You don't need a degree in foreignology to know a few things about the world, just a grounding in good old-fashioned stereotypes: The U.S. is a hotbed of technical ignorance, India is a hotbed for tech jobs, Japan has a hot, sentient bed that gives "tech jobs" to all interested parties ...
But just like all those after-school specials tried to warn you, stereotyping isn't always the best practice, and some of our most common conceptions of famous places are due for a serious tweak.
India's Engineers Have to Be Outsourced
When they were handing out national stereotypes, India lucked out and got "good with technology," while other countries had to settle for "raging drunks" or "most polite." Every other Indian on TV is some kind of scientist: Raj on The Big Bang Theory, Mohinder on Heroes ... even Apu from The Simpsons, a convenience store clerk, has a doctorate in computer science.
The numbers back it up, too, with India producing twice as many engineers, scientists, and IT specialists as America every year. That's all true: We're not disputing those facts. But the hidden implication is that India's science programs are unrivaled genius mills, and that may have ... slightly less basis in reality. An Indian firm called Aspiring Minds recently stepped up to test the veracity of the Super-Science Indian myth, and according to their results, a third of the tested engineers lacked the most basic mathematical skills needed in everyday life. An incredible 42 percent couldn't multiply or divide simple decimal numbers.
"6.2 can go into 31 as many times as it wants. This is a free country."
The study concluded that only 4.2 percent of the engineering graduates were fit to work at a software company, with 17.8 percent having some chance to be picked up by a general IT services firm. The low quality of India's specialists and their additional lack of English-comprehension skills have reportedly gotten so bad that some large Indian tech firms are hiring liberal arts majors and training them from scratch. That's right: The engineers' knowledge is so tainted that it's better to start with a blank slate, which is probably the nicest thing a tech company will ever call a liberal arts major. Even more ironically, other Indian tech companies have to outsource jobs abroad because they can't find qualified employees at home. When the Indian call center firm 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. needed to hire 3,000 new IT employees in 2011, they were so desperate for qualified candidates that they had to expand their search to the Philippines and Nicaragua.
So that woman in Bangalore pretending to be in Wisconsin might really be a woman
from Nicaragua pretending to be a woman in Bangalore pretending to be in Wisconsin.