I'm a student from China studying finance at a top business school in London. I've been looking for jobs globally since last year, but given the choice would prefer to work in the City. This is why London's my top choice.
London is still the best arena for international talent
Large financial institutions here have systematic training programmes for junior staff. Small boutiques are also an option if you're starting your career.
Although everybody is arguing in favour of emerging market opportunities, my experience suggests that they are limited if you are junior. From what I've seen, you are not very welcome in emerging markets unless you are a veteran who can originate deals, build up a whole team, or head an important function.
Emerging markets teams are no better off in this climate. There are fewer deals in emerging markets too. Jobs are being lost and businesses are being sold off or closed.
Emerging markets will not give you global exposure
Unless your final goal is to go back to home country, starting your career in an emerging market is a bad idea. You will be dealing with local markets only and will not be exposed to sophisticated derivatives and financial products. Emerging fixed income markets are very immature and simple. You will not gain advanced quantitative finance knowledge.
This will hinder your ability to land a position with global exposure in future. If you start your career in London, you can do business globally.
Educational establishments in London are better
London's educational and research institutions are the best. Students at London Business School learn state-of-the-art trading strategies currently being applied in the market. Part-time mathematics courses in Imperial College or Oxford are tailored for quant professionals applying their learning in real jobs.
There are also numerous seminars, workshops and events aimed at providing a platform for free academic discussion and empirical application.
So although the situation is still tough here, quite of a few of us would like to stick it out. I plan to try to find a role in London, and at the same time to sharpen my finance skills to improve my competitiveness.