Career Education Reviews

Updated August 8, 2014
Updated August 8, 2014
167 Reviews

2.4
167 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Scott W. Steffey
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's a solid 40 hours a week and the work/life balance is acceptable (in 11 reviews)

  • Great people, good management style overall (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper Management approves technology releases without a care for student experience (in 8 reviews)

  • Work/life balance is ok because they don't make you stay late (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Ticket to nowhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Aid Advisor  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Current Employee - Financial Aid Advisor in Schaumburg, IL

    I have been working at Career Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good entry level opportunity if still working on degree

    Cons

    Zero opportunity for advancement, unless you know someone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use your human capital better instead of letting them leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Stepping stone that did not give a great work experience

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

    I have been working at Career Education

    Pros

    No pros with this company, wish I never worked there. The experience was only good to be with the students.

    Cons

    Disorganized and low pay scale. Promotes non thinkers whom run company name and reputation into the ground.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Run away from this company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Admissions Advisor  in  Downers Grove, IL
    Current Employee - Admissions Advisor in Downers Grove, IL

    I have been working at Career Education full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    They have good benefits and decent compensation.

    Cons

    You may have to work weekends. There is no such thing as job security. You are only as good as your last numbers. Admissions Advisors at some of their school are given a scorecard each month and graded according to metrics that are unrealistic and sometimes in conflict with one another. These scorecards keep changing. They have a system to listen in on phone calls and the grades given on these phone calls are part of the scorecard metrics. Nobody knows the grading system because it keeps changing and it is not objective. People are promoted based on their connection. If you are over age forty, forget about ever getting a promotion. They have a "no fault" attendance policy where you get occurences for any absences that were not pre-approved. There is a progressive disciplinary system for dealing with these which means that you can be written up for making legitimate use of sick leave that you have accrued. There is so much pressure for enrollments that advisors will enroll almost anyone who is breathing. Their senior management are true amateurs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and don't treat them as numbers. Remember that you are in your position mainly because you did a decent job and moved up because your friends had moved up before you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not Just Your Typical Dead-End Job

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

    I have been working at Career Education full-time

    Pros

    Medical, 401K, 40 hr/week limit, OT optional, Exposure to the Corporate Culture

    Cons

    I would have given this company a 2, or 3, star rating about two year's ago; but the company has been consistently diving into a black-hole of corporate greed. The "Admission" departments at the CEC schools are really sales departments that prey on unprepared and unqualified persons who believe a college education can be bought and achieved with little effort. The graduation rates at most CEC schools are below 35%. The company's mission is to enroll any living person, not taking into account the persons ability to handle a college program, or even afford it. Upper management runs the entire show with passive aggressive, micromanagement techniques - such as making admission and student service departments call X amount of "students" per day to enroll as many poor victims as possible. One of the only "pros" of working for CEC is that you will see firsthand what a company should not do; and you will learn the angles that an unethical operation takes to gain more profit at the expense of the country's student debt surplus. Much of the company's profits are spent battling cases against fraud and other unethical practices - the NY State's Attorney is currently going after CEC, along with other states attorneys. CEO's change often, and the current CEO has made a name for himself by laying off a large number of employees and placing a long freeze on merit increases, while giving himself and the executive team a sizable raise; he also went so far as to cut the 401K match, dropping it to 2% from 4%, and increasing the amount each employee must spend for a sub-par medical coverage. You will see co-workers get fired by passive aggressive leadership, an HR department that solely protects the executive team, rare opportunities for promotion, and multiple people quit. The turn-over is incredible. If you are desperate for a job, feel free to apply at your own peril.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensate your employees fairly, match the 401K contributions at a higher %, learn what your employees are doing on the front line - try not to be so out of tune with the actual business. Create a culture of respect for the students.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    The worst environment imaginable.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions Advisor  in  Hoffman Estates, IL
    Former Employee - Admissions Advisor in Hoffman Estates, IL

    I worked at Career Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I liked some of my peers.

    Cons

    NO work life balance, high pressure environment, Admissions department is a cold-call sales center, schedules are terrible and irregular.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be HONEST about what the Admissions Advisor role is. Don't pitch it as a Counselor role when it's a Sales position. Effective Leadership Training would be helpful, rather than having DOA's threatening their Advisor's job security, or advising their Advisors to tell single parents to not feed their kids for a week to pay their application fee. (having been a single mother in the past...let me tell you - any school suggesting that to me when I was exploring going to college would have immediately been crossed off the list and I would have shared my reasoning with anyone willing to listen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    admissions advisor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Admissions Advisor  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Admissions Advisor in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Career Education full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    when I first started with CEC under original ownership it was a great place to work, you were inspired by management and awarded for great performance, we had team building exercises that were fun, dinners out, the pay was good, 401k excellent, good healthcare.

    Cons

    original owners sold the company and CEC went to hell, moral crashed and burned, it wasn't enough that you should succeed but every one around you must fail. they put the M in Micro Management, it became a numbers game, the stockholders came first not the students, if you had fifty bucks and a pulse you could attend these schools, CEC is Robin Hood in reverse, still from the poor and give to the rich

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    burn it down and start over, get new owners who are passionately committed to providing the highest quality education and focus on ethical leadership, values, innovation and advanced skills, prepare students to succeed and stop lying to them, than maybe CEC can be reborn with the passion it once had.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Avoid this job!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inquiry Response Coordinator  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - Inquiry Response Coordinator in Schaumburg, IL

    I worked at Career Education full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people you work with are great. It's a solid 40 hours a week and the work/life balance is acceptable. Training is efficient.

    Cons

    I worked an an IRC. It's basically telemarketing sales for online education. They won't pitch it as such. They will inform you that you will be calling warm leads but more than half of the "prospective students" you will contact will shout at you letting you know they did not request such information about the universities you will be representing on behalf of CEC. Also you will realize you are calling the same people just under different universities and different scripts. Sometimes you will call these students more than three times in one day, I even had one student recognize my voice! It was demoralizing. Not to mention the strict adherence policies and you will feel like a dog leashed to your desk. You cannot socialize for a moment with anybody else's cubicle (even quietly) it's pretty much high school for grown adults. Also it's too cumbersome to advance in this particular company. Lastly, the pay is not worth the steep metrics they will require of you. You will realize you got yourself into a mess after one week of finishing your training. You will be representing "For Profit" schools, and you will realize how disgusting the process of trying to pump these poor individuals through the system really is. It was like selling your soul.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management for the most part is at the same mercy of the directors at the top as the rest of the support staff, they do the best they can but there is a lot of miscommunication and lack of understanding to the ever changing policies. Also the amount of micromanaging is unbelievable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Coordinator

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

    I worked at Career Education

    Pros

    Co-workers were cool, it's a revolving door and unorganized

    Cons

    Pay, came on through a temp agency and learned that once converted to perm, the pay does not go up.
    I felt like a telemarketer
    No room for advancement

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lunacy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development Consultant  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Current Employee - Business Development Consultant in Schaumburg, IL

    I have been working at Career Education full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    i loved the idea of working from home. Initially i was attracted to the idea that i would be helping people better their lives through education.

    Cons

    The company is not managed well. They continue to have very high turn over at the most senior levels, to include CEO COO and CFO. They make uninformed bad decisions and continue to hemorrhage money. They are not able to attract top talent anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Worrying about the bottom dollar will keep you in a state of panic. By investing in your employees, morale will pick up and your employees will communicate a better message to the students of your universities. Congress has made it tough on all For Profit institutions, do not point the finger at congress. Pick up your boot straps and ask the employees in the trenches how to solve some of the issues you are facing regarding student retention. Treat the students with more respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Aid Advisor  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Aid Advisor in Schaumburg, IL

    I have been working at Career Education full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    We can wear jeans on Fridays. There are some nice people here. Some managers do understand how bad things have gotten here, but their hands are tied, so they cannot do much to help with the low morale.

    Cons

    Management sees us as replaceable and does not develop their quality employees. Many people take new jobs making less money just to get out. Over the past few years they started a new point system. If you are more than 7 minutes late, you receive a point. If you are 3-7 minutes late three times in a week's period, you also receive a point. You can get fired around 20 points. Management continues to think this is a great idea. Work/life balance is ok because they don't make you stay late. However, the set schedule is bad and you do have to work a Saturday a month. You cannot leave a minute earlier without using your own personal/sick/vacation time. We also have not been able to receive raises in two years due to the company's poor performance. During the same period, the company had a 10 million dollar settlement with New York.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Workers deserve better compensation. Jobs are often changed to new or combined roles that they did not get hired for. Management needs to be more open to their employees ideas. Many become defensive when people suggest better or different ways of doing things.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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