I BELONG to Generation X, and in my time, a good post-secondary qualification was regarded as quite an achievement.

A polytechnic diploma or A-level certificate is good enough for most people, though we cannot predict what kind of workers the job market will need in future.

Some of my colleagues have asked me what would happen should everyone have a degree and not want to be a handyman, locksmith, cobbler, fishmonger, vegetable seller or hawker.

They can take comfort in the fact that Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has said skilled workers such as mechanics, plumbers, cooks and hairdressers are essential to the economy and will always be in demand ("Student gets design ideas from window shopping"; Jan 21, 2011).

As for myself, I pursued a short course in plumbing maintenance at the Institute of Technical Education during my undergraduate days, and learnt darkroom monochrome photography and photo developing a year after I graduated.

Not every job requires one to possess a degree. Indeed, some jobs require one to possess a certain flair, communication skills and the ability to attract customers.