Cengage Learning

www.cengage.com

Cengage Learning Reviews

Updated February 25, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015
472 Reviews
3.3
472 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen
Michael Hansen
220 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    1 person found this helpful  

    Cengage/Ed2go in Temecula is dramatically shifting its workplace environment

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

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

    Pros

    The company has recently moved to a gorgeous building, investing in amazing furniture and office space. There are white board and chalkboard walls, collaborative space and fun colors. There is finally a Leader in place that believes in communication and transparency. The expectations are getting higher but the work is becoming rewarding. Overall a positive place to work where we are all being challenged to understand the business and that is a good thing.

    Cons

    The leadership team is often detached from the employees. Some of them are remote so at times that is a challenge - but at least they care and seem to be decent business minded individuals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to be clear in your focus. Keep communicating. Don't get distracted with shiny objects. Stay the course so we can thrive. Overall, super happy about the transformation going on. Way to go.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good work/life balance.

    • 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

    Pros

    The company offers a very flexible work schedule. Most employees work from home more than one day a week.

    Cons

    No real sense of urgency to meet deadlines

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Editorial Projects from Cengage Learning

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning

    Pros

    Consistently received projects on a contract basis. Detailed instructions and clear deadlines with flexibility to work outside of the Cengage Learning office. Projects continue to get more interesting and require more skills and responsibility which keep things challenging.

    Cons

    There are no cons from my experience doing contract/freelance work for Cengage Learning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Opportunity to apply for a full time position with Cengage Learning would be a plus for those doing contract work and are familiar with the process and products at Cengage Learning.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    I love being a teamplayer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Distribution in Independence, KY
    Former Employee - Distribution in Independence, KY

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    U get to send all kinds books all over the world

    Cons

    that the boss really didn't respect her employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you have to respect people if you want them to respect you

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Two steps forward .... ? steps back

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

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

    Pros

    Really bright people who care passionately about education.
    Good IP

    Cons

    Some layers of management view being there as a job, not a career.
    Culture is in flux, sadly trending downward.
    Management is not willing to spend in the arms race for technology talent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Exciting possibilities. Beware of huge differences in culture & treatment in different locations.

    • 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

    Lots of people are passionate about the work they are doing. Seeing some really creative ideas coming from some of the Product Managers now that some have gotten over the fear of the unknown digital world.
    Education is an exciting area with lots of potential for innovation along digital products.
    Shared the success by giving huge bonuses last year.
    Pretty open upper management - harder if not co-located though.
    Great to be focusing on the student instead of just the instructor. Long overdue in this industry.
    Recent focus on customer service and quality is good to see. Harder to win back a customer with a bad experience. But need to put more resources behind it.

    Cons

    Everything driven out of Boston office - if your not there you definitely get left out. Some stuff is gimmicky like trikes and blackboard wall paint. But hired tons of engineers, have information sharing sessions, evaluating standing desks, etc. while other locations can't even remove junk or empty cubes to make space because there is no funding. People there say they get stuff because they hound the leadership - hard to do if not there. There is some obvious conflict between different locations. I realize that some markets make keeping people more demanding but it shouldn't be so lopsided.

    They were a publishing company for a long time and the lack of thinking of how they were going to support/maintain software products they created showed. Hear a lot about customer focus but don't see spending on people/processes to actually do it. None of what they need to do is new - basic software life cycle support stuff. Processes are a total frustration - especially financial. You spend time hounding people to get answers on status and they don't return calls or email.

    While loyalty to long term employees is nice, there are too many people who are just not adapting to changes or are waiting to retire. In some locations longevity and friendship trumps. Some of those employees could be helped to change if they were pushed more but they aren't. People just try to avoid them on their projects - which is bad for new people who don't know they are dead weight.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to treat all offices more equally. Keep up the student focus and trying to quantify/measure that and outcomes. Continue striving for better customer support.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Trying to stay relevant, success TBD

    • 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

    Pros

    Intelligent, passionate employees; new executive team willing to take risks; less "buttoned-up" than other major corporations; dedication to better understanding their customer in this rapidly changing industry

    Cons

    Extremely demanding workloads; poor work/life balance; growing expectation to do more with less; can't adapt quickly enough to become profitable in this industry

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on fewer projects at once and do those few extremely well. Respect work/life balance boundaries more. Understand the day-to-day workflow better and adjust expectations accordingly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Overall, I gained valuable working experience from the company, it was fairly enjoyable.

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning

    Pros

    The working environment is good and friendly.

    Cons

    Technological advancement is lacking in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To invest more on technological development.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  10. 13 people found this helpful  

    Poor management and training.

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

    I worked at Cengage Learning full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent work-life balance, a real attempt by many across departments to listen to and help employees, a number of chances at promotions, work-from-home opportunities, and floating holidays.

    Cons

    Poor managers, changing/confusing processes, unhelpful HR department, and training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Within a year, I was hired and let go from an entry level position. I made my experience and lack there of to those who hired me known. I accepted the steep learning curve with the impression there would be competent training. Instead, I was told repeatedly by those who trained me that I would “get it eventually” and that I could use the (out-dated) training documents on file if I needed to push a project through a particular process. My manager grew increasingly frustrated and informed me I was making excuses when I tried to explain the gaps in my training. When I went to HR, I was told to seek out those who had trained me. When I asked those who trained me, they directed me to the aforementioned out-dated documents.

    I thought things would get better as I went along and went into work every day, optimistic and friendly, staying on top of projects that continued to come my way and trying to track people down who would answer my questions. I found some, but no one person seemed to understand the steps in any given process. I expressed I was overwhelmed to my colleagues who were sympathetic, agreed they were too, and said it was unlikely I would be fired due to the disorganization of the department.

    I was put on probation with little warning and given vague, indeterminate goals that involved being “more innovative.” My manager eventually admitted that while the department was not very well organized, “every business had its faults.” He then informed me I was not a good fit for the industry and was not always honest with him. I had no idea how to respond to this and was rebuffed when I pressed for details. The HR manager expressed that sometimes managers and employees aren’t good fits for each other. When I was let go, my manager said I had improved, had shown willingness to improve, had enthusiasm, but that it wasn’t enough. He did not specify why.

    What I learned from this experience is grim: Managers and colleagues should not be trusted, those who saw me as competition were uninterested in helping me achieve my goals, and some departments are more interested in knowing who to blame than making sure everyone is trained correctly. To make matters worse, I later discovered my compensation was embarrassingly low compared to the other assistants in the department. I'm very happy to be employed elsewhere in the industry.

    Cengage Learning needs to get its act together across the departments and re-consider who they have acting as managers. The entire experience was frustrating and humiliating.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 14 people found this helpful  

    Meaningful work for unreasonable pay

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning

    Pros

    If you're passionate about education, it's wonderful going to work every day with similarly minded people. The work-life balance is still pretty great, even if it's gotten worse over the past few years (less flexible hours, less working from home, etc). Your coworkers are great people, many of the mid-managers genuinely care and want to help and look out for their employees.

    Cons

    As other people have said, the learning curve is STEEP. Plus, with all the reorgs and moves and lay-offs, we're severely understaffed and the staff we DO have is all new, unexperienced and overworked. However, the biggest problem by far is salary. Speaking as someone in a junior position in one of the most expensive cities in America, the salary is just not enough to live off of, especially considering how understaffed we are and how much our workload/responsibilities has expanded over the past two years. Once the hiring freeze is lifted, if you manage to find people who are willing to work for such a paltry sum they're most likely going to stay long enough to put it on their resumes, then leave for a company that's willing to pay them a livable wage. In the meantime, you're losing multiple people a week to similar companies who pay more, and out of the remaining people left, nearly everyone is job hunting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seriously, look at the pay. I routinely meet people in this city with similar skills and far less experience that work for learning apps, and they make two to three times what our junior staff does. With compensation at its current level, you are only going to get desperate people or people who bail, and it's going to affect the quality of publications. You can ask people to learn digital and double their workload and work overtime (even if you say it's frowned upon, but there's no other way to complete all of your projects since now you have three times the number of them and no support staff), but not if you pay them so little that they can't afford to live. Most people want to work in education publishing because they're passionate about it; we're willing to work, and work hard, we just want to be able to spend $5 on a Subway sandwich for lunch and not feel guilty about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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