Harvard University Reviews
Updated May 30, 2023
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "The benefits are great and there is a lot of work" (in 395 reviews)
- "Nice to work with and the people are great." (in 213 reviews)
- "Great resource and colleagues to support your research project." (in 110 reviews)
- "There are flexible hours and you can utilize many resources." (in 74 reviews)
- "My Harvard experience included a good work/life balance" (in 61 reviews)
- "Low pay but high for education" (in 147 reviews)
- "Salaries are low but I believe this to be the case in higher ed more generally." (in 126 reviews)
- "In my opinion, that's not an excuse for poor management and work atmosphere." (in 37 reviews)
- "Bureaucratic culture sometimes means projects move very slow, or get clogged up by internal politics" (in 37 reviews)
- "Workflow can be dependent on what managers want to delegate to you on any given day" (in 20 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of Harvard University and is not affected by filters.
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- Current Employee★★★★★
Great and inspiring place to workMay 30, 2023 - Postdoctoral ResearcherRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Brilliant and nice people, interesting cutting-edge research and many opportunities for collaboration
often working long hours and weekends
- Former Employee, less than 1 year★★★★★
The best place I've ever worked forMay 15, 2023 - Library Assistant in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
1. Prestigious Institution: Harvard University is globally recognized as one of the top academic institutions. Working at Harvard Library allows you to be part of this prestigious community and contribute to the world-renowned academic and research environment. 2. Access to Extensive Resources: As an employee of Harvard Library, you gain access to an exceptional collection of resources, including an extensive range of books, journals, databases, and digital materials. This access enhances your own knowledge and provides valuable research opportunities. 3. Collaborative Work Environment: Harvard Library fosters a collaborative work environment where you can engage with colleagues from various disciplines and departments. The library is a hub of intellectual exchange, allowing you to interact with scholars, researchers, and experts in different fields. 4. Professional Development Opportunities: Harvard Library encourages professional growth and offers numerous development opportunities. You may have access to workshops, seminars, and training programs to enhance your skills and expertise in areas such as research methodologies, information management, and technological advancements. 5. Cultural and Intellectual Engagement: Harvard Library serves as a vibrant hub for cultural and intellectual activities. It hosts exhibitions, lectures, and events featuring renowned scholars, authors, and artists. As an employee, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this intellectually stimulating environment and be part of enriching experiences.
While working at Harvard Library comes with many benefits, it's important to consider potential challenges as well. Here are five potential cons of working at Harvard Library: High Workload: Due to the library's prestigious status and the extensive academic community it serves, the workload at Harvard Library can be demanding. Employees may experience high expectations and tight deadlines, which can lead to increased stress and pressure. Competitive Environment: Harvard University attracts top talent, which means working at Harvard Library can be competitive. There may be intense competition for positions and advancement opportunities, requiring employees to consistently demonstrate exceptional performance to stand out. Limited Work-Life Balance: The demanding nature of the job and high expectations may result in limited work-life balance for some employees. Long working hours, tight schedules, and a culture of academic excellence may require significant dedication and sacrifice outside of regular working hours. Complex Bureaucracy: Large institutions like Harvard University often have complex administrative structures and bureaucratic processes. Navigating these systems and protocols can sometimes be challenging and time-consuming, potentially impacting efficiency and decision-making. Limited Funding and Resources: While Harvard Library offers extensive resources, securing funding and resources for specific projects or initiatives may pose challenges. Limited budgets and resource allocation may impact the ability to pursue certain initiatives or acquire additional resources, potentially affecting the scope of work and opportunities for innovation.
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
You'll want to stay for the benefits, if you can tolerate the bureaucracy and organizational culture.May 3, 2023 - Coordinator II in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Unparalleled educational benefits. Retirement plan with generous employer matching. Wide variety of health and wellness program offerings. Discounts at local museums and cultural institutions. Work-life balance including flex work, paid vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave.
Decentralized organizational structure makes it hard to know what other departments and offices are doing and challenging to connect with other colleagues outside your unit. Bureaucracy makes it hard to accomplish critical tasks in a reasonable timeframe. Organizational culture sometimes results in imposing top-down initiatives without engaging frontline key stakeholders. Lack of clear advancement pathways for people who want to develop in their career but aren't interested in being a manager.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 8 years★★★★★
A large, beaureucratic institution where you feel invisibleMay 8, 2023 - Staff Assistant III in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
The pay and benefits are decent though not amazing. Brilliant and talented students, faculty and many staff members.
Middle management is awful and has to drink the Harvard Koolaide if they want to get a long and move up the ladder. This means they believe Harvard really doesn't have enough money to pay you overtime or hire enough staff. Many departments are always understaffed. Toxic managers and workplaces were tolerated if the work got done. Took a large pay cut to work at a better place that values me and understands I am a human and not a robot.Continue reading
- Current Employee★★★★★
Super flexible and great pay for studentsMay 24, 2023 - Undergraduate Course Assistant in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Good pay, flexibility with reading and teaching sections
The busiest times for grading coincide with your own exams
- Current Employee, more than 8 years★★★★★
Great employerMay 23, 2023 - Executive Director in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Competitive pay, excellent benefits, lots of flexibility
Very high cost of living in the Boston/Cambridge area. Harvard is slow to raise salaries to match inflation.Continue reading
- Current Employee★★★★★
Good access to professorsMay 23, 2023 - Research Assistant in Cambridge, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great professors to work for - enriching academic experience
Requires some flexibility to move around the professor you are RAing for
- Former Employee★★★★★
Great environmentMay 24, 2023 - Postdoctoral Reseach Fellow in Boston, MARecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great group and a lot of free education courses
Not enough salary for living in Boston
- Former Employee★★★★★
GoodMay 23, 2023 - Doctoral ResearcherRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great environment, wonderful support from department and PI.
Nothing significant worth mentioning here.
- Current Employee★★★★★
Great place to startMay 15, 2023 - Development CoordinatorRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Amazing people that care about the mission of the university
Can easily stay in the same position for years without movement.Continue reading
Harvard University Reviews FAQs
Harvard University has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5, based on over 3,584 reviews left anonymously by employees. 82% of employees would recommend working at Harvard University to a friend and 75% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -2% over the last 12 months.
82% of Harvard University employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Harvard University 3.9 out of 5 for work life balance, 3.9 for culture and values and 4.0 for career opportunities.
According to reviews on Glassdoor, employees commonly mention the pros of working at Harvard University to be career development, coworkers, benefits and the cons to be management, culture, compensation.