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Pearson Reviews

Updated January 22, 2018
595 reviews

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Pearson CEO John Fallon
John Fallon
217 Ratings

595 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Difficult to maintain work life balance (in 55 reviews)

  • where 80% of the employees are women but upper management is 90% men (in 119 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Company struggling to make digital transition; many employees lost in middle roles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are a lot of very smart and dedicated people here. With the right boss, you can have complete flex time in many roles. Company is not watching when you clock in/out so long as work is done. Salaries are competitive.

    Cons

    Unfortunately the multiple rounds of layoffs and general decline in morale over past few years have caused some of the brightest to leave. Those who are left are struggling with increased workload and many are overworked to point of apathy. The digital transformation is extremely slow; Pearson is behind the curve and struggling to catch up. Career roles in middle management areas are not well defined and there is a lot of duplication and territory wars over work. For many roles, no clear pathway to advance.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at diversity in your upper ranks. Make sure everyone has clear role and responsibility documentation, not just a title from the mapping exercise done a few years ago. Offer career development beyond self-serve courses imported from other digital learning platforms. No real mentorship for middle career. Either accelerate the digital transformation in a very aggressive way or outsource it entirely.


  2. "Regional Sales Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company benefits are great!

    Cons

    Senior management is leading Pearson into the services business and out of the education business.... It is be the end of Pearson in time

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Has so much potential...but...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Product in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Global Product in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great, kind people. Large scale and industry leading position. Large portfolio means you can work in a lot of different areas of education. Strong sales force. Generally moving in the right direction and experimenting with some leading technologies in education (AI, immersive, adaptive). Trying to make education research an important part of products. A great place to get exposure and experience.

    Cons

    Completely clueless leadership who only understand how to make the short term numbers to please shareholders (though not doing that well either). Leadership doesn’t understand how to drive vision or manage change. All the best people have left or are on their way out. Lots more layoffs coming before the ship stabilizes. Has no clue how to innovate, design, research, product manage, or develop products. VPs are left to fight out between their fiefdoms, creating significant waste as competing products are often built by two or more teams. People are afraid to invest in the changes that will make the products great (and not just good) for fear of losing market share. Too many people who are used to just making expensive textbooks and don’t know how to make modern digital content. Authors have way too much control over design and tech decisions they know nothing about.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your own way. If you set a challenging and exciting vision, hire the right people (rather than outsource critical capabilities), dare to take risks, set up an infrastructure for innovation, and trust people, then amazing things will happen. Treat people as your most important asset and stop making decisions that only prop up short term numbers. Put your customers ahead of your shareholders. Take risks—others have made the transition to digital successfully, but it means building the next thing yourself, not hoping you can just acquire something to keep you one feature ahead of the competition. Iterate on designs and let research guide decisions—don’t launch prototypes then spends years and millions trying to stabilize the technology. Watch out for non-traditional competitors (OER, Amazon, edtech startups)...they’re way more dangerous than McGraw Hill or Cengage.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Account General Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great place to put on a resume and move on to the next opportunity at the moment.

    Cons

    It is currently a very toxic environment.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to keep top talent.
    Environment
    Communication
    Compensation
    Provide Real Expectations off the data


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Such a shame"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, decent work space, Incredibly kind, bright, hard-working individuals.

    Cons

    Pay scale something that can be found in the 90s. No raise, no moving up in the company, constant, constant, constant Reorganization. One never knows from one day to the next if they still have a job. Weak management, constant change of Directors and never ending change of process. Was previously a great, innovative company that actually cared for it’s employees...now...just sad.

    Advice to Management

    Management, leadership, those that have the nice office, understand that the people that work under you are dedicated workers. Treating them with disrespect does nothing but create a poisonous and toxic environment. Be helpful and find a way to keep Pearson afloat. Deflate some of that “over the top grandiose egos”...keep it real. You keep it real, your employees will keep it real and and produce quality work. Otherwise, moral will continue to plummet, workers will continue to walk out and soon you won’t have anyone to fire and put to blame for the loss of the company.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Management needs a lot of work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Pearson full-time

    Pros

    If you make bonus, the pay off is great. But that's about it and it's a big "IF" when making your bonus because you are playing with fake numbers until the end of the year.

    Cons

    The work environment is very poor. There are a lot of manager turnovers so it is difficult to keep a positive team morale. It is clear that upper management strictly focuses on making the numbers and don't necessarily recognize all the other hard work that goes into the job. IT IS A LOT OF WORK. THERE IS NO LIFE WORK BALANCE

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to treat their employees better. There is a reason for high turnovers in rep position.


  7. "Used to be Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people that are still at Pearson are some of the best talent in the industry. Those of us that have survived the multitude of restructurings and role changes are among the best in the industry. That's not to say that some of the best also were also casualties of the restructuring because we lost many many good employees. Pearson still has some of the best products and services to offer our customers.

    Cons

    Pearsons never ending restructuring makes it a place I would not recommend to a new hire looking to join this industry. There are many great digital players in the higher Ed industry that I would look into first. Pearson has never been a place that pays well unless you are in upper management. I've spent nearly 13 years with Pearson in various roles. The Pearson today is nowhere near the company that I grew to love.

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to the Board of Directors. Our CEO has had enough time to turn this company around. The strategic plan behind all the restructurings isn't working. How many years are you going to give him? I know in my position I would be let go if I took 2 to 3 years to get my territory on track. Too many upper managers that are getting paid a lot of money and don't offer any value to the sales organization. Your focus should be to reward those in the trenches that are actually bringing in the revenue versus paying large salaries to upper management so they can fly around the country and add no value to a conversation with our customers.

  8. "Great benefits the best thing about working there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Project Manager in Dallas, TX
    Former Freelancer - Project Manager in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, 401k, flexibility with workday schedule

    Cons

    Poor managers hire/promote the worst possible candidates; skimpy on vacation; too many chiefs

    Advice to Management

    Quit the lip service. If you really care about the company and employees, find out from worker bees what your managers are doing effectively and ineffectively. Managers will tell their managers what upper management wants to hear, not what’s truly going on.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "They don't give enough time."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online Writing Tutor in Buffalo, NY
    Current Employee - Online Writing Tutor in Buffalo, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They have excellent ways of communicating with others, even while I'm working remotely, such as through e-mail and Spark. I very much like the way I am given advice since I'm new.

    Cons

    Their expectations for part-time online writing tutors for Smartthinking are very high and we arn't given enough time to revise student essays.

    Advice to Management

    Give your online tutors more time! I very much would like to improve my work but it seems impossible given the time frame. 30 minutes per essay is not enough.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Account General Manager"

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

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Outstanding peers. Majority of colleagues are passionate and driven.

    Cons

    Management. Across the board. Executives, sales, product, marketing, etc. Many are so far removed from the front lines they don't understand what's needed in the classroom, let alone how to motivate the employees. The communication across the company is the worst I've ever seen. Supposedly they evaluated the K-12 BU back in May and were supposed to announce a decision to reinvest, partner, or sell within 8 weeks. Still waiting on that announcement......... The sales organization is a joke. They haven't done anything innovative in decades. Same old, same old. The industry is changing dramatically, getting more and more competitive. New entrants into the market can make an exceptional product with much less overhead than the 3-4 top publishers. Customers need agile, adaptive vendors who can meet their ever changing needs. Pearson is not it. If you're looking for a long, prosperous career, you'll want to look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to communicate and be transparent with your workforce. Get some true sales training for the sales force. Learn how to build relationships and trust with your customers. Work to understand the customer's needs, not how you can position your product(s). Sales tactics from 2000 don't work. Quit trying to be everything to every customer. Invest in products and services that actually make an impact and meet students needs. Oh, and replace the executive leaders. Until you get leaders who not only have new ideas but can make tough decisions (looking at the failure that is Pearson System of Courses) you'll be stuck in this downward spiral you're on. Good luck.


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