Global interest in U.S. tech jobs has held steady overall during the past year, but regional differences are huge, according to a study by job search site Indeed.
Indeed found that while the proportion of clicks on tech job postings that came from outside the United States climbed slightly over the past year (from 9.3 percent of all clicks to 9.6 percent), the number of tech professionals looking to move from India to the U.S. dropped eight percent from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Interest from Pakistanis dropped 37 percent, and looks from job seekers in the United Kingdom dropped 12 percent [See chart below]. Meanwhile, interest from Germany, France, and Russia all jumped more than 25 percent. (To reach these conclusions, Indeed economist Andrew Flowers looked at first-quarter clicks for postings with at least 50,000 clicks, and used IP addresses to identify the job seekers’ locations.)
In spite of these trends, job seekers from India are still the single biggest pool of international tech talent on the hunt for positions in the U.S. For the year ending 1 April 2019, Indeed reported, 3.7 percent of all clicks on U.S. tech job postings came from IP addresses in India, with Canada a distant second at 0.6 percent.
These foreign job seekers aren’t looking for just any tech job, indicated the Indeed report, released today. Most target developer and engineer gigs—specifically, software-intensive posts. Nearly 44 percent of clicks on job listings seeking senior Java developers came from outside of the U.S., for example [See chart, below]. In fact, the Indeed data shows, the tougher the job is to fill (based on the number of clicks per posting), the higher the proportion of interest it draws from job seekers outside the U.S. This likely reflects the reality of what it takes to get an H-1B visa—that is, the requirement that the U.S. employer prove that the job requires specialized knowledge and that no qualified U.S. citizens are available to fill the post.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 30 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.