Cisco Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated June 19, 2017
434 reviews

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434 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Best work life balance in the industry (in 1771 reviews)

  • I get to work from home multiple days per week (in 881 reviews)

Cons
  • it can sometimes get overloaded - you are the only one responsible with your work/life balance (in 373 reviews)

  • a big company like Cisco normally has less efficiency system (in 304 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "High salary, high expectations, low moral values"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boxborough, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boxborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Highly competent staff.
    Great benefits.
    Good pay.
    Great campus.

    Cons

    The people who were promoted were the best at gaming the system.
    The people who told the truth even constructively were punished for it.
    Metrics ran roughshod over employees. No metric too small to be driven.
    Cisco will stop at nothing to satisfy a customer, including employees working nights, weekends, and everything in between.
    When I left the company, I felt like I was on vacation when I stopped working on the weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful the message you send by who you promote.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Run away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    large stable company where you can maintain your position.

    Cons

    Beyond horrible people management. Colleagues spend more time trying to undermine each other rather than make the company more successful.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourself

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Growing increasingly more toxic by the minute"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Communications Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, flexible work environment, prestigious to say you work at a Fortune 100 company, it's hard to come up with anything else positive.

    Cons

    High turnover.
    Leadership positions remain vacant for long periods of time leaving huge gaps and teams without proper focus and structure.
    No career growth. I have had 4 managers in 3 years time.
    No one is working as one unified team.
    People who come in from acquisitions take leadership positions, create toxic environments, criticize existing efforts, make messes because they don't take the time to learn the history of things and demotivate teams.
    Politics, gossip and corruptness is permitted.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the toxic political cesspool. Hold people accountable for operating with our values.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Stay away creative people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Compensation, flexible work schedule, and travel.

    Cons

    Aspiring marketing professionals in college, do NOT make the mistake of starting off your career in Cisco. I was lured by the great salary, tales of a terrific culture, and the promise that Cisco would help me continue learning and growing as a marketer. The salary was great, but everything else was a lie. It is important to remember that Cisco, especially the marketing department, largely consists of middle-aged to older people who are already settled in their lives (kids, marriage, finances, etc). As a young, unattached professional, you are at a career advantage where you have the time to 1)Go physically into work and develop real one-on-one relationships with colleagues. 2)Devote time after work to networking with other tech marketing individuals. 3) Work with other young people who are more willing to take the financial risk and devote time to develop a start up. Cisco culture assists those who want a "work-life" balance which is great for those who are more settled in life. For those who still want to do something crazy and change the paradigm, Cisco is not the place to do it.

    Advice to Management

    Be open about the downsides of working for Cisco.

    Cisco Systems Response

    May 9, 2016 – Cisco Employee

    We completely understand that Cisco's culture is not for everyone, however, this doesn't make it a bad culture. We do offer the Early in Career Network for employees starting their career at Cisco ... More


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Lack of job security"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westminster, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westminster, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems (Less than a year)

    Pros

    big name company that everyone will know

    Cons

    low company morale because of mass yearly layoffs


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flex work at Home
    Avg Salary

    Cons

    Very Poor Managers and senior managers
    Managers are there to collect a paychek and power point pushers
    Promotion and Job placements based on whom you know not merit
    A good NCE does not mean he would be a good manager.
    Displacing folks over a certain age is very common practice.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the issues inside the company. One is not in the Military. Culture at Cisco is Grade levels cannot talk to 2 Grades up. Just like in the services. This is the downfall of Cisco


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Precarious for contractors"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good people, good resources, good projects. The contract pay was quite good. I had some excellent managers and team members.

    Cons

    Apparently there is some sort of rule that the Cisco manager you report to cannot provide any type of feedback. My manager seemed to be great. Every time we met on the phone, he acted as if all was well. He never provided any feedback or coaching. He was very friendly. I was offered a full time position many times, but had to turn it down because the pay was nothing short of abysmal.

    Then, a very hostile customer complained about me for a rather invalid reason. My project manager and team had my back and were in my corner. They all explained to my manager that I was not at fault. Suddenly, my contract was terminated. No explanation, no communication. I tried to talk to him just to understand, but he completely cut me off and wouldn't talk to me.

    If you are thinking about contracting at Cisco, then I strongly caution you. If you are perfect, then all will be well. If you do anything that causes the slightest bit of concern, then your contract will be terminated. They won't warn you, they won't talk to you, they'll just give you the ax.

    There is a very stark difference between contractors ("Red Badges") and employees ("Blue Badges"). Contractors get a paycheck and absolutely nothing else. That is to be expected in many situations, but I wanted to make it clear for those less experienced in contracting.

    Advice to Management

    Would it kill you to provide feedback to your people? Even if they are contractors? Can you not provide the slightest bit of coaching? Can you not talk frankly to your teams and give them the knowledge they need for improvement?

  8. Helpful (4)

    "cisco, the internet of cheap"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ample parking, a cool logo, and a hhuuuuuuuuuuuge company that spans the globe.

    Cons

    No annual raises, rare promotions, layoffs a few times every year and the desks are pretty tiny.

    Cisco Systems Response

    Mar 31, 2016 – HR Representative

    We are sorry to hear you are unhappy. Because you are a current worker, please know you can reach out to your manager and HR about these concerns. We want you to feel valued and would love to work ... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Acquire and Destroy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lawrenceville, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lawrenceville, GA

    Pros

    Compensation is higher than normal for Greater Atlanta Area IT sector. If you're in the right group, you can be shielded from most of the upper level management shenanigans, politics and bad business decisions. If you're not in the right group - all bets are off.

    Cons

    Cisco has a habit of acquiring companies and then destroying them. This is certainly the case with their acquisition of Scientific Atlanta, all traces of which will certainly cease to exist within the next two years. Upper level management is a revolving door and there is a high level of chaos as folks scramble to maintain employment - often working on projects that have very little chance of succeeding.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline and focus on doing a few things well, rather than doing a large number of things badly.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "An old company with no where to go but down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Test Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Network Test Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company has lots of different technologies to pick from. If you have the opportunity to get in, it's a great place to start a career, but with the intention of leaving 1-2 years into the job.

    Cons

    1) Tons of red tape
    2) Processes for everything. If there isn't a process, it can't be done and changing the process is nearly impossible.
    3) Seemingly yearly layoffs
    4) Not particularly innovative.
    5) Depending on your management, YMMV.`

    Advice to Management

    My management was awful. I would advise that Cisco work on providing leadership to their teams, or allowing those in the team that can lead the ability to do so.


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