Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated June 17, 2015
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
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Pros
  • Work-life balance is the last remaining pro (in 666 reviews)

  • Ability to work from home when needed or desired (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is nonexistent (in 184 reviews)

  • BIG company that treats employees as interchangeable (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Not horrible, but room for improvement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits, flexible work options (location-wise). Decently easy to move around inside the company, no limit to what you can learn if you take some initiative to advance your career. Most of the managers I've had have been good, one has been horrendous.

    Cons

    Stagnant wages. No raises for several years in Operations despite record income and profits. Low morale due to constant layoffs and reorgs. Full-time employees are being replaced by offshoring and H1B Visa contractors. Even in the US, you pretty much have to be Indian to get hired. In-office work environment is very loud due to open workspace and lack of private working areas. On-call pay is not worth it, yet you're forced to partake in an oncall rotation in some roles. Cafeteria quality and breakroom amenities are lacking. Too many people managers, program managers, project managers and meetings which all hurt our productivity. We spend a lot of time training college hires, just for them to leave within 2 years for better jobs with much better pay. Poor work-life balance due to poor management

    Advice to Management

    If you want good people to stop leaving, at least give us cost of living adjustments! Listen to the pulse feedback survey where nearly half of the workforce is unhappy with compensation, which is below market value. Pay your people better. Pay your college hires better. Offer stock and other incentives to keep people at the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    I am just a number

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Controller in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Controller in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility, balance, benefits, employee activities, opportunity to change roles internally

    Cons

    Manual and inefficient processes, politics, slow to change, too many redundancies, no sense of making a difference or contributing, no career path, limited process documentation, job rotations occur too frequently

    Advice to Management

    Value and listen to your employees, simplify systems and processes, give merit increases, get rid of excess human capital


  3. Helpful (1)

    Hit or Miss

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer TAC & HTTS in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Engineer TAC & HTTS in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cisco has the resources to do anything they want. If they want to fix a problem they can. The saying at Cisco is, there are jobs.. just not a lot of good ones.

    Cons

    The last 20 years created a huge outsourcing black hole, and along with that many engineers were brought into the US to support customers here and abroad. Unfortunately they don't speak English very well, and many are completely unintelligible. Some of the managers are also from India and don't want to remove these folks, and so the work gets piled onto the US engineers to make up for them.. so you'll become their mule.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to seriously look at the lower management and figure out who needs to go. Just because you had a CCIE in 1990 doesn't mean you know anything about IT, Telecommunications, or business process management.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    15 year Cisco IT veteran, had enough of the Cisco culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cisco was a very exciting company to work for. Very rewarding with endless possibilities. Good benefits, tuition reimbursement, PTO time. Flexible work hours and the ability to work from home. ESPP.

    Cons

    Middle management hell and they are afraid of their own shadows. Constant limited restructuring causes continuous fears of being laid off. Difficult to be promoted, unless you drop everything your doing and appease your director by chasing the shiny ball. You don't get rewarded for excelling at your daily job, its more important to kiss senior managements rear end and get your "name known". Would rather hire off the street than promote within. Cisco is no longer a fun company to work for and is now just a large company to work for. They have truly adopted the do more with less, including money and people. If your not at one of the major campuses, you are forgotten about.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the constant management shuffling and restructuring. Stop bringing people in off the street at higher positions. Place more value in your long term employees who have helped build this company up. The people who know the inner workings of the company and not the people who can talk up a good interview, only to find out that's the only thing they were good at. Bring back the exciting team work place and team building events and off sites. Get rid of middle management who cannot commit or drive commitments, but instead crumble when their director gives any push back.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Velvet handcuffs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company provided excellent benefits including great salaries and 401k marching that vests immediately. Work life balance can be managed in certain roles. Options for telecommuting allow great flexibility.

    Cons

    Opportunities for career growth are lacking Management seems opposed to lateral moves that Can help individuals develop a career if they do not see how it contributes to their specific organization.

    Advice to Management

    To retain employees, provide clear opportunities for career development, especially for new hires in the university program.


  7. Helpful (3)

    As a 2013 College Hire, it's a place where all new ideas and innovation go to die.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You can literally do nothing and keep your 60K job

    Cons

    Apparently there used to be good perks about Cisco - they are literally all gone now, the benefits is cheap and pretty good that's about all you'll get. The work-life balance is pretty good because you'll be bored as hell and with that comes no promotions ever. Cisco does not give annual raises for inflation - it's pathetic. Bonuses are pretty poor as well.

    Advice to Management

    I have no advice it's already turned into an old people place with a large company bank account that pretends to do innovative things in their commercials. IoE will will be completely missed by Cisco, they think it's their only goal for the future.


  8. Helpful (4)

    Getting worse and worse. Cisco is trying to transform, but forgetting the employees in the process.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are awesome, passionate, and eager to solve problems when they're not burnt out. Cisco has a strong culture and value system.

    Cons

    Personal growth, the benefits are declining year over year in major ways. It's obvious the group in charge of US Benefits is pushing employees to high deductible healthcare plans, with lesser benefits than in the past. Many people are burned out after 4 years straight of "limited restructurings", aka Layoffs. It is a bit like the Hunger Games here. While those who are LR'd have fantastic packages, those who are left are forced to shoulder the additional workload, without increased pay or benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Reinvest in the actual employees who are left after an LR. There is a reason why people are leaving, and why Cisco cannot attract top talent- the company doesn't pay enough anymore, and the benefits are decreasing. If you want the company to transform in 12-18 months, and become a high growth company again, you need make Cisco a great place to be like it was 20 years ago- and that means making people happy to spend their time here.


  9. Helpful (5)

    Silos and resistance to change

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits, ample training opportunities, great place for self-starters and remote workers.

    Cons

    As part of a services practice, it was nearly impossible to get information from business units to properly do my job. My manager was ineffectual and unhelpful (affirmed by management poll of my group). Review structure discourages employee cooperation and teamwork. Our division was undermined by a failed acquisition that poisoned our market standing and ruined relationships with key customers. Cisco throws money at buying new solutions, but fails to do due diligence beforehand and lacks the followthru to integrate the new businesses. Once you're hired, forget about lateral moves. Cisco hiring managers are biased to external candidates and ignore qualified and proven internal candidates. And forget about raises in your current classification.

    Advice to Management

    Limiting performance recognition to fixed quintiles means that employees are demotivated when they get bad reviews simply so the manager's chums get raises and key assignments. People then tend to play CYA games and limit collaboration so they don't jeopardize their own reviews. Also, laying off thousands and then complaining about the lack of qualified candidates (H1-B politics) is disingenuous and wrong.


  10. Helpful (3)

    A relentless drive to marginalize engineers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Leader I in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Technical Leader I in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A standard set of benefits that work. Good health insurance, life insurance and 401k benefits. Most departments provide the opportunity for highly flexible hours.

    Cons

    Yearly lay-offs are draining morale. Engineering is viewed as a cost center, so engineering is being marginalized by getting less of the bonus pot of money than some other areas in the corporation. We're not sure where this will lead Cisco in the future as it has traditionally been based on technology advancement. It might end up in very dark places for an engineer based in the USA. The best benefits (restricted stock options, for example) are reserved for only the top 5 or 10% of employees. This is stratifying the environment, and a culture of severe envy is building. As an engineer, obtaining the top 5% can be counter intuitive. Technical excellence helps, but political connections are most important. This is anathema to a typical engineer. As an engineer, the advancements of salary and title are now extremely limited. The upside to this is most of the engineers achieve excellent work-life balance since there is little benefit to working too hard. All of the above started changing sharply in 2008. Before that, it was a very different story. Many engineers are mourning the loss of a once great Cisco.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being disingenuous with regards to engineering employment at Cisco. Reward the top 10%, but also share with the core employees who do the actual work. Stop cutting out the core. The corporation has plenty of money to share but has chosen not to.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Used to be a very good company but not anymore due to its huge management force and fewer people do the actual work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Support Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Customer Support Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good name with large market share. Lots of talented employees. Compensation used to be very good although not anymore since the bubble burst in 2001.

    Cons

    Poor stock performance over the past 15 years. Little or no raises for many years. Company culture is no longer the typical American as it is mostly controlled by non-Americans.

    Advice to Management

    The company really needs new blood for the management.



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