Careers: Health Care, Training Come First for IT Workers

Though 96 percent of techies say they want to work from home at least part time, (according to a survey), their top priorities are much different. IT workers are influenced much more by f

Tech professionals would love to hear an employer say, "You have the option to telecommute. …" Or, "We'll help take care of the kids. …" But telework and child care still take a back seat to more traditional benefits when pondering a job offer.

Techies' top priorities: health care and training reimbursement.

Telecommuting work might seem like an essential benefit for employers to offer in the near future if they want to lure top talent—especially when 96 percent of techies say they want to work from home at least part time, according to a survey of 1,953 members. Of these workers, 39 percent are willing to take a pay cut to do so. And it's especially appealing as a welcome alternative—by both employee and employer—to relocation, which is becoming more popular.

However, the same survey found techies are influenced much more by financial benefits than by convenience benefits.

The survey asked techies to rank 13 benefits from most to least important for accepting a job. Not surprisingly, respondents overwhelmingly ranked medical and dental benefits as the most important. Other finance-oriented benefits, such as training-cost reimbursement, paid vacation, and retirement funding, were next in line.

Flex time, finishing fifth, was the highest-rated job-convenience benefit. Telecommuting was rated the eighth most important benefit, just a little ahead of "casual dress" for importance.

Here are the survey question and results:How important are the following benefits to accepting/not accepting a job? (Responses based on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being most important.

  • Medical/dental benefits: 8.6
  • Training/tuition reimbursement: 7.6
  • Additional vacation/personal days: 7.4
  • Retirement/pension program: 7.3
  • Flex-time: 7.2
  • Regular bonuses/reward programs: 7.2
  • Life/disability insurance: 6.9
  • Telecommuting: 6.5
  • Stock options: 6.2
  • Casual dress: 6.2
  • Employee assistance program: 5.5
  • On-site concierge services/employee discount programs: 4.1
  • Child-care/daycare reimbursements: 3.5

About the Author is an online career and training center for technology professionals based in Minneapolis.