So You Want To Be A Citadel Trader: Here Are The Requirements

In the current turbulent times, in which one after another hedge fund is posting miserable performance numbers, gating or simply shutting down, one stalwart remains: Chicago's appropriately named financial megalith Citadel, which year after year posts tremendous returns purely on the back of its retail orderflow frontrunning HFT platform.

No surprise then that thousands of disenchanted traders are eager to move from their current underpaying employer, to Ken Griffen's financial powerhouse. But what skills would one need to be considered for employment and make the cut: fundamental, technical, charting, "blue horseshoe"?

Here is the answer from a just issued job seach posting by Citadel:

Quantitative Trading Systems Developer: Undergraduate, Master’s, PhD and Postdoc (New Grads)

Location: Chicago, IL

Are you a natural programmer who loves to optimize and make systems more efficient? Do you have a sophisticated computational skillset – code optimization, systems architecture and library design? Do you know your core languages like you do your native tongue?

At Citadel, Quantitative Trading System Developers are responsible for designing, building, and optimizing our automated trading platform. Developers work closely with our research, simulation and live trading teams.  We are seeking top undergraduate, master’s, and PhD students who are entrepreneurial self-starters and enjoy being in a fast-paced and dynamic environment for exciting opportunities in our automated quantitative trading businesses. This opportunity offers excellent exposure to a quantitative trading career path in one of the world’s leading global financial institutions.

If this is what excites you:

  • Developing core trading infrastructure
  • Designing low-latency, high-throughput trading systems
  • Optimizing massive parallel computing platforms.

And this is what you’ve got:

  • Advanced training in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or other related fields
  • Extensive programming experience with strong object oriented design skills and fluency in C, C++, or Java
  • Expertise with algorithms and data structures
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear, concise fashion
  • Ability to thrive in a complex, fast-paced, and highly technical environment


  • Scripting languages (e.g., Linux shell, Python, Perl)
  • Analytical packages (e.g., R, Matlab)
  • FPGA development and high performance computing
  • NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB)
  • Distributed computing using MapReduce
  • Multi-threaded programming
  • Network programming

This is what Citadel can give you:

  • Collaboration with some of the brightest minds in the industry
  • Meaningful projects that directly impact global markets
  • A culture that values ambition and rewards talent
  • World-class training, tools and mentorship

Company Overview:

We’re Citadel, a worldwide leader in finance that uses next-generation technology and alpha-driven strategies to transform the global economy. We tackle some of the toughest problems in the industry by pushing ourselves to be the best again and again. It’s demanding work for the brightest minds, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here, great ideas can come from anyone. Everyone. You.