The ultimate guide to tech giant IBM (plus advice on how to get hired there)

Over 100 years old, IBM is arguably one of the most well-known companies in the general population. But do you know what the company’s latest projects are? Or how you can get hired there? How about what to mention in your interview to impress your hiring manager? Ladders spoke with Deb Bubb, IBM’s chief leadership, learning, and inclusion officer to find out this info and more.

IBM facts and figures

Size: More than 380,000 employees.

Founded: June 16, 1911

Founders: Charles Ranlett Flint and Thomas J. Watson Sr.

Industry: Information Technology & Services

Net worth: As of September 17, IBM’s net worth is $126.22 billion, according to Macrotrends.

Locations: The company’s headquarters are in Armonk, New York, but it has offices across the globe. You can view a full list of locations here.

CEO: Ginni Rometty

Salary of the CEO: According to the 2018 IBM Proxy Statement, Rometty has an annual salary of $1.6 million. She received $10.8 million in stock awards, $4 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, and $1.1 million in other compensation for a total of $17.6 million.

What does IBM stand for? International Business Machines

How much do IBM employees make? (DONE)

The average salary for an IBM employee is $109,544 per year. Ladders estimates are based on our calculations.

The average salary for a software engineer is $104,285, while the average for a IT infrastructure specialist is $98,000. Full stack software developers make an average of $101,200.

IBM jobs

IBM is currently hiring for a variety of roles across departments and offices. The tech giant is currently searching for a senior full stack .NET developer to work from its Baton Rouge, Louisiana office. Open IBM roles in New York, New York include a strategic human resources business partner and a technical product manager, among others. Find a full list of open roles on Ladders’ IBM Jobs page.

IBM company culture

According to Deb Bubb, the IBM chief leadership, learning & inclusion officer, the company is incredibly innovative and committed to building not only a diverse workforce but also an open and inclusive work environment.

“Each day with my team I am working to enable a culture where every employee can be confident and comfortable in bringing their full selves to work,” Bubb said.

According to Bubb, the company is undergoing a significant transformation, which has required employees to embrace change and develop new skills.

“As part of this organizational and personal journey, we have built a culture of agility, feedback, and continuous learning – where the resources to learn are available 24/7 and where each IBMer has the support to establish learning goals and achieve them,” Bubb told Ladders. “At the same time, adopting a Growth Mindset is a key part of this transformation and in the work my team does across the company we’re seeing tremendous results when people commit to learning and pivot to the future.”

Bubb describes the company culture as one that embraces agility, empowerment, and design thinking. In Bubb’s opinion, there’s no other company that rivals IBM employees’ passion for solving hard problems or track record of curiosity, learning, and innovation.

“Being in business for 108 years means more than just understanding your industry; it means building and sustaining a reputation of trust that your clients believe in,” Bubb said. “And that’s a unique differentiator that IBM is proud to carry.”

IBM also takes pride in leading with its values. The company’s values are:

  • Dedication to every client’s success
  • Innovation that matters—for our company and for the world
  • Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships

“Lastly, our culture is defined by an eagerness to solve the world’s toughest challenges,” Bubb said. “From supporting the Apollo Space Program to helping doctors and hospitals unlock the mysteries behind the most harmful diseases, IBMers can be counted on to address any challenge or problem with enthusiasm.”

Leadership at IBM

Bubb’s team recently launched the Positive Leadership Edge, which is a program that’s focused on driving cultural change based on five elements that have independently been core to IBM for a long time. The elements include:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Resilience
  • Engagement & Inclusion
  • Agility
  • Trust & TransparencyThe goal of this program is to strengthen the behaviors that drive better outcomes and highlight the habits that have a negative influence on company culture.

Bubb not only helps people work smarter inside the office, but outside the company as well. Out of the office she hold trainings at events like Mogul X, the workplace conference that hosts celebrities, CEOs and executives to teach workshops on all different topic areas.

“At IBM, my team and I have spent a lot of time thinking how we can develop data driven, science based, and human-centered solutions that support the growth of IBMers across the globe,” Bubb said. “Given Mogul X’s mission of enabling its members to reach their goals and achieve their full potential, I am very excited to have the opportunity to share some of the research and the insights that I have discovered and that have been most helpful to me.”

What an IBM executive says it takes to get hired at IBM

“For any individual that is interviewing with IBM, I offer a simple message: Be authentic,” Bubb told Ladders. “Our company takes great pride in creating a supportive environment where everyone can bring their full selves to work…and we want our employees and those who interview with us to bring forth all their passions and ideas for generating the next wave of innovation and delighting our clients.”

While it’s important to bring your true self to the interview, Bubb emphasized its also important for you to bring your knowledge and curiosity. Make sure you come prepared with questions to ask your interviewer and be able to clearly express why you want to join the company, as well as what you’ll be able to add to it.

“Lastly, IBM has undertaken multiple transformations in its history, including under Ginni Rometty, our CEO,” Bubb said. “That means we’re looking for individuals who will be ready to transform their own skills and support the company’s growth by embracing the ongoing opportunity to change.”

Check out the IBM Careers blog to stay up to date on company stories.

IBM employee reviews

The company has an overall rating of 3.7 stars on Glassdoor, with 71% of reviewers recommending the company to a friend and 73% approving of the CEO.

Reviews range from two-star reviews warning of “internal competition” to five-star reviews encouraging readers to “be a part of something great!”

“Flexible work arrangements,” one reviewer wrote. “Autonomy. Growth potential. Love the culture and the people I work with. Management support. Engaging projects.”

Employee benefits

  • Health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance
  • Flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Health savings account (HSA)
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Occupational accident insurance
  • Mental health care
  • Accidental death & dismemberment insurance
  • Retiree health & medical
  • Pension plan
  • 401K plan
  • Retirement plan
  • Performance bonus
  • Equity incentive plan
  • Charitable gift matching
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Stock options
  • Supplemental worker’ compensations
  • Maternity & paternity leave
  • Fertility assistance
  • Adoption assistance
  • Reduced or flexible hours for parents
  • Family medical leave
  • Work from home
  • Military leave
  • Unpaid extended leave
  • Vacation & paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Sabbatical
  • Sick days
  • Volunteer time off
  • Bereavement leave

Employee perks

  • Employee discount
  • Employee assistance program
  • Mobile phone discount
  • Company social events
  • Legal assistance
  • Travel concierge
  • Diversity program
  • Professional development
  • Tuition assistance
  • Job training

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat

The company has acquired a total of 180 organizations since its founding. In 2018, the company acquired Red Hat, a leading provider of enterprise solutions.

“With the combined power of IBM + Red Hat, we have an incredible opportunity to deliver greater innovation and a superior set of services to an even wider set of clients,” Bubb said. “Our combined companies position us as the leading provider of Hybrid Cloud solutions, in a time where many organizations are digitally reinventing themselves and looking for a trusted partner who can infuse greater technology capabilities like AI, Cloud, and Blockchain into their work.”

While IBM and Red Hat are working together, the companies are maintaining separate company identities.

“I’m the only dual-badged employee and that is absolutely intentional,” Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told The Wall Street Journal. “We are a separate stand-alone subsidiary. This is two cultures working together, not coming together.”

Bubb sees this partnership as an opportunity for the two companies to learn from each other.

“Whether it’s identifying new ways of working, growing our skills or building even greater levels of employee engagement, this partnership is exciting on many levels, and I believe it will be a differentiator in the marketplace,” Bubb said.

IBM services

  • Application services
  • Business Process and Operations
  • Business Resiliency Services
  • Business Strategy and Design
  • Cloud Services
  • Digital Workplace Services
  • Network Services
  • Talent and Transformation
  • Technology Consulting Services
  • Technology Support Services