Georgia Tech Research Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Georgia Tech Research Institute Reviews

Updated August 11, 2018
141 reviews

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4.0
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Dr. Andrew Gerber
33 Ratings

141 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "great work environment and good culture" (in 22 reviews)

  • "Good work life balance, though this likely depends on the sponsored project you end up on and what level you're at" (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "No full time positions are guaranteed to student co-ops" (in 7 reviews)

  • "A lot of time was spent repairing facilities" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "RSD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Security Specialist in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Research Security Specialist in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Management is reasonable. Schedule after probationary period is flexible. Given responsibilities and not micromanaged.

    Cons

    If they know you are leaving for an extended period of time they don't bother with giving you work.


  2. "Could be better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    You work with some very intelligent people.
    Work/life balance is usually easy to maintain and your manager trusts you to get your job done.

    Cons

    The promotion process is terrible. You have to write a package on your own time explaining why you deserve a promotion that has to go all the way to the Board of Regents for review.
    Raises are typically ~3% annually and have nothing to do with appraisals/performance. For a raise to occur, it has to be in the annual state budget. So even though GTRI is currently doing a record amount of business, there were no raises this year. If ~3% raises are announced, that will be the average raise. (If someone gets a 5% raise, someone else will get a 1% raise. )
    Some labs experience large amounts of churn resulting in new management on an annual basis. (Making appraisals and raises even more frustrating.)

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Oligarchy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    21 vacation days, plus 12 holidays per year for everyone. Excellent retirement benefits; while some employers match sum fraction of employee contributions, GTRI contributes $1.5 for every $1 saved by the employee. Flexible working hours. Potentially interesting work in autonomous environment, but that is highly dependent on your Lab Director.

    Cons

    Lab Directors are essentially absolute dictators. They can take projects away from researchers (Principal Investigators), poach key personnel from your project or force personnel onto your project, all without any accountability. Legally, the Principal Investigator (PI) for a project is responsible for ensuring the legitimacy of all charges to their (typically government) sponsored research project; however, the organization supports a Lab Director’s (and his proxies) ability to override a PI’s management decisions. Thus as PI you are legally accountable for decisions you do not have the power to make.

    Advice to Management

    Stop burying Ethics Complaints. Both GTRI and Georgia Tech devote lots of words to Ethics and Compliance (web pages, e-mails, slides, verbal statements), but it appears to be just for show.


  4. "Really depends on lab"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Smyrna, GA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Smyrna, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working hours. long PTO holidays. Pension

    Cons

    Pay is less than industry. Raise is limited.

    Advice to Management

    Performance review and rewards can be improved.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great place for incompetents."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Georgia Tech Research Institute (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Awesome retirement plan. Salaries above industry standard for software developers in the Atlanta area -- especially if you don't have a C.S. degree. Great place to cruise if you really don't like working hard. They will pay for you to get an advanced degree. Use that to get into a real IT organization.

    Cons

    The majority of software developers in my lab were "accidental" developers. I.e. no formal C.S. education. Lots of people with EE's, physics, etc., even marketing. Very strange for a division of Ga Tech. They could at least send these devs over to GT for CS101. But there are reasons why the talented devs. go for greener pastures with brighter futures. You'll make a great starting salary (for the Atlanta area), but there is almost no way to grow after that. No stock, no bonuses, etc.

    If you decide to interview, be sure to ask about the backgrounds of the interviewers. There's a reason why a lot of these non-C.S. guys have been around for 10+ years. No real IT company would ever hire them. If stagnation is not your ultimate career goal, then search elsewhere for something with a future or at least get a side gig.

    Very few development standards are practiced. Lots of worthless, junk code to pad the billing. Large code projects are copied in their entirety off the web and hacked to fit. Defense contractors tend to dump projects they are not interested in onto GTRI.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage a project. Several times a year, the projects run out of money and a mad scramble is made to shuffle hours & projects. After about the 10th time this happens, it gets rather old.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Comfy but totally dysfunctional"

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

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wealth of benefits, generous paid time off, nice offices (if you're lucky or connected), proximity to GT campus events and resources, and availability of independent opportunities.

    Comfortable if you enjoy finding and working on projects constantly, or developing highly-technical hardware or software solutions.

    Cons

    Laughable practices throughout every level of mgmt., which lead to turnaround problems, frequently over-budget and expensive projects, and difficulty finding sustainable work for employees (which results in a constant feeling of job insecurity, even when salaried). Top-level mgmt. is completely out of touch with industry practices, and disinterested in measures of success beyond bottom-dollar amounts.

    There is also common, practically encouraged favoritism for hard science degrees, in terms of both advancement structures and company culture. Career growth comes to a hard stop without an advanced degree. Outdated methods can be found all over the place, including hiring and leadership diversity, promotion processes, waste and sustainability practices, technology policies, and employee onboarding, to name a few.

    Advice to Management

    The practical thing to do would be to create channels that go both ways between managers and their employees; currently, there is no feedback requested or provided directly to managers, except at your own risk. However, this is not something I would expect to happen under any of the current leadership, for fear of uncovering (and documenting) the reality.

    There is so much potential among the talented individuals who make up the institute, but they so often go to waste because of senseless and disconnected management structures. Project managers should be picked for their actual expertise and ability to manage, not just their title.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Stay away from this toxic place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Paid time off and sick day are great. Both can be rolled over, but since the company offers NO paid maternity leave I exhausted both to pay for days off with my new born child.

    Cons

    Very toxic work place. Complete discriminatory against female engineers. If i can rate it any lower than 1 star I would.

    Advice to Management

    None. This company is beyond help.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great co-workers and benefits but poor salary and lots of red tape."

    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 Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    * Unparalleled retirement
    * Work with some of the most intelligent people around
    *Lots of different and interesting projects
    *Great life/work balance

    Cons

    * The pay is less than market value
    * Pay is dictated entirely by the number of degrees you have and how many years you've been there.
    * Support team is almost non-existant and there are severely strict rules regarding technology.

    Advice to Management

    * Modernize. Some employees benefit more from working remotely. Allow employees to use setups and software with which they are most comfortable.
    * We're supposed to be Georgia Tech but almost everything feels outdated and behind the times.
    * Reward your employees.


  9. "IT Coop"

    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 Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    Good Team, Lots to learn, you make the experience how you make it, and everyone is basically family

    Cons

    No cons whatsoever. I have had a positive experience

    Advice to Management

    None


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Laid back, fun, very interesting work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer I in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Research Engineer I in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Georgia Tech Research Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Laid back environment, flex hours, very independent (need to be a self-starter, no manager breathing down your neck), definitely the most interesting projects you'll likely ever work on, 18 months paid to work on phd full time. The 21 vacation days is insane, and 12 sick days.

    Cons

    Expensive healthcare, no yearly bonus (but there are cash awards and guaranteed pay bumps for obtaining masters and phd)

    Advice to Management

    Continue what you're doing!


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