Penn State University

  www.psu.edu
  www.psu.edu
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Penn State University Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
383 Reviews
3.9
383 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Penn State University President Rodney A. Erickson
Rodney A. Erickson
99 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is a friendly environment, and a culture of professionalism and work-life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • Great benefits, lots of opportunities, great if your boss is as cool as mine (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • If you are unfamiliar with the area, it is in what many would consider the middle of nowhere (in 11 reviews)

  • small town, basically in the middle of nowhere (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator  in  University Park, PA
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator in University Park, PA

    I have been working at Penn State University part-time

    Pros

    I am working as a program coordinator while earning a PhD for the past four years. Very flexible, laid back, friendly environment. Under the grant I have been able to work as a graduate fellow allowing for additional tuition assistance.

    Cons

    No major challenges. However, I have no control over pay. My salary comes from a grant that has restrictions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyable and challenging until you hit the plateau

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator  in  University Park, PA
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in University Park, PA

    I worked at Penn State University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Biggest and one of the best employers in the area. IT people left other nearby companies to work for Penn State. Many who gain employment by the university stay and develop long careers in higher education.

    Retirement benefits are strong: the university contributes 9% to a 403(b) plan or you can opt for the state employees pension plan. Health care benefits are mediocre. PTO is 24 days per year for full-time staff plus another 10 paid holidays. In my opinion, that is the best benefit of all.

    Depending on the department, you may have many opportunities for professional development. I did, and enjoyed the travel to courses and conferences around the country.

    I really enjoyed working with coworkers who wanted to work and had some life in them. However, there were too many folks who got in and then got lazy. They did the bare minimum and made work difficult for the rest.

    Amongst good employees, there is a culture of pride in the work done and in serving the students and faculty so that Penn State could accomplish its mission.

    Cons

    Compensation differs greatly from department to department for the same kind of job. Once you have mastered your job, if the management says there's no room for growth, the only way to stay challenged is to apply to other positions within the university or outside. There is no promotion plan. In the central IT unit, there are too many layers of management, making bureaucracy a real problem. It takes a long time to get things done. Good ideas often rot on the vine because of the slow nature of university management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten the org chart, especially in ITS. Provide more career mobility and opportunity for climbing-the-ladder growth. Be more aggressive about removing lazy employees who hold everyone else back.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Best Public Ivy League University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant  in  State College, PA
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in State College, PA

    I worked at Penn State University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    International Student Advising
    Quality of Computer Science courses and professors
    Safe and beautiful college town - State College
    Penn State Football! Go Lions!

    Cons

    Nothing significant to report here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the acceptance rate low and remain competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    PSU is one big family! One of the best place to live and work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Penn State University

    Pros

    Very friendly people, always ready to help. If you are new in town you would get used to everything very quick because of the people around. PSU as I said is one big family, so it is a great experience to work and live here.

    Cons

    It is in the middle of no where but you still do have everything around you. It's a city in itself

  6.  

    Wonderful Institution

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

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There is nothing not to like about working here: Wonderful people, wonderful working conditions, great benefits

    Cons

    Adopting change is somewhat slow

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    I am a seasonal wage payroll office worker.

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

    I worked at Penn State University part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I love being around an office where we're processing transcripts and working as a team to get students admitted to college.

    Cons

    Old buildings have old plumbing/heating, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Very political but a great opportunity

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

    I worked at Penn State University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Lots of great people
    - Lots of benefits
    - Room to grow (if you're willing to try new things)
    - Interacting with students is great

    Cons

    - Very political
    - It takes things a long time to get done because of how slow some departments are.
    - You can only really move in the company if you're willing to leave departments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Its been a great experience

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

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time

    Pros

    Great atmosphere to work for

    Cons

    Small town to work for

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Chemistry Undergraduate Research Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant  in  State College, PA
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant in State College, PA

    I worked at Penn State University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You can choose which project you want to involve and be able to interact with the professor directly. My summer research was paid 1500/month but it depends on how much funding your professor has. They have extremely good instruments and you can basically run every experiment you'd like to preformed.

    Cons

    The labs here are different from commercial labs, so find an internship instead if you want to get more industry experiences.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great school

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Assistant  in  State College, PA
    Former Employee - Graduate Assistant in State College, PA

    I worked at Penn State University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Supportive environment for graduate teaching opportunities

    Cons

    Students motivation can be low at times

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