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Wednesday October 22, 2014

Can CornellNYC and NYU PolyTech Fill Need for NY Engineers?

Last week’s announcement by Google to house students of CornellNYC Tech earned a positive reaction from the city. According to Crain’s New York Business, this reaction is an indicator for how much demand for engineers  exsists in NY. The lack of available techie skill has been deterring technology/engineering growth in the city and making companies pay more for those with the right skills.

CornellNYC Tech and NYU-Polytechnical Institute, which is set to open in Brooklyn, are welcomed ways to alleviate the lack of supply for these engineering and tech sector jobs in the NY area. Google’s offer to help CornellNYC Tech reiterates the company’s strong tech presence in the city. According to Crain’s, 3,000 of Google’s employees are technologists.

Dave Otten, chief executive at LongTail Video, a technology provider currently in need of technologists, told Crain’s that, “One superstar is worth 10 average, decent engineers. We’ll pay a lot for that person.” Crain’s also reported that there has been an increase in costs due to lack of supply. The starting salaries for engineers are up $20,000 (to $75,000 starting salary) from just a few years ago.

One complication facing these companies is the immigration laws put in place after 9/11 that make it difficult for foreign graduate students to remain in the US after they have completed their studies. Though Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked Washington to reform these policies, there have been no signs of a revision.  A new report released by the Partnership for a New American Economy estimated that in 2018 there would be 800,00 available engineering positions for only 550,000 US-born graduates with engineering degrees.

Once CornellNYC Tech’s campus opens in five years, it will have the capacity to enroll 2,000 graduate students by 2038. NYU is also creating its Center for Urban Science and Progress in downtown Brooklyn which will have 530 applied-science grads by 2017. The hope is that these programs can prepare students to fill engineering jobs in the NYC area, as the competition for these jobs intensifies throughout the US.