another dirty little secret in all this is that the H-1B program is an enabler of rampant age discrimination in the tech industry. Age is actually one of the core issues in H-1B. Mind you, we are talking about age 35 as being “old” here, not 55. Almost all the H-1Bs are young, and younger is cheaper. And young H-1Bs are even cheaper than young Americans.
Age gives employers an excuse to shun American applicants, on the grounds that a given job opening requires only three to five years of experience, rendering the Americans “overqualified.” Or the employer will load the job description with unnecessary requirements, making the Americans simultaneously under- and overqualified. That doesn’t leave much room, does it?