Cengage Learning

  www.cengage.com
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Cengage Learning Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 363 reviews

74% Approve of the CEO

Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen

Michael Hansen

(156 ratings)

46% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good and benefits I find to be good as well(in 43 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 34 reviews)

  • Company appears to be moving towards less flexibility with work-from-home arrangements(in 12 reviews)

363 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Approves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Good company in flux; seems to be pulling through with flying colors

    Content Developer (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsIf you must work for corporate America, this is the lesser of many evils - you're actually helping people enrich their lives.
    Lots of brilliant people to work with and learn from.
    A very supportive culture in terms of growth and development (both professional and personal), and work/life balance.
    Supportive of innovation and new ideas.
    What do you want to teach yourself? Go grab one of the other department's textbooks and away you go.
    A CEO that seems genuine, intelligent, human, and forward-thinking.

    ConsIt seems that employees can have an exceedingly wide range of experiences here, depending on which department and team they work with/for.
    Lots of people seem to be leaving, every month; most by choice, as far as I am aware. I don't know why, and perhaps that's normal at a company this large, but it does strike me as odd.
    Bureaucratic in nature: their hiring process can drag on for months, getting basic office supplies requires a web-based form which requires a username and password to access and a Manager's signature and cost center to actually use, and just getting an offer letter to a contractor that a team decides to hire can take up to a month.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMy advice is not to the CEO, because I get the impression that he "gets it". My advice is to the managers two, three and four levels below him - understand what it means to be a software company, if that is the direction your department/product line is headed, and then re-evaluate absolutely everything you think you know about educational publishing. There seems to be a tremendous gap at this point in the company's history, between the skill-set and knowledge base of middle management and the direction the company is actually headed in.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Encouraging "Empowerment"

    Manufacturing (Current Employee) Mason, OH

    ProsDecent work hours, pay, and benefits.

    ConsInconsistent management philosophies and practices across the organization.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI have heard Michael Hansen publicly encourage Cengage Learning to become an organization where employees at all levels "be their own CEO" and "are empowered to make decisions and get the job done". While this is music to our ears, it's not necessarily put into practice by all lower and mid-level management. In order to make this a reality, our managers must be made to understand how important this is to the success of Cengage Learning. The message needs to be presented as a necessary culture shift that is expected, not just encouraged. And current managers and supervisors need to be taught how to implement this new culture within their teams.

    Some current managers and supervisors seem to be stuck in the dictatorial form of management. When we are asked (or more often "told") to do something, it needs to make sense to us. Those of us in the trenches, doing the work, seeing the impacts of these directives on both the business as a whole and us individually, should be given the respect that is due simply by actively listening to our questions and concerns and providing solid answers. I have experienced the opposite far too often. I frequently end up doing things incorrectly, in my mind, with no good reason, just because I am told. It is so important for humans at all stages of life to know the why behind the what. Informed workers are smart workers. Being treated with respect will make most of us highly motivated, effective and efficient workers. Trust us! You hired us for crying out loud!

    Please turn "empowerment" into something other than a nice thought.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous (Current Employee) Boston, MA

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

    ConsMediocre 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 Senior ManagementFunctional 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Recent Bonus to company

    Student Engagement Consultant (Current Employee) Mason, OH

    Prosgood working environment and work hours

    Consunfair benefit practices for bonuses

    Advice to Senior ManagementOur 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Love it here

    Software Developer (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsThis is a pretty great place to work. There is a really diverse team of software developers here, more so than any other software company I've seen. The other employees are really fabulous and talented and friendly, and they work well together as a team. The management is encouraging, the work is interesting and feels important, and the work-life balance is better here than at any other place I have worked. Working here, I feel respected, and productive, and I have opportunities to learn new things and broaden my skills and contribute creatively to the project. Cengage is a great place to work.

    ConsI was worried when I started that the lots of new people starting this year was a red flag, but the company's policies (like pair programming and TDD) mean that onboarding happens pretty quickly, and people become part of the team and start contributing quickly.

    Working at a big company as part of a big team of software developers, it's hard to see the fruits of my labor in action because I work on a relatively small piece of the pie. I've been thinking of signing up to audit a college class so I can use one of these fancy textbooks I've been building.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Wrestling with the challenges of a changing industry

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCulture is very positive, good HR, excellent people

    ConsToo many executives, not enough support staff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    great coworkers

    Inside Learning Consultant (Sales) (Current Employee)

    Prosspecific to my team:
    -great manager
    -great coworkers
    -not micro-managed, but still given direction
    -opportunity for decent bonus
    -fun sales meetings
    -new executive team seems to care about the employee a little bit more than did the previous
    -good benefits
    -opportunity for advancement
    -supportive of exploring opportunities within the company

    Cons-systems need an overhaul, but it is currently being worked on
    -inside vs. field salaries and bonuses are considerably different
    -great number of products to sell results in small knowledge all-around, but expected to have very in-depth knowledge of all
    -with multiple states covered, bonus is calculated on combined goal rather than if goal was made in any individual state
    -confusing on who to contact for product information

    Advice to Senior Managementsimplify the systems; make them work synchronously rather than having to go to multiple places for different information.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A decent place to work.

    Documentation Specialist (Current Employee) Independence, KY

    ProsBenefits
    Fellow coworkers
    home life vs. work life

    ConsCommunication between departments can be frustrating.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    I'm happy to be here

    Manager (Current Employee) Mason, OH

    ProsI am someone who has been promoted from within. What has been proven to me is that when the effort is there, the recognition follows. I like that about this company. I like knowing that if I work hard I will ultimately be rewarded. The work life balance is generally very good. They have always been very understanding when you need to spend time on family. There is a lot of intelligent people here with alot to offer. People in general are very helpful and supportive.

    ConsI think the company has the right idea about where we are going and how to get there. However, there does seem to be a bias toward a couple of locations, CA and MA. I believe the individuals in those locations are smart and innovative thinkers. But, there are a lot of good, smart and innovative people working in KY and OH and yet it doesn't seem as if that is always recognized. This has an direct impact on morale. I also think the company is allowing too much focus on the voice of a few via the glassdoor posts. Instead of looking at the larger landscape these individuals are very focused on the "I" rather than the "we". The energy is displaced and takes away from focusing on propelling the company forward. I want to be part of company that is growing and focused on the future not trying to please a few people who are disgruntled because they can't work from home.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Cengage is a great place to work. There is a ton of opportunity to grow your career.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat leadership, plenty of opportunity to advance within the company and the flexible environment.

    ConsThe industry is going through a transition which creates a daily challenge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to be more transparent.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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