MITRE Reviews

Updated 10 September 2014
Updated 10 September 2014
433 Reviews
3.4
433 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
314 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • people pretty much respect your schedule and are supportive of work life balance (in 122 reviews)

  • Good Benefits; however, not as good as they were 25 years ago (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-Life balance has deteriorated as well as benefits (in 12 reviews)

  • Some upper management seems to talk out both sides of their mouth -- dishonest and hypocritical (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Old fashioned values, mobility for smart people.

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

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

    Pros

    If you're willing to adapt, learn, and be proactive, there's no limit to how far you can go at MITRE. The benefits are great, although salaries are maybe a little lower than industry average. If you're good at what you do, MITRE will provide you with a stable job until you retire. And if you don't like what you're doing, there are plenty of opportunities to make lateral moves within the company.

    Cons

    With all the stability, things can feel stagnant sometimes. Some employees (but far from all of them) have a "government job" mindset: they clock their hours and go home, and work at an average pace while they're there. Others are passionate, dedicated and hardworking. It depends on what department you end up in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shake things up a little. Get the corporate culture more used to things like working form home, truly flexible hours, etc. Recruit some fresh and younger people, and see where that takes you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    A company headed in the wrong direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Bedford, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA (US)

    I have been working at MITRE full-time

    Pros

    Generally your peers will be well educated and the work schedule is extremely flexible. If you are a SME and looking for a company to stick with comfortably until retirement then MITRE would be a good fit. Older employees have ample opportunity to either carve out a niche or build their own work programs with a variety of different sponsors. Their education reimbursement programs are good and until recently the retirement program was top notch. Workers are fairly secure in their jobs, and turnover remains in the single digits.

    Cons

    The company has an abysmal track record keeping its best and brightest unless those individuals are happy in their project space, leading to 30-50% year-to-year turnover in fields considered up-and-coming in the market. The company claims it would like to move away from its average age of 50+, but in the same sentence says it is not willing to pay industry average in that experience range. If you are not exactly aware of how the salary increases are structured you can easily end up receiving below inflation raises regardless of the level of work produced, and it will never be corrected unless you leave the company.

    If you have the misfortune of ending up in an inexperienced department, it can hurt your ability to land relevant work and get promoted. This in effect creates pockets of pronounced backstabbing and favoritism that fall completely in opposition to what the company stands for. The lack of 360 reviews means many of these problems will never see the light of day.

    As many others have said, a good number of managers are placed there with only technical experience under their belt and have no idea how to actually manage a group of peers. Instead they tend to divert back to primarily project work, do the bare minimum in work shaping, development, and assessment meetings and hope that flies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having sham "town hall" meetings are not enough to address the employee surveys that have become worse and worse every year. If the company is actually headed in the right direction, then benefits removed under the guise of increasing medical costs should be brought back. Upper management bloat should have been dealt with by downsizing instead of using The MITRE Way to duplicate every role and further exacerbating the problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    mixed bag, great technical work but self-impressed upper management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer

    I have been working at MITRE full-time

    Pros

    great opportunities to support creative/inventive projects.

    Cons

    too many small minds controlling big projects. little or no authority for the technical contributor or technical leader. Expect to be furloughed when congress can't sign the budget. corporate values are eroding, people aren't the most important assets important anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop whittling down benefits and figure out how to keep from furloughing workers when the federal budget is again made into a political football.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Very good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer  in  Quantico, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer in Quantico, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    - Many interesting projects
    - Good salary
    - Life-work balance really works
    - Very smart people

    Cons

    - Sometimes positions are based on you military history
    - More focus on research is needed and not just say what the customer wants to hear

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Keep an eye on what the sites are doing

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Top-heavy structure limits advancement, but stable, steady and reputable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA (US)

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Depending on the project and location, flexible hours and mobile work add to the great work-life balance. Coworkers are intelligent, dedicated, and generally supportive. Stable and steady work, with good benefits.

    Cons

    Top-heavy structure and low turnover make it difficult to advance. Not a particularly youthful or lively place to work; Forced icebreakers and chess in the library is about as wild as it gets. Managers are MIA much of the time.

    The company has grown to the point where it is struggling to figure out what to do with itself. Benefits are being trimmed. It enjoys a cushy market niche and is still one of the more reputable government contractors around. If you are analytical, have good technical credentials, and enjoy collaborating to help the government, you will fit in well. If you are more of a doer, seeking advancement and cutting-edge technical work, you may get restless. Good for interns needing resume experience or late-careerists and retirees wanting to coast into an easy work routine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Top-heavy management and overhead is taking its toll. Do something about the cost and value added of deadweight senior staff. 360-degree reviews would be a good place to start. Get out more and engage with customers and staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 19 people found this helpful  

    Diminishing company with pockets of gold

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Bedford, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bedford, MA (US)

    I worked at MITRE full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    So MITRE is a tough nut to crack. There's a lot of excellent things, a lot of terrible things, and a whole lot of meh in between. Honestly, your experience at MITRE will be 99% dependent on which department you join. Some departments are focused on systems engineering (i.e., you read and write requirements documents while maintaining SharePoint all the time) while some do advanced prototyping (i.e., you do cutting edge research that is several years more advanced than anything in the public sector). Don't trust what you hear in interviews about what work you'll be doing; if possible, ask someone who works there about the department you're a candidate for.

    MITRE is a not for profit and thus doesn't build "products". However, it does develop "operational prototypes" which are basically products in all but the legal sense. You will spend time maintaining software. But you will also have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects and rotate between them every 6-18 months.

    Every now and then, you do get to work with someone that is crazy good. I mean, they invented technologies like HTTP or SMTP. That part's awesome and not likely to be found outside of places like Google.

    The work life balance is excellent. You have a flexible schedule, managers rarely set hard deadlines, and it's unusual to put in more than 40 hours at a time.

    And they've been reducing benefits gradually over the last several years, but they're still better than your average company in terms of paid time off or responsibility entrusted to young employees.

    Cons

    Pay. Pay sucks. When you come to MITRE, you will receive a fair offer that will be market competitive. However, your yearly increases end up putting you well below market in 3-4 years. So you you ask -- "why do people stay rather than leave?" because make no doubt about it, over half the company has been there for 15+ years. This answer is two-fold: 1) you are a mediocre engineer and frankly couldn't get a job elsewhere 2) you are an absolute rockstar, best in the world, and on a really kickass project that you absolutely love. Unfortunately, MITRE is on a trend towards more #1 and less #2. Frankly speaking, they're a not for profit and shouldn't be expected to be competitive in pay since they make up for it in work life balance, etc. But there is a trend where the old talented engineers are retiring, the young talented engineers are moving to startups, and you end up with under-performers who would be fired at any other company.

    Another reviewer put it best -- "MITRE is a great place to work as little or as much as you want". MITRE is that now ex-girlfriend that you wish you had ended things with several years ago.

    The company is convinced it's not a software shop but in several of the departments, that's just not true. And common software development practices of testing, continuous integration, using source control, commenting code, etc. are just not followed.

    The promotion process isn't great. You basically put in your time rather than being promoted based on performance. For example, if you have a masters and come in as a level 2 (e.g., software engineer), you'll hit level 3 (e.g., sr. software engineer) in 18-24 months regardless of how good you are. Going from level 3 to level 4 will usually take 5-10 years and again depends more on your networking ability or department rather than skills.

    So if you're a rockstar engineer who wants to do good things in the world, get a job at MITRE (let me or someone else validate the department / project you choose!) However, you'll do yourself a disservice in staying there longer than 3 years which sucks because, as a rockstar, you'll be on a really fun project.

    Alternatively, if you're not the best engineer (or prioritizes life over the job) who wants to pull a decent paycheck for the rest of your life, this is the company for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire under-performers, invest in your employees, make your pay competitive, and "10x all the things".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work, great benefits, no upward mobility.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Control Analyst  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Program Control Analyst in McLean, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    Work-life Balance and Retirement Plan are industry leading.
    Provide full Education Assistance.

    Cons

    No room for growth unless you are technical staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to promote good employees and do not promote those without leadership competencies into leadership roles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great spot for senior technologists

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in McLean, VA (US)

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Work life balance, access to some very interesting and innovative work.

    Cons

    Limited entrepreneurial opportunity other than internal research which has little financial reward

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Direct project management versus matrix mgmt

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Fantastic company that actually cares about improving the US federal government

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

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

    Pros

    Strong sense of purpose permeates the culture. Employees have open and frank conversations about helping the US gov't with its challenges.

    Cons

    If you're outside of the Bedford Mass or McLean area, you won't benefit as greatly from the perks.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart company trying to do the right thing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer in McLean, VA (US)

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    1. Smart people with diverse skills to share, interact with and contribute to good causes.
    2. Ample opportunities to excel and grow professionally.
    3. Choices provided for work-life balance decisions.

    Cons

    a. People sometimes become too smart for their own good...and others'.
    b. Need to stay away from some type-A, ladder climbers.
    c. Networking can become more important than performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire the right kind of people, keep them happy, and help them work smartly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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