Pearson Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
796 Reviews
3.2
796 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
164 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Toxic work environment for young, ambitious, and mission-driven idealists

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

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

    Pros

    - Flexible work hours (great for working parents) -- people are pretty chill about when you come in and leave, as long as you get your work done
    - Work from home policy -- a lot of people choose to work from home full-time and many WFH when there's bad weather or personal things they need to deal with at home on a given day
    - Access to a lot of free learning materials (you literally have textbooks from any discipline imaginable available at your fingertips)

    Cons

    - Overarching culture of getting by on the bare minimum--there is this sense that "good enough" is a great feat, which is immensely frustrating if you are young, ambitious, and are looking for a fast-paced environment
    - For a company that supposedly is in the business of bettering education, the values/drivers of 99% of the people who work here are sales, making money, and beating other dying educational publishers, rather than an actual passion for changing the face of education, given the potential for good that a company with such weight can deliver on
    - Huge distrust through the organization--particularly when you're working with matrixed teams, it's near impossible to get anything done when no team trusts any other team and trust WITHIN teams is nonexistent too. Collaboration = looking twice over your shoulder to make sure no one is out to get you
    - Salary is not great--both when compared with the publishing industry and with the tech/ed-tech industry
    - Huge emphasis on hiring from within Pearson and within the publishing industry--this is a big con if you are an outsider, new to the company because you quickly discover that what is rewarded is not merit and hard work but rather how long you've worked at the company and how long you've been in publishing. This is also immensely frustrating because as the company is transitioning away from print publishing and towards educational services and digital product delivery, they NEED new talent from outside that can offer fresh perspectives
    - The company has been going through a huge head-to-toe restructuring over the last year and a half and that has meant lots of turmoil, lots of change in management, very little consistency, and a steady stream of people leaving the team, the division, and the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in new talent! Overhaul HR and figure out how best you can attract top talent from outside at every level so that you can have fresh perspectives and actual innovation happening.

    The flip side of that is to be careful not to lose out on strong talent internally either--not very much is done in terms of retention, overall benefits are decent but don't exactly scream "we value you, employee," and within 3 months of an external hire joining, I see the marked difference in their attitudes and shut-down expressions of "why did I think I could change anything?"

    Last piece of advice: do something about morale. It's about 500 feet underground across the board and you really can't sustain the business, let alone turn the ship around, when everyone is straight up miserable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    All depends on your boss

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

    I worked at Pearson full-time

    Pros

    Benefits were good. Atmosphere was so-so. CEO at time was well liked. Office was conveniently located.

    Cons

    If you have the wrong boss thrust upon you, you will regret ever setting foot in there. We had a department reorganization and after that, nothing was the same. The person they hired was not a sales person nor were they qualified to manage. "Extracurricular" relationships with higher ups kept this person entrenched.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop passing the buck when it comes to bad apples. It is better to remove them altogether from the bunch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Worst job I've had in 20 years

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

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits, but it takes a while to qualify for them. Cafe is convenient. Nothing else good to say, really.

    Cons

    This place stinks. I've never worked anywhere with such wide discontent among its employees. Constant reorg and project changes. Very poor communication from management. I only saw my boss once a month, no joke. Coworkers are very cliquish. The work is boring. Posters are hung all over the office encouraging employees to work "anytime and anywhere." This company wants to make sure you know that they own you! Horrible pay. So glad I escaped!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer better work-life balance. Stop expecting people to work around the clock!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    Was a pretty good job, now it's just sad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Denver, CO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Not much. Decent, quiet office setting. The pay isn't terrible.

    Cons

    Huge publishing company trying to become an Internet/Web company. And it is just painful.
    Attempting to bring ,any separate companies under one umbrella with a new crew of executives that are simply not up to the task.
    Frightening amount of micromanagement from managers that cannot grasp the technology, yet are expected to. Great deal of FUD in the upper echelons of management.
    One side of the house is trying to bring back 1993, in terms of operations; another wants to be the next Facebook. Creates a nearly schizophrenic atmosphere.
    Unstable environment is, predictably, driving out all the talent as they go elsewhere to find fulfillment; with the remaining workers either under-skilled or overwhelmed.
    Still a lot of good people that are trying hard, but even the most optimistic feel it is largely in vain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just stop. You're doing it wrong. Making every ego driven cliche mistake in the book.

    Figure out what you want to do; take some time to actually learn the technology and the cultures you are "integrating", versus providing no value and just irritating everyone in the name of feeding your egos.

    This was a pretty great job, working with much better than average teams doing some real cutting edge stuff. Now it is just a bad Monty Python skit come to life.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not what you would expect

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You're really into the Education market

    Cons

    Few companies in the world disassociate speech and practice. Since stock market started to rule the company, the less important issues for senior management are quality and education improvement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the talk

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Contractors, Prepare for the Bait-and-Switch

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Content Developer  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Content Developer in Denver, CO

    I worked at Pearson part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They did a decent job of training us to perform our tasks.
    Could work from home.

    Cons

    I was brought on board for a freelance content migration (content developer) contract that was supposed to be full-time for six months. The pay wasn't ideal but six months of guaranteed full-time work was too good a deal to pass up. On the very first day, I instantly regretted my decision.

    When brought in for training, two of the first things they told us were: they overhired for the amount of work they have and there will be downtime. My vision of full-time employment for six months quickly vanished. The work was easy, too easy for a skilled content developer. The first project, that was slated to take six weeks, was completed in two-and-a-half weeks. This is due to the ease of the work and the fact that there were twice as many people working on it as the task required. The leads were ecstatic and praised us for completing the project so quickly - this probably made them look good to their bosses.

    Speed and efficiency are great. Unfortunately, we all worked ourselves out of a job as they didn't have the next project ready to go, so we had a week of downtime. During that week, we received an email stating that they did not have the workload to keep all of us busy and asked for volunteers to terminate their contract. They said they only needed 5-8 people as opposed to the 20 they hired. If they didn't get enough volunteers, they would terminate based off of performance. Even those who made the cut wouldn't have the 40 hour weeks that drew us to the job in the first place. I flipped them the bird (or at least flipped off my computer screen) and hit the pavement. Now I need to figure out what to do with the next six months.

    That's the short of my experience with Pearson. What started out as six months of full-time work dissolved into three weeks of part-time work. I'd laugh at the absurdity if I wasn't on the receiving end of this scam.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut with the BS and tell people in the job post that it's a short-term, part-time contract with the possibility of extension. That'll set the bar appropriately low. Also, hire fewer people.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    Terrible doesn't describe this company and its managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Publisher's Representative
    Current Employee - Publisher's Representative

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Most of the employees are fantastic and hard working people.

    Cons

    Upper management has hired sales managers that are socially inept. They treat are micromanaging and untrusting and will make your life hell due to thier own insecurities and lack of skill. Do yourself a favor and do not work at this place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put most of your regional and district managers on PIP and start over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Manager

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

    I worked at Pearson for more than a year

    Pros

    The health benefits were good.

    Cons

    Worst place I've ever worked in my entire career. I'm not a fan of social media, but I'm looking forward to companies like this one being put on blast in the coming future. Organizations need to stop treating employees like they are dispensable. Employees are also customers. And the horrible products they provide to schools and students that leave desperate educators and students unable to do their work is despicable. Yet they charge premium prices. If I ever decide to get another degree, my first question will be "Does Pearson run your online platform?" If they say yes, I will educate myself elsewhere. Ridiculous.

    Also, the level of disrespect I experienced and watched between departments felt like a daily episode of the housewives of 'take your pick'. Man, I'm glad I left that place behind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What's the point? They do what they want and watch the place fall part. As long as their six figure checks are direct deposited, it's all good, right?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Mass Chaos

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Manager  in  Englewood, CO
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Englewood, CO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It was good while it lasted.

    Cons

    Pearson is going through another corporate reorg, this time however, it's global. The London office has made it clear that they are making all the decisions from here on out unwilling to hear opposing opinions especially when they come from US workers.

    I've never seen so many talented engineers run for the hills. Sad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what other parts of the business have to say, espeically in the states, your most talented engineers are leaving in droves! These are the people you are going to need to stay in business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Ready to move on!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer  in  Springfield, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Springfield, MA

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Locations, great supervisor and opportunity to be creative and like what I do is what keeps me here.

    Cons

    Benefits are not consistent across all areas of the company. Pay and advancement is limited. We have lost many great, talented people. Not a very professional culture across the board. Needs a lot more structure and best practices. Not a current, modern company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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