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Cognizant Says U.S. Needs More Visas for Foreign Tech Workers

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a provider of technology consulting and outsourcing services, said the U.S. needs to grant more visas to skilled technology workers from India and China.

Finding enough skilled American workers is “a real issue,” said Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Francisco D’Souza in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Businesses around the world are becoming more tech intensive and for them to stay on the leading edge competitively, they need the talent.”

While unemployment nationwide is at 9 percent, it’s far lower -- about 5 percent -- in software engineering and even lower in electrical engineering because there aren’t enough skilled workers, he said. Part of the problem is the visa program limits the number of foreign workers by country so it’s harder to get a visa for Chinese and Indian workers, he said.

Teaneck, New Jersey-based Cognizant has most of its staffers based in India, but also employs people just to search for workers in the U.S., D’Souza said.

Even as customers fret that demand will suffer amid economic weakness, clients are telling Cognizant "they will spend about the same, maybe a little bit more, on technology" in 2012, he said in the interview.

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