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.

416 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. 9 people found this helpful  

    Even with Chapter 11, the company is still in denial

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

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

    Pros

    Still a few good employees who want to see the company through the bankruptcy. Good work/life balance if you have the ethics to actually do the work portion of the equation. Some pockets of good teams still exist but it is getting more difficult to find them.

    Cons

    The company would like to have the public believe that the root cause for the need to file for Chapter 11 is the challenges that exist in the education market coupled with high debt. If this were truly the case, why aren't other 4 year college publishers suffering the same fate? The truth of the matter is that the company has been completely mismanaged over a period of years. Managers and Senior Managers are selected on the "who you know basis" versus performance. As can be seen on this site, the reviews are all over the place and this supports the summation that a lot of corporate cronyism exists here. A lack of ethics and integrity is pretty pervasive and this is especially so within the HR department and mid level management as a whole.

    On the product side of the house, Cengage has yet to learn from the mistakes of the past and continues to pump out one failed technology product after another. Rather than listen to the voices of the many, senior management prefers to listen to the voice of the few (typically one) and the end result is a product that sounds great on paper but fails to meet the needs in terms of quality and scalability. The end product performs poorly where the immediate fix is to simply "throw more hardware at it".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean out house of all legacy executives and bring in a quality team of executives who will lead by example. Hold directors and managers accountable for their decisions. Train those managers who have potential for positions of greater responsibility. Get rid of those managers who simply shouldn't be in the role. Bring back a culture of integrity and develop a higher standard of work ethic. It only takes one bad apple to ruin the lot so without significant change in management, I am doubtful that there will be much success coming out of Chapter 11.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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