Columbia University Reviews in New York City, NY | Glassdoor

Columbia University New York City Reviews

Updated December 7, 2017
844 reviews

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New York City, NY Area

3.8
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Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
383 Ratings

844 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • benefits, work life balance, opportunities (in 87 reviews)

  • great academic atmosphere also great location as in new york city (in 56 reviews)

Cons
  • Low salary for living in such an expensive place as New York City (in 34 reviews)

  • Columbia doesn't pay as well as nearby institutions where students face similar cost of living (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Exposure to good opportunities, but far"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are department lectures so you can learn about many kinds of research
    Many seminars on campus
    Postdoctoral organization provide wellness seminars and guidance
    Depending on your PI, great work/ life balance

    Cons

    Long commute if coming from Brooklyn or Queens
    Diversity is lacking
    There can be lots of red tape

    Advice to Management

    If there can be improvements to communication, workers can navigate the job easier.


  2. "Adjunct lecturer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Adjunct Lecturer in New York, NY
    Current Contractor - Adjunct Lecturer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University as a contractor (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Use of library facilities and online resources; a faculty discount at some businesses; nice campus, bright students. Convenient to subway.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, unfriendly work atmosphere; adjuncts are snubbed by faculty; no union for adjuncts, no benefits; pay is not up to par with other Ivy League Universities; only offers one-semester contracts and often in the very last minute.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more respect to adjuncts and part-time faculty; live up to your "liberal" and "progressive" image. If the University wishes to compete with top Ivies it should pay its adjuncts accordingly, all the more as the cost of life in NYC is far higher than in Princeton, Boston and New Haven.

  3. "Need to hire more competent staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grants Administrator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Grants Administrator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working environment and good name in your resume. That’s all I have. I don’t have 20 words to write so what should I do?!!!

    Cons

    Incompetent staff especially mid and high level managers and directors which is also reflected on their choices of operational level employees!
    So much politics make you feel like you are working in a third world institution not an Ivy League university !!

    Advice to Management

    Need to hire more competent staff which means pay more for new managerial positions (not only old directors make all the money!!!)


  4. "Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ph D Candidate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Ph D Candidate in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many high-quality colleagues for support and collaboration. Prestigious degree awarded for completion.

    Cons

    Low wage compared to cost of living, Not much support for dependents

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support for dependents of Ph.D. candidates


  5. "bibliographic assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bibliographic Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Bibliographic Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    most prestigious academic environment, excellent benefits, union

    Cons

    low salary, not too much room to switch to a higher position


  6. "Good benefits, low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Columbia University Officer of Administration in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Columbia University Officer of Administration in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have worked at two Columbia University administrative departments across all three campuses. There are several pros and cons to Columbia. Here are the pros:

    - Good vacation policy, unlimited sick leave, good work-life balance
    - Good retirement benefits. You immediately vest in your retirement plan and the university matches 3% of your voluntary contributions. After two years as an officer, the company matches an extra 5%.
    - Lots of free food, lots of events
    - Great tuition benefits

    Cons

    Columbia University pays below market rate compared to other universities and hospitals in the area. In asking my peers that work at other institutions, the pay can range up to 30% less at Columbia. A lot of my colleagues leave for other institutions, and the turnover rate at Columbia is very high. There is no stability and projects are left unfinished. Other people have to pick up the slack, often starting projects from scratch.

    It is a fast-paced environment -- while great and lets you learn a lot in the short amount of time-- also makes you question the low salary for the amount of work you are doing.

    Management does not seem to have a clue or don't seem to care to improve things, unfortunately. In the past 2 years, there has been a complete change of staff within the department I am currently working for.

    Advice to Management

    Please pay attention to why the turnover rate is so high.


  7. "Protect Postdoctoral Research Scientists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Scientist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Scientist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Columbia University offers a lot of opportunities in professional development

    Cons

    Postdoctoral Research Scientists are not protected in any way. Relatively low pay with no annual increase and lots of pressure to work long days including the weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Review the policy, compare to other major research institutes in New York City

  8. "Nice place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Staff Research Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Staff Research Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment, smart people, have access to a lot of resources from the University

    Cons

    Low Wages, it can be slow


  9. "A superb community absolutely rockin' it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Columbia University part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It is an open, collaborative environment where everyone is friendly. And most importantly, everyone loves their job.

    Cons

    None really. What am I going to say? Someone keeps eating all of the popcorn.


  10. "Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Unparalleled access to academic resources. The environment is exciting and fast paced. The upper west side of NYC is a great location to work.

    Cons

    Office space is tight and the 18-19th century buildings are not really conducive to collaboration. One can feel isolated at one of the largest research institutions in the world.

    Advice to Management

    The departments would benefit from opening themselves physically and also in their activities. More transparency and small efforts to enjoy the community would go a long way.


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