Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
5,142 Reviews
3.6
5,142 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,593 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 630 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 182 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 165 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great People, lots collaborative work, very open about sharing information.

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Creative people, challenging works, flexible work arangements. Good deal of freedom to set direction.

    Cons

    Un-organized, company direction is not clear, unfocused. Resource align is tough to achieve across organizations. Recent lay offs were not well co-ordinated, many surprises.
    Indian mafia.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus the company, apply resouces to those area.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Decent, challenging, high pressure, job insecurity, tight deadlines

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Hardware Engineer in Raleigh, NC

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

    Pros

    Challenging work atmosphere, brand name, facilities such as gym, health care, 401k, work from home, flexible

    Cons

    Job insecurity, tight deadlines, too much policitics, very asian atmoshphere, creative ideas not really welcomed, need to work as a soldier or slave driven

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the constant re structuing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Use to be the best place to work, now horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Sales Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Product Sales Specialist in New York, NY

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Use to be great and pretty good layoff packages

    Cons

    Use to be great. Now nothing but layoffs and promises of more layoffs. Moral has crashed and the work environment has turned super negative

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back the old company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great learning environment

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Chance to work on variety of technologies

    Cons

    Slow moving decision-making, heavy layers of management oversight

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower middle managers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Solid company but too many layoffs

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

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

    Pros

    Good company with solid benefits and great ability to work at home or at the office. They strive for flexibility and provide the tools to make it happen.

    Cons

    Company is going through a lot of realignment and change and is choosing to accomplish this through consistent layoffs each August after the fiscal year closes. Instead of retraining they fire and bring in new younger blood. The lament that not enough people leave the company each year as their attrition rate is 3% and John Chambers would like to see it at 10%. They lose a lot of good people with this approach.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retrain and don't just do yearly layoffs. You are making Cisco not a place people want to come too and that is not your end goal.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Rapid change/restructure and moving to a high turnover model

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

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

    Pros

    Training options are top notch, depending on the year
    Remote work is an option, with less than 5% travel
    The people working there are some of the best in the world

    Cons

    Job security is non-existent
    Organizational silos make changing positions infeasible
    Upper management is cut-throat whilst the experts have a supportive culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    4 years of consecutive layoffs? Reviewing on a curve? These policies strongly indicate to your employees that you're moving to a high-turnover model. You're going to lose top talent in addition to those deliberately targeted for layoffs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a very good place to work, but things had been going downhill for a while.

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Competetive compensation, treats its employees well. Work-life balance is reasonably good in most BUs.

    Cons

    Increasing amount of politics at the workplace and frequent layoffs resulting in a degree of apathy and loss of morale among engineers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the deadwood and fat in management before downsizing engineering teams.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to start a career out of College. Do not expect to last more than 10 years.

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity to find additional positions of interest within the company
    * Stable workforce so long as you are not involved in a 'fringe' technology team being phased out
    * Generous opportunity to find other positions if restructuring requires, and generous package in lieu of another position if you so choose

    Cons

    Slow to move into some newer technologies, though rapidly changing that attitude this past year
    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 ManagementAdvice

    Continue to solicite customer and Cisco partner input as to recommended changes to sales and support model to make it easier to do business with Cisco. Listen and continue to provide end to end solutions involving industry standards. Provide more open APIs / SDKs to qualified vendors to expand opportunities for 3rd party companies to integrate seamlessly into the Cisco architecture as new technologies are rapidly rolled out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A very good company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Milpitas, CA

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

    Pros

    Great company. Great Managers. Excellent support for employee development. Excellent full time hiring standards, Most of the time friendly environment.

    Cons

    Some administrative processes are very cumbersome. A lot of self initiated networking is needed for growth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company with lots of opportunity, and while innovative with technology - not so in how they pursue today's market.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Boxborough, MA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Boxborough, MA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people, good recourses, R and D nonpareil.

    Cons

    Myopic, low agility, business processes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The new term "fail fast" applies to all businesses today - Cisco is no exception. I loved all my time at Cisco and customers love the technology and comfort of the resources - make it easier for them to do business with you.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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