UC San Diego Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
397 Reviews
3.8
397 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Pradeep K. Khosla
74 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is great: almost never have to work overtime or weekends at the analyst level (in 15 reviews)

  • UCSD offers great benefits as well as retirement if you are committed to staying here for 20, 25 (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • program length is too long, parking is expensive and hard to find even if you do have a permit (in 7 reviews)

  • For those not into research and/or engineering, it's a bit hard to find your niche (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Recreation department is a nice, laid back environment for students to have some fun!

    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Water Safety Instructor in La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Water Safety Instructor in La Jolla, CA

    I worked at UC San Diego part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Worked as a swim instructor for the Recreation department. It was a lot of fun working with other students who enjoyed being in the water. Getting paid $12/hour as your starting wage doesn't hurt either!

    Cons

    Not enough hours per week

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Academic Research Technician Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Assistant II in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Laboratory Assistant II in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I think since UCSD is such a large campus and there are so many different lab environments, each review can vary greatly. I was fortunate to have a situation where I had great co-workers even though my PI lives in Europe. It was an enjoyable work environment, which was very relaxed while still being very engaging and interesting. I think the benefits are pretty standard for this type of job. I have learned many techniques in this lab, which I think are extremely valuable to my resume as a research technician going foward, which can be attributed to the willingness of the post-docs in this lab to teach.

    Cons

    As far as salary goes, it is difficult for me to judge, since I am officially classified as a "Lab Asst 2" although I am very overqualified for the job description. I am the lab manager, and provide the only research tech support for the entire lab as well as managing the animal colony which in the past has been the sole responsibility of another full time animal technician. I would say I am qualified to be classified as either a SRA 1 or SRA 2 (Staff Research Associate) for which I would be paid 5-6k more. However, I do believe the compensation for someone for the qualifications of a Lab Asst 2 is appropriate, as it only requires 1-2 years of experience and is probably targeted for someone who has recently graduated.

    The main issue I have had on campus has been parking, the only time you can find parking easily is if you have a red A pass, which is only issued to professors and certain post-docs. Having a green B staff parking pass costs $80/month, which decreases your salary as well. Depending on the time you arrive on campus, even with a green B staff pass, it can be next to impossible to find parking, especially when school starts in the fall.

    I have run into some issues in the past with some people in various committees such as the Animal Care Program and Safety Officers. I imagine that these people have been in their positions for a long time and seem to be either very rude and impatient, even to people dealing with them for the first time, or extremely resistant to changes that would help make their jobs more efficient and effective.

    Finally, there doesn't seem to be very much room for career growth/improvement in the research lab environment. When you are a technician or lab manager the position seems to be one that is held for a year or two while the employee is figuring out their next step, and it is difficult to imagine a long term career plan in academia without going on to get a graduate degree, which can be a 5-7 year commitment while you will be unable to work and are given a paltry stipend.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Secure and relaxed environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Junior Web Developer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Web Developer in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, stable work, and UC San Diego is a large campus so there's room to move around. There's a lot of resources on campus, but most are not free for or targeted at staff.

    Cons

    Staff are pretty much on the lowest rung of the ladder at a research university. Parking is pretty difficult, especially if you come mid-day. I've had friends who had some vaguely traumatic experiences with higher ups in the system, but you can always move departments. Professional growth is very predictable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good enough for college job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions Clerk in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Admissions Clerk in San Diego, CA

    I worked at UC San Diego part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Fun place to work get in free to aquarium

    Cons

    working long hours on weekends, co workers trained instead of supervisors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have better office culture many students working there

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Great institution, but does not pay its Teaching Assistants well enough

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    UCSD is a great academic institution with some of the leading professors and researchers in the world, and working as a teaching assistant is an opportunity to receive a phenomenal graduate education for free.

    Cons

    The whole atmosphere is not as social and friendly as I would have liked. Thankfully, I was lucky to find an incredible professor as an advisor that made my experience very worthwhile, but barring this one professor, my graduate school experience would not have been ideal.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    postdoc

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at UC San Diego

    Pros

    the research facilities are great

    Cons

    living around and commuting to ucsd is a pain

  8.  

    Uninhibited academic research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Project Scientist in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Project Scientist in La Jolla, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Everything that is research related.

    Cons

    1. No food on campus on weekends during summer or shops are very far
    2. Parking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please improve parking

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Solid

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

    I worked at UC San Diego part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    While as a student, I had a flexible schedule to help with my very busy week filled with classes. I worked at the Art department and also at SIO.

    Cons

    Pay was low, work study wasn't much. Hard to also get a position, so much competition

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good School

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Iam not satisfy with my employer

    Cons

    Work life balance is good, but salary wise very bad

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no advice

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Blank Assistant

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

    I worked at UC San Diego

    Pros

    Reasonable work hours and expectations, positive campus environment , good open work space. Laid back but professional atmosphere

    Cons

    Lower end pay, but the benefits and retirement plan is good.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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