IBM Research Reviews

Updated July 6, 2015
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3.7
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
IBM Research CEO Virginia Rommety
Virginia Rommety
20 Ratings

Pros
  • Breadth of technologies; really smart people; excellent work-life balance (in 44 reviews)

  • Work-life balance is reasonably okay given that employees get option to work from home (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 9 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

69 Employee Reviews

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  1. Associate Partner

    Former Employee - Associate Partner in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Associate Partner in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Team members are very knowledgable in analytics

    Cons

    Need cohesive approach to industry


  2. Electroplating

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

    I have been working at IBM Research as an intern (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    It's a very interesting job that keeps me busy as long as the project maintains a plan with a proper direction. It pays well, given that I am only an intern. The people here are very friendly and willing to help a newcomer.

    Cons

    If the project loses it's direction, I am left with too much time on-hand. My mentor is very busy and does not always have time to discuss the next step. Sometimes work space is limited.

    Advice to Management

    Create a list of smaller jobs that anyone can do for when people are bored and don't have another job to do. The list could be available on a public forum and people check off when they have started and finished the jobs.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Lowest morale seen in years

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Work with really smart people. Lots of opportunities to learn new technologies.

    Cons

    Unfair performance evaluations. Constant layoffs. Raises are non-existent for most employees. The employee is no longer valued.

    Advice to Management

    Eliminate the PBC . Focus on sharing compensation ** fairly ** with all employees. Constant workforce reduction doesn't help IBM achieve revenue targets. It only demoralizes the remaining workforce.


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  5. Research today 2015

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Potential freedom to research interesting topics. Lots of independence. Great technology and expertise in the research division. Good environment.

    Cons

    Currently theres a lot of pressure to engage researches with clients. This often doesn't create good matches and may produce suboptimal results.

    Advice to Management

    Do not stretch researches into mu, do not micromanage researchers, do not force engagements.


  6. Great People/Great Problems

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

    I have been working at IBM Research (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Some of the smartest people in the world, working together to solve bleeding edge problems. Tight connections with product teams and amazing customers.

    Cons

    Management is extremely focused on funding.


  7. Helpful (1)

    semi-academic research

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

    I have been working at IBM Research (More than 3 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    expected to spend some time to write papers

    Cons

    recently much more focus on applied projects


  8. Helpful (1)

    Overall I was very satisfied with the challenges of the work and the Education Benefits provided.

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

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are on the correct project, working on very exciting leading edge technologies.

    Cons

    Having >400,000 employees and not growing top line revenue has made it tough for advancement in the last few years

    Advice to Management

    It was good they gave up on the 2015 roadmap, spend more time focusing on the top performers.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Great balance and freedom.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work-life balance. Lots of working from home -- which is especially helpful for new parents or folks dealing with sick loved-ones. IBM shows a lot of trust in its researchers to choose their own problems and drive them. It also encourages collaboration with academia and it's a good way to get interns to come and work for you while staying on the cutting edge and relevant in the broader research community.

    Cons

    Lots of older IBMers don't get the way the world works today, and that's alarming. The notion that everything open source is winning and everyone wants everything "as a service" is a fairly new concept that hasn't entirely been accepted by all within research. With the research organization being so large there are people who just don't get how to do impactful research anymore. They're so focused on supporting the current busniess that they spend years without any significant publications and lose sight of what are the important problems that will prepare IBM to compete. There's almost a unethical drive to get more patents -- even for stuff we'll never build. In effect, IBM Research is the biggest patent troll there is. Also, the bonuses are *tiny* (around 1% for average performance and <10% for the best of the best performers). I don't know what it used to be like at IBM Research but it's obvious why the best people arrive, love the freedom, and then realize top-notch research will not be rewarded unless it makes it into products within a year. To make up for longer-term results, you have to write patents, since at least that does generate revenue for the division.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on research. Perhaps even break up the research division into 2. One that focuses on more R than D and the other that focuses on more D than R. That would at least make the goals clearer and the incentives better defined.


  10. Helpful (1)

    It was great until my whole project moved to China.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Management Professional Advisory in Hawthorne, NY
    Current Employee - Systems Management Professional Advisory in Hawthorne, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Nice work environment and good package.

    Cons

    Jobs are not secure. No Future. Hawthorne location is now closed and many IT jobs have gone to China.

    Advice to Management

    Near-shore projects and keep the money in the US.


  11. Positive Experience

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

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent experience at the company where I learned quite a bit.

    Cons

    Large structure of management in a shrinking organization leaves few opportunities.



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