Pearson

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Pearson Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 741 reviews

56% Approve of the CEO

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John Fallon

(142 ratings)

61% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Usually a great work-life balance if you're in Production or Media(in 60 reviews)

  • Almost all of my colleagues with families work from home twice a week(in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of transparency between upper management & finance with the feet on the street(in 32 reviews)

  • IT development teams and operations tend to work long hours(in 25 reviews)

741 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Ghost in the Machine, except to other Scorers

    Test Scorer (Former Employee) Austin, TX

    ProsIf you qualify for the test being scored (yes, you must re-qualify for each test) they want you and need you desperately. People were dropping like flies on my last temp contract. Pearson was authorizing up to 70 hours a week the last week, and paying time and a half over 40. It was ten+ days past the due date when we finished.

    If you make an effort, other scorers will be friendly. Most people are retired/working, job hunting, or working two+ jobs, with a sprinkling of college students and new graduates. Pearson will pay for some training (16 hours on my assignment) and if you qualify and meet a minimum they will pay hourly with a slight incentive if you turn out to be both fast and accurate. Most of the regular supervising staff are encouraging and will try to give you individual attention to help you get the rubric for that exam. They want you to succeed--they want people to come back.

    Location is a fairly new, isolated office park in far north Austin. Lunch room has ten microwaves and six large refrigerators for lunch. There are two paid fifteen minute breaks. Lunch is 30 minutes and not paid. My supervisor was good about job interviews, when told in advance. Because there is a second shift, you can make up time up to your forty hours. We were not authorized for overtime until the last two weeks, and then only if your hourly scoring was past a certain number of papers.

    They do note if they like you and your work, and will recommend you for rehire.

    I have a friend over on the design side, and that person likes the company, the benefits, the work. This is not the same Pearson.

    ConsThis is a meat market. Other than a couple of key people you are invisible to regular staff at that location. Regular staff not on your assignment will ignore you. You'll be gone soon--why bother? Networking happens with other temps. I doubt there is much advancement to full time except for supervisor of a test--you get $1.00 more an hour and will be worked like a dog, with higher-ups carping about overtime. There is more money to be made scoring, once you get the knack. The building is not healthy somewhere deep--I was warned by regulars that people get sick all the time there.

    This is not always simple work because the rubrics can be intricate and demand an intuitive understanding to gain speed and keep accuracy. It took me longer than I'd hoped to get fast and keep up my accuracy. Teachers regularly bomb out because they can't use their own judgement on many things--it's all the client.

    Largest problem is that some clients now require your work to be measured against certain criteria from the first test scored (no warmup period before rating) so you may flunk out the first regular day of scoring. I saw a lot of regulars resign rather than have a test fail on their record. There's always another test to try.

    No places nearby to eat--you will be brown-bagging.

    This is strictly work for hire, no benefits--you'll sign a lot of paperwork making sure you understand that.

    You are working in a huge room reading scans of test papers where some kids compete to make it as illegible as possible. You work on laptops, in rows like at a church camp. Ear plugs are encouraged, head phones and private music allowed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAll that said, this pays better than fast food and is a better environment overall. However, the wage paid for this has dropped considerably, talking to friends who scored there a few years ago. I found out that their competitor pays better and will watch for the next time that company needs scorers. But I would go back here if I needed a temp job. Like IRS this is seasonal, mostly 4th-12th grade.

    If you know what you are getting going in, then I'd say go for it.

    I'd recommend that Pearson let people know that if they get good at this, their hourly wage will increase. Give them some incentive to stay with you other than an odd job market. Your web site says you are dedicated to kids and to education. Dedicating some time and effort to retaining temp worker's loyalty would be a good investment. You might keep the best scorers and also get good people applying to the other side of the wall.

    Also, check out the facilities. I never saw so many people getting sick so fast.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Project Manager

    Senior Project Manager (Current Employee) Old Tappan, NJ

    ProsGreat company, Great product, Great people

    ConsCulture is changing - not sure how it will look at the end of the tunnel

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate and manage the change like a project manager

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Massive global educational conglomerate in disruption, but self-aware, professional, and conscientious.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsIts a British culture and staff treat each other, vendors, and customers with great respect and demeanor. As of late, first-class facilities in NYC. Excellent pay and benefits. Speaking your mind is encouraged and does not result in repercussions even if controversial.

    ConsInstitutional education is a very frustrating business to be in because of the limitations of what schools are budgeted and trained to purchase. This is a very siloed company due to numerous acquisitions, so work experiences may vary greatly - its impossible to 'see' the whole company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementScardino and Shore were on the right track - Pearson needs to continue to reinvent itself on an ongoing basis by each employee working to change the culture to modern standards. Fallon is right too - we need to service our revenue products to make sure we are funded. Its a challenge I don't envy, but there cannot be big gaps of time in which staff are not clearly communicated the message, direction we are going in today, and the status of their resources with which to do it. The tech side is fast-emerging, but is hamstrung by non-engineering management.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    It was very positive and a great place to work.

    Editorial Assistant (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsI liked all my coworkers and it was a great first temp job.

    ConsIt was a temp job which ended a lot sooner than expected which left me very little time to find something else.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work. Not much turnover.

    Manager Procurement (Former Employee) Iowa City, IA

    ProsBenefits are the best. Salaries are ok, not great. But the benefits far outweigh the delta in salaries. Highly educated workforce.

    ConsSalaries are average but management usually get bonuses. Declined a lot since 2008. And bonuses sometimes disappear if company is not doing well.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecent cuts in 2014 were not as transparent. Attrition caused many to leave. That environment does not encourage productivity.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Promotion based on seniority not merit but if you just want a job it's got good benefits

    Production Project Manager (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsUsually a great work-life balance if you're in Production or Media. Fantastic vacation and sick-leave policy (at least in California!). Doing really innovative work in the areas of education efficacy in media and course management.

    ConsBureaucracy at it's best. Entrenched middle management that are extremely fearful of change. Also, extremely slow moving. It is a huge organization, and very hard to get inefficient or out-dated procedures changed beyond sub-departments.

    A new workflow rolled out that was only half-baked. Training programs provided by the team in charge of the workflow have been unclear, and across departments and business units everyone has a different idea of what the new roles entail.

    Editors and Directors of Editorial Development in the Sciences show a seriously deficiency in the understanding of the paradigm shift from textbook publishers (linear, top-down, paper-based, bulk production products) to educational information publishers (non-linear, iterative, multi-format, customized products).

    No options for career growth.

    No connection between continuing value provided to the company and salary increases or meaningful rewards or recognition.

    I used to be really happy at Pearson. But I left because of everything mentioned above that snowballed over years that I was there, I left. And when people have asked me about working there I have said go for it, just know what you're getting into.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo get, and more importantly maintain, top talent in the Bay Area you have to offer competitive, living wages. Maintaining top talent is tremendously important. You don't want to invest in training and then lose that person to Google, Facebook, or the next edu tech start-up. Which is what has been happening the last 3 years, and will continue to happen.

    Money's not the whole story. Enough with the top-down messaging. Work to empower your employees. Have clear incentives between quality of work produced and meaningful rewards. Hire managers that are brave enough to hire people that know more than them––and then listen to them. As David Ogilvy said "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."

    Provide quality training. You can't expect your technology uneducated and fearful staff to provide cutting-edge educational products.

    Don't be afraid to fire people who's bad attitude or poor quality of work are holding a team, company, or department, back.

    Be brave, imaginative, and decent. Live up to the stated Culture of Pearson.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great Company!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe company offers excellent benefits and flexible work options (flex work options are great if you can get them).

    ConsNobody leaves (which is probably a "pro" for the company) so there's not much room for advancement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to develop individuals that get promoted to management. Everyone who's good at their will not necessarily make a good manager of other people doing the job, but management skills can be taught.

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

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to make a difference

    Senior Software Developer (Current Employee) Centennial, CO

    ProsSmart people. Challenging projects. You can use more modern technologies. Hackathons are fun. Innovation is rewarded.

    ConsInfrastructure changes are causing some hiccups. Some parts of the organization have too much red tape involved and that can really slow you down.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere are a ton of great people at Pearson but there are some bad apples with bad attitudes that tend to bring others down. Let them go and make room for some more positive people.

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Negative supervisor experience

    Development Editor/Project Manager (Former Employee)

    ProsThe benefits are very good; coworkers are interesting and helpful; and training is available. The large city location where I worked has many interesting retail stores, good restaurants, easy public transportation access, and outdoor opportunities for after-work interactions.

    ConsManagers/Supervisors do not value employees' work effort in fast-paced deadline driven environment. Morale is low. There is constant criticism and blame to drive productivity, and little to no effort to integrate "over 20's" interests and priorities.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWake up....

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    High demands, but very helpful staff

    Temporary Distributed Scorer (Current Employee)

    Pros-Supervisors, HR, and Tech support are very polite and try to be as helpful as possible. Their positivity is very reassuring.
    -Pay is pretty good for what you're doing
    -Software is very straightforward and easy to pick up

    Cons-Productivity demands can be a bit high, though it makes sense
    -Requires constantly high-level work (understandable, but nerve-racking sometimes)
    -Work can get a bit tedious, especially when you have no contact with fellow employees except when you have a question for a supervisor
    -Software is a bit dated, despite functioning perfectly fine

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe only real struggle with distributed scoring is feeling like you're the only person scoring, so any sort of environment for distributed scorers to interact with each other (Google Group, Facebook Group, anything) could boost productivity, or at least positivity, if done right. Having worked both on-site and from home, I would much rather work on-site because of the other people sharing in the experience.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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