The Start-Up of You

15 07 2011

I was reading Thomas L. Friedman’s column the other day, titled ‘The Start-Up of You’. Reading it made me think, what does this mean for the things that I’m investing time in now – my school work, SAT preparation, the whole college admission process…?

Basically, Mr. Friedman pointed out that increasingly, we’re going to have to invent our own jobs instead of expecting someone to hire you just because you have a degree. He quotes LinkedIn’s founder:

“The old paradigm of climb up a stable career ladder is dead and gone. No career is a sure thing anymore. The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions in which entrepreneurs start companies is what it’s now like for all of us fashioning a career. Therefore you should approach career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.”

Which all is very interesting, because I had just walked into an SAT exam preparation center hoping to see if there was anything that might be of use. Flipping through the center’s brochure, I balked at the incredulously exorbitant prices they charged.

$13 000 HKD for a 30 hour ‘SAT Essentials’ prep course??

You can’t be serious. If people are worried about the tech bubble bursting because various companies are being over-valued, then I’d tell them to come check out HK’s tutorial industry! Clearly SAT’s are important, but to spend $13 000 HKD on a course to prepare you for an exam, when HK’s median monthly income is around $18 000 HKD? Whilst I don’t think education can ever be overvalued, I think certain aspects of it is definitely being grossly overvalued here in HK.

I don’t have much a conclusion. Perhaps Mr. Friedman is right – it’s time we started thinking about how to create our own jobs rather than waiting for a job to find you. If that’s the case then are SATs, colleges and all that still as important as they seem? Maybe. But definitely not important enough to charge $13 000 HKD for a 30 hour course!

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4 responses

16 07 2011
Anna

You are SO back. ❤ we have to meet!!!

I agree, they're really expensive and in any case you won't need them. Majortests.com is great plus the SAT Question of the Day is really useful because every now and again you get a hard question that teaches you something new. You probably already have a book? I liked McGraw-hill's personally. The SAT is an industry, it really is 😛

18 07 2011
Benson Chiu

People attend this kind of course usually are to build-up self-confidence on the exam. Feel good after the course.

18 07 2011
marykmhui

Yes I agree. The tutorial centers sure market themselves very well.

20 07 2011
Benny CHIU

Mary, I don’t think you need such course, you are bright enough to handle SAT. Don’t waste money, reserve it for your next Nikon. Right?

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