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Jobs where students command 6-figure salaries months ahead of graduation

Susannah Lee

The ultra-competitive race for tech talent is still at a fever pitch. And it's not just at the top level.

Companies both big and small are vying to recruit the same small pool of highly sought-after students graduating with STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – degrees.

“At the top schools like a Stanford [or] MIT, it’s pretty common for students to get anywhere from 5 to 10 offers,” said Jessica Gilmartin, chief business officer for Piazza, a platform that connects these students with potential employers.

What might be even more astonishing is “the recruiting season for the industry is incredibly short and most of these students have their jobs completely locked down by November, even for internships,” said Gilmartin.

With the recruits seemingly having the upper hand, “we’re typically seeing very generous six-figure salaries plus bonuses plus equity,” she said.

But just cash won’t satisfy the top undergraduates. “There are a whole lot of perks students are expecting now,” said Gilmartin. Some extra incentives to entice and keep top talent include “having dogs at the office, having parks for your dog, having free laundry, free food, breakfast, lunch dinners, nap pods. Really the list goes on and on,” she said.

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Obviously, larger companies are able to offer bigger and better perks. Earlier this year, Netflix (NFLX) offered unlimited parental leave. Facebook (FB) offers expectant parents $4,000 in “baby cash along with day care reimbursement. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has massages and haircuts onsite. But the recruiting expert said some top tech students are still choosing to work at smaller firms.

“So the biggest thing we hear from students about the thing they care about most, actually beyond perks, beyond salary, is the impact they’re going to make,” said Gilmartin. “When you work at a startup, every single moment counts, every single piece of code counts, and that really means something to many students who are passionate and care a lot about making a difference in the world."

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