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
157 Employee Reviews
in

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:
  • "Low morale and high employee turnover"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Upper Management approves technology releases without a care for student experience"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Start packing...

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFantastic people to work in a majority of departments. Great place to get your foot in the door in the educational world. Just use it as a stepping stone and you will have a positive experence!

    ConsIn a time when for profit education is coming under fire, none of the executive level leaders seem to have a solid long term plan to ride out the storm. They just keep shrinking, making layoffs and hoping for a better future.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop a solid long term plan to build a better product and let people know what you have...

    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 worst environment imaginable.

    Admissions Advisor (Former Employee)
    Hoffman Estates, IL

    ProsI liked some of my peers.

    ConsNO work life balance, high pressure environment, Admissions department is a cold-call sales center, schedules are terrible and irregular.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe 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.

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

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    Great place to work

    Admissions Advisor (Former Employee)
    Beaverton, OR

    ProsLot's of support and training, good pay and flexible work schedule.

    ConsVery strict about numbers and working on weekends.

    Advice to Senior ManagementJust keep on eeping on.

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

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    Chaotic and constantly in flux

    Director (Former Employee)
    Saint Louis, MO

    ProsField strives for excellence. Changes in corporate leadership while positive may be too little too late.

    ConsDisconnect between field and executive leadership.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTurn over has been disruptive and unsettling to the field. Schools need leaders who understand the challenges and can help support local efforts. Individuals who directly manage schools should gave extensive experience in the industry. Communicate honestly and frequently the expectations and company strategies.

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    Very challenging

    Creative Production Specialist (Former Employee)
    Schaumburg, IL

    ProsFair compensation and benefits, learned a lot of the education system

    ConsToo many changes in courses where collateral went to waste because not too much thought put into it.

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

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    A fine place to work.

    Student Finance Advisor (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsGreat people, good management style overall. Benefits and possible growth opportunities. Overall atmosphere is positive and employees respect each other.

    ConsLimited growth opportunities which are dependent on space. Policies which seem outdated or unnecessary such as mandatory, hour-long unpaid lunches.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to find ways to make this a good place for employees to build careers rather than just jobs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Human Resources

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood systems and tools, good co-workers and great supervisor.

    ConsHighest level of leadership within the Corporation seemed out-of-touch with the reality of doing the job day-to-day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet more in touch with lower levels of leadership.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    admissions advisor

    Senior Admissions Advisor (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    Proswhen 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.

    Consoriginal 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 Senior Managementburn 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.

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

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    Avoid this job!!!

    Inquiry Response Coordinator (Former Employee)
    Schaumburg, IL

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

    ConsI 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 Senior ManagementManagement 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.

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

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    Cold Call Phone Sales Inaccurately Labeled As "Admissions" in a High Volume Environment.

    Admissions Representative (Former Employee)
    San Antonio, TX

    ProsVery little. There are a few things that I would consider pros but otherwise the Cons far outweigh the Pros. It's important to note that "Admissions" is not what you would expect...this isn't standard college admissions, this is straight up cold-call sales in most respects in a highly corporate environment.

    * Good Pay - tends to be higher than the average admissions agent

    * Good Schools under the CEC umbrella - these are high quality schools with national, and sometimes international reputations to consider.

    * 401K matching and low-cost supplemental life insurance is offered

    ConsThe Cons are many...it's hard to sum up just how frustrating it was to work for CEC.

    * Turnover - is VERY high...I started working there in the middle of the year and there had been 13 people between the start of the year and the middle of the year that had been termed or left before I even started. Morale and attitude is typically very negative and beaten down.

    * Benefits - they are awful...the insurance is a co-op with 90% of all financial responsibility falling on you.

    * Training - is non-existent. You get put in front of a big clipbook and do most of your learning from there by yourself. Management is usually "too busy" to follow-up on any of the exercises that require you to interact with them (such as mock interviews, assessments and shadowing). You may get flown to the corporate headquarters in Chicago, but other than having a neat business trip, you get the clipbook verbally re-iterated to you - NOTHING new is learned, and none of it is of any value. I believe they now just do the training over the phone via conference calling.

    * Work - is NOT Admissions. I'd worked in college admissions for 3 years before joining CEC at a private university. I took the CEC job for the higher pay, but what I did at CEC was not admissions. This was straight-up, high volume, 200+ outbound calls per day COLD CALLING. You are given lead lists that are over a year old, full of people who have already angrily expressed that they did not want to hear from us ever again. New "Leads" are generated from the worst possible sources (low-income areas in the gulf states in particular).

    * Expectations - are unrealistic. New hires are expected to produce 7 enrollments just to prevent themselves from being put on a Performance plan. In reality they need 10 to be successful. The tools, coaching, and resources for this are non-existent. I was an experienced admissions counselor and was unable to do this with the resources (or lack thereof) provided.

    * Teamwork - is non-existent. This further exemplifies the fact that this is a SALES job, NOT and ADMISSIONS job. Management continuously stresses that leads belong to the company and anyone is able to work them. This causes fierce competition between agents, rather than teamwork. Newly assigned leads could be ripped right out from under you if they happen to return your call, but someone else picks up the phone first. Regardless of conversations had, notes put into the system, if another agent gets the callback first, or if your new lead happens to show up on a newly distro'd lead list (which happens often), they'll just go ahead and take the lead from you. This leads to confrontations in the office, and can be the difference between putting you on the performance plan or being successful. Even management/leads do this to reps. There is no common decency or protocol.

    * Performance Plan - is NOT an "Improvement" plan. It is instead a track-plan to eliminate agents from employment. No coaching was given, no help, no re-training. If you're on the PIP, you're on your own. And EVERYONE winds up on the PIP at some point. I saw brand new reps getting put on the PIP after their first month.

    If you're a natural salesperson with that "Carpe Diem" approach, not at all interested in the welfare of the students you are selling to, but rather interested in making those numbers and making those cold calls, this is your job. If you're an admissions counselor, CEC Admissions is NOT for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTAKE AN INTEREST IN YOUR REPS. Stop saying you're going to help/coach, and actually DO IT. Why is turnover so high? Because no one knows how to run the department. I've never seen such turnover before, and I've worked at high-volume CSR call centers before. If management would spend more time managing and coaching, they wouldn't have to spend all of their time worrying about getting chewed out by corporate. It goes both ways.

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

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