US engineers get best pay day in two decades

US engineers get best pay day in two decades
Tom Foremski The continuing skills shortage in Silicon Valley is resulting in a salary bonanza for electronics engineers. Two reports show that with Silicon Valley companies filling only one out of three vacancies, engineers’ salaries have shown their sharpest rise in almost two decades. The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network organisation’s report shows that the skills shortage is costing local companies as much as $4bn per year. “Our study confirms that the area’s high-tech industry is not growing as fast as it could be because there simply are not enough skilled people to fill the jobs,” said Ruben Barrales, CEO of Joint Venture. “If Silicon Valley wants to remain the capital of high-tech, we need to become the top producer of qualified high-tech workers.” A separate study by the IEEE-USA reports that demand for electronics engineers has boosted median salaries in 1998 to $82,000 compared with $72,000 in 1997, the largest increase in 17 years. However, not all are sharing in the salary boost with the survey noting that recent graduates are earning more than engineers that entered the market during the 1993 recession. “Encouraging as these statistics are, they are partially offset by a continuing lag for those who entered the workforce in the early 1990s,” said IEEE-USA survey committee chair Robert Nash. “While recent graduates and the most experienced are doing better than ever, those with two to six years’ experience are well below where they should be.” Silicon Valley companies have more than 300,000 vacancies and they are rapidly running out of H-1B visas required to hire foreign workers.


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