Pearson Reviews | Glassdoor

Pearson Reviews

Updated May 25, 2017
509 reviews

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2.0
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Pearson CEO John Fallon
John Fallon
193 Ratings

509 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Difficult to maintain work life balance (in 45 reviews)

  • During the last 4 years upper management changes too many times (in 104 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good and Bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent office location. Nice people. Opportunity to learn and move into new positions.

    Cons

    Extremely complex environment. Feels like management doesn't value employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good start, went downhill FAST."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Okay work life balance.
    Good benefits.

    Cons

    Awful management.
    Senior Leadership has no idea what they are doing
    Senior leadership are not close with any of their workers
    No room for promotion or career growth
    Bad compensation compared to market trends
    Do your job, don't be imaginative, decent is good enough.
    Don't cost the company money, they need money.
    Senior leadership appoints their friends to positions that they aren't qualified for, so product quality and team morale goes downhill.
    Management cares about saving face rather than doing the right thing for their client base.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to actually be empathetic. Senior leadership sits in their corner offices dictating the day to day and small minutiae of what is done. They would rather make their department "look good" than have their employees actually be happy. Leadership does not exude an air of respect, constant BS is being spouted by VP's and leadership of the creative department when they don't actually know what they're talking about. They say they're be ing transparent with being anything but. Start caring more about your employees and the work you're doing and less about your paychecks and then maybe you'll actually be liked by the education community. Also please work on your culture, it is awful. I much more preferred to work from home than EVER come into the office because nobody says hi to each other, everyone avoids eye contact and you are piled with so much work and expected to just "do it all" with no compensation increase. I've had 3 coworkers leave in the past month and I have had to take on all their work and there was never a hint of compensation bonuses.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "ADHD Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Old Tappan, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Old Tappan, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    They make great educational products, and employees are truly passionate about education and ed services. The bad press about Common Core is all politics and undeserved.

    Cons

    Management seems to endlessly change their minds on how to run the business. Not enough sincere attention paid to employee development. Staff cutbacks result in skeleton staffing levels and employees work to exhaustion.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Not the same company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are very passionate about what they do

    Cons

    It's almost too big to get things done. It's such a corporate giant that it's impossible to make decisions without getting approval from 20 different people

    Management also seems to have forgotten that great employees are what made Pearson such a great company to work for

    Advice to Management

    Care more about the little guys -- morale is rough (and has been for a few years now)


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Account Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great services and products, Decent work/home life balance

    Cons

    Constant reorganizations and layoffs. Compensation and goals/quota finalized and provided mid year. Everyone just positioning themselves for the next round of layoffs and reorganizations.

    Advice to Management

    Value the employees as well as the customer. Pearson is not too big to fail.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "IT Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Senior Project Manager in Iowa City, IA
    Former Employee - IT Senior Project Manager in Iowa City, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with diverse teams under pressure. Some amazing people work here.

    Cons

    Expected to work long hours with little moral or monetary compensation. Responsibilities and duties are added constantly without support. Everybody either runs around like a chicken with it's head cut off or they do nothing at all. A very political place to work, it's who you know, not how hard you work.

    Advice to Management

    When adopting new business trends you need to not just implement them but see them through. The minimal effort put into changes results in the company being able to say they have adopted the trend but in fact they are never carried through which hurts the company overall.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Run by a souless corporation, constant layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Various in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Various in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with, flexible work conditions

    Cons

    Ran by a souless corporation that cares more about stock holders than it's employees. Constant layoffs and restructuring. Poor salaries way below industry standard. Expects current employees to take on multiple roles during layoffs with same pay. Company is in a downward spiral. Senior management treats it's employees like cattle.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Laid off and miss my job, but not upper management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Editor in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great pay, benefits, and generous paid time off.

    Cons

    Restructuring and uncertainty every few years. I was laid off and just treated like a casualty of restructuring.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees who have been loyal to you.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "A once great company is now in a death spiral"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and great people. Work is really interestng. Two years ago I would have given Pearson 4 stars.

    Cons

    Company is in a death spiral. Continuos layoffs the past two years. They're outsourcing every department. A once great company to work for is now a terrible company. Morale is unbelievably low.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the CEO. The company is now a shell company -- every department has been outsourced to vendors and only a few people remain to manage the vendors.


  11. Helpful (13)

    "Going Downhill With No End In Sight"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There are great individuals at Pearson, dedicated to the spirit of the work, who believe in providing access to quality content to as many kids and teachers as possible. Decent benefits but not immune from financial realities created by poor leadership. Work from home is encouraged and supported.

    Cons

    Where to start?

    First off, there is just a ridiculous number of mid to upper-level managers at Pearson, many of who did not advance through merit but were seemingly poached from non-publishing businesses or straight out of MBA programs. Most of these managers know NOTHING about publishing and are a significant factor in Pearson's deteriorating brand recognition, releasing sub-par products and marketing materials created with virtually no input from educators or the former educators who work at Pearson.

    Second, anemic and delusional leadership. John Fallon is a terrible CEO, who has overseen a reduction in diversification (selling off FT and Economist), time and again has misjudged the market (Common Core, assessment), and has prematurely cut the legs out from paper and gone full in with digital before appreciating the realities of mixed medium learning. He has a technology executive trying to follow the Netflix model, where consumer choice is everything, and apply it to a space where mandates and standards preclude that sort of flexibility. He's headed the outsourcing of thousands of jobs where thousands of combined years of experience in education have been let go and replaced with engineers, MBA's, and project managers with ZERO experience in educational publishing and product development. Pearson's stock has flirted with junk status several times and from all recent accounts there are no signs of improvement. Look for a merger with a consortium to bail out his tenure sometime in the next couple years, seeing as the board simply refuse to see this man off.

    Third, the Agile project management culture has taken over all aspects of daily activity at Pearson and is used to mask failures. It's officious, stifles creativity, sets unrealistic and contradictory expectations, pits teams against each other, and results in far more inefficiencies than what I'd seen in my first five years with the company. Don't get me wrong, Agile works well for iteratively developed technology products, but there has to be a consistent vision aligned with customer needs and requirements to drive those efforts and Pearson fails by almost every measure in that regard. Stakeholders are no longer accountable, project managers are, so while the merry-go-round of people doing the actual work sees many go off and fewer get on the ride, the people who are supposed to be driving a cohesive strategy and failing remain in their posts. It's less project management and more CYA management.

    Fourth, and it bears repeating, John Fallon and his army of unaccountable officers and VP's.

    Advice to Management

    Simple. Leave. Or better yet, go back to the future and engage with the few remaining employees you have with decades of combined experience in education, get their and the customer's feedback, and build off of that. What you're doing now IS NOT WORKING. The stock price shows it, the weekly onslaught of negative press shows it, the fact that you have to keep laying people off in what should be an exciting and innovative time of transition and opportunity shows it. The bravery, innovation, and decency have gone from Pearson, and YOU'RE to blame for it.


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