Westat

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Westat Reviews

Updated August 19, 2014
Updated August 19, 2014
141 Reviews

3.2
141 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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James E. Smith
13 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • An opportunity to work from home if your home setup qualifies and you are out of state (in 9 reviews)

  • Work-life balance depends upon the particular project (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Many supervisors are vindictive by nature (in 5 reviews)

  • No benefits available (that I'm aware of) for Field Interviewers (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    In the beginning pretty good

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

    Pros

    Work life balance for flexibility. Good training. Government contracts

    Cons

    Flexibility is strictly dictated by your supervisors with field work. Many supervisors like to micromanage and tell field workers how they should work Micro-management is rampant.

    From talking with many of the colleagues, it is true that many supervisors vindictive and were hired due their connections and not their experience. Many are on a government contract ego trip. If you want to at the minimum keep your job be prepared to be yelled at for their bad day.

    Be wary that if you work in data collection that many if not all, will ever meet their supervisors. This allows letting people go much easier and can happen at any time.

    Turnover is extremely high in data collection. Don't believe me? Check Westat's job postings every 1-2 months and you see for yourself.

    Pay BELOW average in comparison to it's competitors, and don't expect a decent raise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in an outside consultant to restructure data management, research assistants/analysts leadership. Use more up to date technology. Stop hiring jaded stay at home moms who have no experience and little patience to lead a generation of innovation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Westat for Computer professionals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Sys Analyst  in  Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Sys Analyst in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    Commute is easy, on route 270.

    Cons

    Not a good company for computer professionals seeking challenging environment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great first job, No growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    Work/life balance, low stress environment, everyone gets their own office, there is a gym and cafeteria on-campus, mostly positive experiences with coworkers, ability to work remotely when you are sick or the weather is bad, happy with vacation time, health insurance, 401K, and other benefits. I like working here.

    Cons

    I have a Bachelor's degree and I believe that it will be very difficult to work my way up at Westat even though I have proven myself and had very positive reviews from my supervisors. Recently hired Research Assistants with Master's degrees are receiving work that is far more rewarding and challenging and they have not had to 'pay their dues' like I have. Westat may be a good stepping stone for bigger and better things, but I have not seen much evidence that people can work their way up here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    They gave me all the hours I wanted for 8 yrs. The studies ran so close together I was rarely out of work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Telephone Interviewer  in  Merced, CA
    Former Employee - Telephone Interviewer in Merced, CA

    Pros

    The people there are GREAT!!!! The supervisors treat you like family from day one. All the studies held my interest or made me gain a whole new perspective on how things worked beyond my small world.

    Cons

    Not getting into conversations with the client.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, a good company to work for but outdated/not progressive enough

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    My education team has put me on a variety of contracts ranging from federal, private sector, and foundations. Compared to previous academic research I used to be involved in for my graduate work, the work that I've done at Westat has implications for real world problems and we provide feedback and possible solutions for our clients. My have a very nice cafeteria and gym on campus with fairly flexible work hours for research staff. It is also a very laidback company and everyone I've met is friendly and approachable.The level of work has been of moderate complexity, but I still feel challenged every week in some aspect and have been supported by my supervisor to continue my professional development in and out of the office.

    Benefits are good as well - Company stock, 401K matching, health & dental, metro discount, and good paid vacation time if you are Grade 13 or higher staff (15 days + 1 extra for every 2 years employed). You also have access to a great gym on campus for a fraction of the cost of many gyms in the area ($10 per month - pretax deduction).

    Cons

    I had little room to negotiate my salary, and it is sub-par for DC metro cost of living with a masters and couple of years of work/research experience. It's not the place to make a career at if you plan on doing any kind of advancement as a junior/mid-level staff member. I've seen some staff members stay in positions for several years without a promotion which makes me think that they're complacent or not career-focused enough. In addition, the company's marketing department has not listened to many of the younger and senior research staff to start promoting our projects and work via social media channels because they are adverse to change. If Westat doesn't change the way they market their people and projects, they will lose out on valuable contracts.

    Paid holidays are also stingy - Westat only recognizes 6 national holidays a year. This is pretty bad in comparison to some of our competitors who give their staff 8-10 paid national holidays a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your junior research staff! We have lots of great ideas for promoting our excellent work such as content blogs and at young professionals meetings. Many of us would love to stay at Westat for several years if given the ability to advance into more senior positions with greater responsibility.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I was really impressed on how the work was conducted and enjoyed my brief time of employment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Data Collector At Home
    Former Employee - Data Collector At Home

    Pros

    The work time is flexible to better fit your personal life.

    Cons

    Maybe the down time between calls

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great first job, no growth

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

    Pros

    People are nice. Great place to build experience

    Cons

    It's not a place to grow. Open all year round!

  9.  

    A good place to work on a long-term career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer  in  Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    Good facilities. Incredibly intelligent employees. Very interesting projects. Good benefits. Where else can an applications developer work with epidemiologists and data scientists on a day-to-day, peer-to-peer basis?

    Cons

    Being a large organization, this company tends to move a bit more slowly and cautiously than some wanting to be on the bleeding edge may prefer. Also, avoid pigeon holing individuals because they possess a particular skill set. Have them mentor others, while they instead get promoted into larger areas of responsibility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful of promoting to management individuals who have just hung out on various projects for years and years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    stable

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

    Pros

    Good stable leadership. Mentoring to newbies

    Cons

    stable and good for first jobs

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great first job but no opportunity for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    Good for entry level, decent benefits and flexible time. Don't get alot of holidays but vacation time isn't bad.

    Cons

    Low pay, no mid level jobs, salary increases only done at review time. I was hired as a Research Assistant and have been working at the company for 5 years. Despite no longer doing entry level work, my title (and pay) is still Research Assistant. They like to add on additional tasks and duties but won't increase your salary to match your tasks. They'll also hire outside people for supervisor or management level positions rather than give opportunities to staff that have been there for years. Frustrating place to work after a few years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Foster growth in employees and provide mid level positions, titles and pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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