Vineet Nayar, the highly respected CEO of HCL Technologies, one of India's hottest IT services vendors ... related a recent experience with an education official in a large U.S. state. The official wanted to know why HCL, a $2.5 billion (revenue) company with more than 3,000 people across 21 offices in 15 states, wasn't hiring more people in his state. Vineet's short answer: because most American college grads are "unemployable."I agree to a certain extent. I worked for a dot.bomb until 2001, and in the two years leading up to the bust the company was on an insane hiring binge, bringing in code monkeys fresh out of high school. They didn't even need college, they just needed to code. They were cocky SOBs, too. 20-year-old kids with no college demanding $60, $70 even $80k, or they'd walk. Almost as bad, they demanded that management add "engineer" to their job titles. The majority of them played video games most of the day.
They're far less inclined than students from developing countries like India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Ireland to spend their time learning the "boring" details of tech process, methodology, and tools--ITIL, Six Sigma, and the like. ... [So] most Americans are just too expensive to train.
But that was then. That insanity is long gone, and the people doing IT work now are for the most part qualified. I also wonder where the great Indian tech products are. Mr. Nayar, if Indian IT people are so much better, where's India's equivalent of the iPod? A Blackberry? A Mac? Was Photoshop created by an Indian company? How about Twitter, or Facebook? I am not denigrating Indian IT workers, but it doesn't seem that the Indian system produces much in the way of creativity or initiative in developing new products.
(Update: Instalanche while I am at work! Thanks, Glenn.)