August 18, 2008
Back to school -- on your employer?
I just received a press release from financial staffing firm Accountemps saying that 94 percent of the nation's 1,000 largest companies offer tuition reimbursement benefits to employees and 95 percent reimburse workers for other types of professional training programs.
Of course not everyone works for a Fortune 1000 firm, so I checked the Society for Human Resource Management 2008 employee benefits survey for comparison. According to the SHRM, 66 percent of firms provide undergraduate education assistance and 61 percent help finance graduate education.
While SHRM members range widely in the company size and industry they work for, these numbers still seem quite high to me, especially in this economy. For example, I'm guessing you won't see too many ten-person creative agencies or nonprofit organizations sending their employees to grad school.
I'm also curious: Aside from the obvious health insurance and retirement benefits your employer (hopefully) provides, which perks are most important to you? If not tuition reimbursement or other professional training, then what? Gas credits? Telecommuting privileges? Onsite childcare? Flexible hours? An extra week of vacation? Free reign of the supply closet? Do tell.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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