Pearson Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
790 Reviews

3.3
790 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
157 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Claims moral high-ground on equality, but it's really just about payback.

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

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    If you play your cards right, and are of the correct oppressed demographic, you will go far. The struggle to succeed at Pearson was like going to graduate school for an MBA in Hard Knocks while being paid a good salary and benefits. I'll be able to use the bruises and scars from this experience to do even better in future endeavors.

    The benefits are the best I've ever had. The salaries are great, also.

    Cons

    If you're a white male, plan for a long career in mediocre positions with lots of responsibility, no authority, no budget to accomplish the performance goals assigned to you by your manager, and an appalling lack of follow-through on the part of your manager as to said performance goals. The last time I was part of a decent and useful performance review was when I was the manager doing them with my direct reports.

    Also, Pearson has a tendency to reorganize itself nearly every year. This habit creates a lot of org chart chaos and keeps anything from truly being settled and operationalized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm 110% fine with men and women competing equally in the workplace. I enjoy working with women, sometimes even more than I enjoy working with men, because I find, in general, I get more intellectual enlightenment from the conversations I have with women. It's healthy to have both male and female perspectives in the room, working out solutions to daunting challenges. Each gender brings strengths to the table that help build a great business.

    However...

    Equality was supposed to be about...well...equality, not _payback_ or "grievance theater". I was let go after over a decade of trying to work my way up the ladder and being passed up for promotion after promotion. _Every_ time a promotion became available in my hierarchical vicinity, and I expressed an interest in and was quite qualified in obtaining it, it went to a woman. 75-80% of supervisors above me were women. Only about half of them were qualified per the job description (especially the more technical parts) or even knew what they were doing. The other half who were qualified made darn sure any men who began to get "uppity" were put in their place through passive-aggressive tactics, demotion, or firing. In saying this, I don't blame the individuals so much as a persistent negative culture particular to certain levels of management at Pearson that had been fostered by a certain former high-level executive. Everyone feared that person and all decisions made were made in fear of incurring that exec's wrath. Not a good way to build a positive working environment.

    Once, after a misunderstanding around project requirements, I was put into a room and literally interrogated by two female supervisors (the only thing missing was the bright light in my face). I was told how badly I had "damaged the reputation" of the department even though I had done nothing wrong. All documented evidence in my favor was rejected out-of-hand and I was not given the opportunity to include my accuser (also a woman) in the debate over what had gone wrong with the project. Her word was taken as gospel truth, without question, and my word was automatically discounted. After an hour of getting nowhere in my own, documented defense, I finally "broke" and I just let them believe whatever they wanted and took the consequence. The effort to defend myself was no longer worth it to me and I was done. It was a very, very toxic environment to work in.

    At Pearson, especially in the corporate office levels, there is rampant nepotism and fairly shady insider business dealings. There is also a fair amount of sexual hi-jinx and harassment...and not just instigated by the men. Pearson HR does tend to fire both the man and the woman whenever a claim of sexual harassment is levied by either of them. Not sure what purpose firing both of them serves, but that's not my circus.

    HR in particular, and the Diversity and Inclusion folks in general, needs to wake up and spend more time working on true egalitarianism, and stop playing petty identity politics games with peoples' careers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Mixed Messages

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Editor (Math)  in  Glenview, IL
    Current Employee - Editor (Math) in Glenview, IL

    I have been working at Pearson as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    I love coming to work here every day. I have learned a lot in a relatively short period of time. My immediate managers are super supportive and patient with me and coworkers are friendly and helpful.

    Cons

    The company as a whole really doesn't value its workers. They hire almost exclusively on a Term Of Project basis and created a policy where you have to leave the company after 2 years if no permanent openings exist. They are constantly cutting positions even though there is tons of work to be done, making it more and more difficult for the people that still work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Other companies in the industry don't have a time limit for TOP employment. It seems so counterproductive to cut employees loose just as they are starting to hit their stride and understand the industry and the way things work in the company. Then you lose even more time during the hiring process and the training of new editors who come in not knowing what they are doing or how the company works.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    Time to go back to the drawing board and respect the employees as customers

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

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, Medical/Dental/Vision, 401k company match, Holiday/Paid Time Off.
    Most importantly the legacy employees like myself who have been there for quite some time and understand the business.

    Cons

    Been with the company for 16+ years and its time that Pearson goes back to the drawing board and respect the employees as customers. We do all the work and do not get credit for it, or a thank you...The work ethic and culture with the changes of upper management over the years, especially the last 2 years, have hindered the morale with this company and made it very hostile. It's time to fix it. Enough is enough with squeezing every penny out of your employees because upper management can't make decisions in a timely manner but expects us to drop everything, work long hours and weekends with compressed schedules to generate product. Hello we are not robots. We are human beings that live and breathe with families at home that need us. Remember that when you go home Upper Management. Another issue is that I've seen is no more respect from upper management. They talk down to you, asked never to ask questions in meetings cause it is not my place too, accused of inaccurate facts when you proved them inaccurate and won't acknowledge they were wrong. I can go on and on. But one in particular is in a department meeting that a General Manager says "if you don't like it then this is not the place for you" in a response to a person asking a question about the ideas to improve the decision making of business cases and plan. I was floored as everyone else was in the room - gasped. Real professionalism in the workplace thrown out of the window at this company - nice leadership skills. Career Opportunities - at my worksite not many and it is frustrating when you want to grow and there are not any opportunities unless you move out of state. We are in the 21st Century aka digital resources and work remotely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to go back to the drawing board and treat your employees as customer. You must change your hostile work ethic and culture for it to get better. I cringe when I go into the office cause you don’t know what you’re going to get hit with next. Here is an idea to fix it; Upper Management has a zero tolerance policy. If they treat any employee disrespectfully verbally or in email they are given a warning and if it happens again to the same employee or another employee then you’re fired. I've been in too many conference calls and meetings where I cannot believe the written/verbal behavior of upper management towards people, swearing, belittling, blaming with inaccurate facts, etc. It's uncalled for and needs to stop. Also, improve on your career opportunities so if a person in the Midwest can do a job that is located in Boston or USR is given a chance. You’re losing talented people because you have brought in the wrong people in management positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    Not the same

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson

    Pros

    Generous benefits, vacation, flexible w/work hours

    Cons

    Reorg is too top heavy and confusing. Not a pleasant place anymore.

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place for Project Managers to Start

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  Iowa City, IA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Iowa City, IA

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Competitive pay, for the area

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for professional advancement

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing and Sales Representative
    Former Employee - Marketing and Sales Representative

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Very flexible and dynamic company! Great for working moms. Many advancement opportunities. It was great to be able to work from home. The benefits were amazing. Company car, 401K with match, medical, dental, vision. Great salary with great bonus opportunity. If you are a hard worker the sky is the limit.

    Cons

    The industry is going through a lot of changes which makes it hard in the college division. No one is buying new books right now which makes it hard to make goals and to make bonuses. You also have to work very hard and spend a lot of time traveling to campus and working with professors who sometimes do not want to see you or are hard to find.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell directly to students and bypass the bookstore. Professors are telling their students not to buy the books anymore and using publisher resources in class. Bookstores are only getting used books and students are buying online. It is time to market directly to students!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Learning many new tasks.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Prepress Associate  in  Owatonna, MN
    Former Employee - Prepress Associate in Owatonna, MN

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Continuous Improvement is the standard. Something is always changing.

    Cons

    Expected to know new processes after being taught it once, even though you may not have to use the knowledge for 6 to 18 months. Frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Insist on mentors for first time managers.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Summer intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Pearson

    Pros

    Pearson is a great place to learn as an intern. I really liked that I was assigned a project to complete and didn't have to make copies or get the coffee like other internships.

    Cons

    It's a very large company

  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    This is how great companies die

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Current Employee - Vice President in Upper Saddle River, NJ

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company is still loaded with experienced and talented employees who flourished under the former CEO (Scardino), even if their numbers are dwindling. And the constant layoffs have had a positive impact in that there are now swarms of ex-Pearsonites working at other companies, consulting, and starting up their own companies.

    Cons

    Let's not kid ourselves--the Pearson play is about standardized testing at the global level, and that includes in Higher Ed as well as K-12/Schools. They also want to become the school itself in many parts of the world. So they are riding the wave of privatization, and following the money. But can they survive the negative press they increasingly generate? And their own incompetence?
    If you really want to work at a company like Pearson, consider McGraw Hill Education or Cengage Learning or Wiley while Pearson works out the kinks (or continues on in what may be a death spiral). Or head for one of the newer companies--2U, Laureate, Blackboard, etc. If you're young and hungry and can crash on your parents' couch, throw your lot in with an Edtech startup--you'll learn tons and should be able to parlay the experience into a bigger job quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How much time do you have? The company is trying to reorg at the same time it's transitioning both to digital AND to services/solutions, all while trying to wean itself from huge dependencies on the US operation so it can go global (ie., ex-US)--this is impossible. MBAs have the ear of the CEO, and it shows--the company is bloated, risk-averse, lethargic and prone to drinking its own Kool-Aid. The platforms are dated and cumbersome (when they work--keep an eye on the press this month and next as schools start their terms to see the reaction when the platforms fail bigger this Fall). They fancy themselves a platform company, but there aren't more than a handful of senior executives who 'get' digital/online. Cronyism is rampant.

    It's a hot mess.

    Time to bring in a professional manager as CEO to get the job done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Good place to work; Education is its mission.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Pearson has a noble purpose; to provide educational products and services that help people improve their lives. People at Pearson feel vested in that purpose.

    Pearson also has great benefits and is a fairly diverse place to work.

    Cons

    There has been alot of reorganizations that have occurred recently so there is a bit of instability in the workforce. Therefore many folks are a bit worried about the future and their jobs.

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