Penn State University Reviews in State College, PA | Glassdoor

Penn State University State College Reviews

Updated October 10, 2017
575 reviews

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State College, PA Area

4.1
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Eric J. Barron
108 Ratings

575 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Small town; life might be boring (in 37 reviews)

  • State College is located in the middle of nowhere (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Tech Tutor - Work Study"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tech Tutor in State College, PA
    Former Employee - Tech Tutor in State College, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Penn State University (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent - flexible and opportunities to grow and learn

    Cons

    nothing that I can think of.


  2. "Good Employer in a Nice and Small Town"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in State College, PA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in State College, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, Good facilities, Salary is Ok. The place is really good.

    Cons

    Small town, sometimes boring.

  3. "Bioinformatics Programmer Internship Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Intern - Bioinformatics Programmer in State College, PA
    Former Intern - Bioinformatics Programmer in State College, PA
    Recommends

    I worked at Penn State University as an intern

    Pros

    I was able to work remotely.

    Cons

    Being that is was a remote internship, there was sometimes a
    lack of communication between my supervisor and myself.


  4. "Teaching Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in State College, PA
    Current Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in State College, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penn State University part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Place to live and study

    Cons

    Busy, full of works every week


  5. "Graduate Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in University Park, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in University Park, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penn State University part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Health insurance and tuition is covered
    Flexible timings

    Cons

    Varies from department to department


  6. "Penn State University Applied Research Lab (ARL)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Researcher in University Park, PA
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Researcher in University Park, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penn State University part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Extremely smart and talented staff, abundant opportunity to work on different projects, ability to move around departments easily, laid back approach to R&D while still meeting or exceeding project goals, not overbearing or "over your shoulder" with supervision of your projects

    Cons

    Feels like you're on your own once you're hired, have to learn the ins and outs of the lab by seeking somebody out to ask them, lots of bureaucracy since you're dealing with public and university money and contracts from clients

    Advice to Management

    Take the burden of bureaucracy off of the research engineers and handle it in HR or management - much more will get done in the same amount of time. Give new hires more guidance during their first week - it took me far too long to acclimate and become productive


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good research, bad culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in State College, PA
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in State College, PA

    I worked at Penn State University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful area, high quality research. High camaraderie among graduate students and other positive and supportive environment.

    Cons

    Penn state at large is frighteningly cultish and willing to look over immoral behavior (although I'm sure other large football schools suffer this problem).
    Computing cluster management is a disaster. One is better off running simulations on Amazon or Google or their own computer for a larger price than deal with ICS.
    Poor undergraduate instruction in physics -- mostly organizational style.
    Mediocre to handling of graduate student grievances.
    Particular faculty have far inappropriately large weight when it comes to graduate student applications.
    Loudest voices among faculty appear to be the only ones heard, while not enough attention paid to the opinions of humbler and/or quieter but equally (if not more) qualified faculty.

  8. "Student Services Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Services Associate in University Park, PA
    Current Employee - Student Services Associate in University Park, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, professional development plan, atmosphere

    Cons

    Staff salary for staff w/Master's degrees


  9. "Penn State University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in State College, PA
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in State College, PA

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    most departments have great work/life balance. very generous time off.

    Cons

    administration seems to think that COL here is very low and pays far less than market because of this. COL is not low. housing and gas are very costly here. your dollar won't go as far as you think it will considering that this is a town with basically no services.

    Advice to Management

    culture is hosed here. we need management consultants in every unit to get rid of the decades of chum allowed to accumulate under spanier. pres barron is doing a great job to change some things, but culture is still hosed which kills morale in units where people care and want to make a difference.


  10. "Graduate Student in Life Sciences"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in University Park, PA
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in University Park, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Penn State University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The university has great technical facilities and opportunities for experience in research, knowledgeable faculty, and good courses. Extensive career fair twice a year is the best for employment opportunities.

    Cons

    Very little diversity and no formal professional development instruction for graduate students. Compared to other departments there is practically no overlap or collaboration with industry. Little accountability for poor/absent mentorship. Early career faculty don't get enough support or funding, and late career faculty can hold outdated technological knowledge.

    Advice to Management

    Develop graduate students for realistic professions, very few will obtain jobs in academia, so why is there no preparation for industry/alternative jobs? Improve collaboration within departments and get more faculty involved in developing the graduate program. Support your new faculty more and encourage older faculty to stay up to date with the field.


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