Cengage Learning

  www.cengage.com
  www.cengage.com
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10 people found this helpful  

Unstable, uncertain

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Product Manager in Boston, MA (US)
Current Employee - Product Manager in Boston, MA (US)

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

Pros

The people here are great. Hard working, dedicated and trying to do the best job possible. The work/ life balance is favorable and I've generally found it easy to move around between positions. The people with whom I directly work feel strongly about the value of working on educational materials despite the challenges of our industry.

Cons

This industry and this company are undergoing major transitions. We have weathered several large departmental reorganizations with more to come. It's unsettling and demotivating. Despite the company's talk about focusing on digital, from a product development standpoint that's proving to be easier said than done when digital products take weeks and weeks to produce, so there's little speed to market. it's also hard to trust upper managers who either aren't transparent or don't know what they're going to do two months out so give no notice regarding strategic changes. Much comes across as though it's done on a whim with little planning or forethought.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Please stop changing strategies without giving them a chance to work. Please stop reorganizing so frequently. Please involve employees from all levels in some decision making because we could have told you certain things were going to fail, which they did.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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

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  1. 10 people found this helpful  

    What was once an incredibly energetic, forward-thinking, mindful organization.....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA (US)

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

    Pros

    Once upon a time, this company felt like a large family. There was a spirit of community, sharing of resources and market knowledge, going boldly where others feared to tread (without punishment should the experiment fail). The various imprints were well determined and recognized as leaders in their respective disciplines. There are (inexplicably) still some amazingly creative and dedicated people still working here.

    Cons

    The avalanche began just as soon as the new name (inspirational? I think not) was launched, and new management took their seats. Cengage is hardly the center of engagement, rather it is the center of chaos. There is no longer any brand recognition other than the fact that Cengage's texts cost significantly more than the competitors'. We were (of course) told to tell our customers that it's not really about price, but about superior content, superior service, superior teaching and learning tools. None of these elements truly exist, and the customers know it.
    The lack of focus, bi-monthly (often monthly) changes in direction, absurd accountability goals (I mean absurd, not aggressive), and no unifying digital story has turned what was once a really fabulous place into a mud pit. Morale is terrible, lay offs have been swift, extensive and come with no warning, and adding price increases every season is such a blind move--it's absolutely clear that upper management either doesn't care about the employees who work long hours through the work week as well as weekends so as to keep up with endless minutia, and/or is only concerned about their 6-figure salaries and bonuses.
    Too bad. What was once a lot of fun turned out to be "just another job".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move over and let another team pick up the scraps and start all over again. Everyone knows this place is a mess--not only current and former employees, but customers and the media.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Cirque du Soleil

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Belmont, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Belmont, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    There are few smart and talented people left but I don't know why the stay there.

    Cons

    My review got rejected most likely because people didn't want to see the harsh truth I wrote. Too bad Cengage doesn't want to learn from its mistakes, very typical. Hopefully this one doesn't get rejected as well.

    Here's a summary of what I wrote earlier:
    1. Most of HR isn't any good. They follow procedure instead of think of ways to improve things for employees.
    2. Editorial is a mess. They have constant power plays and backstab each because of those folks don't know how to transition from a digital company. They are afraid of becoming irrelevant.
    3. They can't keep top talent. Too many talented software engineers, ux designers, and data analysts have left for companies that probably appreciate them and pay them almost twice as much.
    4. VPs and directors play useless numbers games, that actually don't help the business in the end.
    5. A traditional publishing company that wants to go digital, but they continue promoting people who have NO idea how to be digital.
    6. Compensation is too low, about 20-30% below market, depending on the job.
    7. Not modern at all in every aspect: marketing, sales, technology, editorial.

    Cengage will die off if it continues to refuse learning from its mistakes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are too top heavy. Instead of keeping and promoting people based on tenure,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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