Caltech (California)
4.2 of 5 129 reviews
www.caltech.edu Pasadena, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Caltech (California) Reviews

Updated Jun 13, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 129 reviews

                             

89% Approve of the CEO

Caltech (California) Interim President Dr. Edward M. Stolper

Dr. Edward M. Stolper

(9 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
129 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The campus is beautiful and the weather is great, if you like constant sunshine"
    in 8 reviews
  • "Smart people, Great Equipment, Good Career Opportunities upon leaving job"
    in 9 reviews
Cons:
  • "Work-life balance depends on the PI you are working with"
    in 4 reviews
  • "long hours and having to work a sunday"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Try to enjoy the journey

    Graduate Student (Current Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    ProsThe cultural focus is academic research and is geared to promote collaboration and sharing of resources. This is a significant attribute in allowing creative, inventive ideas to be tried out, whether it is using facilities or talking with other departments.

    ConsIt's very research centered, and there are no humanities to balance out people. There is not much social cohesion or interaction, everyone is in their silo. It's also a very high pressure environment so most people are stressed, but that's about the norm in high caliber academics.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote more cross-departmental interaction. Support professors and research groups better through the lean years (especially during gov't dysfunction), for example, you should raise a rainy day fund.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    graduate student

    Graduate Student (Current Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    Prosgreat resource. Best science, great support from the advisor

    ConsI think this is the best place for research

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    Your experience definitely varies depending on your PI.

    Postdoctoral Scholar (Current Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    ProsMy PI is great and the people I work with are fantastic. Pay isn't great but the flexibility and independence are worth it.

    ConsIf you don't get along well with your boss this could be a rough time. The overall policies of the institute don't affect me very much.

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    A COOL PLACE TO WORK OR RELAX.

    (Former Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    ProsThe campus has a very natural and peaceful environment. I liken it to a park with lots of trees, turtles, egrets, squirrels, and birds. It is open to the public, many of the neighbors come through jogging or walking their dog. The grounds are immaculate with a variety of flowers to create a beautiful positive place for creative mind.

    ConsOffice politics can sometimes get in the way of progress which may actually be typical for most organizations. I guess in comparison to other places the hierarchy is pretty level compared to others places. Hence this may in some sense be an positive attribute rather than a con.

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    Best for research projects.

    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (Former Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    ProsThey have world class faculty advisers.

    ConsYou only get to work for 3 months.

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    A lot of long-timers

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBeautiful campus and area, world-renowned research, great benefits, some great people

    ConsA lot of average and below average employees who stay until retirement and are resistant to change, HR more concerned with reputation than performance

    Advice to Senior ManagementWalk around, talk to people, watch and listen

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It's a very nice place to work for your PhD!

    Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    ProsIt's a small institute, so there are a lot of connections among people. Most of the professors are very nice. Staff are really supportive and helpful. You can easily get help everywhere. You feel like people care about you here.

    ConsResearch is everything here. You will get less opportunity to know about non-academia things compared to other big universities. Work-life balance depends on the PI you are working with.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe incorporate more non-academia activities around campus.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to learn

    Teaching Assistant (Current Employee)
    Pasadena, CA

    Pros* As a graduate student I'm free to attend any courses I like. That includes other disciplines you like to know about, physical education classes and many others.
    * Career development center gives free consultations about the future work.

    Cons* Your inventions done during your study at Caltech are property of Caltech, not yours.
    * No campus life during the holidays. That's boring sometimes.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    The pay with their name

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThey have a great name and lots of resources. The campus is beautiful.

    ConsThey literally told us at our HR orientation that Caltech pays with its name. Salaries are low, there are no merit raises, bonuses, accolades, awards, rewards, or career advancement for research staff. The place is rampant with misogyny, nepotism, discrimination, and egotism. People who try to call this out get eliminated.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProfessors need to be held accountable to hold to universalized ethical standards of employee treatment. HR needs to represent employees and not just work to keep the school from being sued.

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

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Flexible on personal issues, yet seem to be stuck in the 70's on best business practices

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThere's a great sense of community at Caltech. Most people have worked here for decades and it all feels like family. They are also willing to work around your personal schedule and telecommuting is easy since all the systems are available from anywhere with a VPN.

    ConsCaltech seems to hire a lot of "button-pushers" in the finance and admin functions that don't think for themselves. I haven't figured out yet if this is on purpose or caused by some other problem.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou get what you pay for: spend the money to hire professional instead of finding the employee that will "do the job" for the least amount of money. You often pay the price in the end and end up with a lot of unneeded hassles.

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Caltech (California) reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Caltech (California) CEO Dr. Edward M. Stolper. All 129 reviews posted anonymously by Caltech (California) employees.