University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Reviews

Updated February 16, 2017
1,055 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.3
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise
Phyllis Wise
254 Ratings

1,055 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • You will be living in a small town which is a center of nowhere (in 31 reviews)

  • Far from big city, no international airport (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to be a graduate student if you can find a good fit with a field of study and advisor."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are a graduate research assistant in a field where the University is well-respected (EE like me, or others), you will probably have a chance to work on some of the latest technology and most important problems in your field. This is exciting and also prepares you well for your next "real job." Particularly in engineering, the University is respected by employers across the country who have hired proficient graduates in the past. I enjoy the setting, small city with some nice cultural offerings, good transit, good proximity to bigger places, nice downtown area, but affordable cost of living.

    Cons

    If you are looking to live in either a small-town or big-city setting, you will be disappointed as Urbana-Champaign is in between. Upper management is doing ok at steering the University in the direction it needs to go and is certainly keeping it compettitive with other U.S. public as well as private institutions, but sometimes there are some boneheaded people at middle management level. The University is huge enough that as a graduate student here, these are the people who will impact your day-to-day existence, and I have encountered a few who have come into power to run a laboratory and have made things much worse for the users and generally done some stupid things that most everyone else finds frustrating. Since the economic incentives to serve the user/customer and be fiscally responsible are diluted here compared to the private sector, and with the tenure system and certain cultural things here, accountability is low and sometimes it takes quite an effort for these people to be removed. Also, as a graduate student, much definitely depends on what kind of advisor you have. Probably more than anything else.

    Advice to Management

    Global Campus was obviously a non-starter, with only 120 students enrolled today. Do a little more research into the market as well as best practices before blowing a big wad of money trying to best University of Phoenix at what they have been doing for a much longer time. Also, stop trying to be the Club Med when it comes to student ammenities and building architecture and spend a greater portion of the money instead on serving education.


  2. "Being a graduate research assistant at the UIUC will open doors to new opportunities for the rest of your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant In the College of Engineering in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant In the College of Engineering in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Let me be clear, I am a graduate research assistant at the University in the department of Mechanical Engineering. The best reason to work (and go to school) at UIUC is to astronomically develop your professional career without having to pay for it. The compensation is not large- it may be difficult to swallow for someone already in the workforce, but the exposure to the people and projects that will shape the future will be incredible experience for the rest of your career.

    Cons

    The hours that a research assistant must put in do not match the compensation if you only consider the pay. You must also consider that tuition is paid, and having a graduate degree will vastly improve your pay scale and opportunities for the rest of your life. There can sometimes be a lack of direction and recognition for work, which is an intrinsic issue of conducting research. Often a new discovery that you've spent many hours on turns out to be not actually useful, or may not work at all. The plus side here is that you are not penalized for this. It's the nature of the business!

    Advice to Management

    The University is currently doing a very respectable job of funding the Engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


  3. "Not the best review to read"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Undergrad Researcher in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Undergrad Researcher in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Champaign is a good place to live. It is a great campus town.

    The University is a fantastic research institution. If you are in interested in working in Engineering or related fields, this is definitely one of the best places you could work. The buildings are stunning, as is the work. Other departments are also good, but are not always as well funded.

    The University has a great college atmosphere, one of the best places to study. It has that special mix of geniuses of our time as well as your average person as it is a state school. You must visit if you're interested.

    Cons

    Champaign is a very small town. If you aren't a student, there isn't much to do.

    Advice to Management

    This question is not really applicable to a student researcher.


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  5. "Was a Grad Student"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Facilities were excellent.
    Professors were good.
    Low cost of living makes the graduate student slave wages not seem that bad. Can live pretty comfortably.

    Cons

    It is in the middle of cornfields without much of a nightlife. Typical midwestern college town. Cold in the winter, hot in the summer, the best of both worlds.

    Advice to Management

    Give graduate students better health care. Do not attempt to play games with fellowship money in terms of how much extra a student gets paid on money they have earned through their work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to have Ph.D Program"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great engineering School and great research facilities. Best environment to study and do research for Ph.D. Professors and students are brilliant.

    Cons

    Only thing I have to complain is it is a university town and travel isn't as convenient as Chicago. So if you are frequent traveller, it is the downside of living Urbana

    Advice to Management

    Wonderful engineering school for graduate students. Career service also is very comprehensive and helpful. One of the best library in the world.


  7. "Easy job, fair pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - EWS Lab Consultant in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - EWS Lab Consultant in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The job does not require much work and its very relaxed. Pay is minimum at first but getting raises is not difficult and the raises are nice. Also you are independent with no one watching you.

    Cons

    I can't really think of any. Conflicts with school schedule sometimes, but since you are allowed to sub any shift you want as long as you give notice and you sign up for your own schedule, it's really not bothersome.

    Advice to Management

    The evaluation scheme needs to be better. There are only two a semester which one could easily mess up on one eval and not get the raise he/she deserves.


  8. "UIUC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Urbana, IL
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    excellent place to work, smart people to work with, very good centers to collaborate with in different projects, leading edge research...

    Cons

    urbana is a small town, no hills or ocean near by, even though the school is amazing the people in town are somewhat ignorant, weather (winter time)

    Advice to Management

    spend more money to bring more high level professors and researchers, advertise the school better to attract better students, don't get political


  9. "Wonderful solution to tough economic times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Extra Help Professional in Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - Extra Help Professional in Champaign, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent work environment, friendly staff

    Cons

    Hourly Salary is not sufficient

    Advice to Management

    Excellent job


  10. "A very good University"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Champaign, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are a lot of interesting research projects you can choose and there are many top researchers in the campus, you can easily find some experts in your area to work together,

    Cons

    You can have the great chance to work with top researchers, especially in engineering. And the life in the small town is very convenient.

    Advice to Management

    I hope the leader of the University will figure out how to get rid of the financial crisis which we are facing.


  11. "Fantastic College Job--CITES OnSite Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CITES OnSite Consultant in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - CITES OnSite Consultant in Urbana, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You make your own hours, thats the biggest thing. You address support tickets on your own time, so you can make it work around your class schedule. Your work is rewarded with 3 awards given out at each semester as well as wage raises. I have recieved over a $1.00 raise each semester I have worked here.

    Also, once you prove yourself, you are given a unit assignment when you work with a particular department of the university on a regular basis. Unit assignments differ, but they offer fantastic experience as a systems administrator. I work at my unit assignment 12 hours a week and it is a dream job for a college student.

    Cons

    There are bi-weekly meetings you have to attend which are largely pointless, but you get paid for attending so its not all bad.

    Advice to Management

    I don't really have much in the way of advice, expect maybe that those meetings are mentioned are pretty pointless.



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