Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated September 3, 2015
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3.7
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
207 Ratings

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

6,277 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (97)

    The grass isn't always greener...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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. IT Analyst Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Analyst Intern in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - IT Analyst Intern in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Collaborative teams that encourage reaching out for help - Good work / life balance - Good intern activities

    Cons

    - Project placement can be sporadic with such a big company - Experience between teams can be vastly different

    Advice to Management

    - Give interns more choice with regards to their full time project - Allow for more visibility with upper management


  3. Great flexibility

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Ability to telecommute is great to have. Very flexible schedules to accommodate everyone's needs. Bottom line, as long as you get your work done, it will be okay.

    Cons

    Hard to get promoted within the company, often hear you need to leave the company and return.


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  5. Cisco Systems 1999-2011: Business Development and Marketing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Business Development Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Global Vision Salary and benefits Global Senior Manager quality

    Cons

    Local execution Unable to put in practice vision with real innovation Unable to understand client needs


  6. Business Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people, very supportive company, great total compensation

    Cons

    Can be slow-moving, projects that are lower priority never get finished

    Advice to Management

    Cull some of the side initiatives like "fun events" or cool projects that don't contribute to the bottom line or are "fuzzy"


  7. Great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - OCAP Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - OCAP Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great environment with a lot of flexibility to employees. This is based on the group with which I worked and may not be the same for other divisions in the company.

    Cons

    Too big a company. My review is based on my team, it may not be the same for other divisions in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what you do best and stop trying to buy solutions. Invest in the creation of teams that will come up with new ideas.


  8. Great company to work for if you are interested in Internet of Things

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn new state of art of art technologies, excellent company for work life balance

    Cons

    Huge organization and very difficult to identify resources like product managers for specific Cisco product

    Advice to Management

    Need to better leverage employees' diversity and better talent retain


  9. Technical Lead

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Milpitas, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Good Culture and environment, employee friendly

    Cons

    needs to be more aggressive


  10. Good company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    It is the best in its class. There is no other company better than Cisco in the area of networking

    Cons

    The company watches its spending carefully. You have to make sure you stay productive.


  11. One of the biggest industry in silicon valley

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Java Developer in Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Java Developer in Fremont, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Best work culture, flexible working hours

    Cons

    Heavy work, most of the employees are short term contractors



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