Which benefits matter most to technologists… and which do they actually receive? According to the latest data in the Dice Salary Report, a majority of technologists receive standard benefits such as healthcare and paid vacation days—but they really want education reimbursement, training, and some other benefits that employers seem more reluctant to offer.
In 2020, perhaps in response to COVID-19 and the uncertain economic situation, many technologists decided to re-embrace “staple” benefits that offer health, lifestyle and financial stability. Health insurance ranked the highest of all benefits that technologists consider important (88 percent), which comes as no surprise amidst a global pandemic. Paid vacation days closely followed (87 percent), which hints at a greater desire for work-life balance at a time when remote work can threaten to blur the line between professional and personal life. Dental and vision insurance came in at 82 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
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When it comes to other benefits, though, there’s a significant gap between what employers offer and what technologists actually want. The largest “benefit gap” comes with training and education: 68 percent of technologists say this is an important benefit, but only 45 percent received it from their employer (a 23 percent gap). In a similar vein, 80 percent of technologists say that 401(k) matching/pension is an important benefit, yet only 65 percent have access to this benefit (representing at 15 percent gap).
When it comes to the benefits that technologists consider most important, the staples once again rise to the top, with health insurance (80 percent), paid vacation days (41 percent), 401(k) matching/pension (24 percent), and remote schedule options stock options (16 percent) all leading the pack. Although some technologists are interested in emerging benefits such as gym/fitness centers onsite (or gym/fitness reimbursement), commuter assistance and free snacks or onsite meals, staple benefits remain of paramount importance to technologists.
While many employers clearly haven’t been willing to offer training and education to their employees, those benefits can translate into a skilled and ultimately more valuable workforce. For technologists, employer-funded education is an opportunity to build a more robust skillset and, ultimately, career.
Fortunately, many employers are amenable to negotiating over benefits. Many companies constantly re-evaluate and shift their benefits packages; if they’re not currently offering something you want, chances are good they’re evaluating it for the future. When you sit down with your manager, it’s important to show how the benefit will improve things for both you and the company; for example, you could show how training and educational opportunities will allow you to do your job better, ultimately boosting the company’s deliverables and bottom line.
Whatever benefits you’re negotiating for, remember to stay flexible. Your boss might not have the resources or clearance to offer you everything you want. But if you can get even a portion of your initial “ask,” that can still count as a win.