Pearson

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Pearson Reviews

Updated August 18, 2014
Updated August 18, 2014
776 Reviews

3.3
776 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
152 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. 1 person 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

    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
  2. 7 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

    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
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Manager

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

    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
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  5. 6 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

    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
  6. 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

    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
  7. 12 people found this helpful  

    From #1 to Done! Completely mismanaged company being driven into the ground by Ego-maniacs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing  in  Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Marketing in Dallas, TX

    Pros

    Great co-workers and mid-level managers are often over-worked but still care about their reports while coping with little or no support staff.

    Cons

    All downhill since Marjorie Scardino left. John Fallon (CEO) thought he was being a real maverick hiring someone with very little experience in the school space and then had him fire folks with 30 years experience in education and lay off reps who has sold print books in the past--many who were over goal. In one market, a rep with a previous annual 98% market-share (deep South), who set an all time record at Pearson and his state, was let go so some manager from another division could have his job as a rep. He now works for Pearson's largest competitor. Not joking, couldn't make this up. HR's latest foray is to get mid-level managers to have hourly reports file FALSE reviews on this site. You can tell when you read them as they sound like an recruiting brochure with the same pathetic writing style. You have never seen a company that was once #1 fail so miserably at digital learning as Pearson has. If you are in sales, you will sit at your desk doing report after report, training video after training video so some person in marketing or management can justify their position to HR. The implosion is already underway but luckily, I sold my stock early on!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop filing false reviews on this website, it's childish and everyone knows it. Anyone you point to this site to tell them John Fallon has a 58% approval rating will naturally notice the similarities in writing style and check the 1 and 2 star ratings and know the truth about what's happened. Stop over-managing sales into the ground! We do more written planning and writing about selling than we do selling and for what? So you can feel good about knocking down a 6-7 figure income demanding ridiculous reports that no one reads? To all, please think of the movie "Office Space" and "TPS Reports" multiplied by 100! :)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Pearson Online Learning - Orlando

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Search Marketing Specialist  in  Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Search Marketing Specialist in Orlando, FL

    Pros

    Fair pay and benefits. Growing industry. Can wear jeans to work.

    Cons

    Pearson recently acquired a small startup called Embanet Compass and has taken on the worst of both worlds. On one hand the company is highly bureaucratic and political. Some of the changes come from "on high" and make no sense to the employees on the ground. On the other, it's highly disorganized with a lot of empty positions yet to fill. The original directors on staff also have attitudes because they think they are Orlando's version of internet gurus. Don't let the jeans fool you, this is not a fun and happy place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Training should be telling new employees how great you are, how much you hate everyone else, and just being overall condescending. Also, the culture stinks, it's very high stress and reactionary. A quarterly happy-hour doesn't make for happy employees. Finally, if you offer things like telecommuting don't threaten to take it away every time something doesn't go your way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Negative supervisor experience

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    Managers/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 ManagementAdvice

    Wake up....

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Project Manager  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Production Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    Usually 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.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy 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 ManagementAdvice

    To 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    The Fall of Western Civilization is due to corporations like Pearson.

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

    Pros

    I can only mention the past. When I worked at Prentice-Hall, life was great. I managed many authors and textbook series. Then things went south in 2006 when Pearson's corporate greed took over.

    Cons

    Too many to list but I mourn for our country's future when incompetent managers run this corporation into the ground. Pearson management and all corporation management should be sent to the moon! You have no shame.
    When the average upper manager makes 246 times what the real worker of the company makes, then we are all doomed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shame on you for taking perfectly great companies, resting on their laurels and emptying the coffers for your own personal benefit; firing the workers to just hire another round... DISGUSTING! But I'm well aware that this is just SAP standard operating procedure for corporations today.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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