Applied Research Associates

  www.ara.com
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Applied Research Associates Reviews

Updated Jun 16, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 27 reviews

93% Approve of the CEO

Applied Research Associates President and CEO Rob Sues

Rob Sues

(14 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend
27 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Group Leader / Engineering Manager

    Principal Scientist/Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat freedom to do the kind of work you love. No limits to what you can achieve as long as you can find a client to fund it.

    ConsDefinitely not a company for slackers. Significant amount of pressure to keep marketing to have projects funded.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Engineers are expected to look for work, and in some cases in areas that as individual is almost impossible.

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsMarginal benefits, Retirement plan and ESOP, flexible work schedules, reach-back engineers with vast expertise in their fields.

    ConsWeak management, constant need to look for more work, too much focus on Government, specially DoD, unable to versify work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed more focus on areas that can work could be versify, not to focus in one and only one area. Need more dedicated people to seek and look for work, not all engineers have good marketing skills. Need more professional development programs.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great Company, Great Benefits, Great Culture

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Niceville, FL

    ProsPassion, flexibility, freedom to pursue what we enjoy doing

    ConsThe latest senior management is more numbers driven than people driven

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind a good balance between success in numbers and taking care of your people

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great First Place to Work

    Computer Science Co-Op (Current Employee) Vicksburg, MS

    ProsNo bs co-op jobs
    Interesting and diverse work

    ConsI was pretty satisfied working for ARA.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work. Great exposure to many fields and new ideas. Little career path development for young engineers.

    Senior Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsYou have the power to shape your career, your office, and create a local culture by bringing new ideas to the table. You can pursue the work you want to pursue so long as a customer is asking for it. You get a chance to work on a myriad of projects and meet experts in many different fields. The company is employee owned and provides a generous 401K and employee stock ownership program.

    ConsSalary compensation lags behind other engineering companies. Employee compensation and benefit structures are set up to reward marketing efforts (often not directly compensated for), not technical performance. There is little to no emphasis placed on career development which can take a toll on talented young engineers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop a plan to recruit and keep young engineers and scientists. Create mentoring programs for all new hires to ensure proper marketing development.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place for person with initiative

    Principal Scientist/Engineer (Current Employee) Raleigh, NC

    ProsAs advertised, freedom to follow your passion. If you can find external customers and bring in work you will be appreciated and treated well. Company management does want to evolve and change and is open to suggestions. Company is employee owned, good benefits.

    ConsUnpredictability in work flow and large variations in culture from office to office.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDespite pretty good benefits need to work on a retention policy for top technical experts that can also sell work. ARA is more dependent on these individuals than most companies and their rewards should reflect this.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Ok Pay, fun place to work

    LAN Manager (Former Employee) Albuquerque, NM

    ProsThis was, without a doubt, the most fun work environment I've had. The coworkers were talented and very friendly. The HR department was helpful every time I had a question regarding benefits, pay, etc. The benefits through BCBS were inexpensive and covered a lot more than I've gotten through other employers. The company highly encouraged their employees to obtain more certifications and continue their education. There was a lot of opportunity for IT staff to get more involved in all aspects of an IT department. Also, this was one of the few positions I've ever had where the IT department was treated with a sense of respect. That's surprisingly rare these days.

    ConsThe pay left much to be desired and there wasn't much room for promotion or raises. When I left the company, it was because I got an offer to do the same work for almost $8 /hr more. If ARA would have been willing to match even half of that, I would have stayed in a heartbeat.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThis was an amazing company to work for, with the exception of pay for your IT staff. If you can find a way to bring the pay for your folks up to par with other employers, you'll have a perfect combination.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    OK

    Research Engineer (Current Employee) Panama City, FL

    Pros- if you are an engineer they treat you reasonably well
    - work-life balance is pretty good

    Cons- pay is OK, but not that exciting
    - the "employee owned" thing gets you "stock" in the company only after 3 years of employment and because it is not real stock unloading it is complicated so it is not really a liquid asset.
    - I got the impression some management just cared about billing the government for labor hours rather than about trying to do a good job, management did not seem tuned into what people were doing, just to how many hours were being charged to various government contracts

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    Conservative entrepreneurs wanted

    Senior Software Developer (Current Employee) Orlando, FL

    ProsFreedom to pursue work in your passions. Security provided by large business infrastructure, while maintaining small business mentality in branch offices. ARA typically only does work that makes a difference in people's daily lives. Majority of ARA workers are top performers, so coworkers typically lift you up instead of pulling you down.

    ConsProfessional growth occurs by trial and error rather than through training and mentoring. Mentoring typically only provided for senior employees. Engineers perform business development without sufficient training or the right personalities.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more significant training. Ensure employees are prepared for responsibility rather than taking "initiation by fire" approach.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Senior Engineer

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsEngineers expected to know or become well versed in many different areas of expertise. Some ability to work on/move to other projects of personal interest.

    ConsWeak management, lack of clear goals. High level of integration engineering versus actual R&D. Engineers expected to market rather than focus on technical challenges.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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