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Mathematica Researcher II Reviews

Updated Jul 12, 2016

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3.3
70%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Mathematica President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
4 Ratings
  1. Helpful (6)

    "Entry-level respect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Research Assistant Programmer II in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica

    Pros

    Employees at all levels are treated with a lot of respect. Even if you are right out of college you can be given a lot of responsibility and your opinion on high-level issues will be treated as valuable insight. There are also a huge amount of opportunities to learn new skills and take your career towards the subjects that you're interested in. The perks are nice too: a full-size office (yes even right out of college), solid salary, typical corporate benefits, stock bonus, above-average vacation time, and a lot of job security. Good work/life balance too - you just need to put in the 8 hour each day whether it's in the office or at home.

    Cons

    A lot of pressure to be innovative and forward-thinking. You need to manage your own workload and schedule. You get regular promotions, but it's also hard to quickly climb the corporate ladder.

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    Mathematica2015-04-20
  2. Helpful (16)

    "Company has grown too fast and is paying the price"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher II in Washington, DC
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Very interesting projects, a lot of smart and hard working colleagues, attention to quality

    Cons

    Very poor on transparency- a lot of information is kept from employees, for example how raises and promotions work is kept secret and those who know are told not to share the information. The company has also grown way too fast and lacks appropriate policies and procedures for an organization of its size. This leads to a lot of chaos and poor management. Big difference in what the company says and does, for example work life balance is promoted but at researcher plus, it doesn't exist if you want to do well.

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    Mathematica2016-07-13
  3. Helpful (7)

    "Nice salary but work is boring"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart people all around, some interesting projects, great opportunity for bookish PhDs to learn business skills, nice salary relative to other similar companies, nice work/life balance

    Cons

    Terrible management in survey division, cold working environment, work not divided in an equitable manner, some supervisors and division managers (especially in DC survey division) play favorites, little accountability at higher levels, little contact with the outside world (all communication outside of the company must go through project directors), not much opportunity to learn substantive or methodological research (or survey research) skills,

    Mathematica2014-06-20
  4. Helpful (10)

    "Good pay, predictable work, poor work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    1) Every employee, besides secretaries, gets their own office 2) Mathematica has a good reputation in the field 3) The pay and benefits are probably better than average for these types of firms 4) Mathematica gets good contracts and interesting work

    Cons

    1) Limited professional development opportunities, especially for junior staff 2) Co-workers are competent but not self-reflective about their craft. 3) The culture is predictable (a plus to some) but bland. I've worked places with a much more interesting, dynamic, and diverse corporate culture. 4) Some staff in the human services research division lack professionalism. Personal relationships often drive business decisions and staff are treated differently based upon their personal relationships. 5) Mathematica does not hold staff, especially senior staff and project directors, accountable to expectations and policies. 6) There's a perception that the "Mathematica way" is the best way; there is a lot of pressure to conform. 7) As other reviewers have mentioned, Mathematica's commitment to diversity, especially in the human services research division, is suspect at best. I'd encourage you to read what others have said here on Glassdoor about diversity because I think they are correct.

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    Mathematica2012-05-24
  5. Helpful (10)

    "Unfulfilling job working for managers who lack efficacy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica

    Pros

    - the salary and benefits are good. - at the researcher level, the private office space is very nice - it's a very polite workplace

    Cons

    - the talents of survey researchers with advanced degrees are being wasted in the survey division - the survey work is boring, almost entirely focused on managing survey operations, and there is NO way to get interesting research work at all. Additionally, there is a lack of understanding of what survey research or methodology is, even by senior survey management. - Mathematica is very behind the times on survey technology - managers consistently disrespect staff they don't like. I speak from the perspective of someone in the Survey division (I suspect the situation is different in the Research division). But once you're branded, you can't get interesting work. This never happened to me, but I have seen it happen to many colleagues. - the lack of diversity among researchers and survey researchers is frustrating. Other reviewers have commented on this very nicely, so I won't repeat things except to say that the lip service given to "diversity" is bothersome. - Senior leadership in the survey division is frustratingly rigid and not open to suggestion. They take suggestions and requests as personal attacks, as though asking to work on a project when they didn't originally think of you for it is somehow disrespecting their authority. They will give lip service to hearing your concerns, but I haven't ever seen them actually take constructive criticism into account.

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    Mathematica2012-05-01
  6. Helpful (14)

    "The work is dull, the company and its leadership unimaginative, but it's a stable, good paying job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica

    Pros

    The company hires people with advanced degrees. Most people have a private office, which is nice and helps productivity when you have a lot of writing tasks. The pay is decent (though not adjusted for office location). The benefits are decent. Mathematica is well respected and can serve as a good stepping stone to a different job or different career. In principle, Mathematica doesn't have a set number of people at each level, so you if you have the skills, you can be promoted to the next level without waiting for someone to retire.

    Cons

    The company is very hierarchical in how it is structured. Communication from management can be slow, and messages are usually delivered long after decisions have been made, and without input from staff. It's also sometimes inconsistent - you'll hear different things from different people at the same level. Oftentimes there's a lot of petty one-upmanship with people trying to undermine you. Superiors not always understanding/empathetic towards employees. Most people are nice, but many harbor resentment and envy, especially when they feel threatened - that is, they're high up and worried a "cheaper" person will make them obsolete. This problem has more to do with management than those individuals per se, but the management structure and incentive system causes several senior people to feel that way. The company has very questionable promotion practices. In terms of hiring, there is little diversity, despite the office locations in cities with diverse racial and ethnic populations. At the professional level, the company hires few people from underrepresented groups. It's also curious that the few non-whites they do hire take (on average) much longer to get promoted than their white counterparts (at all levels, junior to senior, and all divisions, health, human services, and survey). The HR department is friendly but their staff don't really do anything/advocate for you when you have a problem. Training is haphazard and less than satisfactory. It takes forever to get work when you first join the company, especially "interesting" work. Expectations for junior staff are low in some respects (in terms of analytical ability, leadership ability) and high in others (going after work, remaining billable). Most importantly, opportunities for learning and developing career skills are very limited if you're a survey researcher. Also, opportunities for promotion are limited in reality and don't often seem based on merit.

    Mathematica2011-05-31
Found 6 reviews