Coursera - Cultural nightmare, leadership disaster, and no moral compass | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Coursera
There are newer employer reviews for Coursera

See Most Recent

Helpful (79)

"Cultural nightmare, leadership disaster, and no moral compass"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

It's fun to be a part of a rocket ship, especially one that is viewed so positively by the public and the press.

Cons

Two co-CEOs with too much ego to realize neither is qualified to run a company leads to the worst leadership team ever. The situation is so bad, in fact, that their investor (KPCB) forced on them another executive - so now they have two CEOs and a President. The culture is so bad that other than the original students (at Stanford) under Daphne and Andrew (in the CS department), most early employees leave as soon as they hit their one year vesting cliff. Since so many employees leave in disgust, the leadership has begun request they sign a Non-Disparagement Agreement.

Although the company built its reputation on a veneer of social impact and the motto of "Do what's best for the student," they've done nothing to back it up and lacks any clear mission statement. Leadership has been brought in from YouTube and NetFlix, and even at 50+ people, there are only three educators on staff. Although classes remain free, no effort has been spent to improve - or even measure - student learning or outcomes, and Coursera ignores even the most basic fact of education - that students do not learn by watching videos and regurgitating facts. Then again, with a completion rate below 5% for most classes, it's not clear people even succeed in watching the videos.

Other Employee Reviews for Coursera

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great company for engineers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Coursera full-time

    Pros

    - Good cash compensation for low-mid level engineers
    - Large amounts of autonomy on how to solve problems
    - Lots of very smart engineers and interesting systems to learn from
    - Recent focus on profit means the company seems to be fairly successful at growing revenue
    - Very nice, very smart, very nerdy people

    I strongly recommend Coursera for engineers (especially new grads but it's good for all experience levels). It's not the same company it was a few years ago and you might be disappointed if you're driven by the mission of education for everyone, but it's a great place to learn.

    Cons

    - Poor compensation on everything else (stock, 401k, benefits)
    - Have lost a lot of the quirky culture over the past few years, and the company feels very corporate now. Still pay lip service to "mission-driven" but it doesn't feel authentic, and just overall feels less fun - much more safe and predictable.
    - many of the best engineers have left recently
    - Senior management changes strategies often and doesn't seem to have good justification for new strategies. Highly reactive without a strong inspiring vision
    - It's a small thing, but the food is pretty bad

    Advice to Management

    Choose a vision for the company and stick to it. Hold PMs and managers accountable.


  2. "Great start-up environment!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Coursera full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to influence and make a difference in the company and via the mission

    Cons

    Nothing unexpected given its a start up on a bold mission

    Advice to Management

    Push your teams to be more innovative.

There are newer employer reviews for Coursera
There are newer employer reviews for Coursera

See Most Recent

Work at Coursera? Share Your Experiences

Coursera
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or