Cengage Learning

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1 person found this helpful  

Enjoyed working with their team very much.

Former Employee - Author
Former Employee - Author

I worked at Cengage Learning as a contractor

Pros

I am an author of a textbook for the massage industry. I enjoyed working with the Cengage team, and felt that I received a great deal of support from them. Together we turned out a very nice book.

Cons

I was surprised that they outsourced editing to India, but I suppose I have to remember that we do genuinely have a global economy nowadays. It's tough for editors in the US, though.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I don't think I really have anything to contribute. I'm not an employee, but a contractor/author, so I don't know much about the day to day workings of the company.

432 Other Employee Reviews for Cengage Learning (View Most Recent)

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Contractor Perspective

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Editorial in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Editorial in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Cengage Learning as a contractor (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    --- Most employees were pleasant to work with.
    --- Some authors took great care in their work.

    Cons

    --- Changes in the last five years (most likely because of new management after the buyout from Thompson) have caused employees to devalue the quality of their textbook material.
    --- As the assistant editor pointed out, there is a lack of communication among the departments and across the company. We would get request to stop a particular process just to have someone urgently asking where those files are. The issue would get resolved then resurface a couple of months later.
    --- Although some employees took great pride in their work, many did not. Sometimes, we, the contractor, were blamed for the mistakes and were able to defend ourselves with evidence from the source files; other times, I am sure the word never got back to us. When we were able to defend ourselves, the response was silence. It didn't use to be this way.
    --- I am sure Cengage trains their employees but not well enough. Some editorial staff lacked some basic skills for being in the publishing industry, i.e., grammar, spelling, basic knowledge about history, math, government, etc.
    --- There is a relative high employee turnover for those at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.
    --- As others have pointed out, some editing has been outsourced to India. Although this is "cheaper" in the short-term, the subtle product quality is noticeable. For example, the English in India is British English. Additionally, non-native English speakers will not notice context clues. We have seen these glaring mistakes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    --- Value quality in your products. You may save a $100 today but quality is never cheap or fast. Some of your customers may take a chance on another textbook because of constant and blatant errors in your material. Some may tell you "why", while most of your customers will just quietly leave.
    --- Value quality in your employees. If your middle-management is not knowledgeable nor does it value quality, how will it oversea and train those new hires?
    --- Move jobs back to U.S.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Authors If You Value your Work go Someplace Else

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Author in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Author in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Cengage Learning as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Many of the people working at Cengage are serious and hard working and really try to support both the authors and their books.

    Cons

    Woefully understaffed with people who actually do the work.

    Policies change constantly

    They outsource everything to the clueless

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Place your bets on the future of technology but don't rip the content for your technology from the works of print authors and try to pay them pennies on the dollar.

    And for god's sake, get with the program about what the education market is asking for, which is technology that (1) can actually teach a diverse student body about the content of their discipline (2) check on their progress (3) encourage them to keep going --See, for instance, Purdue Signals--when there are signs that they are slacking off (4) record their grades and (5) help instructors evaluate the students' work with innovative assessments.

    Forget all the bells and whistles and the flashy interface and concentrate on creating different technology tools with underlying pedagogies that may well have to differ with the discipline. One size does not fit all, even in educational technology.

    Show a little respect for the print authors whose content you rely on and who are still bringing in most of your revenue. You may need them a little while longer and if you keep going the way you are, they will fight you every step of the way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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