Career Education
2.6 of 5 157 reviews
www.careered.com Schaumburg, IL 5000+ Employees

Career Education Reviews

Updated Jun 18, 2014
Career Education – Schaumburg – “The CEC HQ”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 157 reviews

                             

23% Approve of the CEO

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Scott W. Steffey

(22 ratings)

31% of employees recommend this company to a friend
45 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    A young cultured company staging enormous opportunity for Millennials only to fall flat in the midst of bad leadership

    Senior Financial Aid Processor (Former Employee)
    Schaumburg, IL

    Pros- Can be a great first job to get your feet wet
    - If you are on the right team and know the right people, advancement opportunity can be strong
    - Relaxed office environment

    Cons- Business Model can be hard to swallow: the bad press to for profit schools comes from the fact that they are marketed towards lower income families. Once you fully understand the financial aid system it is hard to get behind the company and believe you are doing something good for people/students involved.
    - Not family friendly in regards to hours, expectations, and policies
    - Change is never easy, and although CEC continues to change their Financial Aid organization and procedures every 3 quarters or so, they still have not become efficient in the art of change management.
    - Stability due to liability: I saw a very high turnover when I first started in 2009, that eventually turned into forced leave once the company began multiple rounds of layoffs due to bad financial performance. CEC is involved with some bad press and practices, and just settled a rather large case regarding misrepresented placement rates at schools. Layoffs have been quite prevalent in the past couple of years and the stock price is flirting with disaster.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDIVERSITY!!! Director level management consists of home grown talent who believe they have "put in their time" and still treat the business and industry as they saw it managed back in 2004. With so much change in FA and overall business management models, CEC has fallen extremely far behind the High Perfomance Management principles you hope to see from employers today. Get diversity in management and stop promoting "yes men/women". There is an endless cycle of bad management here as in order to be considered you have to fully accept the old school thoughts of the Directors. There actually is quite a bit of talent at CEC and this shows by your employees leaving for analyst and management positions with at least 5 different Fortune 500 companies.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    The corporation that forgot their employees and students are actually "People" not just #s!:(

    Admissions Representative (Current Employee)
    Las Vegas, NV

    ProsGood benefits with medical, paid holiday & vacation time off and 401K matching. And great growth opportunities if you are a puppet and don't have any morals or thoughts of your own. Oh, and don't ever question any of their new ideas or plans that change monthly and never work since they only give it a month or so to work!?!

    ConsThe company has really gone down hill over the past 5 years. Management is a joke and the work atmosphere is very negative and depressing, The place sucks the life and happiness right out of you. So you end up with a bunch of fake and moody, brown nosing, back stabbing employees and management that have no idea about the industry the school is supposed to be teaching. They cut all formal training of new employees so no one has the proper tools to do their jobs and so of course they don't last. Also, hiring requirements for the academic staff has dropped so dramatically that no quality applicants were being hired to teach the students properly so the industry doesn't want to hire them!?! The company is one hot mess!

    Advice to Senior ManagementRequire that Senior management and academics and career services come from the field they are teaching at that particular college campus. And stop the management pets! Give the hard working employees the promotions not the brown nose's that are hand feed to make it look as if they are good at their jobs.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not too bad until the reduction in staff

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood people to work with

    ConsEducation "For Profit" not a good place to be in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReduction in Force show be used for layoff not "bad performance"

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Looks good on Paper, but processes are horrible.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsEnergetic People and Good cafeteria

    ConsToo many to list here

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo more focus groups with your front line.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Beware of Career Ed....It is Getting Smaller

    Director (Former Employee)
    Schaumburg, IL

    ProsThere are a lot of good people who believe the schools can help some students.
    Great cafeteria!

    ConsFor Profit schools are not a great place to work long-term. Their business model is not as strong as it once was - and too many students have been hurt vs. helped. While I see some of them turning around in many years, I believe CEC will be left behind their peers.

    It was once a $2B player, but will soon be about half this size as they close out many of their schools. As they do - CEC will continue to reduce operations/staff and lose many talented people voluntarily as they seeker greener pastures. They recently promoted many former Directors to VP level spots in an effort to hold on to a few talented people AND they have some attractive job postings. However, I would encourage any potential job seeker to review their financial picture. They sold their school in Europe to fund a teach-out of many schools, not to fund any real growth opportunities.

    I can see Career Ed holding onto CTU (by merging it with AIU) and sell most of their remaining ground schools. They could then be a mid-sized and potentially profitable player in the next 3-5 years. That is a long-time for a turnaround, given that the party ended about three years ago.

    I know this is a tough job market and that you may be able to get some short-term value working for CEC, but beware - they are facing severe headwinds for many more years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGood luck,

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    nepotism

    Student Finance Processor (Former Employee)
    Schaumburg, IL

    Prosgreat people,, close to home

    Consonly promoted if you are friends with the managers

    Advice to Senior Managementlisten to the staff about issues

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Advisor

    Admissions Advisor (Current Employee)
    Downers Grove, IL

    ProsDecent Salary
    Management is trying to make a turnaround
    Decent Benefits
    Good Technology

    ConsIndustry is in trouble
    Company's future is uncertain
    Management has communicated that they consider their employees to be no more than a number
    They has a system called "workforce management" which means that any absence that is not preapproved will be counted as an occurrence and too many of them can lead to your losing your job even if you have accrued enough time off to take them
    freeze on raises and decrease in some benefits
    Management makes changes all the time without thinking them through; they are looking for quick fix

    Advice to Senior ManagementThink long term. Think. Get rid of workforce management. Do not penalize employees for legitimate use of sick time.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    A Machine for milking the taxpayer and families

    Director (Former Employee)

    ProsSome of the people were good to work with.
    Many of the workers really wanted to do a good job of educating and running the company.

    ConsLots of cons:
    - horrible stress level, leading to depression and disease
    - Upper and middle management focus on money with no attention to the effect on quality of education

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou must give some attention to quality of education - don't just assume that the company structure or slogans will create quality outcomes. Hey, I;m not talking about quality of cash flow or of meeting financial target or enrollment targets. There was a complete disconnect between upper management and "line" management. It appeared that upper management judged middle management only on numbers, and those numbers were only about immediate cash, not about the slightly longer term effect of quality of education. Even when the CEO visited campus, he assumed that the campus president was doing the right things. There was no way for line management to communicate about non-financial issues.

    I believe the company started out with some good values - the CEO had a list of sayings that were excellent. But the company was also founded from the mentality of a student recruiter - high volume, low yield recruiter. At the end of the day, that is the only thing recruiters are judged on - volume of recruited students. There were good procedures for the faculty, such as calling students that did not show up to class. But the quality of students was not important to management, only the number of students. This led to many students being enrolled that were seriously underqualified.

    There was a lot of non-cooperation between campuses, and much of middle management was caught up in political fights that hurt the company - keep an eye on that.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Excellent Learning Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe students are the most fulfilling aspect of working for this company.

    ConsConstant change to meet the bottom line, clear disregard for actual student success.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Slow at changing culture of shortsightedness.

    (Current Employee)

    ProsFinally making some changes that are long overdue, though not enough.

    Still has a lot of growth potential if the right changes are made.

    ConsA lot of brilliant and talented IT folks have left for more lucrative and rewarding jobs elsewhere. Not a good thing when the future of the industry lies in proprietary tech innovation.

    Company is more focused on cutting jobs and expenses, rather than long term growth and innovation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to value and retain talent and focus more on long-term growth.

    Lose the corporate culture and stop trying to emulate the practices of companies that aren't in the education sector.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Career Education reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Career Education CEO Scott W. Steffey. All 45 reviews posted anonymously by Career Education employees.