edX Reviews | Glassdoor

edX Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
21 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.2
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Anant Agarwal
12 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. Helpful (13)

    "Overall Good Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Non-profit organization with mission that employees really believe in (although this might be changing - see cons)
    - It's easy to believe in the power of the product
    - Talented, friendly coworkers
    - Great MIT benefits
    - Convenient Kendall Square location
    - Free lunch every day

    Cons

    - Some disorganization and miscommunication between teams
    - A few processes are WAY more manual than they should be for a company of this size
    - Shift to focusing on sustainability, meaning the original mission is becoming a bit clouded
    - Advancement path was unclear for my particular role

    Advice to Management

    Don't sugarcoat the fact that edX needs to start earning revenue. Employees need to understand that the mission is still important but that there are certain things that need to change in order for edX to be sustainable.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Software engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hour, good benefits, free lunch, snacks, 401k match, social events. You will receive MIT employee benefits. That is all.

    Cons

    Stagnant career advancement, poor project management as product owner and scrum master have to share project management hat. Leadership team can't execute well and fast. Culture is below average.

    Advice to Management

    Care more about all employees and listen to their voice. Not just throwing money for culture labs. Continuous feedback is a waste of time and money.


  3. Helpful (9)

    "Do not expect honest feedback on your work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at edX full-time

    Pros

    Free lunch and good benefits!

    Cons

    When I started working there i thought this one of the most awesome places to work. Good benefits package, free lunch every day, cool offices....but that was about it. After a while you need more than free lunch....you need real feedback for your work, you need honest people, you need your work to be appreciated (or not if you're not doing well) but you definitely look for an honest opinion/response.
    I would hear almost every day "you're doing an awesome work" for almost a year, and then when it comes to performance evaluation, or to being promoted...all different kinds of complaints, "faults" come up. This didn't happen only to me...these is the reason why many people are leaving. The feedback you get throughout the year is FAKE! You're never "helped" or "pushed in the right way" to do better. While you keep busting your butt and think you're doing your best...your manager/supervisor may change her/his mind as she/he pleases regarding you performance. Promotion is not encouraged at all. Very disappointing...

    Advice to Management

    BE HONEST WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES! You'll end up with a bunch of unambitious group of people who won't care much about what they do, except spending the 8 hours in the office and getting paid for that.

    edX Response

    Feb 6, 2017 – Head of Talent Acquisition

    edX is about to embark on a new era of Feedback...both giving and receiving. This is a big cultural move for us and it will be systemic. We believe that this will directly impact the flow of honest ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Madman at the Helm"

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

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

    Pros

    Noble goals; good food

    Cons

    Never go work for someone who has lifelong tenure at the school which game him $30m to spend. Absent a few good souls, pathetically mismanaged by mindless sycophants, SaaS product clones with no experience in education, and unbridled intolerant software engineers who earnestly write clayton christenson quotes on the glass walls in conference rooms. And these are not ever the faculty.

    Advice to Management

    Dump the dead wood and drama queens


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Evolving nicely!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Operations in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I think that the people who choose edX understand that there is something special about trying to revolutionize the education space. Very few Boston based companies have a blend of startup buzz and meaningful societal impact so many people seem to be attracted to edX for this reason. There is no "Sales Floor" here so it doesn't feel like the (SaaS & eComm) startups which seem to dominate Boston/Cambridge, but there is still energy and a clear dedication to excellence across the various teams. We're working in a domain that is early in its evolution (quality online ed-technology) so there are many things to consider from features for the site to our organizational make-up. It is a dynamic atmosphere that leaves a lot up to you to decide.

    Cons

    edX seems to be a great place for self starters who are willing and interested to try new things. This isn't a "Con" as much as it is a reality here. If you have a good idea and you want to make it happen, you'll get the support you need if you can qualify your end goals. It operates like a startup, but its not management's first rodeo. edX is about to hit mid-stage and as anyone in the startup scene knows, cultures continually change in these early years. The company is on the right path and is managing the tough job of maintaining the mission component with sustainability.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the culture & relationship building and increase the recognition of good work. Empowerment and validation will go a long way.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Lots of promise(s), little follow-through"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    It can be an inspiring place to work at, with a great mission and lots of interesting ideas and projects flying around.

    Cons

    Management and clients have lots of grand ideas about what should happen in the education industry in general, and many of those ideas had rough implementations thrown together in order to get into the next headline and claim market dominance. Unfortunately, those rough implementations often had very little follow through once the headline was achieved, which left the organization with a lot of expectations in a very short amount of time and little ability to meet those expectations. Even worse, there are legacy implementations of many good ideas that the organization has to maintain in order to support early adopters, meaning that it has a more complicated political maneuvering space for any innovations that it wants to attempt in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Find a focus and stick to it. Take a risk and be honest about the fact that you are making a bet, rather than hedging everything so much that nothing actually happens. Showing leadership sometimes means saying no to good ideas because you need to invest in a better idea. As it stands, I think edX as an organization might be doomed to be a relic of a successful publicity stunt.


  8. Helpful (19)

    "Misled, mismanaged"

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

    Pros

    The best thing about edX is their employees. Many of them took pay cuts from other positions in order to work at a non-profit where they would be able to further the cause of education for the world. The benefits are also excellent. I was thrilled to be working on a project that was open-source and interacting positively with educators and students.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, there is a pervasive cultural divide between senior management and the employees. I believe the senior management was responding to pressure from the board, but the outcome was that there was constant discussion about "sustainability", which is an unnecessary euphemism for "profit". The executive management believed that the employees wouldn't tolerate working on things that would make edX make money. I don't know if that was true about anyone (it wasn't true about me), but the real problem is how they dealt with it: they *lied*.

    edX's mission is to "increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere", but employees at edX aren't allowed to work on projects that would increase access for people that have slow or unreliable internet connections. We were constantly pushed to work on projects at the behest of large corporate or government donors.

    At the same time, the employees aren't valued and the organization is inefficient and misdirected. When employees reported dissatisfaction with their jobs in a review last year, the management responded in an unbelievably corporate way: they created a committee.

    The committee reported its findings to Wendy Cebula (the COO and President). When she was told that employees felt that employee retention was not a priority to executive management she said, "they're right. When someone leaves edX, I see it as an opportunity to get an A-player in here."

    The tragedy is that many of edX's employees are talented people who really do care about the stated mission and have made personal sacrifices to be there. My sincerest wish is that the organization is put under more sincere management and edX can have the impact that we hope for.

    If you (as edX's president) feel that you have to hit some deadline for a donor, how about just saying that instead of couching it in a fantasy about helping the world by starting with the people that (frankly) don't really need the help?

    Advice to Management

    Be honest. Really tell the employees and the world what you are working toward and why. Sure, some of them may lose their motivation and may leave, but honestly the organization would be better off with people that can be passionate about the work they are actually doing instead of dozens of people wandering about in a state of cognitive dissonance.

    edX Response

    Apr 21, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your feedback. While we are disappointed to read that this was your experience at edX, we are grateful for your feedback and take this commentary very seriously. If you have any ... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Mission focused, with great people and interesting work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Mission focused organization: the management truly believe in bringing high quality education to everyone, everywhere. This is definitely different than the corporate world.
    - Great people: the interview process took a while, with lots of rounds. I can see why: they focus on getting great people that fit into the organization
    - Interesting work: the job requires constant learning, and there is no lack of opportunity to get involved in new projects and learn more about the industry
    - Culture: friendly, helpful people at all levels. Anyone is willing to lend you a hand.
    - Free lunch and snacks

    Cons

    Lack of clear performance management and people development practices. There are plenty of opportunities for this, but it will vary based off who your manager is. This is probably due to how young the company is (e.g. still ironing out the details, and the fact that your next role in the company may not even exist yet).

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, and try to maintain the culture even as the organization expands.


  10. "Best place I worked at"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Good benefits
    - Good location
    - Very friendly and mostly caring people
    - Low stress environment
    - Dynamic - as Agile as it gets from my experience
    - Opportunity for development through various work groups, online and offline learning, conferences, talks, etc.

    Cons

    - Executives don't always follow through.
    - Grand vision from senior management with modest follow up and execution
    - Career growth and promotion opportunities are limited
    - At times there is a bit of chaos and lack of coordination between teams.

    Advice to Management

    You have a really awesome crew of people working for you - you need to take them seriously and invest into them.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Recommended"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at edX full-time

    Pros

    Interesting mix of technology and higher ed. There was high-ish turnover in recent years but a lot has changed, I've heard. Benefits are great. You get hired as an MIT employee. Competitive pay and great atmosphere in professional services org.

    Non-profit and mission-oriented. Culture is fun and employees want to be there. Lots of professional development opportunities. HR brings in speakers, promotes fun activities, and makes an effort to check the pulse of the company. Oh ya, and lunch is awesome!

    Cons

    Only cons I can think of are mainly start-up pains. There's some overlap in roles and responsibilities that haven't been shaken out yet.

    Advice to Management

    Congrats on the successful new programs! (MicroMasters) Continue the culture and empathy building. And keep improving the platform so as to compete with Coursera. Never get complacent.


Showing 21 of 23 reviews
Reset Filters