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Coursera Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 3 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

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Rick Levin

(1 ratings)

67% of employees recommend this company to a friend
3 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Coursera is the best place I've ever worked

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros- Mission: You are genuinely changing people's lives for the better everyday by working on this product
    - Peers: Supportive and trusting culture amongst peers. Of course people might have different opinions on tactics and ideas, but we all want what is best for our learners and partners education institutions, so we trust each others' motivations. Everyone is incredibly impressive and accomplished; I'm proud and honored to work amongst these bright folks.
    - Leadership: Leadership is inspired and inspiring. Also, I actually *like* them all as people; they are all *good* people. (No evil jerks like I've seen before at other startups.) I think they all complement each other well. I enjoy our weekly All Hands meeting where we can ask them any question we want and they have to answer.
    - Office Environment: Clean, large office with plenty of meeting spaces. Fun work environment with lots of creative Coursera-related decor. Lunch, dinner, snacks provided. Gym on site. Lots of fun activities like Monday Beer Club, Wednesday Supper Club, Friday Happy Hour, Talent Shows, office garden, Food Truck Thursdays, karaoke, "Show and Tell" Mondays (where people can give 5 min presos on something Coursera related or something totally random and cool), Tech Talk Tuesdays, international candy wall, etc.
    - Salary structure is what I find ideal: They hire people they expect that, in another organization, would receive their performance-based bonus every quarter on top of a base salary. Therefore you earn an annual salary that is reflective of a competitive "base", and then they add on what you might get from another organization as your performance-based bonus as your *total salary*. No performance-based bonuses; you get money no matter what as part of a *larger salary*. I think this makes the work culture have less pressure to fit goals made in the beginning of the quarter that always end up changing anyway! Hitting your goals is about personal fulfillment, supporting your team, and supporting the learners. If you aren't a top performer, you are letting more people down than yourself.
    - Product: Exciting product moves to the "on-demand" and more flexible style of learning for courses. Only edtech company with an Android app.
    - PR/Press/Marketing: Overall the press likes us and is supportive of our mission. We're still a "hot" startup, but there's recognized long-term potential from the media. It is easy to market a product one really believes in.
    - Community: Users (i.e., learners) love us and appreciate us, and they are vocal about letting us know this everyday.
    - Time-off: Unlimited PTO–FOR REAL. I've worked in offices with "Unlimited PTO" and they made me feel guilty every time I took off. Here managers encourage people to take the time they need, and people really use it as they need it.
    - WFH: They are also pretty friendly about letting people WFH on Wednesdays (during "No Meeting Wednesdays") and are flexible in letting you work within the hours that fit your working style best (all dependent on your teams and projects, as expected.)

    Cons- Startup growing pains and figuring out how to best keep everyone in the loop on accomplishments and future plans for each team, particularly with new leadership. This is getting better as we stabilize team structures.
    - Product Team is either extremely junior or extremely senior, but we are currently hiring to fill the gap.
    - It's in Mountain View... waaah waaahhhh... but it's only a 15 walk from the Mountain View Caltrain station.
    - Although we are the leading edtech website, we're still figuring out the ideal monetization strategies for long-term profitability. But this is getting better and we have teams dedicated to figuring it out. Not too concerned right now as we have funding.

    Advice to Senior Management- Consistency in external messaging needs to be honed
    - More transparency around all the teams' product plans. OKR presentations are too high-level, and the weekly All Hands meeting is too ad hoc. Perhaps a weekly update from the teams as to what was released this week and what's coming out next week.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    23 people found this helpful  

    Cultural nightmare, leadership disaster, and no moral compass

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsIt's fun to be a part of a rocket ship, especially one that is viewed so positively by the public and the press.

    ConsTwo co-CEOs with too much ego to realize neither is qualified to run a company leads to the worst leadership team ever. The situation is so bad, in fact, that their investor (KPCB) forced on them another executive - so now they have two CEOs and a President. The culture is so bad that other than the original students (at Stanford) under Daphne and Andrew (in the CS department), most early employees leave as soon as they hit their one year vesting cliff. Since so many employees leave in disgust, the leadership has begun request they sign a Non-Disparagement Agreement.

    Although the company built its reputation on a veneer of social impact and the motto of "Do what's best for the student," they've done nothing to back it up and lacks any clear mission statement. Leadership has been brought in from YouTube and NetFlix, and even at 50+ people, there are only three educators on staff. Although classes remain free, no effort has been spent to improve - or even measure - student learning or outcomes, and Coursera ignores even the most basic fact of education - that students do not learn by watching videos and regurgitating facts. Then again, with a completion rate below 5% for most classes, it's not clear people even succeed in watching the videos.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    Every day is thrilling

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros- Amazingly hard-working and brilliant team
    - Fun work environment
    - Extremely fast-paced
    - Mission-driven
    - You're trusted with responsibilities right off the bat

    Cons- Endless amount of work. But that's exciting in a sense!

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up!

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

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