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Cengage Reviews

Updated February 24, 2018
1,028 reviews

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3.6
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Cengage CEO Michael Hansen
Michael Hansen
559 Ratings

1,028 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management needs to weed out the non performers (in 70 reviews)

  • sometimes lack work-life balance (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (9)

    "I didn't know what "corporate culture" meant until I worked at Cengage."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    *Truly a transparent work environment. From the CEO to the sales team, everyone has access to each other, is encouraged to provide honest feedback at all times, and is rewarded for having new ideas (even if... or especially if they are audacious and radical ones).

    *The mission is clear and is felt throughout the organization. We work to promote student success. Period. The products we make are the WHAT, but our mission focuses on the WHY. We believe in education.

    *Although Cengage has been through some difficult times in the past 5 or so years (as has the entire publishing industry), our focus and strategy are solid. We have a plan, execute it daily, and adjust quickly and as necessary to ensure success. We are not stuck in the past, but are moving forward with strategic vision and bold ideas. We are not afraid of, but rather empowered by the changes in this market.

    *Employees are valued, supported, and rewarded for their hard work. I've never encountered a corporate "family" before Cengage... but this is just that.

    *Parental leave policy is industry-leading for both mothers & fathers. Stellar.

    Cons

    The industry and the face of higher education are changing and with that comes a certain amount of uncertainty. Cengage has created a strong strategy for not only weathering the storm, but actually becoming stronger because of it. That said, there have been several re-orgs in the past 3-5 years in order to get the "right people in the right seats on the bus." But if you believe in the mission and work hard to be a valuable member on your team, you can feel very secure that you will have a place at Cengage.


  2. "Phenomenal."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Any in Somerset, KY
    Former Employee - Any in Somerset, KY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm able to put my computer skills to work. This job also helped me with my customer support experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to have helped. The call in line was a lifesaver concerning a couple of emergencies.

    Cons

    Stressful noisy environment. Can be difficult to focus at times as well as strict attendance policies.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure what to say.

  3. "Cengage Rocks!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Cengage has the best culture and amazing work!

    Cons

    Nothing - best place to work!


  4. "Great organization, product and people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time

    Pros

    If you looking to work in a collaborative environment that has room for you to grow, then Cengage is built around including all stakeholders and promoting within.

    Cons

    I could mention lots of things that could be considered cons, but after working here for two years I had to do a self examination. You have to know yourself to grow yourself. If you want more money, up-skill yourself to make yourself more marketable. Always present yourself as a valuable asset.

    The company has just started to foster a collaborative environment. Many are open to it but some are having a difficult time transitioning. I would suggest that the company starts to prepare internal employees better of things to come to enhance a positive buy-in.

    Advice to Management

    Accept Feedback and give feedback. Perception is reality.


  5. "Picker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Independence, KY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Independence, KY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time

    Pros

    8 to 10hr shifts, friendly environment, light lifting (compared to places like amazon or fedex). They treat employees like people not machine parts that can simply be replaced when needed - meaning if you invest in them they will invest in you.

    Cons

    Sometimes have to work overtime on saturdays. Be prepared for 10hr shifts during peak season(it can be exhausting but worth it for that paycheck). Feet pain from standing/walking all shift- wear comfortable walking shoes and or get some foot inserts. Joint pain/back pain from repetitive movements like using a tape gun a lot(hard on the wrist), bending, reaching, and lifting. Doing stretches before your shift will help some, magnesium soaks, and pain pills.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Change may not be a good thing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    This isn't a bad place to work - You'll work with good people and technology. Work-life balance is good - You aren't pushed too hard. But don't expect a long or rewarding career (see below).

    Cons

    Market: The market for textbooks has been declining for a while, but really took a dive in 2017. Over 50% of the company's revenue is still tied to products that include print [Yes, they'll tell you more than 50% is digital - it depends on how you classify all the products that include both. And revenue (as opposed to units) is larger for print]. The market for courseware is growing in terms of units sold (replacing hardcopy textboks), but is extremely price sensitive and is not about to replace the decline in printed textbooks. With low cost and often better open texts and courses gaining traction (see Rice's OpenSax - $10/course), another shoe is yet to drop. All of the erstwhile textbook publishers are going to have to cut costs a lot more than they already have to make ends meet (and produce profits for their owners).

    Change: Leadership likes to call the company Changegage. Each year/semester brings change to the organization. Products and initiatives that were important get deferred. Teams get laid off when their products/releases get to market.

    Politics: There is significant politics within management ranks. Engineering will get thrown under the bus if they miss a release date. Product teams get the run around. You won't see cross-functional teams that really work together, rather each org checks on the other. Engineering management is super-conservative and resists change. Scrum teams can't make change happen without long approvals.

    Career: One of the things you notice when you work on the tech teams is that virtually no one has been here longer than 2 years (look on LinkedIn). After a couple years without bonuses and meaningful raises people see through the same-old management-speak and leave (if they aren't laid off yet). Don;t count on your 401K matching - it won't have time to vest :-(.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Time will tell..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Making many of the large scale changes that are needed to adapt to a market that already changed years ago, where we are in a good position to be the first company to really catch up.

    Cons

    Low confidence that we have the competence to pull off the required changes.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Project Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cengage full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great work/life balance. As long as the work was being done, employees are very free to come and go as they want

    Cons

    Not horrible pay but people aren't getting rich working at Cengage

    Advice to Management

    Managers are almost always very personable and approachable. I can only think of one who thought they were above their employees


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Feel like a AWS, in a cheaper way..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of places can be improved. Lots work can be done (maybe this is a con).

    Cons

    1. Way too many contractors start to work on projects without knowing the big pictures.
    2. Management team does not know how to get people work together. Instead, they definitely know how to fence their resource and ownership.
    3. Some colleagues (especially cross-team) is not so willing to share things until you have their managers talk to them.
    4. Internal wiki documentation is not monitored and most of them are out of date and should be purged.
    5. People start to leave without proper knowledge transfer.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to consider your employee's career development.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time

    Pros

    Lots of great people to work with that have a passion for what they do.

    Cons

    Constant change and little time is given to new initiatives to see if they will work. Shifting of upper management as well as titles for positions is frequent.


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