Career Education Reviews

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

2.4
167 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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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

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  1.  

    Very challenging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative Production Specialist  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - Creative Production Specialist in Schaumburg, IL

    I worked at Career Education full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    A fine place to work.

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

    I have been working at Career Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

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 Policies which seem outdated or unnecessary such as mandatory, hour-long unpaid lunches.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    Start packing...

    • 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

    Fantastic 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!

    Cons

    In 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Chaotic and constantly in flux

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Director  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Director in Saint Louis, MO

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Disconnect between field and executive leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Turn 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.

  7.  

    Human Resources

    • 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

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more in touch with lower levels of leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions Representative  in  San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Admissions Representative in San Antonio, TX

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

    Pros

    Very 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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    TAKE 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 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
  11. 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

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