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IBM Postdoctoral Researcher Reviews

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Postdoctoral Researcher

3.1
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "At times difficult work life balance" (in 1060 reviews)

  • "Low salary increments since last 2 years" (in 502 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Postdoctoral Researcher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    well paid and flexible with job content

    Cons

    permanent position in the semiconductors gets competetive


  2. "Mediocre experience but maybe worth a try"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance
    Chance to learn things if working in an appropriate group

    Cons

    Lack of vision
    Lower salary than similar positions at other companies
    Bureaucracy
    Lack of office space

  3. Helpful (2)

    "It is a business brand, no research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Armonk, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Armonk, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly Colleagues
    Good Location
    Great name for your Resume

    Cons

    Inexperienced and Young Managers
    No Clear Agenda of Research
    Business plans affects everything
    No value for their employees


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Many excellent researchers in one place."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Resources both physical, monetary, and intellectual

    Cons

    Valuing the share price of employee satisfaction


  5. Helpful (8)

    "A once great industry research lab spiraling down the drain."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    One of the few industry research labs where you can keep one foot in the academic world. Flexible work environment and schedule.

    Cons

    IBM Corporate has no clue how to truly get long term value from research. As others have posted, research is high-risk high-reward, but in the past years IBM is only concerned with quarterly bottom lines. IBM Researchers are constantly bombarded with inappropriate projects just to help immediate revenue. Over the years IBM Research has seen a lot of turn over as many researchers leave for academic or industry positions due to the degradation of the value of true research. As such, management at IBM Research is slowly being filled with more 'corporate' minded employees. IBM Corporate simultaneously wants to tap IBM Research for immediate boosts to revenue and also expects game-changing products. They fail to see that the former will impact the latter, and as others have posted, do not understand that Research needs to be insulated to make long term dramatic impact.

    Morale at IBM Research is at a near all time low. IBM Research does not value their researchers and the message you infer is that you should simply be grateful for the opportunity to work at IBM research. Compensation, benefits, and perks are constantly being reduced and eroded. The building itself is abysmal. Bleak, no windows in offices, dirty, musty, ancient office equipment (unless you are IBM Corporate, they have all the nice offices and meeting rooms). For a tech company that is attracting top researchers and tech people it is truly sad that one has to beg and plead for the most basic needs (monitor for laptop, mouse, stapler, ...).

    The current problems at IBM Research mostly impact the new Research Staff members and Postdoctoral Researchers. Old employees have learned to insulate themselves better from IBM Corporate, but new employees are at their mercy. From experience I know researchers at IBM used to have 25%-50% of their time free for their own research. Going in to my job I expected this, but this delusion was quickly shattered. New researchers are expected to work on IBM dictated projects or research directions. I was made to feel guilty for working on personal research (which was still oriented along our general research lines). Again, the impression you get is they can always higher new top talent because of their reputation. So, accept it or leave. But the prestige of working at IBM Research is falling rapidly.

    For those looking for a dynamic and agile work place, IBM Research is just the opposite. Mostly this is simply due to the sheer size of IBM. But the remaining fault lies with the culture at IBM. It is slow and stale, and the often infuriating part is many IBMers think the opposite.
    Compounding this, IBM Research (and IBM Corporate) as a demographic is older. Not that this is a problem, but one should be aware if they are young, energetic, and bright-eyed, this is not the place for you. Lastly, the software, tools, and support one is forced to use at IBM (looking at you Lotus Notes) is atrocious and often wastes an inordinate amount of time to do things that should be simple and straightforward.

    IBM Research is on the decline. They are coasting on their (deserved) reputation as a leading industry research lab. Those days are gone. Morale is low, people are leaving, the wrong people are staying, and sadly management actually does know about the problem yet seems unwilling or incapable of fixing the it. IBM Research is moving to a place where they do not value their employees yet expect them to be grateful to simply work for IBM. Pockets of true old-school IBM Research groups still exist, mainly in the math group, but those are being squeezed out. That is why you still see (and rightly so) positive reviews of IBM Research. But as a whole, IBM Research is spiraling down the drain. Sadly, I believe in 10-15 years it will be a shell of what it used to be. They are losing their real talent and what made them special, and can only ride on their reputation for so long. Most likely the remaining talent will be divided into the profitable non-research divisions and it will be no more.

    Advice to Management

    Research is a high-risk high-reward venture. Insulate IBM Research and let them do great things, as they have done before.


  6. "Good place to work, a lot of nice people around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown, NY
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People are knowledgeable and kind, lots of good things to learn if you are in the right team. Funding generally is not a problem. Working on a right project can help you publish a lot of work.
    Work life balance is good. Generally no need to travel or work over the weekend. Things go along with a steady pace.
    Reporting structure is generally stable. You report to one boss and don't have to change manager all the time, which happens in some other companies

    Cons

    People are lay back. Hardworking may not necessary bring you promotion or salary increse. Besides work, politics also impacts your performance.


  7. "Work with very smart people on cool projects"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Hawthorne, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Hawthorne, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work with some of the most talented people in the scientific research community.
    Great place for research -- good balance between academic and industrial research.
    Opportunities to work on some cutting-edge research projects.
    Encourage publishing in conferences/journals and development as a scientist.
    Pay well compared with other companies for a similar position.

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy, and too much paperwork for everything.
    Despite the high stock value for IBM, none of that seems to make it to the employees.
    Hiring freezes and restrictions on travel spending every so often -- higher ups don't seem to be managing the budget very well.

    Advice to Management

    Get the company finances in order fast, make decisions keeping a long-term perspective of things, and provide incentives/rewards for employees that impact IBM bottom-line.

  8. "good but can be better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Yorktown Heights, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    state-of-the-art facilities and top researchers, freedom and openness

    Cons

    lots of people 'say' things instead of "doing" things.
    very small chance of be able to convert to regular research staff member
    projects/assignment for post doc sometimes are not exciting

    Advice to Management

    lots of post docs are working so hard trying to get RSM positions while lots of RSMs live on others' work. please find a way to balance these two