5 Universities Make the ‘Computerworld’ List of Best Places to Work

The magazine Computerworld has come out with its top 100 places to work for IT staff in 2011. Financial companies like USAA and Securian Financial Group, and global conglomerates like General Mills, grabbed the top three rankings. Five universities also made the list. (The top 100 were whittled down from 500 nominees, based on a survey of institutional features like benefits and employee turnover, as well as surveys of employee satisfaction at each place.)

The University of Pennsylvania snagged the sixth spot, lauded for its benefits and workforce diversity. Also valued by employees: Teams of IT staffers compete in universitywide employee recognition programs for work on particular projects, with small cash prizes and a lunch with Pennsylvania’s top leaders as rewards.

Coming in at No. 50 was the University of Miami, where the IT staff likes being part of big events. They supported research efforts to monitor the Gulf oil spill, medical school personnel working to treat earthquake victims in Haiti, and provided on-site support for a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

At George Washington University (No. 62) the almost-complete tuition discount is a big deal, as it is at Temple University (No. 67), which also prides itself on a budget with increasing technology investment. And at Indiana University at Bloomington, which came in at No. 95, shared decision-making was big. Staffers collaborated with faculty and students to develop the university’s five-year strategic plan for technology.

Atop the rankings, USAA scored big with performance bonuses, giving each of the 2,135 IT employees a giant 18.4 percent payout—the second year in a row that performance bonuses topped 18 percent. None of the higher-education institutions had that kind of benefit.

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