Pearson Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated 1 July, 2014
Updated 1 July, 2014
792 Reviews
3.2
792 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
162 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Usually a great work-life balance if you're in Production or Media (in 60 reviews)

  • Almost all of my colleagues with families work from home twice a week (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of transparency between upper management & finance with the feet on the street (in 32 reviews)

  • IT development teams and operations tend to work long hours (in 25 reviews)

More Highlights

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Editor  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Editor in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible hours and the opportunity to work from home.

    Cons

    The higher ups clearly do not value non-executive employees. Pay in San Francisco is far below the average. After Pearson, I got hired by a non-profit at the same title and am making a full 50% more than I did at Pearson. The low pay underlines the attitude of the execs: They seem to think their employees have no better options, and will just sit there and take the crummy pay and mismanagement. Turns out I didn't have to!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can't be a competitive company if you don't offer competitive pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Promotion based on seniority not merit but if you just want a job it's got good benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Project Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Production Project Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Usually a great work-life balance if you're in Production or Media. Fantastic vacation and sick-leave policy (at least in California!). Doing really innovative work in the areas of education efficacy in media and course management.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy at it's best. Entrenched middle management that are extremely fearful of change. Also, extremely slow moving. It is a huge organization, and very hard to get inefficient or out-dated procedures changed beyond sub-departments.

    A new workflow rolled out that was only half-baked. Training programs provided by the team in charge of the workflow have been unclear, and across departments and business units everyone has a different idea of what the new roles entail.

    Editors and Directors of Editorial Development in the Sciences show a seriously deficiency in the understanding of the paradigm shift from textbook publishers (linear, top-down, paper-based, bulk production products) to educational information publishers (non-linear, iterative, multi-format, customized products).

    No options for career growth.

    No connection between continuing value provided to the company and salary increases or meaningful rewards or recognition.

    I used to be really happy at Pearson. But I left because of everything mentioned above that snowballed over years that I was there, I left. And when people have asked me about working there I have said go for it, just know what you're getting into.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To get, and more importantly maintain, top talent in the Bay Area you have to offer competitive, living wages. Maintaining top talent is tremendously important. You don't want to invest in training and then lose that person to Google, Facebook, or the next edu tech start-up. Which is what has been happening the last 3 years, and will continue to happen.

    Money's not the whole story. Enough with the top-down messaging. Work to empower your employees. Have clear incentives between quality of work produced and meaningful rewards. Hire managers that are brave enough to hire people that know more than them––and then listen to them. As David Ogilvy said "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."

    Provide quality training. You can't expect your technology uneducated and fearful staff to provide cutting-edge educational products.

    Don't be afraid to fire people who's bad attitude or poor quality of work are holding a team, company, or department, back.

    Be brave, imaginative, and decent. Live up to the stated Culture of Pearson.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall positive review of company, but some divisions left behind

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Editorial Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Editorial Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great mission overall, to improve the lives of learners worldwide through innovative products; top-level management really does seem to believe that message; good opportunities for advancement if you're self-motivated and dedicated; really smart, great people on staff; salary better than usual in book publishing world

    Cons

    Although the long-term mission is a good one, I'm pessimistic about whether they'll actually achieve it; the change from a print publishing company to an all-format education company is a tough one, especially with so many things changing in the publishing world. My division is somewhat tangential to Pearson's main enterprises, so it just gathers dust, trying desperately to stay alive, reacting wildly to each new business trend, dragging its increasingly demoralized staff along with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take account of all divisions in reorgs, make sure everyone is along for the ride.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Must love publishing, and be willing to work for cheap.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you're passionate about publishing, this is a good place to be. However, the pay is very low and the way to move up is to either work longer hours with no extra pay, or to become a sales rep and move. If you have no interest in being a textbook sales rep, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to you. But, if it's more important to you to have a good work-life balance and time off, this is a great place to be! They have summer hours from Memorial day to Labor Day where you can work extra hours in the day Mon-Thurs to have a half day on Friday. There are plenty of days off and for the most part, everyone in the building is a job to work with!

    Cons

    As I've mentioned before, the pay is below adequate. And there is no clear path for growth or development. On the editorial team there is a clear direction for how to move up. Marketing does not have this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management never thinks about the little people in the company. They're all too worried about how much money they will make. The new policy has been, when someone leaves, to not replace them. With this model, the people who hurt are the lowest men and women on the totem pole. They end up doing multiple jobs for the same amount of pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    A steady and sharp decline from the onset.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Editor  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate Editor in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It's the biggest publishing house in the world, and comes with many standard corporate perks: 401k, paid time off, sick leave, desks and the internet.

    Cons

    Layoffs, frequent infrastructure changes, lack of upward mobility, poor pay, outdated software, misplaced management, no transparency.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create transparency in hiring process, restructure bonuses to reflect the work of individual teams, look at impact of infrastructure changes, take a closer look at HR bullying tactics and sexual harassment within middle management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great springboard, but look elsewhere for a real career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Editor  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Project Editor in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people are fantastic: dedicated, smart, and relatively low drama. You are working in an industry that matters, for a company that cares deeply about quality content.

    Cons

    The pay is terrible, opportunities for advancement are limited, and the new initiatives they have begun to roll out are harmful to employee growth potential within the company (though an excellent springboard to finding more lucrative employment elsewhere) and are pushing the company in the direction of being more corporate and cookie-cutter process driven.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None, really. Management is running a profitable shop. Employees will leave and find better-paying and more creatively rewarding jobs and management does not care, so everyone is happy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Print to digital transition at a glacial pace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Pearson as a contractor

    Pros

    - looks great on a resume
    - expertise in many areas of education
    - well-respected publisher

    Cons

    - leadership consistently makes uninformed decisions
    - SME's are given free reign, outside of their expertise
    - upper management has no concept of how technology works
    - cross-functional communication is frowned upon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower the people who are doing the work. You will get nowhere without them.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    The leader in educational publishing, but doesn't seem to be moving fast enough in today's world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Editor  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Pretty lax on vacation
    Great products, especially compared to competition
    If you seek out good mentors, you can find them
    Industry leader

    Cons

    Too big...decisions take a very long time
    Slow to move from analog to digital, although trying
    No office "perks"
    Low Pay, or perhaps pay division (my direct reports made pennies and I felt horrible about it)
    I was promoted relatively fast, but many in my division went 3-4 years with no promotion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the sales force
    Increase salaries
    don't make it so hard to get promoted
    Hire more women in mgmt roles

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Mind numbing tedium

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graphic Artist  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Graphic Artist in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Pearson as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Only plus is working at home

    Cons

    Terribly disorganized
    forced to create graphics at a breakneck pace
    Any semblance of quality or value in the art work is brutally discouraged as it raises the bar for the brand and costs them money so you are held to a very low denominator of creating poor quality clip art for the K-12 material.
    It is a hectic rush with numerous and varied lead artist giving you conflicting direction and harried producers pushing you to work longer hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider becoming a provider of QUALITY educational resources not the low grade cheap material that is the driving style now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Big company with lots of potential opportunity if you work 60-90 hours of week.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Publisher's Representative  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Publisher's Representative in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Big company with lots of potential opportunity if you work 60-90 hours of week but watch out your social life may suffer. You have the opportunity to become an editor or marketing manager in a couple of years. Great international opportunity if your with the company 6-10 years.

    Cons

    Pay is low. When i have asked for a raise they questioned if I really value my job. I haven't had a raise more than 2K in 5 years. They say it's because of the economy even when my sales have been increasing each year. The workaholic lifestyle is encouraged. I am required to work Monday-Sunday.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They have recently laid off a lot of "senior" reps in order to get cheaper younger labor. Sad that such a big company has to stoop so low as to lay off people that have been with the company 15+ years. But i guess all of corporate America is following that trend.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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