Potholes in progress
Saw this article today in the NY Times about the shortage of civil engineers in India.
To summarize briefly:
1. Civil engineering entry-level positions in India used to pay really poorly.
2. Most Indian civil engineering majors now work for foreign (read: Silicon Valley) software companies, because it pays better.
3. India has a lot of potholes.
4. India put a lot of money aside to fix the potholes.
5. India can't find enough civil engineers to do the work.
6. Pay for entry-level civil engineering jobs in India has doubled in the last 5 years, but it's still kind of crappy.
7. India's solution to their current (immediate!) problem: putting more money into universities to encourage more students to major in civil engineering.
I read this whole article thinking only two things:
1) Why aren't they recruiting from overseas, like we do? Is there an international shortage of civil engineers?
2) Don't they realize that it's going to take at least 4 years to graduate new batches of civil engineers from college?
Anyway it reminded me of the periodic Chicken Little reports from NSF claiming that there's a shortage of scientists. Except here, we just import them.
And no one seems to understand that all they have to do is raise the salary to an attractive level, or provide some other benefits, like housing for immigrants*. The problem will fix itself if they just provide some incentive to the people who would actually be doing the work.
*Sort of like we do for foreign graduate students in the sciences