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MITRE US Reviews

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Pros
  • MITRE Has the best work life balance for their employees (in 242 reviews)

  • Great benefits; interesting work programs (in 47 reviews)

Cons
  • The pay is rumored to be lower than other companies, but the environment is less cut-threat and you have a better work-life balance at MITRE (in 18 reviews)

  • It's not clear that the Board or upper management know either (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "One of the few firms that lives up to "best places to work" surveys"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Economic Business Analyst in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Economic Business Analyst in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits
    No need to focus on business development
    Good work-life balance
    You can work as hard or as relaxed as you dare to
    Management tends to respect employees
    People are generally very helpful and congenial
    On many teams, work is kept in perspective

    Cons

    Raises vary between 3%-6% so you will need to come in as high as you can
    Promotions are far and few between
    Management is technically focused and undervalues the management consulting skills
    Management tends to focus on short-term goals and keeping the client happy rather than being a "trusted advisor" that is unafraid to tell the truth

    Advice to Management

    Give more priority to business consulting rather than systems engineering
    Invest in developing a "tool kit" and some standard applications to avoid dependence on client's inadequate basic tools/systems


  2. Helpful (3)

    "A stable yet flexible environment offering fun scientific challenges (if you can navigate the odd corporate culture)."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE offers a great balance of work & life, and most employees have flexible schedules and reasonable hours. New employees get 23 days of paid vacation per year, which increases to 28 days after 9 years. The retirement plan is very generous, as employees contribute 2% of salary to receive a matching 7.5% contribution from MITRE. The company encourages (and pays for) continuing education. It is a stable job environment with very low turnover, and layoffs are exceedingly rare.

    The company's management structure is not very complex, and a typical manager's role is to assist the subordinates in finding engaging projects, rather than to direct the employee's everyday activities. Generally, employees are provided with most of the resources they need to succeed at their job. There is often a lot of freedom for an employee to choose the types of work they perform, and MITRE does fund its own internal research program. MITRE doesn't produce or sell products, so researchers are usually able to spend more time on interesting science than on mass production or support of a product. Research is project-based (usually with more than one project at a time) which can help to prevent an employee from stagnating with the same daily tasks day in & day out.

    Cons

    Compensation is fair, but as a nonprofit affiliated with the government, bonuses and stock options are not available. The company must also abide by many of the government's rules and regulations. As such, purchasing equipment, planning travel, and being reimbursed for expenses can be quite a hassle. The list of policies and procedures that an employee must follow in such circumstances are lengthy and filled with many potential landmines.

    The MITRE research portfolio has recently shifted dramatically towards immediate solutions to specific government problems, leading to less of an opportunity to perform impactful long term research. Proposing and acquiring a project funded by MITRE's internal funding agency can be quite laborious, with little visibility into the process. The upswing is that there is a lot of overhead that goes into acquiring funding, but less time to do the actual research.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forsake our roots as a research powerhouse to become more like other companies in the marketplace. MITRE has a unique role which should be preserved to remain successful.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "MITRE is there to take on the hard jobs tell the truth stand with integrity and help our nation and its citizens"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE is a Federally Funded R&D Center that takes on challenging technical jobs working in the national interest. Therefore, it has the ability to do important work that can do things for all Americans for national security without being distracte by "make money on it for shareholders" is very satisfying. Working technologies like UAS, Satellites sensing and comm, IT infrastructure, bio-tech etc keeps me growing professionally and working with colleagues and senior Government leaders keeps me growing personally. It is wonderful to work with people who think about our country more than themselves. Seeing and working with them is really inspiring. You go home feeling good about yourself and your career choices.

    Cons

    My biggest downsides are:
    1. MITRE is limited in how much work it can perform and this limit has been pretty fixed for the last 15 years by Congress. There are so many new and important problems we could help on yet are unable to contribute in war on terror, security, technology modernization (mobile wireless, unmanned vehicles, integrated sensors, etc.) due to this limitation.
    2. If your career ambitions include making lots money, then MITRE has a limited salary range and little opportunity for entreprenurial financial success no profit that becomes a bonus (think stock brokers).
    3. While MITRE has made great strides in diversity in the more junior ranks more needs to done at senior technical leadership areas.

    Advice to Management

    The most valuable things that they could do is coomunicate with all their staff especially geographically distributed. Learn what the work prgram is from the staff doing it not from the leadership management chain. Apply the same respect they give themselves on tools and systems they find useful to their engineering employees.
    Finally, take risks embrace change and disruptive technology we can be our sponsors test subjects.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "One of the best, but nobody's perfect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in West McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in West McLean, VA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastically diverse work -- anything and everything you can imagine is happening somewhere within MITRE. Great benefits, terrific internal communication (both management to employee and peer-to-peer). Non-profit, so the people who're there are actually trying to make a difference, rather than simply grow business.

    Cons

    Again, lots of great work -- if you can find it and get on the team. Also, like any government contractor, you're stuck when your customer doesn't utilize you properly or fails to renew the contract. Advancement and raises are well-calculated, but perhaps too much so -- very formulaic, to the point where if you're not a "squeaky wheel" you don't get noticed and then not promoted. Salary was about average.

    Advice to Management

    Better salaries, make advancement less cumbersome and arcane, make it easier to jump in and out of interesting projects.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Open Environment with Great Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work environment that allows you to apply your strengths and stretch the application of your skills/knowledge. Ability and expectation that you will think before you blindly act. Ability to engage with senior leaders and proactively recommend changes.

    Cons

    Uncertain career progression path with inconsistent application of existing criteria. Hiring of experts late in their career with limited motivation to teach and apply their skills. Limited opportunities to attend training with demanding needs of the customer and existing internal policies.

    Advice to Management

    Make career path progression more transparent.
    Get in the trenches and learn from the worker bees what is going on today.


  6. "Fantastic place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE treats their employees remarkably well - like human beings! In addition to fantastic benefits and pay, we are also treated with respect, our opinions are valued, and there is a great life/work balance encouraged.

    Cons

    The research program can be terribly political. If you're not part of the click it's extremely hard to get your research funded.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage the younger staff to be more involved in the research program. Funding is typically so hierarchical that it's difficult for new staff to break in. Also, don't let chief engineers be a bottle neck - they wield far too much power in the funding process.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Sometimes its great, sometimes its awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE provides very good benefits, a reasonable salary (not location specific), allows telework, and respects the work-life balance we all need. You do get to work on some pretty cool tasks ... if you're lucky. Work environment, support staff and computing equipment is all good to very good which can make your work life much easier. High percentage of staff with advanced degrees.

    Cons

    The performance review and salary administration is a mess that many try to avoid even dealing with. Management consists of previously good technical people that refuse to be managers and want to keep being technical staff. Management is scared to deliver the bad news or make the tough decisions. If they ignore it, hopefully it will go away. If you aren't part of the in crowd, good luck getting on the good projects or getting anything like independent R&D type activities. But once you've got it, you'll have it year after year. Dead weight stays around for far too long.

    Advice to Management

    Get involved and know what's actually happening down here in the gutter. Kick middle-management in the rear or out the door. Stop patting yourselves on the back there are plenty of problems to take care of.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Fabulous place to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible hours, easiness to telecommute, great quality of life programs, TechTalks, brown bags, a great environment for knowledge sharing. Most people here have degrees of higher education, many, many Ph.D's, experts in different fields. Benefits and compensations are great, they really value their employees and every single worker is treated with respect. The availability of resources allows employees to utilize their fields of expertise and pursue their own interests through different sponsoring programs. The overall atmosphere is great, there's a lot of commitment from each individual.

    Cons

    None that I can think of, maybe besides the location requires getting through heavy traffic to and from work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  9. "Really fun place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in West McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in West McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great workplace environment, encourages collaboration and new ideas. Easy to move between projects and keep things interesting. Compensation is adequate, retirement options are phenomenal. Management is highly ethical and makes sound decisions across the board. Flexible work hours and work environment and very friendly people.

    Cons

    Limited compensation and upward mobility. Lack of visibility across industry compared to other major for-profit companies.

    Advice to Management

    Advance MITRE grown talent before external talent


  10. Helpful (6)

    "MITRE... most of what you would expect from a government job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Mitre is a friendly place to work and has the same pluses as many other government related jobs. There is a high level of job security, which means you have to try pretty hard to be fired. You're not expected to work any more than 40 hours a week which leaves you time for doing things outside of work. The benefits are better than average and they have a very good retirement plan. They offer around 24 paid vacation days a year for a new hire (more after 5 years of service) and they are very willing to let you take these vacation days whenever you want.

    Cons

    There are really two major downsides to working at MITRE. First, you work for a non-profit organization that is not allowed to make or sell products. This means that you end up working on small prototyping efforts at best (dealing with government contractors at worst) that are never allowed to mature into something you can be proud of. The second major downside is the politics and bureaucratic mess that the government makes. The politics are frustrating because you find that there are many people in charge not because they're good at what they do, but because they knew the right person or worked in the right branch of the military. This leads to many frustrations if you're just trying to solve challenging technical problems. Much too frequently funding is cut or "redirected" because someone new in a higher up position simply can't understand why your work would be important or feels that you aren't branching out enough and including enough people from other departments or MITRE's off-site offices for your work to be valuable. The bureaucratic mess isn't even isolated to management or projects. If I need to order something for work as simple as a battery, mouse, etc. the expected turn around time is 4 weeks. This is not something that's really good for productivity.

    Advice to Management

    Understand your company. Figure out what your employees are doing and why they enjoy it. There are many talented people that come and go at MITRE because their work really doesn't make any impact. Senior management needs to spend less time working on their own projects and more time bringing the work that their employees are doing to the right people so that what they do can be used where it's actually needed. It's too much of a burden to ask someone to do all the technical footwork, all the networking, and all the management of a project knowing that at any time their funding could be cut for no apparent reason. Senior management needs to help be facilitators in this sense and not extra road blocks.


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