Pearson

  www.pearson.com
  www.pearson.com

Pearson Reviews

Updated December 14, 2014
Updated December 14, 2014
866 Reviews
3.2
866 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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John Fallon
199 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance can be upset during busy periods but I've experienced worse (in 71 reviews)

  • Telecommute opportunities so you can work from home 1 or 2 days a week (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of transparency between upper management & finance with the feet on the street (in 38 reviews)

  • Nobody leaves (which is probably a "pro" for the company) so there's not much room for advancement (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

80 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    laid back, no pressure or accountability. Retired life style.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

    I worked at Pearson

    Pros

    I enjoyed working at Pearson as it has no set hours and no managerial oversight. Everyone gets the same raise 3% every year and bonus irrespective of effort. A good place to hide and relax especially as I am getting closer to retiring.

    Cons

    There are no promotions and no leadership. Work is very boring. IT team does not support the business. IT thinks they run the company. There is no accountability. The CEO wants to be the next facebook but has never even used a tablet. Company is run by old-timers with outdated skills. This is your grandfather's company. In decline.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time to listen and follow-up. Seek advise from others. Read your own emails and announcements. When in doubt, ask your spouse to read your announcement to see if he/she can understand. Too much double talk that employees can not follow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    They outsource continually

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Former Employee - Analyst in Upper Saddle River, NJ

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    They are a publishing company but yet still do not have finical issues

    Cons

    Always moving locations and outsorcing employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 13 people found this helpful  

    Senior Project Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Successful company, some good coworkers, education is important mission

    Cons

    terrible management, ongoing restructuring, very low morale, salaries don't grow, employees no longer valued (the core value of "decency" is a joke!) under new CEO, bad office space -- absolutely toxic place when I left, and current employees report it's the same or even worse. Folks who have been there since "the good ole days" are counting down to retirement; others probably would love to be among the layoffs. Even the young newbies, who are usually energetic and optimistic, are beaten down and quickly move on after getting a taste. As others have written, everyone has a workload of at least 2 or 3 people... without a thank-you or pat on the back in sight. You're supposed to be grateful just to be within Pearson's once-hallowed halls and feel privileged despite being buried by the muck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People liked working there with Marjorie Scardino at the helm; before Fallon employees didn't feel like overworked cogs in a machine that's not set up to produce efficiently. Train managers better, try to keep good people working there, reward folks for hard work, fill vacancies, and figure out a business model that might work before you shuffle folks around (or out) over and over. There's no reason to roll out a program that's been proven by pilot groups not to work... unless you're going to fix it! Come out of your boardrooms and witness what it's actually like to work in the jobs that make your company profitable year after year and line your pockets; open your eyes to the mess that is now your empire. You must improve working conditions and morale; your shiny reputation is very, very tarnished. Employees, vendors, authors, freelancers, and probably customers are pretty disappointed the past few years, and your downward trends continue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    Too Large to Function Properly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The pay is decent and the benefits are competitive. The co-workers are brought together by the adverse conditions---which is a terrible way to create camaraderie.

    Cons

    Every person is expected to perform at least 2 jobs. The company systems are so cumbersome and inefficient, a majority of employee time is spent working around them or undoing mistakes the systems create. Management is unable to praise good performance or encourage employees in any way. The company has been in the throes of a far-reaching reorganization for several years with no end in sight. Your cube neighbor today may be laid off and gone tomorrow with no notice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that stability in the workplace creates productivity and that morale is so low that a "what-difference-does- it-make" attitude is beginning to pervade. Your fixation on digital initiatives without any regard for actual customer preference is dangerously shortsighted and purely motivated by profit goals not the efficacy you trumpet.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Stress to the Max

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits. Many talented people.

    Cons

    Now have started to ask us to exaggerate or obfuscate in order to keep information from customers or from top managers. The company appears to have seriuos financial problems. It is a very uncomfortable situation. Management is inexperienced and seems to be scared of the people above them, yet there is a constant chorus about "efficacy." How can I be efficacious if I am trying re-frame the truth?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    New managers need training in education and in management skills. There are many inexperienced managers and the ethics are very poor.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of turn over and too many immature, over emotional women

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Sales
    Former Employee - Field Sales

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I worked in the field so I didn't have to put up with foolishness on a day-to-day basis and because of my background my salary was high for the job $75,000, and I made significant bonuses. If you play the right games with the right people you can get promoted.

    Cons

    Pearson is not interested in what their customers want or what their employees have to say, all they want is for you to smile and do your job and agree with whatever they tell you. If you share a frustration or expose a problem your manager will try to get you to quite by repeatedly throwing you under the bus. I have been contacted by colleagues since I left for advice on how to document problems with managers who lie - all the time - and who to contact at HR about their problem. There are a lot of young women working there who don't have the maturity to manage - they act like middle school girls, seriously, and they never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Product teams are hit or miss - some are supportive and others are a nightmare. You can't get your customer what they need if the product teams don't support you - that was a huge frustration.

    Upper management is either unaware of the problems or they believe that the machine that they are will just keep working. This is a conspicuously huge company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your reps on the ground. You are not doing that now, the culture is terrible. Stop the turn over. You need to hire and promote mature people and add more men into the mix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 12 people found this helpful  

    They've gone mad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues below executive level are good people; some of Pearson's earlier culture still exists so that you'll still run across fading traits of decency, respect, and purpose.

    Cons

    In last 16 months, a once amazingly supportive, cooperative, respectful, purposeful, decent, and visionary culture has been rapidly destroyed; replaced by a privileged "us" executive team of bullies vs "the laborers." Brilliance, caring, and creativity are out, and bureaucrats are in. A business that used to run wonderfully on the instincts of educators and publishers is increasingly run by distant consultants who couldn't run a profitable and impactful business if their lives depended upon it. And now Pearson is dumping its Family Education Network business unit which includes Poptropica, the world's largest (and profitable) learning-based virtual world, and Funbrain, the largest (and profitable) education gaming site in the U.S.. Madness! That unit also had on its staff Jeff Kinney, the very bestselling author in the U.S. and UK. Right, you happen to have on staff one of the world's best selling authors, the thing to do is dump him so that you can hire two weeks of consultants. Madness!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay put! You're doing great. Big paychecks, great benefits, lots of stock. As for all other employees, run!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Transforming

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson full-time

    Pros

    Future vision for leanring is innovative but risky.

    Cons

    In process of a major organizational overhaul.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Toxic work environment for young, ambitious, and mission-driven idealists

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Flexible work hours (great for working parents) -- people are pretty chill about when you come in and leave, as long as you get your work done
    - Work from home policy -- a lot of people choose to work from home full-time and many WFH when there's bad weather or personal things they need to deal with at home on a given day
    - Access to a lot of free learning materials (you literally have textbooks from any discipline imaginable available at your fingertips)

    Cons

    - Overarching culture of getting by on the bare minimum--there is this sense that "good enough" is a great feat, which is immensely frustrating if you are young, ambitious, and are looking for a fast-paced environment
    - For a company that supposedly is in the business of bettering education, the values/drivers of 99% of the people who work here are sales, making money, and beating other dying educational publishers, rather than an actual passion for changing the face of education, given the potential for good that a company with such weight can deliver on
    - Huge distrust through the organization--particularly when you're working with matrixed teams, it's near impossible to get anything done when no team trusts any other team and trust WITHIN teams is nonexistent too. Collaboration = looking twice over your shoulder to make sure no one is out to get you
    - Salary is not great--both when compared with the publishing industry and with the tech/ed-tech industry
    - Huge emphasis on hiring from within Pearson and within the publishing industry--this is a big con if you are an outsider, new to the company because you quickly discover that what is rewarded is not merit and hard work but rather how long you've worked at the company and how long you've been in publishing. This is also immensely frustrating because as the company is transitioning away from print publishing and towards educational services and digital product delivery, they NEED new talent from outside that can offer fresh perspectives
    - The company has been going through a huge head-to-toe restructuring over the last year and a half and that has meant lots of turmoil, lots of change in management, very little consistency, and a steady stream of people leaving the team, the division, and the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in new talent! Overhaul HR and figure out how best you can attract top talent from outside at every level so that you can have fresh perspectives and actual innovation happening.

    The flip side of that is to be careful not to lose out on strong talent internally either--not very much is done in terms of retention, overall benefits are decent but don't exactly scream "we value you, employee," and within 3 months of an external hire joining, I see the marked difference in their attitudes and shut-down expressions of "why did I think I could change anything?"

    Last piece of advice: do something about morale. It's about 500 feet underground across the board and you really can't sustain the business, let alone turn the ship around, when everyone is straight up miserable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Worst job I've had in 20 years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Editor
    Former Employee - Associate Editor

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, but it takes a while to qualify for them. Cafe is convenient. Nothing else good to say, really.

    Cons

    This place stinks. I've never worked anywhere with such wide discontent among its employees. Constant reorg and project changes. Very poor communication from management. I only saw my boss once a month, no joke. Coworkers are very cliquish. The work is boring. Posters are hung all over the office encouraging employees to work "anytime and anywhere." This company wants to make sure you know that they own you! Horrible pay. So glad I escaped!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer better work-life balance. Stop expecting people to work around the clock!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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