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Learning and training at IBM

Learning and training at IBM

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IBM is a great place to perfect your existing skills and learn new ones. Take a look at some of our training programmes for specific professions:

Here is a good overview of the people involved in the design and delivery of solutions for our customers.

Customer Lifecycle

Now let's look at some of the technical careers on offer within IBM.

Technical career paths


As a consultant, you will identify new business/technology opportunities, and align processes to technology using world-class knowledge assets and experts. You will:

The Consultant Profession is divided into disciplines:

Project management

Project managers are responsible for an array of activities including:

The project management profession has multiple disciplines:

IT architect

IT architects at IBM define solutions to our clients' business problems through the reasoned application of information technology.

These solutions include systems, applications and process components. They may also involve the application and integration of a broad variety of products, services, various systems and applications architectures, and diverse hardware and software components.

There are six areas of expertise:

Enterprise Architecture - focuses on high level, enterprise-wide IT Architecture with an emphasis on the mapping of IT capabilities to business needs.

Application Architecture - focuses on the design of applications required to automate business processes and resolve business issues.

Information Architecture - focuses on the elements required to structure the information and data aspects of solutions, and also to design, build, test, install, operate and maintain the system of solution information.

Infrastructure Architecture - focuses on design of infrastructures including servers, storage, workstations, middleware, non-application software, networks, and the physical facilities that support the applications and business processes required by our clients.

Integration Architecture - focuses on the design of solutions, which enable existing applications, packaged software offerings, networks, and systems to work together within an enterprise or among enterprises.

Operations Architecture - focuses on defining plans, strategies and architectures for the installation, operation, migration and management of complex information systems.

IT specialist

IT specialists provide the technical expertise required for validating and/or implementing IT solutions for our clients. You should have in-depth skills in technologies, products, platforms, and standards, within an IT or industry discipline and specialty. At IBM, an IT Specialist will work in teams with other Specialists and IT Architects to provide technical sales support.

IBM offers four IT specialist disciplines with over 25 sub-disciplines and specialty areas.

Business Applications:


Systems Infrastructure:

Career progression
IBM offers a technical career ladder that extends all the way up to executive ranks. There are multiple and diverse paths to senior technical status in IBM, with opportunities to change roles and charter a new career path at any given point.

The chart below illustrates the IT Specialist career path and key milestones for movement between various levels:

Career progression

IBM professional accreditation and certification

As an IBM IT professional, you'll enjoy career recognition and advancement through accreditation and certification processes. Initially, you may go through a basic accreditation process, which ensures you have the skills and experience needed for a particular role.

Certification is the next step. It requires that you show depth of skill, breadth of product and industry knowledge, and project leadership. You must also demonstrate subject matter expertise through publishing or participation in industry conferences, as well as experience in mentoring, or leading communities of practice. Certification is a pre-requisite for promotion to the most senior positions in IBM.


IBM encourages all employees to have mentors who will impart invaluable work experience and additional skills.

Mentors can highlight your strengths, and identify new career options and opportunities. For example, if you decide to pursue certification, you will find it very beneficial to have a mentor coach you through the process, review your application documents, and conduct mock interviews in preparation for the certification board.

Technical leadership in IBM
Highlighted below are some of the most senior technical positions at IBM. They are our Technical Leaders who are recognised for technical achievements, inventions, patents, publications or influence on IBM's technical strategy, architectures, standards, and tools.

IBM Fellow

To be appointed an IBM Fellow is our highest technical honour. An IBM Fellow is an innovator, inventor, visionary, and strategist with an established reputation both inside IBM and externally in the industry and/or academia. An IBM Fellow defines future directions in his or her area of expertise, engages in activities to support business initiatives, and actively leads and nurtures technical communities.

Distinguished Engineer (DE)

A Distinguished Engineer is a key technical consultant in a deep area of expertise or across multiple areas. He or she is a strategist, shaping business decisions and processes. DEs also provide leadership for technical disciplines, competencies and professions, and develop architectures, standards, and tools.

Research Staff Member (RSM)

RSM is the title given to many of the scientists and engineers working at IBM's research sites. RSM's do basic or applied research and are expected to publish as much as their colleagues in academia.

Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)

STSM is a title given to senior engineers, programmers and scientists in a non-certified profession. STSMs have demonstrated sustained technical achievement and are recognised inside IBM as experts in their field. An STSM contributes intellectual capital such as patents and publications, provides technical leadership on complex projects and often represents his or her business unit in corporate and high-level task forces.