Pearson

www.pearson.com

Pearson Reviews

Updated 29 January 2015
Updated 29 January 2015
910 Reviews
3.1
910 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John Fallon
215 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance can be upset during busy periods but I've experienced worse (in 71 reviews)

  • Telecommute opportunities so you can work from home 1 or 2 days a week (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of transparency between upper management & finance with the feet on the street (in 38 reviews)

  • Nobody leaves (which is probably a "pro" for the company) so there's not much room for advancement (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Wrong Direction? Return to core values.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher Trainer
    Former Employee - Teacher Trainer

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I was happily employed by Pearson in Italy and the UK from September 1979 until 2014 as a writer and teacher trainer for teachers of English as a Foreign Language [EFL] to adults and school students. I promoted publications and provided after-sales support to customers. I led seminars for teachers in Italy and later Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America and Western Europe.. I would normally lead 80 -100 seminars each year for groups of 30 to 2,500 teachers. I was well paid and well managed. I was motivated by my commitment to excellence in language teaching. Pearson had a similar commitment and so I was happy to be a 'public face' for Pearson in more than 50 different countries. Pearson organised and funded my travel to spread the good word to teachers.
    From 2006, Pearson sympathetically supported me through a series of serious illnesses which reduced my ability to travel and adapted my work so that more was done through webinars and online websites. I instigated the creation of an EFL Community website for teachers to discuss aspects of methodology and later started a Professional Development website to support in-service teacher development. The joy of working with Pearson came from my contact with so many talented authors and editors who shared my commitment to the EFL teaching profession.
    Good teaching is not 'just a job', it is a mission. In the words of our ex-CEO, Marjorie Scardino, our role was "to do good, profitably."

    Cons

    In my last few months at Pearson, the commitment to excellence in education seemed to be becoming subsumed by the profit motive. Pearson wanted to acquire 'ownership' of their authors' creative work. Authors' royalty conditions were changed leading to a lot of dissatisfaction. There was also a switch from a belief in human-to-human teaching and learning towards computer-to-human learning. It is true that online learning is increasingly important but the human element cannot be eliminated. Computer software can be a great aid in language practice but computers cannot provide personalised instruction for learners or pastoral support in the learning process.
    I suspect that this change in educational policy is due to the influence of Pearson Tests of English who are promoting a change towards a simplistic 'check-box' approach to learning. This is sometimes described as a "mug and jug" approach in which the learner is an empty mug and the teacher or computer programme holds the jug of learning content and education involves filling the learners' mugs rather than motivating and tending the growth and development of the learners.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Customers, both teachers and learners need products which are effective and promote effective learning. At present, online materials provide valuable controlled practice of new language forms but cannot provide instruction in language forms or skills. If Pearson wishes to continue to be a leading supplier of educational materials, it should invest in research and development of computer-based instructional materials whilst recognising that language issued for human-to-human interaction.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Huge global company with opportunities for career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Big company name with brand recognition
    - Many opportunities to develop career
    - Embracing digital opportunities in publishing, education management
    - Delivers on its 'Always learning' motto as employees have access to training and career development programs
    - Individual colleagues are on the whole wonderful people to work with and not engaged in office politics

    Cons

    - Can be very bureaucratic, not helped by its size
    - Pay is not competitive enough compared to industry peers
    - A lot structural changes following John Fallon's appointment as CEO – while I agree with the general strategy and direction of the company, I think the change could have been managed better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Learn more about how, and when, to communicate change to employees before embarking on global restructuring program
    - Talent management needs to be a lot better if you want to be the best learning company in the world.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Generally good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England

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

    Pros

    Good people
    Good company mission
    Large company so room to move around or get promoted
    Accepting of new ideas
    Good work life balance

    Cons

    Pressure on budgets
    Every year costs are cut and Pearson tries to do more with less people
    Lack of defined career path
    Not as open to training courses as they should be
    Large amounts of changes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more honest about budgets - there's some hypocrisy about everyone having opportunities and room to grow when often it isn't the case
    Senior management should communicate tough decisions more and be more honest

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    A poison chalice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Training Manager in Harlow, England
    Former Employee - Training Manager in Harlow, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are good. Health, Dental, Sharesave and Pension.

    Cons

    Get a toolbox ready for fighting knifing strategies to the back. This is particularly evident the the UK sector.
    You cannot trust anyone.

    It's not matrix environment, its a hierarchy. Mangers will protect themselves. More time is spent constructing dismissal, than listening to customer.

    A career breaking company. Avoid at all costs.

    Young inexperienced Managers being instantly promoted to Vice President Roles as they know how to give the talk, and chase the money not the values and ethos of the company.

    Always a fight for promotion.

    Forget work/life balance...its all work for people who cannot make decisions on hard efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to staff.

    More importantly, listen to the customers. Don't be so blind ignorant because Pearson are 'currently' the market leader.

    Make decisions, and stop putting peoples jobs at risk because you cannot make a decision and finger point people beneath you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Not what it used to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Pearson is trying hard to be at the cutting edge of education technology and innovation. As it puts its reorg behind it, it may again be a really great place to work.

    Cons

    Many who have been there through the whole reorg are tired and dispirited. The old corporate culture is gone and the new one has not taken root. Because the reorg took so long, it has become extraordinarily political and there is a lot of internal competition and empire building. In addition, as others have mentioned, the attempt at creating global strategy has made it much more hierarchical; lost is the sense that a good idea that arises at any level will be given consideration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of your offices and walk around and talk with people. That's what the old AW-BC management did, and it was a real factor in their success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good benefits and work/life balance - Poor pay and progression.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administration in Harlow, England
    Former Employee - Administration in Harlow, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice building and on-site facilities. People nice but very apparent local work-force – effort required to fit in if you’re not from round those parts.
    Benefits are unrivalled, including summer hours; early finish Friday throughout the year; flexible hours; free tea/coffee making facilities; performance & company-based bonus; Sharesave scheme and discounts; generous holiday.
    Good training and communication on company operations.

    Cons

    Pay not at all competitive and it was known among colleagues that pay-rises are rarely considered outside of standard bonuses and inflation increases. Large local employers, therefore lack of movement within this department, resulting in severe lack of progression. When opportunities did arise, often offered to external candidates. While friendly, it is a fairly noisy and distracting work environment but headphones are permitted to dissuade colleagues from sharing their life stories with you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to avoid allowing longer-serving employees to dictate team dynamics based on their fear of change and strength in numbers – encourage quiet ones to speak up.

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

    Good access to work-streams across the organisation. Depts supportive and helpful of work you are involved with.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There is a lot of room to grow here professionally. Different units are doing various projects involving loads of work disciplines so if there is any area you want to specialise, such as BA, PM, HR, IT, digital, publishing, web etc. then you'll find ample opportunities around. Generally I found people are really helpful and eager to know what work you are involved in (once you get to know them). They had an excellent intranet/social media site for staff where you could find out what was going in Pearson anywhere in the world and you could easily get in touch with someone and get advice to information. Good pension scheme.

    Cons

    Things changed for the worse after the CEO left in 2013 and a new leadership team was put in place. whole business units were closed down, although in fairness the company was suffering from the recession and companies better placed digitally. Not many perks outside of the pay packet and pension scheme

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Good company. Good people. Good benefits but not great pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Editor in Harlow, England
    Former Employee - Project Editor in Harlow, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and attitude. Nice offices. Provide training and mentor programmes. Teamwork is important. You must be a team player. Benefits are good, but pay isn't so great.

    Cons

    Varied leadership approach. Offices are not easy for everyone to get to. Benefits are good, but pay isn't brilliant - based on being outside London.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Family culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pearson is a fantastic friendly paternalistic company, which looks after it's people. It was quite different in each part of the business in terms of culture, but that is changing with a new CEO trying to encourage 'one pearson'. The employee benefits and share save scheme are extremely competitive, and make it hard to leave. Very flexible and great work/life balance.

    Cons

    The siloed parts of the business and occasional internal politics. Also the internal systems and processes are often very behind the times. Salaries not very competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better communication cascade of key messages, quicker change decisions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Corporate hell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Product Manager in London, England

    I worked at Pearson full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Being able to leave that terrible place by 4pm everyday and having 30 days leave every year are about the only positives I can draw from working there for 5 years.

    Cons

    This is an extremely corporate environment where only the most cut-throat of people can climb the ladder. The pay is poor, especially for London and there is very little chance of pay increases to match your experience in any given role. The higher powers have no interest in meeting anyone below them and constant "restructures" are unsettling.
    The constantly changing education market is also frustrating to work within as the metaphorical goal-posts are constantly shifting. Lots and lots of red tape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer some sort of system where you can progress through levels within your role that will help you move up the corporate ladder.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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