These Universities have the Happiest Employees

Posted August 21, 2013

Like so many academic endeavors, we started with a question: Which universities have the happiest employees? To arrive at an answer, we took a look of thousands of reviews submitted to CareerBliss by university employees. The results of our inquiry became the CareerBliss Happiest Universities to Work 2013.

"Our unique data offers students and faculty a chance to see what factors drive happiness at work within the university system," says Heidi Golledge, CEO and co-founder of CareerBliss. "CareerBliss recognizes those universities that excel in providing a happy work culture."

Now, here's the CareerBliss Happiest Universities to Work 2013:

Auburn University

Overall BlissScore: 4.40 out of 5 | Average Salary: $37K

Employees say

Pro: Fast-paced environment, diversity. Can be group-oriented and supportive. Encourages a family-like atmosphere. -- program associate

Con: After working for so many years, no room for advancement. -- office manager

Pro: Auburn was an outstanding learning environment. I enjoyed the opportunity to teach at this institution. -- adjunct instructor

Con: Not challenging enough or structured enough to allow for rigorous work. -- IT specialist

Check out Auburn University jobs

Carnegie Mellon University

Overall BlissScore: 4.39 | Average Salary: $54K

Employees say

Pro: Awesome school to pursue research! -- graduate research assistant

Con: An increasing fraction of my time is spent writing grant proposals, instead of doing research. -- computer science professor

Pro: Great opportunity to know smart people and learn new technology. -- application developer

Con: The growth was limited, however I was going to school at the time so extra workload was not needed. -- producer

Check out Carnegie Mellon University jobs

Texas Tech University

Overall BlissScore: 4.37 | Average Salary: $42K

Employees say

Pro: Student workers don't get paid well and we were given some unreasonable time constraints for a few projects. -- graphic designer

Con: Not a lot of room for advancement and the raises have been far and few between. -- unit operations supervisor

Pro: They were able to work around my college schedule and allowed me to work from my dorm when needed. -- web assistant

Con: my center could have couple more professors who can represent more research and move the university forward. -- research assitant

Check out Texas Tech University jobs

University of Houston

Overall BlissScore: 4.36 | Average Salary: $41K

Employees say

Pro: The capacity to direct and drive my own research, with enough room for collaboration of ideas from colleagues as well as the boss. -- teaching assistant

Con: No growth! -- teaching fellow

Pro: Independence, good atmosphere, encouraging seniors and boss, helpful coworkers and quality projects. -- instructional assistant

Con: The working Environment is kind of dull which lowers your energy. -- MIS teaching assistant

Check out University of Houston jobs

University of Wisconsin

Overall BlissScore: 4.32 | Average Salary: $39K

Employees say

Pro: Great work environment, supportive, casual, freedom to roam. Educational environment is great. -- senior web developer

Con: My supervisor was sometimes difficult to work with and had unrealistic expectations. -- lead peer advisor

Pro: I love working at a university where minds chrun and learn. Hours are flexible and benefits are excellent. -- software asset manager

Con: [There is a] need for more open collaboration and team efforts on research development and mentorship. -- graduate teaching assistant

Check out University of Wisconsin jobs

Cal Poly Pomona

Overall BlissScore: 4.30 | Average Salary: $36K

Employees say

Pro: It was a fun place and learned a lot of new things. -- purchasing manager

Con: HR should restructure their pay system. Employees were way underpaid for the work they did. -- data entry operator

Pro: It is a beautiful campus and a great environment for all. -- English lecturer

Con: Low budget for research. -- graduate research assistant

Northeastern University

Overall BlissScore: 4.29 | Average Salary: $48K

Employees say

Pro: I love that it is innovative, unique, interesting ... never boring! -- assistant director

Con: Limited opportunity for growth, based on academic research, and hence lacking the professional touch that is seen in industries. -- postdoctoral research associate

Pro: Research, co-working, innovation, we can try our own ideas freely. -- teaching assistant

Con: It was really boring, there was just nothing to do. -- service desk administrator

Check out jobs at Northeastern University

Boston University

Overall BlissScore: 4.19 | Average Salary: $47K

Employees say

Pro: Awesome benefits. Great place to learn. Amazing sick/vacation day policy. Oh yeah, nearly free degrees for employees. -- project manager

Con: My supervisor had 20 people under him when I started. Two months later, he was down to 0. ... Obviously the university was going through a dramatic shake up in the IT department. -- senior administrator

Pro: I like the atmosphere of Boston University, the opportunity of working among the scientists and students. -- administrator

Con: If I HAD to say something, it would be this was a very high pressure stressful job but as I said I loved working there. -- executive assistant

Check out Boston University jobs

UC San Diego

Overall BlissScore: 4.13 | Average Salary: $49K

Employees say

Pro: UCSD provides good benefits, a nice facility in a good location and many holidays. -- manager

Con: I didn't find the amount of guidance to be as good as it could be. -- research assistant

Pro: The working environment was excellent and the system administrator colleges were very supportive. -- employee

Con: Too academic. -- graduate research assistant

Check out UC San Diego jobs

Georgia Institute of Technology

Overall BlissScore: 4.11 | Average Salary: $50K

Employees say

Pro: Lots of freedom to do ground-breaking research in mechanical and bio-engineering. -- graduate assistant

Con: Micromanagement. -- consultant

Pro: I like working with the students and seeing them progress in their studies. -- administrative professional

Con: There are too many managers and tend to lack employee engagement. -- lead software engineer

 Check out Georgia  Institute of technology jobs


The CareerBliss data evaluates the key factors that affect work happiness including: work-life balance, one’s relationship with his/her boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks and job control over work performed on a daily basis. The data accounts for how an employee values each factor.  Each review is given an average score indicating where the company places between one and five. The following data was compiled from more than 70,000 thousand independent company reviews from 2012-2013. A minimum of 10 reviews per university was required for this data.

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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