Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated April 25, 2015
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3.6
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4,028 Ratings

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 666 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 184 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (17)

    The grass isn't always greener...

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I decided to wait almost a year after leaving the company before posting a review. The primary reason being is that when you decide to leave an organization it is usually because there is something there that isn't aligning with you or what you want anymore however, the grass is not always greener someplace else. This has been my experience. In fact, the appreciation I have for the company has grown so much in my time away that I would really like to return.

    The company truly believes on promoting within and as an employee you are encouraged to grow your career within the organization and learn new skills by taking different positions. Benefits are excellent. Cisco is the industry leader for networking and now cloud. It is sometimes easy to forget that on the daily grind but you are working for the company that everyone looks to for network and infrastructure standards. Culture within the business units managing product lines give you a lot of freedom to be innovative and creative in your approach to your role. In most cases you are given a fair amount of autonomy and control over how you do your job provided that it aligns with the strategic objectives. Benefits, 401k match, RSUs and ESPP are amazing. And while the salaries aren't the top of the industry, they are above market and pretty competitive.

    Cons

    Cisco can be a machine. There isn't an overt demand for all of your time (even the time outside of work) but more of a subtle, slight encouragement to always be on. If you are not careful, you will live, sleep and eat Cisco 24x7. Don't get me wrong, this is 100% a choice and if you are aware of this subtlety in the culture it is very easy to set appropriate boundaries that will be respected by the company and leadership team.

    If you don't like where you are in Cisco or what you are working on, give it 6 months because you will be reorg'd. While it is sometimes necessary to realign the company to meet competitive threats or market demands, reorganizing the company once a year is excessive and tends to create a distrusting environment for the rank and file which makes being a leader in the organize challenging. There is a loss of momentum and motivation that occurs a few months before and a few months after reorgs so this leaves the company being effective at delivery and execution only about 70% of the time.

    While Cisco attracts some bright, motivated people the truth of the matter is you are either cut out for the company and its culture or you're not. If you aren't it will be painfully obvious to you and those around you. Sadly as a leader it is hard to cut dead weight from the team and the only really accepted way is via layoffs, which is why the company reorgs once a year despite the company line about the reorgs.

    Advice to Management

    In my time at Cisco I was a part of 3 different and distinct business units. I enjoyed working for each of them and found that I was able to contribute value in every role I held. What was painfully obvious to me was that the company is (or was) going through a bit of an identity crisis. Consumer vs no consumer. Social media vs no social media. AWS like cloud offering vs Cisco cloud offering.

    My advice to the leadership team is this. We (Cisco for life) are *Cisco*. *We* develop the standard for networking, infrastructure and cloud. *We* are the industry leaders in our segment. *We* stand a cut above and make no apologies for it. Own being Cisco. We don't need to compete with Apple, Facebook, Google, or Amazon. *We* don't chase our competitors. They chase us.

  2. Software Engineer

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A good place to work and learn.

    Cons

    There are too often reorganization and shuffle of upper management positions and strategic directions of the business unit that I used to work for.

  3. Systems Engineer

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work / Life balance
    PTO
    The people are amazing

    Cons

    We are big so sometimes it takes awhile to get things done but, that's to be expected.

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  5. Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Good benefits and compensation package

    Cons

    No more free water, soda and other drinks

  6. Multimedia Designer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Multimedia Designer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Contractor - Multimedia Designer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with, everyone is very knowledgable in their fields. There truly is real team effort and people working together to get projects done. For a company that is about networking, they make it very easy to work remotely and still be part of team projects.

    Cons

    As a long-term contract worker, there is no stability or assurance of employment, even though we're assured the work is there and we'll be needed, contracts still need to be renewed every quarter and on occasion there are problems. In the last few years, they've had major layoffs and restructuring that has eliminated thousands of talented and skilled people.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Great culture, great work-life balance, great compensation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Project Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Current Contractor - Project Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    There are many pros about working for Cisco including: work-life balance, compensation, culture, benefits, people etc.

    Cons

    The biggest con is the layered management staff. In many cases there can be 10 managers over an individual contributor. In this case it is very unlikely that individual can be properly recognized for their contributions.

  8. You can have a career here and have a life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Operations Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Business Operations Manager in San Jose, CA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work life balance & flexibility
    Remote employees an have a real career here
    Collaborative culture
    Smart people, esp those that come from acquisitions
    Customer driven culture

    Cons

    Experience depends on the BU you are in
    No one company culture to speak of
    Very difficult to feel alignment with the larger organization
    Slow, process heavy

  9. Product manager

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    providing very good overall benefit

    Cons

    seems not to see the long term growth

  10. System Engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer II in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer II in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It is great company to work for. Great leadership, great career development opportunities, nice colleagues around.

    Cons

    Nothing about the cons. Just feel there will be more room for salary increase and for better benefits.

    Advice to Management

    It is great company to work for. Great leadership, great career development opportunities, nice colleagues around. Nothing about the cons. Just feel there will be more room for salary increase and for better benefits.

  11. CyberSecurity Architect

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Amazing place to work! Full-time telecommuting and a leader in the security space.

    Cons

    Upward movement in the company and promotions can be very challenging; bottom 5% of employees are weeded out regularly. Cisco also has historic issues of retaining top talent due to below average compensation.

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