Cengage Learning

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14 people found this helpful  

Losing the Struggle

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

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

Pros

Many of the folks doing the actual work are incredibly gifted and a joy to work with. There is a valiant effort in the Belmont (soon to be San Francisco) office to engage employees in social activities and fun events, such as pancake breakfasts, gourmet coffee mornings, and the occasional food truck.

HR makes good attempts at providing some online and in-house training, and managers/supervisors are generally supportive of this training. (examples = leadership workshops, 401k seminars with Fidelity, etc.) It's mostly fluff, but it's free.

The new office in San Francisco looks nice, and there will be some public transportation reimbursement to offset the high commuting costs for all of us in the East Bay, South Bay, and Peninsula.

Benefits package includes 401k, health/dental/optical insurance.

Cons

Money - Publishing doesn't pay much in general, but Cengage pays even less than competitors. No bonuses in the past year, no cost of living increase, chapter 11 bankruptcy ongoing since July.

Overworked employees - A 60-70 hour work week is typical if you're salaried, but you are shooed out the door if you are hourly and declare more than the 37.5 hours for full time.

Attrition - Many people have left or are looking elsewhere because of VC mis-management, chapter 11, and low morale. Getting replacements is either impossible or the position not approved. Being over worked has become the new norm, and we're being asked for more innovation, more ideas, and more production while still producing the same number of titles and assets as before. Lofty ideas are great, but there is no one to execute. Freelancers have declined their contracts because of the bankruptcy and delays in payment.

Moving to contractors - Instead of hiring full time employees, there is a movement to outsource the work to temps and contractors. The time/effort this is supposed to save gets eaten up by having to train new people every 3-6 months and check their work or redo it.

Digital transition - The digital move to Mindtap will not get off the ground without engineers in the seats. The Silicon Valley area has too much competition, and engineers must be paid accordingly. They've had engineering positions open for over a year. There is no workload adjustment, the executives just want more innovation and more new things. Again there is no one to execute and our projects are delayed.

Manager heavy - In each reorg in the past 18 months (most of us have lost count) there have been more managers and manager-level positions created, including the promotion of several of the previously-digital academic types. Again their teams are left without writers and replacement positions hang open for months which delays or compromises the digital products. These academics have great subject matter expertise, but are ill equipped to jump in and manage the editorial side of things.

Executive decisions - Like so many huge companies, there is a serious communication gap between executive management and everyone else. What we get in town hall meetings is lip service and forced/half-hearted cheering with no facts, no concrete information (though I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they seem to mean well.)

Lack of promotions - Maybe because of the hiring freezes in the past 3 years, but there have only been worker-level promotions coming out of the Boston office. Belmont, Famington Hills, and Mason have seen nothing except for managers getting a bump.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Change at least some of the items in the cons section. If digital first is supposed to be the new mantra, then let the digital teams call the shots and budgets for a change.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Unless you're desparate, don't take the job

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

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

    Pros

    Supports education and our schools.

    Cons

    Leadership is abysmal and lacks the strategic planning skills required to take an industry into the future. When leadership says, "How would we know that the industry would change" . . . they should not be leading any company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting people to their next level of incompetency and stop promoting people because their spouses/friends hold high level positions in the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 10 people found this helpful  

    Can you say bankruptcy? Big hurdles to overcome .....

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

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

    Pros

    Was a great company but the industry to changing and Cengage has not be able to keep up.
    There were a lot of great people that worked there and the culture was great. I had the opportunity to interact with people throughout the organization.

    Cons

    Inability to make necessary investments to compete.
    Reorganization after reorganization. Jobs are being eliminated and people are asked to do too much.
    Customers losing faith in the organization and their ability to deliver quality products as well as support what they are selling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    So sad that you tossed so many great, loyal employees to the curb.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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