Tech workers flee Russia. Will they come to the U.S.?

Information technology employs a global workforce. A lot of tech workers in Russia are leaving. (I expect this has happened in Ukraine as well.) Where will they land?

The NY Times reports that “by March 22, a Russian tech industry trade group estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 tech workers had left the country and that an additional 70,000 to 100,000 would soon follow. They are part of a much larger exodus of workers from Russia, but their departure could have an even more lasting impact on the country’s economy.

The exodus will fundamentally change the Russian tech industry, according to interviews with more than two dozen people who are part of the tightknit community of Russian tech workers around the world, including many who left the country in recent weeks. An industry once seen as a rising force in the Russian economy is losing vast swaths of its workers. It is losing many of the bright young minds building companies for the future.”

The United States benefits enormously from the global nature of technical talent. The trends since the 1990s have been favorable.

The United States has a large lead over all other countries in top-tier AI research, with nearly 60% of top-tier researchers working for American universities and companies. The US lead is built on attracting international talent, with more than two-thirds of the top-tier AI researchers working in the United States having received undergraduate degrees in other countries.

In 1994, there were 6.2 U.S.-born workers for every foreign-born worker in science and engineering occupations. By 2006, the ratio was 3.1 to 1.

The enemy of our harvesting this talent is ourselves. 200,000 Green cards were wasted, unused, in FY 2021, due to inefficiencies within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Also go here.

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