Pearson Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
831 Reviews
3.2
831 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
180 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance can be upset during busy periods but I've experienced worse (in 69 reviews)

  • Telecommute opportunities so you can work from home 1 or 2 days a week (in 35 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of transparency between upper management & finance with the feet on the street (in 38 reviews)

  • Nobody leaves (which is probably a "pro" for the company) so there's not much room for advancement (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company lots of internal opportunities and lots of smart energetic teams

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of smart people, some division are working with latest greatest technologies. Most development follow agile and are now jumping into devops model. Pearson is also working on building a big platform, vs just buying company with good technology... Finally, they are working on removing layer of management...

    Cons

    Big re-org from top down continue, removing some layer of management causing some exec to be very unhappy... We are losing some good people mostly b/c some of those exec leaving are stilling some of us and in other case nobody really enjoy working for an exec that is unhappy...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please please remove those red tap and allow your leader to have full power on hiring and on authorizing salary adjustments... It's ridiculous that for a company this size we have to go up to L2-3 for backfill approval of worker bee... (Yes in some area we have 10 level... but thanks for working on reducing this...)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great freelance opportunities

    Former Employee - Formatter and Development Editor in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Formatter and Development Editor in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Pearson as a contractor (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    high concern for quality work, variety of projects, good internal support, clear expectations

    Cons

    tight deadlines with some projects

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 12 people found this helpful  

    The MBAs won the Re-Org War

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

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

    Pros

    Used to be a pretty decent place to work, great pay and benefits, very, very good benefits in fact.

    Still a lot of good people work here who believe in the mission.

    Cons

    Constant re-orgs. They literally never stop re-organizing. It's a bit Orwellian.

    The latest re-org was the big one for the US. Four different businesses merged into one. It took 18 months just to name the managers. Now all these managers continue to manage as if they are still in their old roles. They micromanage and lead by fear. No one tries to learn anything new. No one has a holistic view. I seriously doubt any single member of the management team has a complete picture of this business.

    Now they have entered the bastion of scoundrels, cost cutting. Seems like Pearson cannot create any good products, and can no longer sell their crap products, revenue is tanking. I think the plan is too squeeze the employees and bleed them dry so Wall Street is happy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have no clue. While John Fallon will admit that we are operationally challenged, I doubt he knows the full severity of the situation.

    Communicate. The president of the division I work for has not even bothered to host one conference call this year.

    My only suggestion, hire some real managers, someone to actually run the business, day to day, in the trenches. VPs are a dime a dozen at Pearson. They have no real power. It seems the various Presidents spend their time pontificating vision. It seems no one minds the store anymore.

    Hire a hot shot that has ran a company like the company you want to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    They've gone mad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Colleagues below executive level are good people; some of Pearson's earlier culture still exists so that you'll still run across fading traits of decency, respect, and purpose.

    Cons

    In last 16 months, a once amazingly supportive, cooperative, respectful, purposeful, decent, and visionary culture has been rapidly destroyed; replaced by a privileged "us" executive team of bullies vs "the laborers." Brilliance, caring, and creativity are out, and bureaucrats are in. A business that used to run wonderfully on the instincts of educators and publishers is increasingly run by distant consultants who couldn't run a profitable and impactful business if their lives depended upon it. And now Pearson is dumping its Family Education Network business unit which includes Poptropica, the world's largest (and profitable) learning-based virtual world, and Funbrain, the largest (and profitable) education gaming site in the U.S.. Madness! That unit also had on its staff Jeff Kinney, the very bestselling author in the U.S. and UK. Right, you happen to have on staff one of the world's best selling authors, the thing to do is dump him so that you can hire two weeks of consultants. Madness!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay put! You're doing great. Big paychecks, great benefits, lots of stock. As for all other employees, run!

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

    Lots of turn over and too many immature, over emotional women

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

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I worked in the field so I didn't have to put up with foolishness on a day-to-day basis and because of my background my salary was high for the job $75,000, and I made significant bonuses. If you play the right games with the right people you can get promoted.

    Cons

    Pearson is not interested in what their customers want or what their employees have to say, all they want is for you to smile and do your job and agree with whatever they tell you. If you share a frustration or expose a problem your manager will try to get you to quite by repeatedly throwing you under the bus. I have been contacted by colleagues since I left for advice on how to document problems with managers who lie - all the time - and who to contact at HR about their problem. There are a lot of young women working there who don't have the maturity to manage - they act like middle school girls, seriously, and they never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Product teams are hit or miss - some are supportive and others are a nightmare. You can't get your customer what they need if the product teams don't support you - that was a huge frustration.

    Upper management is either unaware of the problems or they believe that the machine that they are will just keep working. This is a conspicuously huge company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your reps on the ground. You are not doing that now, the culture is terrible. Stop the turn over. You need to hire and promote mature people and add more men into the mix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Very good place to work.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Pearson

    Pros

    HR very helpful.
    Supervisors always willing to help too.

    Cons

    Requires a lot of focus but definitely do-able.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    It was a bumpy road, with some smooth sections

    • 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 (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Gain insight into Education Publishing, but it depends on what part of Pearson you join.
    If you are lucky, you get to work with some (not many) excellent people who are deeply knowledgeable in education.

    Cons

    Pay scales are not the best. Talent is not recognized and rewarded.
    Climbing up the corporate ladder was easier for people who "kiss-ass".
    Bureaucracy, management heavy organization with less doers and more talkers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are a lot of highly talented people in Pearson. If you invest in ideas from such people, you are investing in organically growing the company
    I would employ a 360 degree review policy in the company to weed out the people who are hardly adding any value to the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great ideals and purpose. Reality is a little less than great.

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

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    "Always Learning" is a wonderful slogan. Strong emphasis on picking up new skills and branching out into new areas of responsibility. Latitude for making mistakes while learning encourages picking up and trying again. The people here are very intelligent and diverse.
    Work-from-home every Friday is nice, as is the flexibility to work from home other days on an as-needed basis. Technology pretty much makes it easy to continue work with others fluidly.

    Cons

    Management is confused and out of touch. We get our work done despite them, not because of them. They are frequently blockers to our progress. Reorgs happen with enough regularity that it is hard to get experts on any of the codebases, which leads to a lot of needless investigation (because documentation is unnecessary, being Agile as we are).

    Communication is horrible. The only way to know the movement in the company is to listen to the rumor mill or overhear things in the lunchroom. My manager has two teams and frequently we find out last-minute that something the other team has done will break our code. Decisions made months ago in their silo are now causing panics on the production servers. And on a different day, "oh yeah, we hired a new guy. He's starting tomorrow." with no one on our team interviewing him (including the Team Lead).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to the lower managers and make sure the information is properly getting disseminated.
    Pay attention to how unsettling it is to be shifted around so much - half the productivity is lost trying to find out who is responsible for what area this month.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Not Recommended

    Current Employee - Information Technology
    Current Employee - Information Technology

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

    Pros

    Decent benefit and compensation package. Work from home seems pervasive throughout the company.

    New CIO seems more direct and much more organized than the previous one.

    Cons

    Extremely hierarchical, political culture. Management typically communicates by issuing wordy multi-page memos and you have to parse it for the two or three sentences that actually say something. While there are some solid people managers there, horrible ones thrive. There is much, much talking AT employees and almost no talking WITH employees. Conference calls are extremely regimented, with first line managers instant messaging employees during the call to browbeat them about what to say or not say. See this sort of thing happen often enough, and even work that you would enjoy in any other setting becomes both tedious and stressful. Just a bizarre work culture, like a bad parody of 1950s workplace.

    The annual performance bonus is nice but, so far as I can tell, totally unrelated to performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your managers to take the review process seriously and relate it to the annual bonus. Institute 360 reviews; some of your mgmt team are abusive thugs and you have no visibility to that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Transforming

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pearson full-time

    Pros

    Future vision for leanring is innovative but risky.

    Cons

    In process of a major organizational overhaul.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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