Asians dominate Silicon Valley jobs

Asian-Americans hold half of tech jobs in Silicon Valley, according to an analysis of Census data by the San Jose Mercury News. Asian tech workers grew from 39 percent in 2000 to 50.1 percent in 2010, while white workers, once a majority, are now 41 percent of the Bay Area’s high-tech workforce.

The dramatic shift in the changing composition of the high-tech workforce represents a new generation of homegrown and imported workers drilled in science, technology, engineering and math studies. But the shift in workplace demographics — at least among tech companies — fails to reflect the gains of California’s Hispanic and Latino population, which lost ground in tech jobs along with African-Americans.

The “failure of STEM education” has created a “crisis,” writes Dane Stangler in Inc. CEOs can’t find skilled workers because young people aren’t learning science and math well enough to learn technical jobs or succeed in STEM majors. And there’s not much economic opportunity for young people who can’t use math or understand science.

About Joanne


  1. As I’ve said before, the problem starts in k-5, with lousy curriculum and with teachers lacking math background. The door to STEM fields has already closed, for many kids, before they enter MS. Also part of the problem is the determination to group heterogeneously, with full inclusion and groupwork – all of which enable the fantasy that ALL are equally able and motivated – and that seat time and learning are the same.

  2. Americans are avoiding STEM because getting an expensive degree isn’t worth it when the wages are held down by H1B competition.  Dr. Norm Matloff has plenty to say on this subject.

  3. I would have to agree with momof4 on this one, the problem is in K-5, due to the fact that if the student fails to learn the basics of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, and Percentages, they’re doomed…they then enter middle school without the foundation to build on, and it continues into high school.

    Ben Rich, the former VP for the famed Skunk Works was once asked:

    “Why don’t you have any latino engineers? Mr Rich.”

    His response:

    “Because they didn’t go to engineering school…”

    If the students don’t have the required math and science skills, they’ll find that many doors are closed to them that would at least be opened, if they had the skills.

    Get back to rote learning, drill and kill, ban the use of calculators until at least algebra II/trig, and get teachers into K-5 who have a working knowledge of math so that it can be properly taught to their charges.

    • Get back to rote learning, drill and kill, ban the use of calculators until at least algebra II/trig, and get teachers into K-5 who have a working knowledge of math

      If I was drawing up a list of skills required to properly teach K-5 arithmetic, I’d include algebra with a demonstrated ability to perform synthetic division as mandatory.  That is one of the places where you hit the “a-HA!” for understanding why long division is so important, and K-5 is where students need to learn this… and their teachers need to have no illusions about why they need to.

  4. Cardinal Fang says:

    It’s not clear from the article Joanne states what percentage of the Silicon Valley workforce is Asian Americans, and what percentage is non-citizen Asians. In any case, it would be hard to make the case that foreign workers on H1-B visas are holding down high-tech salaries much, because tech jobs are well paid in Silicon Valley.

    If you look at students in California colleges in engineering and computer science, you see a lot of Asians and not very many black students and Latino students. Companies are hiring Asians because Asians are qualified for the jobs.

  5. IMO, after a few years of experience in the ‘real-world’, I rarely care where a graduate received his or her diploma or certification from…

    You can have all the initials after your name, but if you can’t do the work in question, you won’t last…