Jane Street Graduates - The highest paid entry-level engineers in the world
Electronic trading firm Jane Street's internships are known for their elite pay and high barriers to entry. If you're fortunate enough to get a full-time offer, you'll join an elite cohort; the highest paid graduate engineers in the world, at least for companies with rigid seniority tiers.
Levels.fyi has released its end of year compensation report, breaking down a number of roles by top paying companies. For entry-level software engineers, Jane Street takes the top spot, with employees earning $325k on average.
To put this into perspective, no other company on the list pays higher than $240.5k. The second highest ranked HFT firm (third overall) is IMC trading, whose graduates earn $240k.
Jane Street is noticeably absent from the top rankings at other seniority levels, but other trading firms make appearances. IMC ranks second for level two engineers (2-5 years experience), paying $350k on average. Hedge fund Two Sigma ranks third for senior engineers, paying $500k, while Hudson River Trading pays its staff engineers $640k, seventh highest on the list. HRT also ranks second overall for data scientists, paying them $500k.
How to get a graduate job at Jane Street
Jane Street attracts unique candidates because it is a unique employer. This can be for better or for worse; we got a glimpse into the firm's interview process via disgraced former-crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. SBFs interviews involved multiple high stakes games of chance, coupled with some very abstract questions. The latter method is ongoing, and you can see examples of what we mean here.
Of course, to put your foot in the door, your CV will need to be good enough to warrant opening it. Successful applicants for internships include Zhuo Qun Song, the most decorated math Olympiad of all time. We've analyzed CVs from some of Jane Streets' most lauded interns here, showing there isn't one uniform model. Good grades are vital. Internships can be a huge help too, even if they're not prime locations.
The most important thing, however, will be your choice of school. A senior quant recruiter in New York says the firm does "extensive campus recruiting" and will "likely meet all of these candidates on campus as part of that effort." It travels to "select universities globally" and will "only recruit from those schools."
Song was studying for his undergraduate at Princeton when Jane Street hired him. In Europe, a notable number of interns, past and present, have come from Oxford, while in Asia, the National University of Singapore seems a good bet.
It's worth noting that, even if you get an internship, things only get tougher. One prop trading firm's COO said the market is inundated with interns from various trading firms that didn't receive full time offers because of market conditions. While companies are all over those people and you wouldn't find it hard to get a new job, if your heart is set on Jane Street you'll have to work extra hard in this day and age to earn it.
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