In his National Day Rally address on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged employers to put more emphasis on their employees' job performance and skills, rather than their starting qualifications. Here are some success stories of non-graduates from The Straits Times archives.
1. Hardship spurs hunger to succeed
This story was first published on June 22, 2014
Not long after his mother died when he was in Primary 5, Andrew Koh had to take a Chinese spelling test.
Emotionally traumatised by his loss and struggling with his studies, he cheated by referring to words he had copied down on a piece of paper hidden in his pencil box.
2. Developer builds on hard work
This story was first published on May 12, 2013
As a toddler, Lim Chap Huat would tuck a pencil behind one ear and potter around his home, holding a ruler against the wall.
When his mother asked what he was doing, he would reply in Hokkien: "Wah kee chu." The phrase literally translates into: "I build house."
This story was first published on April 28, 2007
Her widowed mother had five daughters to feed, so a university education was out of the question when Ms Mae Tham completed her A levels at Raffles Institution.
Not that it mattered. By any yardstick, the 45-year-old has done very well.
4. Comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
This story was first published on June 22, 2001
Mr Calvin Soh is comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
The grey of the unknown, the niggle of danger and the possibility of rejection are all soothingly familiar for him.
Prime Minister highlights better job prospects for non-graduates in his National Day Rally address