Applied Research Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Applied Research Associates Reviews

Updated August 14, 2017
63 reviews

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4.0
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Applied Research Associates President and CEO Rob Sues
Rob Sues
33 Ratings

63 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Educational opportunities rarely available to support staff, mostly just technical staff (in 5 reviews)

  • Very little upward mobility for tech writers/support staff (see job security) (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "ARA Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great company to work for!

    Cons

    Too many managers and needs to reduce the number!


  2. "Good Post-Retirement Job with Limited Career Advancement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great people, well organized, and an overall stable company with a bright future. Healthcare, retirement and bonus structures are great. Relocation assistance possible. If you are retired from another related company, joining ARA would make sense, especially if retired from the armed forces. For recent graduates and those mid-career, it could be a great temporary stop on your career journey.

    Cons

    Company is too stable and provides little to no opportunity for employees to advance in career. In the past two years alone no one in my division has been promoted, and growth only comes by hiring in retired experts from outside the company without any internal promotions. (To be fair only a couple of people have left, probably due to the compensation).

    If hired after April 1 of a calendar year, you will likely not get the required 1,000 billable hours for the fiscal year ending on September 30 that makes one eligible for receiving a retirement contribution and plan vesting.

    When considering the company it is important to know that about 1/2 or more of the employees work for ARA on contracts at client locations (onsite) with little to no ability to work on other projects for the company that would get you noticed. This essentially makes ARA nothing more than a technical temp staffing contractor. In these cases, such a person is then subject to the client's hours/scheduling, therefore loosing some of the advertised scheduling flexibility and even worse making use of FMLA leave time a dangerous proposition to the employee (since client did not hire ARA to have that onsite person then be away and then creating a business case for ARA letting that person go; to be fair I have not seen this happen but observed no one actually use FMLA when they were entitled to it).

    In some technical positions, one may quickly become too difficult to replace and thus a liability to the company's bottom line to be promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Retirement contributions should be made monthly, not annually. Upon hiring fractional credit toward vesting and retirement contributions need to be made if unable to make 1,000 hour requirement due to mid-fiscal year hiring.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Administrative Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Panama City, FL
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Panama City, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Applied Research Associates (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very low key and quiet work environment

    Cons

    Not a forward thinking company and very unorganized at management level; project/group leaders over employ when projects are awarded and not enough momentum or success on existing projects to keep not only support staff but direct staff employed or even engaged when projects are funded. Management not involved in leading junior staff. Very much a revolving door when it comes to keeping employees.


  4. "Staff Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Champaign, IL

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great company wish i would of started here first

    Cons

    Wage should be better


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poor Program/Contract Managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great health insurance and benefits

    Cons

    Inability to advance financially, Program Managers are inept and unsupportive so you have to take matters in your own hands to get answers to any questions


  6. "Much room to improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Panama City, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Panama City, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Applied Research Associates full-time

    Pros

    ARA provides relevant work experience, and their benefits are fairly competitive.

    Cons

    Applied Research in Panama City has several unethical business practices. In my time there, there were clear gender, race, and religion based hierarchies that reflected themselves in payroll for the technical staff. Further, worker safety was neglected since proper equipment and practices were deemed too expensive. Management routinely turns a blind eye to unethical behavior if it benefits the bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Address the nonchalance towards company culture. You send a discouraging message to employees when you tolerate bigotry in the workplace and allow noncompliance with safety regulations.


  7. "Staff engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer
    Recommends

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful leadership, best company I have worked for.

    Cons

    I have no complains, but I work from home, so career opportunity are limited.

  8. "Good company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time

    Pros

    Solid engineering
    Flexible work environment
    Management cares about staff career outlook

    Cons

    Developers are shifted back and forth on projects too often


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Pretty good overall with some organizational problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer I in Niceville, FL
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer I in Niceville, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Applied Research Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good people
    Excellent benefits
    A lot of freedom; not micromanaging
    Stock ownership in company

    Cons

    Contracts can dry up; Corporate will not work to keep failing contracts afloat
    Pay is lower than market average
    Not a lot of upward mobility
    Lot of interoffice politics/inefficiencies


  10. "Excellent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Applied Research Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent, motivated people. Superb benefits. Loyal and fair minded.

    Cons

    It's government consulting. It's a rough time for everyone.


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