IBM Research

  www.research.ibm.com
  www.research.ibm.com
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IBM Research Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated September 9, 2014
Updated September 9, 2014
362 Reviews
3.6
362 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
IBM Research CEO Virginia Rommety
Virginia Rommety
56 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is reasonably okay given that employees get option to work from home (in 43 reviews)

  • Relaxed work culture, flexible timings, work from home is possible (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • A lot of the senior management believes it has the "vision" necessary to micro-manage the work of research staff (in 8 reviews)

  • Lots of uncertainty regarding job security and very hard career growth (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

53 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    "Teamwork" is mostly just a motto here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good place to expand skills and knowledge, lots of smart people to learn from. Having this employer and location on your resume is a great door opener for future jobs. Because the average IQ is so high, you'll have lots of dinner stories about eccentric behavior.

    Cons

    Professional staff members are mostly interested in advancing their own inventions and career. They have little interest in working together on projects where credit will be shared.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great colleagues being strangled by upper management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Staff Member  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Work with really smart people on challenging problems, some of which come from the IBM development labs and some of which come from direct interactions with customers.

    Cons

    The insistence of upper management of getting to $20 earnings per share by 2015 is causing draconian budget cuts, which is causing IBM to start to eats its own seed corn. Many of the best people are leaving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make your 2015 goal if you must, but then get back to developing products that will bring in future revenue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in New York, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    nice culture and work/life balance
    pay/compensation is ok
    good company values

    Cons

    personal growth opportunity not satisfiable

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Challenging and rewarding

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in New York, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You get to work with the best in the field and with people with a range of experiences across the spectrum from less than a year to more than 25 years at the company. Excellent projects, opportunity to publish, patent, impact IBM and have tremendous personal growth.

    Cons

    Your experience is driven by your first line manager. Some teams only consist of 3 or 4 people, so managers tend to micromanage.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Very diverted place to both learn and grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Summer Research Intern  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Summer Research Intern in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Research of different skills and in various domains are working in one building, creating tremendous opportunities for collaboration.

    Freedom in terms of working

    Cons

    Relatively many business meeting, but is fine if you are just a research staff

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make administration as flat as possible

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Research Scientist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Interesting technical challenges. Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Lay offs, no raises. The morale is low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to morale. Clarify the vision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Interesting, hard to navigate.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RSM  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - RSM in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Challenging, good working environment. Flexible working hours, if needed ability to work remotely. Collaborative and productive research environment.

    Cons

    Lots of uncertainty regarding job security and very hard career growth. Flexible working hours sometimes means you have to work at all times.

  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    IBM Research is great but the rest of the company is dragging it down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    If you are a Ph.D. and want to work in the industry but still be in touch with the academic work, IBM Research is one of the few places that can provide that opportunity. As a research staff member (typically only Ph.D.s are hired), you will be measured based on three things: 1. your project work and how much it contributed to the company in terms of cost savings, revenue impact, or other qualitative impact, or technological advances if you are lucky enough to be working on such things 2. patents you file, 3. papers you publish. Since IBM is a global company, the projects can come from many different industries and many different locations in the world. The Research division enjoys high respect within the company but much more so outside the company.

    Cons

    IBM's obsession with pleasing the Wall Street brings about a short sighted view to its research policy and hence impacts its Research negatively. All parts of IBM unfortunately scramble to meet short term financial objectives and Research is very often called for help, which takes researchers away from their primary roles of inventing and innovating game changing technologies and methods. By definition, research means investing time and money in high risk high reward problems. For instance, Watson was developed over quite a few years with dozens of people involved. That is what it takes to create serious technologies. Watson team had the few lucky researchers. Unfortunately, many researchers find themselves in a situation where they are asked to help the other parts of IBM improve their bottom line. Since other parts of IBM provide research its funding, they have a lot of influence on defining research projects and therefore how researchers spend their time. Since they are hard pressed to meet their financial objectives, they tend to define projects that help their short term financial goals. Such projects are almost always less innovative and tend to have marginal value for the company. IBM researchers are very capable people. IBM hires the very best to its Research. However, under so much pressure to help IBM's bottom line and do it fast, it is hard for researchers to come up with earth shaking innovations, though they would be perfectly capable to do so if they were given some breathing room. There are still quite a few researchers who still get to work on really promising things but their numbers are quite small.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the basic definition of "research". Go after high risk high reward ideas, invest your precious research resources to those and be patient. Protect your researchers from short term ups and downs of IBM's business. Research is not about that. Here is a simple analogy if you don't really understand this. Imagine parents that are struggling to make the ends meet. They have a child who is brilliant and doing extremely well at school. He/she has a bright future but needs support. What do the right parents do? They sacrifice everything to make sure that child gets a chance to use his/her potential. If supported well, such a child can not only save himself/herself but the entire family and plus more. IBM has over 400,000 employees worldwide. IBM Research has only around 3000 people. IBM can certainly effort to provide some level of protection to its researchers if it wants to get good things out of them. If a researcher has to worry about budget cuts, limited resources, and having to help this division versus that, when will they have the peace of mind to do serious research that can change the future of IBM. IBM has to trust its Research again and make the environment conducive for its researchers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Research @ IBM T.J. Watson

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Smart colleagues, wide range of research projects to work on, can have impact on research and IBM products.

    Cons

    Pretty happy here, no real cons that I can think off at the present time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Many excellent researchers in one place.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher  in  Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Resources both physical, monetary, and intellectual

    Cons

    Valuing the share price of employee satisfaction

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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