(MBA) Brain Drain -- version 2.0

A long time ago, people used to go to the US for a few simple reasons: better lifestyle, more prestige, and more money to be made. This used to be called "brain drain".

We've come a long way since then, and that migration has sort of reversed recently, both because India has gotten better, and because the US has gotten worse.

But has anyone else noticed an equally disturbing trend lately? I see quite a few techies going to management schools (aka "B Schools").

Indian IT companies have consistently refused to properly reward technical skills beyond about 6-10 years. Once you cross a certain threshold, the Indian work culture makes you a manager, like it or not. It's almost as if they were saying "we're paying you too much for you to be doing bits-and-bytes work".

It's not just that techies make less money. They don't advance as well either -- again, the perceived (lower) value of tech work keeps them down compared to peers who have started "managing". As a result, many techies realise that their personal ambitions will not be served by staying techie, and move over to management.

In all my 18 years I've met only 3 people who are as good at management as they were at technology, and so I personally fear we're losing a bunch of good techies and gaining a bunch of bad managers :-( And the irony is that it's usually the best of the lot we are losing!

Here's hoping Darwinism kicks in on this trend before its too late... :-)

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