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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 17, 2018
201 reviews

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3.9
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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Director Eric Evans
Eric Evans
99 Ratings

201 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Ladder system is painful, though many group leaders work the system for you (in 11 reviews)

  • At least for System Administrators (and I believe most of the technical staff/researchers) prepare for SOUL-CRUSHING micro-management (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great traditional workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Staff in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Technical Staff in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong technical support, great projects, stability, internal research

    Cons

    Slow and limited opportunity for advancement within Lab, limited distribution of work products for advancing career outside of Lab


  2. "MIT Lincoln Laboratory - Employer Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Investigator and Project Leader in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Principal Investigator and Project Leader in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very Interesting work and a challenging environment.

    Cons

    There are limited financial opportunities

    Advice to Management

    Allow employees to capitalize on their inventions by sharing a larger percentage of royalties and by supporting/fostering the launching of dual-use and commercial ventures based on their inventions.

  3. "Review from someone in their mid-20s w/only a bachelor's"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Staff in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Staff in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Academic nature of work/general freedom afforded to you. It is a 'traditional' work place in that there are yearly raises, strong benefits, and it seems like management encourages/supports their employees to actually further themselves professionally.

    Cons

    The freedom afforded to staff often means no one really wants to act as a manager, and therefore means some programs/projects suffer since no one is willing to crack the whip or push back to program sponsors.

    The lack of a manager or direct supervisor also means one can be pulled in many directions by different teams, and it ends up being your responsibility to manage your own time and priorities.

    Being traditional however, also means the laboratory is predominately white and male across the board. Management is taking steps to address, and is upfront about this in their yearly overviews to staff, but the pace leaves something to be desired.

    Additionally, this is not much of a con but a remark, the organization is very flat. You're unlikely to be promoted by that nature (no Staff I->Staff II->Staff III and etc), as promotions actually mean taking a big step in terms of responsibility. However, this should be kept in mind for someone just starting out, as it can be difficult seeing your peers advance in this way in other careers.


  4. "Nice In Between"

    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 MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Good place to be if you don't want the tedium of academia and the chaos of industry for software engineers. Flexible hours and nice coworkers.

    Cons

    The culture is a little behind the curve (but they are trying to fix it). Lower salary than industry, sometimes sloppy coding practices.


  5. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    good benefits at the company

    Cons

    i cannot think of any

    Advice to Management

    n/a


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Diverse and interesting work for national defense"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    * Continuous learning encouraged with opportunities galore
    * Diverse project landscape
    * Interesting and competent colleagues
    * Reasonable levels of self direction, and lateral moves within org are possible

    Cons

    * Performance assessment and pay raises very political
    * High pressure environment, sometimes too fast paced
    * Some groups have too many projects, people get spread thin supporting too many
    * Organization often accepts more $$/projects than it can reasonably execute well

    Advice to Management

    * Say no to programs the staff are not interested in supporting, there's probably a reason.


  7. "LL review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Culture, motivation, resources, shuttle, food

    Cons

    serious, security stuff, older people, anthem, ids

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Too Inconsistent To Recommend Either Way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Staff in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Staff in Lexington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -You don't need to fill out time sheets if you are a technical staff member so you don't need to worry about every individual second of time you spend
    -The people around you are doing really cool things and getting cool opportunities
    -There are projects where you can have a big national security impact
    -Some of the people are nice
    -MIT name is prestigious
    -There is a pension plan

    Cons

    -I honestly can't recommend it here because experiences are too variable among myself and my peers, so I have no guarantees for you
    -You probably won't get to work on the good projects, because everyone will want to work on them, and there is limited funding
    -The group leaders are not good at management, and they almost try not to be good at management because they don't want to seem less technical (there is a stigma that a good people person isn't technical)
    -The distribution of opportunities is really unfair. I don't think that it is intentional, but the group leaders just really don't know what they are doing and will justify any decision they make, so they will tell you no, even though they tell other people yes.
    -You will be paid less than industry, and you will find out that your pay is drastically different from the people around you (even in the same staff level and group). I have heard of differences of $30,000, mostly because of starting salary differences that compound. Sometimes staff members receive outside offers and negotiate that way.
    -A lot of people are know-it-alls and they are really opinionated about topics that they actually know nothing about
    -Staff will brag about hours they work but then tout a work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Staff performance reviews should coincide with the time period they cover. Example: Reviews go from July '14-July '15, but then the staff member doesn't have a performance review until January 16 to get their raise.

    Managers should be rated by the people they manage. Every other company does it this way.

    Group leaders should pay more attention to what is happening on their projects, and choose better projects for their employees. Shield us from the politics you have among yourselves and other groups. It is completely unprofessional to bar employees from collaborations with other people in the lab.


  9. "Nice people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    people working there are very nice

    Cons

    I don't have cons to mention

    MIT Lincoln Laboratory Response

    Dec 28, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    This is a very nice review and we are pleased that you are having a positive experience. Thank you.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Formerly a Great Company"

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. If you live in the MIT area, very good health insurance.

    Cons

    Salary is not commensurate with industry. We are told that since we can say we "work for MIT", our salary is less than what outside non-FFRDCs offer. There is no training for managers. Most are former technical types or engineers that have zero management experience and not competent at all in that area. I have refused to forward any resumes to HR and have told very talented people that I would not recommend MIT/LL to them so I will not submit their resume for employment. There are plenty of other work places that will provide a more satisfactory job experience.

    Very expensive health insurance if you don't live in the MIT area. Average monthly bill is $700 for familly health insurance with fairly large deductibles. If you work at a field site, you essentially have to subsidise your own health plan. If you can use the MIT clinic, it is great.

    Advice to Management

    Hire professional managers as leaders. Most technical people hate management positions and are very, very poor at it.

    MIT Lincoln Laboratory Response

    Dec 28, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. We are sorry that your experience did not work out as hoped. As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, we do operate under compensation... More


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