Survey: Would You Rather Have Quality Job Perks or Better Pay?

Pay for tech professionals is plateauing. Meanwhile, employers are trying to make working at their company interesting, with more perks and benefits (remote work, flexible schedules, full-service juice bar, you name it). So we want to know: Do you want quality perks or better pay?

The 2019 Dice Salary Survey highlighted which benefits are important to tech professionals. Health insurance is the unsurprising leader as perks go, with 85 percent ranking it amongst their top two most-desired perks. Paid vacation comes in second, with 44 percent ranking it near the top; 401(k) matching, remote work, and more training round out the top five.

A separate Dice survey shows health benefits and remote work are the most sought-after perks for tech pros.

We also know perks can help employers retain talent. A Blind survey from 2017 shows tech professionals at Netflix feel they’re compensated fairly, and have a relatively low number of people looking for jobs outside the company. A notoriously private (and sort of cult-ish) company, Netflix is renowned for its headline-grabbing perks packages that include lengthy maternal and paternal leave policies. And what Netflix does, many companies are sure to follow.

But let’s stare the elephant in the room directly in the eye: Tech professional salaries are not climbing in a meaningful way. Year over year, we see some wiggling up and down, but income for tech professionals has, by and large, stagnated. Skills can (and do) help boost salary, but it’s not like professionals who opt to stay in their roles are enjoying a rapid increase in their paychecks.

And that’s hard, because life isn’t getting cheaper. Studies show the average income across the United States has remained relatively flat for decades. Wage growth hasn’t improved (as many economists hoped it would), and the cost of necessities such as housing has risen, outpacing income.

Tech professionals earn well above average, which may be why income is leveling off and employers are offering perks instead of pay. But the rubber may soon meet the road. Time off and the ability to work remotely are great benefits, but do you value them over better pay? And if you don’t, is stagnant pay making you angry?

You tell us! Take the survey above, and let us know what you think. Are better perks important, or do you need more cash? It’s a binary choice this time around, although employers are forcing tech professionals down the ‘perks or pay’ path. All responses are anonymous, and we’ll be publishing the results in a future Dice Insights article, so stay tuned!

One Response to “Survey: Would You Rather Have Quality Job Perks or Better Pay?”

  1. As a contractor, I want the highest pay possible!! I’ll set up the SEP plan, savings, investments, healthcare, disability coverage myself.

    Otherwise, I’d be an employee. But I know in my heart of hearts that I’m not cut from that cloth. I don’t like authority or having a “boss” or a manager. I don’t like at will employment doctrine.

    I really like calling my own shots and generating more income. I despise looking for another contract after the project is over but more often that not, I’ll be able to get another engagement at the same client.

    I’ll take the fantastic income over the perks. For the most part, higher income will allow you to acquire better benefits and other perks.