Cengage - Started off with promise; ended amidst uncertainty | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Cengage

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Helpful (9)

"Started off with promise; ended amidst uncertainty"

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

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

Pros

The best reason to work at Cengage is - hands down - the people that work there. The higher ed publishing industry is full of good people and Cengage is no exception. You'll find a lot of professionalism and forward thinking departments and initiatives, all coming from people who you want to work with each day. I particularly enjoyed interaction with the authors I worked with and enjoyed their insights into academic disciplines I left behind years ago. There's nothing wrong with keeping one foot in academia and one in business. I found that to be quite fun.

There are a lot of career opportunities as well. I switched departments, moved up, moved sideways, then up again back in my original department. Vacation and benefits are some of the most generous around. The company takes care of their employees and offers a lot of training programs during company time.

Cons

The entire industry is in the middle of a massive transition from print to digital and Cengage is on the forefront with their technology, but I fear upper management still doesn't quite understand the core customer base as well as they should. Outdated pricing models continue to cause backlash in the dwindling print market (which is still where most of the profit comes from) and cash-strapped educational institutions, luddite professors, and tech savvy students are a brutal combination to market towards. I fear that the models Cengage has set up for the future won't overcome the struggles the industry faces. Also, there's the private equity ownership situation, which is causing undue stresses within the company, taking away from what should be the core focus of providing students with affordable, quality course materials.

Regarding work/life balance, I found there to be a major discrepancy between departments. The work never ends in some departments and there is too much emphasis on working at night and on the weekends. One becomes the black sheep if they tend to leave at 5pm and not work at night. It's easy to fall behind. Furthermore, the cycles don't change from year-to-year. It's tough to repeat the same tasks year in and year out without much change or reward. Burn-out central. Also, it's publishing, the pay is low, but if you are in marketing or sales, you might get a generous yearly bonus depending on performance.

Advice to Management

If Cengage is going to survive, it needs to become less bloated and more focused on digital innovation. I understand that this is the focus now, but the model needs drastic change if it's going to keep up with the smaller, more nimble competitors who are offering more affordable and adoptable products.

Other Employee Reviews for Cengage

  1. "Progressive Employer"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time

    Pros

    Cengage Learning is a progressive New England publisher with a quickly growing digital presence in the higher education and reference markets.

    Cons

    Cengage Learning is a forward facing company, but there is still some work to be done to massage out the seams that are a result of the company having been built by merging a long list of independently successful companies.

    Advice to Management

    Continue working to offer employees more internal, on-the-job training and opportunities to learn additional skills. This growth will be enriching for employees and the skills they gain will be invaluable to the company.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Happy to be gone!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Farmington Hills, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Farmington Hills, MI

    I worked at Cengage full-time

    Pros

    Worked with and for some great people. Good time off and benefits. Flex time.

    Cons

    After 2009, things deteriorated quickly. No leadership, inept middle managers were put in charge. They hadn't done a good job managing at the level they had been at, much less to run the company after all of the C-Levels were let go in a day. Inevitable spiral. HR staff ineffective and bitter. Don't ever go to them with a real problem. Certainly not if it's about your manager. Their solution is to immediately run to the manager that is the problem in the first place and tell them.

There are newer employer reviews for Cengage
There are newer employer reviews for Cengage

See Most Recent

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