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MITRE US Reviews

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Pros
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)

  • I found the company to be quite top heavy with "management" with generally too much emphasis on documentation (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "A good place to work, but not for everyone, especially junior engineers."

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, challenge work, stable job and nice people

    Cons

    Only base salary, no stock option or cash bonus. No clear career path for hard engineers unless switch to management positions. Too much overhead.

    Advice to Management

    Need a good career path for hardcore enginners.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Working at MITRE is a different; that diiference may or may not be what you are looking for..."

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

    Pros

    MITRE is a unique place to work in that it is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). As an FFRDC, it is a private not-for-profit corporation chartered in the public interest. (Actually, MITRE operates three FFRDCs; one for DoD, one for the FAA, and one for the Department of the Treasury). The MITRE Corporation’s assets are owned by the federal government but the employees are not considered government employees (i.e., they not civil servants). There is both a bad side and a good side to this in that the employees do not have any job protections or automatic pay or step increases afforded civil servants, but, at the same time, they do not have the same constraints in promotions or merit pay increases. A highly capable junior employee can move up the latter relatively quickly (as compared to the federal government employees).

    Also, generally, the work is interesting, varied and can have significant impact on how the government designs, develops, and implements systems. The work environment is intellectually stimulating and the technical staff is typically of a higher caliber than most commercial organizations (most tech staff have advanced degrees). The management supports intellectual integrity, high quality products, and encourages healthy debate in developing technical approaches to problem solving. As an FFRDC, MITRE is not permitted to perform commercial work nor is it allowed to bid on contracts in the government sector. Because of this, the staff is free from conflict of interest and can provide honest objective recommendations to its government sponsors. In a sense, the research environment at MITRE is much like a university although, at MITRE, the research work is direct by the government sponsoring organizations.

    Cons

    As an FFRDC, the total number staff and the total dollar revenue than can be applied to the sponsor organizations is capped by Congress (this is true of all FFRDCs). This cap (or ceiling as it is known within MITRE) is rarely increased and when it is, it is usually by a small amount. In fact, in the mid 1990s, the ceiling was decreased in line with the declining DoD budgets which resulted in limited reductions in force (layoffs). The down side to the congressionally mandated ceiling is that there are limited growth opportunities for the organization which can also limit individual promotion opportunities (as compared to a fast growing private/commercial company). Merit pay increases for senior staff are also fairly limited (around 2-3%) because junior staff must be given somewhat higher merit increases as they are rapidly increasing their earning potential in the marketplace. The upside of the staff number caps is that the government sponsoring organizations (MITRE’s “customers”) generally want more MITRE support than they allowed to have, so the total amount of work remains the same from one year to the next resulting in a reasonably stable work program (no big ramp ups or ramp downs in work force).

    Another limitation of the FFRDC environment is that, as a non-profit, there are no stock options, profit sharing, or cash bonuses based on the organizations financial performance. In fact, because of the staff ceiling mentioned above, bringing in new work, which is highly valued in most commercial organizations, may result in negative consequences for a MITRE person. This is because if a government organization requests additional support in area MITRE may be uniquely qualified to perform, and a MITRE staff member tells the customer that MITRE is willing to perform such work, MITRE may have to go back to the customer and decline the work due to the ceiling issue. This can cause frustration with both the government customers and the MITRE staff that work with them. This also eliminates a key metric used to evaluate (senior) staff in most commercial organizations: positive (or negative) impact on the organizations financial performance.

    Advice to Management

    The most important asset of the corporation is technical staff working directly for the government customers. While upper management may communicate to senior DoD and other senior government officials, it is the work being performed for the individual government Program Offices and other government offices that the key to continued success and demand for MITRE support. Speak with these customers directly to understand the role and the value that the tech staff brings to their respective customers. Find out what’s important to these customers and how MITRE is helping them be successful in their missions. Usually, the MITRE staff visibility within a customer organization is far more important than that staff member’s visibility within MITRE management. Unfortunately, that fact is not always recognized by MITRE management.

  3. "A good place to stay for the long haul"

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

    Pros

    * Smartest people around - great place to meet and work with some of the folks who develop the standards that make the Internet work for example.
    * Important and influential work- work improves government capability (many projects support the warfighter)
    * Environment that encourages you to define your own work.
    * Stability- little to no chance of being downsized, outsourced or replaced
    * Great benefits, fantastic 401 matching

    Cons

    * Lack of direction- if need a boss to tell you what needs to be done you may become frustrated
    * Hard to enter as a young engineer. Those with established careers will have a much easier time coming in.

    Advice to Management

    Improve current efforts toward new hire integration into MITRE's unique structure and culture.


  4. "Truly, a great place to work, but do not expect a clear career or promotion path."

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

    Pros

    Stable and dynamic work environment. Provides a colaborative work experience with plenty of opportunities to expand your professional horizons and learn new and varied skills. Good workers and good work are recognized and leveraged across the organization.

    Cons

    Too many managers, too few promotional opportunities. Heirarchical management structure is outdated and lends to eggagerated elitism and beurocracy. Hires and rehires are suspect, and nepotism and favoritism are a negative reality.

    Advice to Management

    Good management starts from the top down. Take a long, hard look at yourself and your top managers and determine if you and your managers are truly fostering a productive work environment. Dig deeper in the organization and work with your base staff to get honest and candid assessments of their own work experiences.


  5. "Good all-around place to work"

    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

    Diverse types of work; many project areas; diverse sponsors; flexible hours; telecommuting opportunities; educational opportunities; information sharing; access to data; important national issues. MITRE offers educational and advancement opportunities for entry-level people to mid-career people to military or other retirees, and focuses on tailoring the opportunities to the needs of the individual. People are not 'pigeon-holed' to work in specific areas, as is the case in many industrial organizations, but have the flexibility to support other parts of the company if there is mutual benefit.

    Cons

    Mid-level managers work on technical projects rather than managing; some types of work restricted by FFRDC requirements

    Advice to Management

    Allow mid-level managers to spend more time managing


  6. "MITRE is an excellent place to work."

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

    Pros

    The work is very technical, demanding, and important to our National security. The work has an impact that is visible and valued to their customers. Compensation is fair, and at least on par with industry standards.

    Cons

    You won't "win the lottery" with stock options or other bonuses, but you'll be paid fairly and will be rewarded and recognized for having an impact.

    Advice to Management

    Provide increased opportunities for promotions to the senior ranks.


  7. "MITRE really is one of the Best 100 places to work"

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

    Pros

    The compensation and benefit packages are excellent. The people are always willing to help each other and are a very friendly group whether it be in your department or other departments. Depending upon what you are interested in doing, MITRE has a position that will work for you and challenge you.

    Cons

    The work/life balance is not as good for the administrative staff as it is for the professionals. MITRE does not give all government holidays which I find rather strange as the majority of MITRE works for the government. You would think that we would have the same government holidays off.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the Admins as a very real part of the MITRE experience.

  8. "MITRE is a great place to work!"

    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
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE has an excellent balance between career and personal needs outside the company. They offer flex time and allow working from home to assist with personal needs. MITRE offers competitive pay and multiple options for education. MITRE offers on site education, education reimbursement, and flex time to take classes. MITRE offers several opportunities a year for families to be involved with the work community, such as 'Take you kids to work day', Holiday parties, and opportunities for employees for community service with programs such as offering reading programs to local schools.

    Cons

    MITRE has smaller departments so it is sometimes difficult to grow. People feel they need to transfer jobs in order to get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Do not display favoritism, nor dislike of employees on a personal level.


  9. "Awesome"

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

    Pros

    I enjoy the work-life balance. The flexibility I have to address family issues and not have them conflict with my work responsibilities, such as working from home if need be. My boss takes the time from his busy schedule to listen when I have a problem or issue, even if it is not work related. I believe that the salary ranges are commensable with other companies; I like the flexibility I have in work hours. There are time when I need to come in early or work late to make up time from an appointment and I don't get flax behind it. I can't say enough about working at MITRE. I recommend everyone I know from past and present work experiences.

    Cons

    If there are any downsides, they have not affected me in the 5 years I have worked for MITRE. I just love it here. I am an upbeat positive individual so if there were downsides, I would find up sides out of it. I think people who find downsides are negatives individuals to begin with so in their world - nothing is sanctioned. What more could you ask for in a company, flexibility, great salaries, benefits, open-doors (no-bullshit), the opportunity to speak your mind without prejudice or retribution. Here at MITRE if you have a dream or and idea - it is expanded upon - you can make dreams a reality here at MITRE so again, I ask you - What downsides?

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing forward. Keep listening to your employees and allowing them to have their issues addressed. Don't speak for us - afford us the opportunity to speak for ourselves. I was always told that to be a "good leader you must first be a good follower". I won't follow someone to the end unless I know they have already been there themselves, which is the kind of leadership I believe we have here at MITRE. Our leadership is made up of everyday "joes". Again, I say keep pushing forward, keep listening to your employees, and continue to afford us the opportunity to speak for ourselves. Let your hearts and minds continue to be opened to new ideas and interests - "DREAMS"


  10. Helpful (2)

    "MITRE is a great place to work, but it's not for everyone"

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

    Pros

    MITRE provides challenging work assignments and offers staff wide latitude in pursuing interesting assignments. MITRE staff are compensated fairly, considering the comparatively low-pressure environment, and the benefits are outstanding.

    Cons

    Working at MITRE requires strong self-guidance. Sometimes it's easy to feel somewhat adrift without strong line management direction. Most of the time that freedom is appreciated but when issues need to be elevated and timely management decisions are needed, the process can be slow and frustrating. Also, one gets the feeling of two companies at work, one consisting of superstars working on plum assignments and the other for the majority of staff who are working on more mundane tasks of little interest to the Corporation other than for the number of staff-years on contract.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the division managers keep the work program focused on meaningful, important work


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