Stanford University Reviews | Glassdoor

Stanford University Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
1,596 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.2
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Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Marc Tessier-Lavigne
56 Ratings

1,596 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Salaries are low relative to the cost of living (in 90 reviews)

  • Work/life balance and competence of leadership varies greatly by department (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great workplace in the valley!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    1. Flexible work schedule. Telecommute is very common on campus and is encouraged in many departments because of limited parking spaces on campus. Stanford pays you $200 each year for not driving. Why drive?

    2. Great workout facilities. The campus has gyms, pools, tennis court, any facilities you can think of - all free for staff, faculty and students. You can take exercise classes for $20/quarter. Take a health survey, you'll get $150.

    3. Descent salary. Stanford offers 4 weeks vacation, 3 days of Paid-Time-Off, and 1 floating holiday each year. We dont get bonus, but the benefits in general are pretty nice.

    Cons

    Stanford has limited parking spaces. Guests often cannot find parking. Thats why Stanford pays for employees' caltrain pass.
    Working with too many smart people. Everyone at Stanford is so smart. Sometimes it's depressing to see what others have achieved.

    Advice to Management

    Salary Increase! how about 20% this year?


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great quality of life, supportive and enthusiastic management, but paternalistic administration."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great quality of life, terrific opportunities to engage with the best and the brightest. There's a strong sense of community here. Plus, it's pretty recession-proof. There are no shareholders to please. Working in education makes me feel good about my job. The university pays for commuter options, while other benefits are generous. I can work from home, too. My immediate manager is awesome.

    Cons

    The university administration is somewhat paternalistic and guarded, seemingly too mindful of their image. Leaders in information technology can be too insular, and there's little outreach, education and communication between IT Services and campus community. The university's commitment to IT security seems spotty.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what improving what we have here and now, let's nourish our current investments and empower end users to make sound decisions.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "great place to learn and work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Leader in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Group Leader in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Ideal environment for research and development. Interesting projects. Employer contributes up to 10% to retirement savings. Education opportinities and financial support (up to $18000/year for dependent's tuition).

    Cons

    Compensation is not as high as in the industry. No stock options.

    Advice to Management

    There is always room for improvement.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Hard to find a more stimulating work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Professor in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - Professor in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse group of extraordinary colleagues and students. So much knowledge and information right at your fingertips. Creative energy everywhere, especially thanks to all the efforts to build cross-functional and interdisciplinary research and teaching connections throughout the University. I do truly feel proud to be a faculty member at Stanford.

    Cons

    Like all organizations, it can be bureaucratic and slow, which is very much at odds with surrounding Silicon Valley.

    Advice to Management

    Continue with the efforts to break down the silos and all the free exchange of ideas to flow through the University, allowing more creative collaboration.


  6. "Stanford provides an environment that allows one to achieve great things if they work hard."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stanford is a very rewarding place to work as a postdoctoral scholar because you are surrounded by many very bright and sometimes enthusiastic colleagues. Stanford has amazing resources available in terms of equipment and expertise, so you should never be limited in what you would like to pursue by have lack of access. Stanford's School of Medicine Career Center is very helpful and sponsors many interesting career-related forums, career fairs with local employers, etc..., thus providing many opportunities to learn about opportunities and to network. The main University career center is also quite useful and offers 15 minute same day or 45 minute scheduled career advising sessions.

    Cons

    Little opportunity to stay on as a Stanford employee following postdoctoral training.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the best interests of the postdocs at heart.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Stanford - The best place on earth!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Acquisitions Specialist in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Acquisitions Specialist in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    When I began working at Stanford University, I was the youngest in my department. The majority of employees I worked with had been there for 10, 15, 20, 30, 35... years! Once you begin working at Stanford you realize, "This is a place where I want to stay forever!"

    Cons

    The one and only reason why I left Stanford after 5 years - the pay. However, if I were married and had a spouse to help out with half the bills, I could overlook the pay because working there is truly wonderful. The good far out weighs the bad. Of course, if you are single, you may not afford the cost of living in the Bay Area.

    However, that is why I left the University! I plan to make and save all my money now, so that one day I can return to the University and not worry about finances. Yes, I may not be there now, but I do plan to spend my last 15-20 years of work at Stanford University.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management is fine. Management is highly regulated in general. Employees are always treated fairly, and it is one of the few places where you may work to which the employees are more empowered than the management. Now, if you are a senior manager, it's still a great place to work, because your actions just need to align with policy.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Autonomous collaboration and inspiring environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, great environment, short walk to work and coworkers that inspire me to excellence. The salary that I forgo to work as a research assistant is more than five times what I am paid. The lost salary is more than made up for by external factors such as subsidized housing in one the the greatest places on earth and the above mentioned environmental factors. My daughter has no concept of parents who work (even by professional standards) since we breakup our days to accommodate her and our work schedules. The compensation package that one would need to offer me to leave is likely far more than anyone would offer, indicative of the value I place on the living environment opposed to monetary compensation.

    Cons

    One day I likely must leave and return to a corporation. By then I may have forgotten the skills of corporate gladiatorial combat.

    Advice to Management

    There is management here? I thought I was working in autonomous collaboration.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Spend some time at Stanford if you have the chance to do so."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    In an academic job at Stanford you work with, or for, the best minds in the world. The potential for personal and professional development is almost limitless. This is straightforward: Stanford is indeed all it's made out to be.

    Cons

    The competition is fierce. Sometimes this can be a little dehumanizing, but my experience is that it's better here than at, say, MIT.

    Advice to Management

    Not applicable.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to study and work. To live? Maybe, if you can afford."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A great place to work and study. People in the university are friendly, laid back, yet still very efficient in doing their jobs. It offers a world-class scientific environment. A lot of great seminars by top researchers in the field are offered each quarter. It is a very safe place, both within the campus and in the surrounding area. The weather is always nice. There are a lot of great cafeterias on campus and nearby.

    Cons

    Things are really expensive here. The cafeterias are nice but not cheap for students. Housing is unacceptably expensive, both on- and off-campus. When both food and housing are expensive, a graduate student with a limited stipend can have a hard time making ends meet. In general, it is a place for rich people. Living as a poor graduate student here is sometimes miserable.

    Advice to Management

    Try to reduce the university housing rate, please?


  11. "Stanford is a place to start your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Stanford, CA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility, name recognition for future employment.

    Cons

    Location, it is expensive to live here.

    Advice to Management

    To some individuals, to take the appropriate amount of time to mentor students. Others do this quite well.


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