Cengage Learning

www.cengage.com

Cengage Learning Reviews in Farmington Hills, MI

Updated October 18, 2014
Updated October 18, 2014
459 Reviews
3.2
459 Reviews
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Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen
Michael Hansen
213 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company culture allows for some work flexibility to have a great work-life balance (in 56 reviews)

  • Great work-life balance with work from home 2 days per week (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management at MS needs to get on board with what our CEO is trying to do (in 37 reviews)

  • Company appears to be moving towards less flexibility with work-from-home arrangements (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

28 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good employees and well-meaning leadership burdened by legacy business models

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

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

    Pros

    I find Cengage Learning very motivating. Employees and teams are encouraged to be creative and exercise their best judgement, and are generally supported when they do so. Many employees participate in internal and external learning activities, and most teams are proud to contribute to educational content and solutions. The current executive team has placed a high priority on delighting the student user and the importance of digital solutions. Compensation and benefits are also satisfactory.

    Cons

    Cengage Learning is one of three large established players in an industry which is rapidly evolving, and the company spends too much time, money, and effort preserving the existing print textbook business (which continues to decline) rather than the growing digital business (which requires a more mature understanding of customer satisfaction). Cengage product teams generally believe that their content is more important than ease of use, and they regularly ignore the threats posed by entrepreneurs in the education field.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retraining hundreds of print product managers to become software solution innovators was an admirable goal, but it only succeeded in pockets. The several dozen software development managers that have been hired recently are dramatically outnumbered, and most product teams are making rookie software development mistakes which will be expensive to correct. Reward those who were not afraid to innovate and give them the time and clearing they need for their new business models to flourish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 10 people found this helpful  

    Mediocre software development environments with great potential, being wasted.

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules, great colleagues and a cool mission, creating educational technology for instructors and students

    Cons

    Leadership is very out of touch with what is really going on with the people who do the work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time with people who do the work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work depending on the department

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

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

    Pros

    The work is challenging and the focus on process improvement keeps it interesting and competitive. CL is a very talented org, and is rebounding from Chapter 11 with renewed energy.

    Cons

    Departments vary drastically with regard to policies, i.e. working from home, flexing in/out, coverage when taking time off, etc. Within the departments, how managers carryout those policies varies drastically too. So, if you are in the most rigid dept with the most rigid boss.....you are miserable, though you may enjoy the actual work you do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Survey employees more, take it to heart, and pinpoint inconsistencies in management, and regulate policies to create fairness. Pay more attention to intangible benefits such as employee morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 8 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 (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
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Company Trying to Adapt to Shifting Markets

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits were good. Coworkers were great.

    Cons

    Lack of upward advancement opportunities. Management levels are at cross-purposes with each other. It is unclear where the industry is heading.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep breaking down barriers to communication and creating an open and accountable workplace. There are still dysfunctional, ineffective, CYA pockets at CL.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Despite the economy over the past ten years, this has been a pretty good place.

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

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

    Pros

    I have been with the company for more than 10 years and have had the best coworkers in all of the departments I have worked in. Middle management is variable, some managers were great, some not so much. Work/life balance is pretty good. Benefits are industry standard. We've been through a lot of CEOs and a bankruptcy, but it seems we're on the right track. It's not smooth sailing, but employees are slowly becoming cautiously optimistic.

    Cons

    In the last department I was in management rewarded the "schmoozers" who actually did very little work, and ignored those who quietly got a whole lot of work done, but in other departments the managers actually knew who was doing the work and really appreciated them with any means at their disposal. (Decent raises was not at their disposal.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the PTM. The way it is used now, Abraham Lincoln would have a goal of "end Civil War" and would have gotten a "meets expectations". Find a way to make goal that are hard to attain, and really deserve recognition stand out from those smaller more basic goals.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great people and mission

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The people are smart and ambitious, as is what CL wants to do and the industry leader they're looking to become. It's interesting to work around such dynamic goals.

    Cons

    As with any place in so much transition, there are a lot of mixed messages and it doesn't feel like they really know their way yet. Some of the Executive Team and their Senior leaders may be in over the head.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes the CEO's messaging and attitude is in direct conflict with their Sr. leaders... get on the same page.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exciting Time For Innovation, Collaboration and Growth

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Cengage encourages education for employees to facilitate personal growth. There are lots of in house updates and brief courses to attend. The other team members I have met are interesting, excited, friendly and seem very dedicated. Our CEO delivers inspiring messages and addresses the business challenges head on.

    Cons

    It's challenging to make internal connections at first but we are moving toward collaboration and team building and that is really exciting! I hope to participate more in the bigger picture and be a part of making the vision happen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place for software developers

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

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

    Pros

    Open collaborative environment, team accountability.

    Cons

    There is minimal customer contact for software developers.

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

    Loved my seventeen year career at Cengage Learning--superb office culture; great coworkers; learn something new daily.

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

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

    Pros

    I liked working in editorial; it gave me a lot of freedom to run projects in ways that my boss and I thought best, and I was able to wear a lot of different hats on any given day or week. This made the job enjoyable. One of the best parts of the job was taking a project through to completion and knowing that it would be used by students and librarians for learning. That was immensely rewarding to me.

    Cons

    Lots of change in the reference publishing industry over the last few years. Lots of initiatives to find the "next big" electronic solution, and to increase the digital offerings as opposed to print offerings. Many changes in leadership and vision over last seven or eight years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would recommend putting even more time and resources into new product development. It seemed to me that Cengage was looking to workers in "the trenches" to innovate and conceptualize the "next big thing"--instead of having teams/individuals devoted solely to those tasks. Those in the "trenches" are busy enough cranking out existing product, and are not well-suited, or don't have the time available, to conceptualize and innovate new product ideas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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