June 18, 2012, 10:15 AM —
Image credit: USAA
For the third year running, USAA has earned the No. 1 spot on Computerworld's Best Places to Work in IT list. There's little wonder why. The $19 billion, privately held insurance and financial services company is growing at a rate of 8% annually and has made its ongoing investment in IT talent a cornerstone of its success. In fact, CIO Greg Schwartz says USAA has "a very aggressive plan" to hire more IT workers over the next six years.
Launch a career here -- USAA tries to sell IT professionals on careers, not jobs -- and you'll enjoy extraordinary pay and benefits, including 26 days of paid vacation after a year on the payroll, an annual holiday bonus equal to two weeks' base pay, health insurance subsidized at a rate of up to 87.5%, an 8% employer match on 401(k) contributions and an annual performance bonus that this year equaled 18.4% of worker salaries -- it was the second highest in the company's history and was equal to last year's payout.
On average, USAA's 2,157 IT employees work between 41 and 45 hours a week. The culture is simultaneously innovation-focused, conservative and family-friendly. Brigham Young University's campuses in Idaho and Utah are key recruiting centers.
"There are a lot of great benefits here, but there's a lot of hard work that goes on," says Schwartz. "We really have a culture of high performance."
The bottom line: "We believe that people should be paid well and have great benefits, but we expect a lot out of them."
Here's a peek at a day in the life of some of the IT workers at USAA's San Antonio headquarters.
5:05 a.m. Annette York, 47, arrives at one of three USAA fitness centers for her daily, hourlong workout. By 7:00 a.m., she will have showered and changed and headed upstairs to her job leading a 200-person team and the delivery of an $80 million portfolio of software projects.
"The fitness center is a must in my life," says the 26-year USAA veteran. Exercising daily also helps whittle down the amount York personally pays for health insurance. USAA subsidizes 82.5% of all employees' medical coverage, but it also chips in another 5% for those who take action to improve or maintain their health.
highlighting some of the on-campus amenities enjoyed by USAA employees.