"Several years ago we were the largest non-government IBM computer user."
— Bob Sevard, Sr. Administrator, Corporate Staffing

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Aetna Life & Casualty is the world's largest diversified financial services organization. The company provides all forms of insurance, including employee benefits and commercial and personal lines of insurance.

Aetna was founded in 1852. Out of 44,000 employees, there are 16,000 in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area. Hartford is the corporate headquarters. Revenue in 1988 was more than $24 billion.


Aetna has three computer centers, each with 6 to 8 IBM mainframes. The company, including its field offices, has between 20,000 and 30,000 IBM PCs. They also have Macintoshes and a DEC machine.

Maintenance programming is in COBOL. New development is in C, BASIC, or a fourth generation language, such as FOCUS or SQL. Database management systems used include CA-IDMS, IMS, DB2, INGRES, and ORACLE. Aetna also uses CASE tools, such as the automated design tool, Excelerator; the code generator, Netron/CAP; and the reengineering tool, Structured Retrofit.

Aetna has 4,000 computer professionals working in a diversified IS department, which includes the following divisions: Corporate Technology Services, Corporate Human Resources, Employee Benefits, Personal Security, and Financial. Job titles include Analyst Programmer, Senior Analyst Programmer, Specialist, Advisor, Consultant, Manager, Director, Assistant Vice President, and Vice President. There is a dual technical/management career path. On a recent project, computer professionals developed an IBM PC-based front end for uploading and downloading data to mainframe databases.


Computer professionals work in data centers in Middleton, Hartford, and Windsor, Connecticut, all in the greater Hartford area. They work in cubicles with at least one terminal on each desk. Many offices and some buildings are smoke-free.

Aetna is proud of its benefits and the resources they provide employees, including the use of a development center specifically designed for computer professionals to work with various technologies. The company feels they offer computer professionals a great deal of variety within the organization, the opportunity to work in small groups within a large company, and a tremendous amount of training.

Aetna observes 11 holidays. They offer 2 weeks of vacation to start, 3 weeks after 3 years, and 4 weeks after 10 years. The company pays for medical insurance, disability, dental insurance, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement. There is a retirement plan, a profit-sharing plan and a bonus plan. There is a cafeteria-style benefits plan, which includes options such as day care and extended health care. Aetna has not had any layoffs.


Aetna looks for candidates with good educational backgrounds. A Bachelor's degree and good grades are preferred. A candidate's degree does not necessarily have to be in Computer Science. A business-oriented MIS degree or a degree in Business with course work in Computer Science is fine. Interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate well are extremely important.

Aetna does hire entry-level programmers. They look for candidates with a major or minor in MIS, combined with a specialty in Business. New employees are found through campus recruiting, job fairs, ads, and personal contacts. Aetna typically hires 400 computer professionals a year.


Letters are preferred.

MIS Recruitment

(203) 273-7898

Aetna Life & Casualty

151 Farmington Avenue

Hartford, Connecticut 06156

Copyright 1991. Vandamere Press. Covin’s New England Computer Job Guide