Institute for Defense Analyses Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
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3.8
29 Reviews
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Institute for Defense Analyses President & CEO Dr. David S.C. Chu
Dr. David S.C. Chu
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Overall, IDA is a very good company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to work on interesting problems/tasks; good compensation and benefits; good work/life balance; nice and intelligent coworkers

    Cons

    Not too many cons in my view; fairly flat management structure - if you are interested in being promoted into a management position, then probably not the place for you

    Advice to Management

    Keep empowering your eomployees

  2. Overall, a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Summer Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Current Intern - Summer Associate in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoyed my time at IDA. Everyone there is competent and excited to get involved in research. I was an intern but never felt like one. Everyone treated me like I was a member of the team. They valued my input. Plus, there was free coffee and cookies!

    Cons

    The only thing I can think come up with is that the gym could use some updating.

  3. Comfortable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting work
    Smart colleagues
    Easy hours
    Decent pay and benefits

    Cons

    Poor potential for employees without advanced degree
    High management turnover at STPI

    Advice to Management

    Consider how to build and retain human capital

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  5. INTERNSHIP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Internship in Alexandria, VA
    Current Intern - Internship in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    GREAT Experience, Professional environment, I highly enjoyed the internship this summer

    Cons

    For those who don't prefer a professional environment you would not like this company

    Advice to Management

    No advice to management at this time

  6. A great experience overall

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

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I got to contribute to solving interesting and significant problems from day one. I've got smart colleagues to work with. I've never felt underpaid, and the benefits are great.

    Cons

    This is a very flat organization, so if you are looking for opportunities to move into management you would be disappointed. That is not a con: IDA emphasizes leadership and excellence within your particular field of research and analysis. Not every division or research group operates the same way in this regard, YMMV.

  7. Great place to work, but not quite a think tank

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

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Whip-smart, honest, hardworking colleagues
    - Outsized impact on the DoD
    - Excellent combination of salary, benefits and work-life balance

    Cons

    - Too much consulting, not enough original thought
    - Ambition unlikely to be rewarded with pay raises and titles

    Advice to Management

    - Give time, space and funds for innovative projects
    - Reward high performers with salary and funds, if not necessarily titles

  8. Great place to work but no upward mobility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed environment
    Great and smart people to work with
    Interesting work

    Cons

    No upward mobility
    Pay and promotion based on seniority
    No merit based rewards

    Advice to Management

    Create channels for better upper management communication with employees

  9. Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Work/life balance
    - Compensation & benefits are good but could be better
    - Interesting programs to work on
    - Management does care a lot about employees
    - Plenty of professional training opportunities

    Cons

    - Flat management style, not many opportunities for advancement

    Advice to Management

    - Keep up the good work

  10. Helpful (1)

    IDA has an academic and collegial environment but it can be slow to change.

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

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Problems and research topics are varied, interesting, and impactful. Employees are collegial with each other. There are great education benefits if you desire to stick around long enough to take advantage. The sequester has demonstrated IDA's willingness stick by its employees, increasing opportunities for cross-divisional work and providing other opportunities, assuaging fears of job losses.

    Cons

    In spite of management's explicit attempts to create a flat organization, IDA is very tied to a model of seniority and degree level. There is little collaboration between divisions, leading to duplicated efforts. However these seem to be improving.

    Advice to Management

    Things seem to be on the right track. Changes to seniority practices and inter-divisional collaboration are improving, if slowly. Keep doing what you're doing.

  11. Good Place. Good Benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Multimedia and Conference Support Coordinator in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Multimedia and Conference Support Coordinator in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Institute for Defense Analyses full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are awesome. Other than the usual perks of following the government (paid holidays, paid inclement weather days off, etc). since it's an FFRDC we can get new equipment to upgrade frequently.

    Cons

    in the Enterprise Operation division there's a lot of micro managing and the manager in addition to the Division Director may not have insight on all aspects of what the team does, which causes the micromanaging.

    not a single raise was given...

    Advice to Management

    have trust in your team. micromanaging is counterproductive. take time to understand what it is those you manage actually do.

Institute for Defense Analyses Photos

IDA Headquarters and Systems and Analyses Center
IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute is located in downtown Washington, D.C.

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