Most quant jobs are in the United States, so being able to speak good American English can give a quant job candidate a significant advantage.
Of course, for some aspiring quant job seekers who did not grow up speaking American English (or British English, which most Americans find charming), one allure of working as a quant is you don’t have to talk much. It’s like an engineering job in other fields like computers or EE or aerospace. Just do the grunt work, use your brains, be good with computers, and you’ll be okay.
That’s mostly true, but come interview time, being able to speak clearly is still very, very important. Also, it’s just human nature to be turned off by someone whose speech you cannot understand.
Here’re some useful book-CD kits that you can buy (or borrow from a library) to help you improve your spoken American English:
- American Accent Training: this is the one I highly recommended in my book and on this blog before
- Lose Your Accent in 28 Days: this one is a bit expensive, but it comes with Windows software to help you with your pronunciation
- Improve Your American English Accent: another good course and it’s very affordable
I highly recommend you get at least one of these courses and practice, practice, practice. The U.S. economy, and the financial industry, are unlikely to recover soon and the job market will be the most competitive in memory, so it’s best to have every advantage you can have. Besides, being able to speak English well can help you find other jobs, even back in your birth country.
Good luck, everyone!