Careers FAQ

Start here with answers to frequently asked questions


Frequently asked questions

Want a quick overview of what it’s like to work at Nokia Bell Labs? Start here with our frequently asked questions. Then visit Life at Nokia for firsthand experiences shared by our employees. Or read and join discussions with insiders to dig deeper.

1. I’m still working on my PhD. How can I get started with Nokia Bell Labs?

While you don’t have to have a PhD to work at Nokia Bell Labs, many of our researchers do. We have a presence in academic institutions across the world—maybe even where you’re studying. For the right candidate, Nokia Bell Labs can support researchers while they finish their degrees.

2. Where in the world can I work at Nokia Bell Labs?

We operate 17 research locations around the globe. Some of our centers have a particular research focus or expertise in a technology acceleration area. All of them share a passion, culture and ethos that center on making fundamental breakthroughs in information and communication technologies.

3. Will I have the freedom to pursue my own research interests?

Every research project operates within some constraints, but the freedom to pursue interesting questions or one's own intuitions is a hallmark of our process. For the entirety of Nokia Bell Labs' nearly 100 year history, researchers have pursued their own interests and produced incredible innovations for the corporation they are part of over and over again. This legacy isn't just about luck, or even bringing the world's greatest minds together. We know that it also has to do with an open-minded approach to tackling the biggest communication challenges. Our research is always aimed at addressing real human needs, and as part of that research journey—interesting, unexpected, or even accidental breakthroughs occur as a byproduct. We tell our researchers, “go forth.”

Wanda Mammel (left) and Richard W Hamming (right) engage in fundamental mathematical analysis important to research and development.

“Without courage you are unlikely to attack important problems with any persistence, and hence not likely to do important things. Courage brings self-confidence, an essential feature of doing difficult things.” — Richard Hamming, mathematician and Bell Labs researcher

4. I'm still an undergrad. What are my options for working at Nokia Bell Labs?

There are ample internship opportunities at Nokia Bell Labs for undergraduates. The internship program at Nokia Bell Labs has a long tradition of grooming young minds to do amazing things. Father of Information Theory Claude Shannon and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt started their careers as interns at Bell Labs, as did dozens of other researchers, scientists and engineers who profoundly shaped the world we live in. As an intern at Nokia Bell Labs, you will have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge applied research in numerous fields. You will have some of the ICT industry’s brightest minds as mentors. And you’ll have access to the resources of Nokia Bell Labs itself. 

2019 Summer Interns visit Anechoic Chamber Murray Hill NJ v2.jpg


5. What is the working culture like at Nokia Bell Labs?

We encourage our researchers to think "future back" and not to worry about the limitations of the present. We're always seeking to challenge the status quo, disrupt conventional thinking and define the next phase of human existence. Open collaboration is the core of our culture and the key to achieving these goals.

Nokia Bell Labs is a true meritocracy. Only the best idea matters, not where or who it came from. Junior researchers and seasoned experts are expected to work together. The cafeteria has often been cited as a place where interdisciplinary conversations lead to innovation. Thinkers meet makers. Physicists chat with mathematicians. Suddenly, a breakthrough is made. We've spent close to 100 years cultivating a culture of research that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and open.

More questions

If you have additional questions about open positions, required experience, or how to apply, please email us with our Contact Us form. We're always looking for the best and brightest minds to join our team.