Cengage Learning

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Cengage Learning Reviews

Updated August 13, 2014
Updated August 13, 2014
401 Reviews

3.3
401 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen
Michael Hansen
168 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

104 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 5 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

    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
  2. 5 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

    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
  3. 6 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

    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
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  5. 5 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

    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
  6. 2 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

    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
  7. 3 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

    Pros

    exciting projects to be working on

    Cons

    Company doesn't foster career growth

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 2 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

    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
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Company has potential, but is incredibly inconsistent, and top leadership is tribal and political

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

    Pros

    Average pay.
    Potential to create products that will help students learn (but the focus is more on how to require the products within the classroom).

    Cons

    Mediocre to poor health insurance.
    Focus is always how to sell more new editions of textbooks, or to require sales through required digital homework. Basically, customers (students) don't want the product that is being sold.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Functional silos have been built around where certain leaders are. When the business changes, everything remains in a silo functionally, and the company doesn't do a great job of communicating.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Recent Bonus to company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Engagement Consultant  in  Mason, OH
    Current Employee - Student Engagement Consultant in Mason, OH

    Pros

    good working environment and work hours

    Cons

    unfair benefit practices for bonuses

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Our group is the "Custom Department" and we are wondering why in the recent announcement on the bonus which was suppose to be for 9 months and we were ONLY allowed 3 months. We are the ONLY group that did not receive the 9 months. We all feel this is totally unfair.

    Thank you.

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

    Cengage Learning at work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great flexibility, small company environment

    Cons

    low compensations, low opportunities to advance within company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    should motivate employees with higher compensation, management should be clear on its own goals for the company.

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