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  • Annual Salary Increases the Top Benefit Sought by STEM Graduates

    March 23, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Student Attitudes
    A computer science major at work.

    TAGS: STEM, benchmarks, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    When it comes to employer benefits, STEM students are most interested in receiving guaranteed annual salary increases and 100 percent employer-paid medical insurance, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2015 Student Survey.

    Survey participants were asked to rank their top five most preferred benefits. Figure 1 shows the percentage of all votes that each benefit received, which serves as a measure of general preference.

    Other top benefits sought by Class of 2015 STEM graduates include a company-matched 401(k) program, tuition reimbursement for advanced education, and more than two weeks of vacation in the first year of work. This is consistent with the benefit preferences of the Class of 2015 overall.

    Benefits of minimal importance among all STEM majors included an employee assistance program, an on-site day care facilities, and a telecommuting option.

    Results from Class of 2015 STEM graduates are featured in a soon-to-be-published report from NACE, Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates. The report will be released in March.

    Figure 1: Benefit preferences of STEM students, by major

    Benefit Computer Science Engineering Engineering Technology Math Biology Physical Sciences
    Percentage of all votes
    Guaranteed annual salary increases 12.1% 12.8% 12.5% 14.3% 12.0% 14.7%
    100% employer-paid medical insurance 11.0% 11.0% 10.1% 13.2% 13.6% 12.7%
    401(k) tuition match 10.9% 14.1% 10.9% 8.6% 11.6% 9.1%
    Tuition reimbursement 8.1% 11.2% 9.3% 9.7% 12.5% 11.1%
    More than two weeks of vacation 9.5% 7.9% 7.3% 7.8% 7.7% 7.5%
    Dental insurance 5.6% 5.5% 7.3% 7.3% 7.8% 5.9%
    Bonus/commission plan 6.5% 6.4% 9.3% 4.1% 5.6% 5.2%
    Casual dress policy 8.3% 4.7% 6.9% 3.8% 3.7% 6.8%
    Life insurance 3.9% 4.7% 5.6% 8.1% 5.3% 5.5%
    Family friendly benefits 3.5% 5.3% 3.6% 7.0% 5.6% 4.2%
    Frequent performance reviews 4.7% 4.9% 4.0% 4.6% 4.9% 4.6%
    Flextime policy 4.2% 5.0% 5.6% 3.8% 2.7% 2.3%
    On-site fitness center 5.0% 3.1% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4% 6.2%
    Telecommuting option 4.0% 1.3% 3.2% 3.2% 1.4% 1.3%
    Employee assistance program 1.6% 1.6% 0.8% 1.6% 2.8% 1.6%
    On-site day care facility 0.9% 0.7% 1.2% 0.3% 0.4% 1.3%
    Source: Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates, National Association of Colleges and Employers