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Red Hat CEO Bemoans State Of Education, Tech Talent Pool

It seems that Bill Gates isn't the only high-tech executive concerned about the state of education.

Red Hat Chairman, CEO and President Matthew Szulik said his ability to find well-qualified candidates in the United States who also embrace the open-source movement's entrepreneurial values and culture of innovation is extremely limited. Of the 500 people Red Hat hired last year, more than two-thirds came from abroad, he said.

"My business problem is not marketing or competing externally. My biggest problem is recruiting," Szulik said Tuesday in a keynote speech about open source and innovation at the C3 Expo in New York.

The problem is twofold, according to Szulik. First, he pointed to a dramatic decline in government-funded research and development, both basic and applied. Cost isn't the only reason that technology companies are centering operations offshore and have opted for partners in India, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

"Research and R&D is going where the supply and the technical talent is," Szulik said. "It's like eBay for R&D."

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