Cengage Learning

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Cengage Learning Reviews

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
397 Reviews
3.3
397 Reviews
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Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen
Michael Hansen
179 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good and benefits I find to be good as well (in 45 reviews)

  • Great people from NGL organization; solid pedagogy in product (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management at MS needs to get on board with what our CEO is trying to do (in 35 reviews)

  • Company appears to be moving towards less flexibility with work-from-home arrangements (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

102 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great Colleagues, But Upper Management Needs To Make A Sincere Effort In Connecting With Employees

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    My colleagues in editorial, production, and rights & permissions were dedicated people who were passionate about the products they produced. The Corporation does offer excellent benefit packages, etc.

    Cons

    The norm at Cengage Learning, particularly in editorial, is relying on skeletal staff who are responsible for a ridiculously high volume of projects. Some vendors, especially those who took over the rights & permissions work, obviously do not have the expertise or background in copyright law.

    Upper management tends to change workflows and processes without consulting staff who do the actual work. Their decisions make the daily work more difficult, in my opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make a sincere effort to connect and communicate with staff, and stop being passive-aggressive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good for short term experience

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time

    Pros

    I was lucky to work under a VP that empowered all of us to achieve goals. i learned how to balance work with personal commitments, which only motivated me to invest more time for the company.

    Cons

    Process bogged down abilities to address market needs.
    More being driven with templates, which limits effectiveness of targeting specific market segments and customer types.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Good people and intentions, but with mixed results

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning full-time

    Pros

    The company is in a transitional period, both economically and industrially. I think this makes it an interesting time to be at Cengage, since there's a feeling that the CEO really wants to encourage all levels of employees to contribute ideas to the growth of the business. Lots of great benefits including for domestic partners, fun activities unrelated to work, and truly intelligent co-workers. Overall, it's good for a corporate environment.

    Cons

    The executive level management (with the exception of CEO Michael Hansen) doesn't really seem to understand the needs of modern college students, and it's reflected in the slow pace of adopting new technology and educational practices. I felt left to my own devices in terms of training and explaining the company's workflow and products; this seems to be true for many other teams well and contributes to the silo mindset. It's also become less flexible for its employees in terms of their personal schedules, when all research indicates that the opposite is better for happy and productive employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide whether we're staying a textbook company that's switching to electronic options or whether we're a true software company - you can't be both. Start conducting reviews of managers with input from their direct reports. Trust that your employees are all adults who can make intelligent choices that work both for them and the business.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    A large publishing company that offered some great experiences ... but with continuous change and heavy workloads.

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The small group that I worked with was wonderful! I would always say that the people I worked with was what kept me coming back on a daily basis - that never changed. I also thought that the benefit packages they offered were pretty competitive - I liked the 4 different plan options, and they did their best to not hike up the premiums each year, and take some of it on as a Company.

    Cons

    When the leadership team changed (CEO and Executive Team) in September 2012, the culture and everything about the company really changed. While I understand that a large company like that needs to make some significant changes to move forward and grow ... the pace that those changes took place, and the lack of thought about process and who all of these changes would effect, just wasn't for me. With the CEO's mantra of "Speed, Focus and Collaboration" - I really feel like "speed" was the only thing that the executive team really focused on. The work load was pretty heavy, and with the continuous org-changes - the folks left behind were left with even more work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Current 10 year employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Production in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Company growing, developing new plans after bankruptcy

    Cons

    Executive management has eliminated all telecommute opportunities instead of allowing managers to decide on special situations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I live near a Cengage office but not one I support, I use to be able to work from home and very successful for 3 years. But now I am required to drive over an hour each direction - when non of my teams are in this building. Much more productive being able to work with my teams in the quietness of my home office.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    The products and overall company direction are on the rise; the office culture is not.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Content Developer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Content Developer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    When I left, Cengage was changing for the better -- more of a movement towards sofware development (with all the appropriate steps, redesigning process and workflow, hiring UX designers and engineers, etc.), a great new space in SF, and a management that takes responsibility for it's errors. The work is very rewarding, Cengage is very honest and vocal about being customer-focused, and a healthy work-life balanced is encouraged around there. The CEO and management have taken big steps to "turn things around" and I have seen words turn to action based on the desires and needs of customers and employees. If you are looking for a bright, energetic office where you can contribute to dynamic, meaningful projects with a sense of the customer in mind, you are coming to the right place.

    Cons

    The company culture has had some serious issues in the past, and recent reorgs have not completely sorted out all the problems. During my time there, I witnessed two abusive managers get away with inappropriate behavior for over a year (one eventually quit, the other was laid off during a reorg.) The behavior of both managers was known, casually discussed, and essentially endured for the fact that they had both been there for years, and the upper management showed an apathy to actually fire them and improve both teams. Though both of these individuals are gone, the impression of "you can get away with all this" still lingers - people slack off, act rude, and generally can be cruel to others based on archaic silos and labels from the past. There are "tenured" managers who are "above the rules" in the way they run things, and people who get promoted are often "favorites" of those managers who recreate the cycle. I would warn someone considering working their to trust their gut feeling about whichever manager and team that they are interviewing with. Also, be prepared to encounter (and avoid) some petty in-office politics between "rival" teams.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The HR team in SF needs to be MUCH more proactive in facilitating and responding to issues. Have them hold office hours or allow people to schedule one-on-one sessions with a person they feel comfortable with (in some cases, the HR person you are "forced" to talk to because you're matched with them is not actually someone you feel comfortable speaking with.) Better yet, hire new HR people to shake up that team the way you have with so many other departments. You've already come so far in bringing about improvement, keep enforcing accountability and transparency and you'll figure out who to keep (and who needs to go!)

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    All Over the Map

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Many smart, dedicated colleagues who want to make a positive contribution to learning. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Senior leadership are spin masters, some messaging is contrived and not sincere. Favoritism is rampant - promotions are held because of budget problems. Some managers adhere to policies while others get away with way too much. CEO talks about accountability but doesn't hold all senior leaders to some basic behaviors of decency. Respect for employees is not always apparent. Workloads are all over the map -- some people work crazy long hours (expected to be available during vacation) while others barely have enough work to do to fill their days. (so they stretch the work to look busy). CEO is an elitist who doesn't value the "common" worker who actually does the work and cares about students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Apreciate the lower level people who get paid very little and don't cash in on the big bonuses reserved for "leadership"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Educational, but frustrating.

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Educational, constantly evolving, and worked with terrific team members.

    Cons

    The job responsibilities were not clearly defined and ever-evolving. The management is unsure of how best to utilize the tremendous talent at their disposal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clearly define the expectations and goals of the team members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Corporate inertia. This company is too big and unwieldy to be agile. Resistant to change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Editorial Product Manager  in  Clifton Park, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Editorial Product Manager in Clifton Park, NY

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits. Friendly working environment. Competitive salary.

    Cons

    Antiquated culture brought over from companies before acquisition. Poor financial management practices. Inertia at all levels. Middle management spends more time on politics with peers than with management or advancing company goals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find out what's really going on your business. Allow professionals to actually do their jobs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Inattentive to employees

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

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

    Pros

    exciting projects to be working on

    Cons

    Company doesn't foster career growth

    Doesn't Recommend

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