Applied Research Associates

  www.ara.com
  www.ara.com
There are newer employer reviews for Applied Research Associates

1 person found this helpful  

ARA does their best to promote work-life balance. Overall, it's a great company to work for.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Technical Writer
Current Employee - Technical Writer

I have been working at Applied Research Associates

Pros

- Great work-life balance: support working remotely, taking time off, etc.
- Competitive pay for tech writers and support staff
- Variety: you never know what you'll get to work on next (in a good way)
- Job security: ARA doesn't make a habit of firing people once they're hired

Cons

- Very little upward mobility for tech writers/support staff (see job security). Management positions are filled by the same person for decades. If you want to move into a management position, you'll need to change companies.
- Social interaction is limited. You can go a whole day without seeing anyone, if that's what you're into. Some days it's isolating.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

This is a solid company. It would be great if you could work on reducing the length of time potential hires spend as temps. I know it reduces your tax burden and overall costs, but 2-4 years with no benefits seems excessive.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

30 Other Employee Reviews for Applied Research Associates (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    ARA needs to "clean house"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist
    Former Employee - Scientist

    I worked at Applied Research Associates

    Pros

    Benefit package is OK but it takes 3 years to become vested. Very dependent on local work environment. Good job experience and HR is great. Local management is very influential - this can be both a good and bad thing

    Cons

    Unskilled middle management allowed hostile work environment- bully behavior accepted as ok. ARA culture is great but local team leader is fearful of something. At this level I do not expect a response of "I don't want your opinion I just what you to do this when I say and how I say". This is not a respectful work place. Ideas are repressed. Management tried to manipulate skill set to meet contract as opposed to marketing skills and expand contract access as indicated in interview.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Market human capital as stated in mission. Not try to change skills to fit contract.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Not bad for a defense contractor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates

    Pros

    ARA has a strong engineering culture and generally tries to hire people who are passionate about the work.

    They also are very open to new market opportunities, and encourage individual initiative.

    Because the company primarily does "small" government contracts, there is a lot of chance at intra- and inter-company collaboration, which means you get to try new things.

    Cons

    It's a government contractor, so you generally can't work on anything that you can't get money for up front. You also have to deal with inordinate amounts of bureaucracy from "The Customer."

    "Everybody markets" is the slogan - and marketing is prioritized over engineering. If someone is bringing in new contracts, it doesn't matter how bad they are at engineering or teamwork.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having a large number of people cooperating and working on several small projects seems to work really well - smaller office groups get pigeonholed and become too inward-looking. I don't think the "group" level should be the delimiter for project teams.

    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Applied Research Associates

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