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For those who Planning to work at Asia

To Denis,

You are so naive, it seems you know who is going to be famous and who is not. It also seems you know how to identify the future greatest people. You are talking about non-sense, future can not be predicted. Even if you do, they have nothing to do with you even if you are in the US unless you are one of them. So value how much great people are in certain country to determine whether I should go is absolutely childish and non-sense at all.

"Nine percent of Americans think Japan is the world’s top economic power, and that raises an obvious question: Huh? If we knew exactly who that current-events-challenged minority was, we could make a bundle sending them e-mails on how to redeem unclaimed fortunes in Nigerian banks. Thankfully, most Americans got it right in a Jan. 5-9 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It’s that China, not the U.S., is on top, reflecting a marked shift in attitudes after the global financial crisis......."
I heard Cantonese in cities, Mandarin in suburban areas.

99% people in China can speak Mandarin, while only people born in HongKong, the vicinity of Canton, and a few areas in southern China can speak Cantonese (but they can also speak Mandarin, too).

Mandarin is the universal language in China, which is *required* to be used as the official language in *all* universities in China (except Hong Kong?). On the other hand, Cantonese is a dialect, just like dozens (or hundreds) of other dialects in China.

Of course it is true that Cantonese is one of the most popular Chinese dialects used in US, because a lot of Cantonese come to US.
I often think people who grow up in Asia have an easier time adapting to Western society while Westerners have the hardest time in Asia. Outside of work, many locals don't speak English so you are limited to areas where expats hang out.

Agree! and I grew up in Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

For Hong Kong, outside of work, in most cases English still works, it is after all an official language.

For Taiwan, outside of work, Chinese (Mandarin) > English. Or you are limited to certain places to hang out.
I'm an Asian student who came to America a year ago to get an undergraduate degree. I'm planning to get a master degree of FE right after I get out of college and hopefully I can get a job in Chicago or NYC (that would be the best-case scenario). However, after I realise how bad the US job market is now and how unwillingly the employer would like to sponsor a visa to the foreigner, my PLAN B is to get a job in Asia in some top international banking/investment firms, countries like Singapore, China, Taiwan or Hongkong.

I know there a A LOT of FE graduated who are Chinese. For those who already got a job in Asia or knows someone got a job back there,

As I know so far, a degree from Columbia or NYU would definiltely put me at an advantage if I wanna work on Wall Street, comparing to the degree from Illinois Institue of Tech or GIT or Rutgers, assuming all else qualifications equal.

FE programs seem to be very RARE in Asia. Maybe the employers view the program from different aspects..

I am from China, and we expect exactly the same with WallS .And Since most Chinese Quants choose to work in HK and Sin and China mainland, there would be more competitions for you since we can speak Mandarin, English, as well as having the local alumni here.

Maybe a better choice is to back to your own countries to take the advantage of your native language? I guess so...
It's ridiculous how off-topic this thread is... Denis reminds me of my 10-year old self when I thought Einstein was magnitudes greater in achievement than any other scientist ever born.

Re: languages, CANTONESE IS NOT NEEDED, even in Hong Kong, unless you're planning to do something extremely local, like selling insurance! I am not kidding. Go to jobsdb.com and look up the postings they have for banking/finance sector jobs in Asia, Hong Kong region. Cantonese is a slight advantage in perhaps building rapport with the employer (if he/she is a native Cantonese speaker), but at the end of the day if your job involves communicating directly to clients, expect them to be from mainland China.

Remember, as employers, they would much rather train your Cantonese than your Mandarin, since the former is non-essential. This being said, of course fluent English is paramount.