MITRE Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2010's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
65 Reviews
4.1
65 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
63 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • people pretty much respect your schedule and are supportive of work life balance (in 122 reviews)

  • Good Benefits; however, not as good as they were 25 years ago (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-Life balance has deteriorated as well as benefits (in 12 reviews)

  • Some upper management seems to talk out both sides of their mouth -- dishonest and hypocritical (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    MITRE, great place for a career after retirement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Information Systems Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Information Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I worked at MITRE

    Pros

    Job stability, flexible work hours, telework.

    Cons

    As a consultant organization, almost everyone at MITRE focuses on finding flaws with everything they review and not enough time on recommending alternatives or risk mitigation strategies. Many people come here after working in Government or Private Industry (mostly Defense contractors) and they are just interested in pushing paper around. Government employees always complain about working with MITRE because MITRE never produces anything, only paper.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change MITRE's corporate culture so that the employees feel that they are trusted Advisors, and employees do not feel that if they do not have an adversarial relationship with other Government contractors, they are not doing their job. For projects that involve the military, foster better communication between Engineers and their military counterparts on a day-to-day basis.

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good place to work, but not for everyone, especially junior engineers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I worked at MITRE

    Pros

    Good benefits, challenge work, stable job and nice people

    Cons

    Only base salary, no stock option or cash bonus. No clear career path for hard engineers unless switch to management positions. Too much overhead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need a good career path for hardcore enginners.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place for technical development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Communications Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Communications Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    Base Pay compensation, 403b match of %10.83 when you contribute 12%, generous vacation time allocated at 23 days, flexible work schedules, great technical development through MITRE institute with excellent education resources as well as tuition assistance program, great technical mentors in the field of your choice, satisfaction in supporting Department of Defense and and other government agencies, as a non-profit company the work is focused on value versus making a profit.

    Cons

    MITRE Corporation is very "Top Heavy" which promotions and recognition is harder to get. As a Federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the manpower allocated is limited by congress which at times is hard to get additional staff to support the projects as well as the downside that needing to reduce staff to meet the staffing due to overburning or too much staff working on the projects. The issue with this is that because of the manpower limit, project cannot simply increase number of staff to support it without approval. There are internal politics that can really cloud the big picture especially when dealing with a government bureaucrat. Raises a nominal and moves inline with what the government receives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to provide greater feedback.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Truly, a great place to work, but do not expect a clear career or promotion path.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    Stable and dynamic work environment. Provides a colaborative work experience with plenty of opportunities to expand your professional horizons and learn new and varied skills. Good workers and good work are recognized and leveraged across the organization.

    Cons

    Too many managers, too few promotional opportunities. Heirarchical management structure is outdated and lends to eggagerated elitism and beurocracy. Hires and rehires are suspect, and nepotism and favoritism are a negative reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good management starts from the top down. Take a long, hard look at yourself and your top managers and determine if you and your managers are truly fostering a productive work environment. Dig deeper in the organization and work with your base staff to get honest and candid assessments of their own work experiences.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good all-around place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    Diverse types of work; many project areas; diverse sponsors; flexible hours; telecommuting opportunities; educational opportunities; information sharing; access to data; important national issues. MITRE offers educational and advancement opportunities for entry-level people to mid-career people to military or other retirees, and focuses on tailoring the opportunities to the needs of the individual. People are not 'pigeon-holed' to work in specific areas, as is the case in many industrial organizations, but have the flexibility to support other parts of the company if there is mutual benefit.

    Cons

    Mid-level managers work on technical projects rather than managing; some types of work restricted by FFRDC requirements

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow mid-level managers to spend more time managing

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Working at MITRE is a different; that diiference may or may not be what you are looking for...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    MITRE is a unique place to work in that it is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). As an FFRDC, it is a private not-for-profit corporation chartered in the public interest. (Actually, MITRE operates three FFRDCs; one for DoD, one for the FAA, and one for the Department of the Treasury). The MITRE Corporation’s assets are owned by the federal government but the employees are not considered government employees (i.e., they not civil servants). There is both a bad side and a good side to this in that the employees do not have any job protections or automatic pay or step increases afforded civil servants, but, at the same time, they do not have the same constraints in promotions or merit pay increases. A highly capable junior employee can move up the latter relatively quickly (as compared to the federal government employees).

    Also, generally, the work is interesting, varied and can have significant impact on how the government designs, develops, and implements systems. The work environment is intellectually stimulating and the technical staff is typically of a higher caliber than most commercial organizations (most tech staff have advanced degrees). The management supports intellectual integrity, high quality products, and encourages healthy debate in developing technical approaches to problem solving. As an FFRDC, MITRE is not permitted to perform commercial work nor is it allowed to bid on contracts in the government sector. Because of this, the staff is free from conflict of interest and can provide honest objective recommendations to its government sponsors. In a sense, the research environment at MITRE is much like a university although, at MITRE, the research work is direct by the government sponsoring organizations.

    Cons

    As an FFRDC, the total number staff and the total dollar revenue than can be applied to the sponsor organizations is capped by Congress (this is true of all FFRDCs). This cap (or ceiling as it is known within MITRE) is rarely increased and when it is, it is usually by a small amount. In fact, in the mid 1990s, the ceiling was decreased in line with the declining DoD budgets which resulted in limited reductions in force (layoffs). The down side to the congressionally mandated ceiling is that there are limited growth opportunities for the organization which can also limit individual promotion opportunities (as compared to a fast growing private/commercial company). Merit pay increases for senior staff are also fairly limited (around 2-3%) because junior staff must be given somewhat higher merit increases as they are rapidly increasing their earning potential in the marketplace. The upside of the staff number caps is that the government sponsoring organizations (MITRE’s “customers”) generally want more MITRE support than they allowed to have, so the total amount of work remains the same from one year to the next resulting in a reasonably stable work program (no big ramp ups or ramp downs in work force).

    Another limitation of the FFRDC environment is that, as a non-profit, there are no stock options, profit sharing, or cash bonuses based on the organizations financial performance. In fact, because of the staff ceiling mentioned above, bringing in new work, which is highly valued in most commercial organizations, may result in negative consequences for a MITRE person. This is because if a government organization requests additional support in area MITRE may be uniquely qualified to perform, and a MITRE staff member tells the customer that MITRE is willing to perform such work, MITRE may have to go back to the customer and decline the work due to the ceiling issue. This can cause frustration with both the government customers and the MITRE staff that work with them. This also eliminates a key metric used to evaluate (senior) staff in most commercial organizations: positive (or negative) impact on the organizations financial performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The most important asset of the corporation is technical staff working directly for the government customers. While upper management may communicate to senior DoD and other senior government officials, it is the work being performed for the individual government Program Offices and other government offices that the key to continued success and demand for MITRE support. Speak with these customers directly to understand the role and the value that the tech staff brings to their respective customers. Find out what’s important to these customers and how MITRE is helping them be successful in their missions. Usually, the MITRE staff visibility within a customer organization is far more important than that staff member’s visibility within MITRE management. Unfortunately, that fact is not always recognized by MITRE management.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A good place to stay for the long haul

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Systems Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Software Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    * Smartest people around - great place to meet and work with some of the folks who develop the standards that make the Internet work for example.
    * Important and influential work- work improves government capability (many projects support the warfighter)
    * Environment that encourages you to define your own work.
    * Stability- little to no chance of being downsized, outsourced or replaced
    * Great benefits, fantastic 401 matching

    Cons

    * Lack of direction- if need a boss to tell you what needs to be done you may become frustrated
    * Hard to enter as a young engineer. Those with established careers will have a much easier time coming in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve current efforts toward new hire integration into MITRE's unique structure and culture.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    MITRE is a great place to work, but it's not for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Disciplinary Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Disciplinary Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    MITRE provides challenging work assignments and offers staff wide latitude in pursuing interesting assignments. MITRE staff are compensated fairly, considering the comparatively low-pressure environment, and the benefits are outstanding.

    Cons

    Working at MITRE requires strong self-guidance. Sometimes it's easy to feel somewhat adrift without strong line management direction. Most of the time that freedom is appreciated but when issues need to be elevated and timely management decisions are needed, the process can be slow and frustrating. Also, one gets the feeling of two companies at work, one consisting of superstars working on plum assignments and the other for the majority of staff who are working on more mundane tasks of little interest to the Corporation other than for the number of staff-years on contract.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure the division managers keep the work program focused on meaningful, important work

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great work, outstanding benefits, a few issues.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    In general, MITRE has challenging and interesting work. The work program is also relevant to our nation's many problems. These factors can lead to a very satisfying technical career at MITRE.

    The members of the staff have great technical depth and breadth, and can be a tremendous resource for a young engineer.

    Benefits are outstanding. Most of the first and second level managers provide strong support to work-life balance and flexible work arrangements.

    Cons

    Senior Managers seem disengaged from the workers; we rarely see managers at the Director Level or above.

    The company has recently developed very clear guidelines and rules for indirect charges, but consistently underfunds a indirect accounts at the department and division levels. This continues to contribute to time reporting issues.

    Some parts of the work program involve purely programmatic support that could easily be handled by a SETA.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of your offices or conference rooms once in a while, walk around the company and talk to people. Go to the cafeteria for lunch and join a table of employees for an informal discussion.

    Getting an invitation in the mail for "Breakfast with Vice-President John Smith" feels a bit like an invitation to an audience with royalty.

    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    I love my work - Love the flexibility - wish I was compensated better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    I love the work I do here - I believe I am making a significant contribution to the security of the U.S.

    Cons

    Compensation has been pretty lousy over the last four years - I am not making a salary equal to my peers at other locations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Cut out some of the fat and unproductive resources so that you can reward your overachievers more
    - Stop comparing MITRE compensation to related for profit industry organizations - the average MITRE employee has ten more years experience and far more diverse expertise
    - get more involved with the work your sites are doing, I have been at Hanscom now for 9 years and have never had a corporate officer visit us at this location
    - remember that a lot of the overhead posistions back at corporate are funded off the backs of your site or project employees - you need to make those employees feel that you appreciate that relationship

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

Worked for MITRE? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.