Planning for Engineering after HS?

Planning for Engineering after HS?

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

From April, the premium processing of H1B visas, the permits that enable skilled foreigners to be employed in the United States, will be suspended for six months. This move is most likely to affect thousands of Indian nationals, predominantly in the $150 billion Indian information technology industry.

Shares of prominent tech firms like Wipro and Infosys faced the expected plunge. This appalling bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives with the objective to increase the minimum annual salary to qualify for an H1B viSA FROM $60,000 (Rs. 40 Lakhs) to at least $130,000 (Rs. 87 Lakh). Indian tech firms have long been accused of misutilizing H1B visas to hire Indian workers for less than it would cost to hire an American.

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85,000 H1B visas are made available each year which includes 20,000 reserved for workers with advanced degrees. Since the number of applicants for H1B is way more than visas available, both employees and companies take their chances in a lottery. Other than unprecedented downturns like that of in the year 2008, there is no exception to this gambling. The suspension of the premium process, which permits firms to pay a $1225 (Rs.82,000) fee to expedite applications, is ostensibly to clear a backlog. Last year, Indian workers accounted for 70% of the 85, 000 available H1B visas, with Indian firms receiving 17000 visas, or 20% of the total.

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Not only working professionals but also students planning to pursue engineering in and after 2017 are going to be the worst sufferers. According to data from the Washington-based Pew Research Center shows that India is the largest contributor of migrants in the world. Most favorite destination for most migrants is the US or the UAE. India is also the largest immigrant population of the world.

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15.6 million people born in India who make their homes in other countries. Compared with 12.3 million Mexicans and 9.5 million Chinese.

3.5 million Indian-born people living in the UAE, about 33% of the population. 940,444 migrants to the UAE come from Egypt, the second highest contributor.

$69 billion money sent by NRIs back to India, the highest of any country.

3% average proportion that migrates. Despite the largest numbers, India falls below this average less than 2% leave the country.

Also read: How to crack your first job interview?

Indian tech students and professionals are about to suffer the most because of this bill. Consequentially, students appearing for higher secondary 2017 are at the hamletsque juncture of “to be or not to be an engineer”. 

My brother- in- law works in Silicon valley. The bill however have jeopardized his professional career. I’m likely to rethink my career goals after my Higher Secondary exams this year. – Abhik Choudhury, 17, Kolkata*.

Engineering jobs mostly depend on outsourcing. Subtle changes in International relations can affect engineers adversely. I have witnessed the downturn of 2008. I don’t want my son to face the same wrath.Mr. Sukamal Debnath, 48, Kolkata*.

My daughter is appearing for higher secondary this year. We do not want entrust her with burden of our expectations. We want her to take her own decision. Gone are the days when parents used to decide career choices on behalf of their children. – Kamalika Chatterjee, 39, Kolkata*. 

Yes, I have heard about this deplorable bill. Though it got tough for students aspiring to be tech grads but I hope they should rethink and choose a career which better suits the need of the hour. – Asmita Sinharoy, 26, Kolkata*.

                *As interviewed by #asksubho.

Though Indian IT companies have created 155,000 jobs directly and 411,000 jobs in ancillay services; with a consistent annual growth rate of 10%.

According to Nasscom report, Indian IT companies provide services to 75% of the Fortune 500 companies, ensuring global competitiveness to American companies.

US government did admit to a shortage of talent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) areas.In US the shortfall in talent for STEM jobs is estimated at 2.4 million. While unemployment among STEM graduates is under 2%.

With declining number of Indian manufacturing industries and  growing tension over immigration issues, thousands of students and professionals are switching their career trajectories to other promising industries like media, pharmaceuticals & marketing.

Let the suspension get over soon. Infosys chairman, Mr. Narayan Murthy said, US must now prepare for the life without imported, low cost know-how that gave them their competitive advantage in the first place.


Source: Google, India Today

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Buy-cycle

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Buy-O- Logical part- 3

“Call him “Buddha”, he who can refrain himself from this eternal cycle of necessity.”

We all are obliged to this perpetual cycle of necessity. Be it the CEO/ CFO/ CIOs of multinationals or daily wage earners working at construction sites, we all succumb to this eternal cycle. This is what that drives most of the daily consumptions across the globe.

With the exception of those who make their living as purchasing agents  or secret shoppers, no one is a professional customer. Rather they are professional engineers, accountants, HR managers, customer service representatives, CEOs or whatever. They are as normal as you and me. They laugh, they cry, they frown, they fart- hence we all are equally vulnerable while buying.

Who buys an Inuit costume in scorching Indian summer? 

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No, one buys anything but solution to their problems. I need to look good and confident, hence I bought a formal shirt made of imported cotton fabric and a pair of stone embellished cuff links. I’m planning to go for a trek- I need a pair of shoes to withstand the climate and rough terrains, so I should buy one. Likewise, hunger makes us buy food; thirst makes us buy drinks. We do not buy anything that doesn’t align with our own necessities.

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So what if we tamper the ambit of these necessity cycle? No brownie for guessing. Results will be outrageous. 

So what do we actually buy/ consume?

We consume food, we consume clothing, we consume shelter, we consume internet, we consume entertainment, we consume information, we consume education, even we consume the habit of consumption itself (read window shopping). In countries like India we consume politics and political leaders as well. Personally I believe elections are more like weekly  haats (Mandis), where in every five years, people from myriad backgrounds and political communities display their products (candidates) through every possible media to seek our support. Inarguably, for us voters- this is also a form of consumption, guided by our inherent buying behaviour. We trust the candidature as much as we trust the actors (with stethoscope) in a toothpaste commercial.

Who buy, who sells?

“Although we each have different titles and responsibilities in this company, we are really all in sales, we need to think like salesman” – extract from Think like your customers by Bill Stinnet.

Irrespective of our individual designation or industry we work for, we all are both consumers as well as selling agents at the same time. We sell ourselves to buy products and services sold by others. I sold myself at job interviews so that after getting the job I can buy products or services sold by someone else. 

Now take a deep breathe and try to recall the last time you came out of a supermarket/ hyperretail without exceeding your predetermined shopping budget. 

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Yes, the additional expense that you incurred at the supermarket is due to impulsive buying. Lions share of your daily consumption is guided by your subconscious mind. As an advertising professional, I always preferred to appease my customers’ subconscious mind instead of his rational thought process. I bet, knowingly or unknowingly every successful marketing professional does the same. Rational mind restraints us from superficial enlargement of this necessity cycle. It seeks logic over our urge to consume, while subconscious mind negates all logic before buying anything which is beyond our necessity cycle.

So how does advertisements or marketing professionals instigate our subconscious? What are the other influencers that compel us to buy? To know more about consumer behaviour and buying patterns, follow the blog series named Buy-O-Logical.

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CV is good, story is better.

CV is good, story is better.

“Storytelling is as old as the campfire, and as young as a tweet”- Richard Branson

Last night I went to watch movie at a nearby theatre. To my amazement, the man sitting next to me was watching the trailer of the same movie in his mobile phone (thanks to Jio)! In this process he missed the climax of the movie he paid for.

In most cases HR professionals do the same thing while hiring new recruits. I have seen employers recruiting people based on their assumptions derived from applicant’s CV. Given the authority to recruit people, I went in contrary to this popular ritual. And now I can boast of a talented pool of young professionals who can make every impossible possible. In last 3 months they have been setting remarkable examples in terms of proficiency and deliverance. Adversities are no longer excuses rather they consider them as integral attributes in their daily schedule.

Certainly, creating such a pool of  resource is no big deal unless you are hailing from a non-MBA background, suddenly entrusted with the daunting task of HR.

Ignorance is bliss. With no formal knowlwdge of HR, I’d to rely on my gut feelings. As an advertising professional, I always relied on stories rather than facts and figures. We conducted almost 100 interviews to select a pool of 6 professionals who can steer the course of business and profitability for my clients.

CVs to me are always over ornated depiction of the applicants. I have never seen a CV elucidating vices of the applicant. Every CV warrants the applicant as Dalai Lama seeking Nirvana through a mortal sales job.

Hence we started searching for people with stories, persuasive stories of achievements and humane failures.This is because stories have an emotional power to persuade that gives them an edge over pure logic.

Leadership stories are designed to change our conventional thought process. Stories are carefully chosen to achieve objectives. This can be done only when our audience (be it an employer or customer) can connect and resonate with our story.

To achieve a purpose, we have to think about what people will take from the story. A purposeful story should have substance, sincerity and a great truth at its core. It should also have a strong call to action. We need to know what the listener/s want to believe and understand at the end of the story. The key principle, as always, must be to change behaviours and achieve results.

In those hundred interviews, we never asked applicants about their achievements and aspirations. Rather some of the applicants broke into tears when asked a simple question: “what has been your worst failure, mention of which makes you feel disconcerted?” A single question breaks through their ultra attentive persona while exposing their long suppressed vulnerability. We are, how we deal with our vulnerabilities.

To err is human, especially when you are into sales and marketing. This is the reason why we never desired for a perfect professional, impeccably dressed, sans slightest traits to err. They are superficial with attitude like that of a machinery. Marketing is nothing but communication, and we only love to communicate with human beings.

In last 100 interviews I met two kinds of applicants. One, stuffed with corporate jargons, freshly rolled out of business schools (or even experienced) and others though hailing from diverse backgrounds but stuffed with stories of myriad hues.
While the former failed to convince me for buying a brand new Parker pen; the latter bagged a nod with a joining letter.

I suggest all aspiring job applicants to pause and start searching for stories in their own lives. You are not a CV but your unique insights derived from stories within.