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The trading firm paying $20k a month that loves interns from India

Indian technologists are in high demand around the world – including at banks – and the crème de la crème of Indian technology are the graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

One of the firms employing them is electronic trading (and market maker) firm Optiver. The firm hires approximately 250 interns annually, of which around 25 come from IITs including the ones in Delhi, Kanpur, and Madras. The IIT interns have just finished an eight-week summer program at Optiver's Amsterdam office. 

Why hire from India for Amsterdam? Optiver COO Michael Golding says that IIT graduates typically “possess strong backgrounds in engineering, computer science and math, which are highly valuable in a tech-driven trading environment.” He also points out that IIT graduates are generally quite entrepreneurial and are “creative thinkers”.

Around 60% of Optiver's interns are offered full time positions, but it's not clear if IIT interns are more successful. Whether they get offers or not, their eight weeks are certainly well paid. A glance at reported intern salaries suggest that an intern salary is anywhere between $46 and $115, with higher salaries in Chicago as opposed to Amsterdam, per levels.fyi. In case you were wondering what that came to, it’s anywhere between $8k and $20k. For interns.

Other firms interested in hiring IIT graduates might face steep competition. By our count, there are around 11,000 graduates from IITs annually – and in 2021, around 200 (less than 2%) of them went abroad for a job, per The Times of India, a substantial decrease from historic rates. A lot of them stay in India for burgeoning opportunities brought by (among others) back-office bank offshoring, as well as technology centers for other western companies.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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