10 S’poreans Who Didn’t Have a Degree yet Made it Big in Life

Too many graduate-wannabes, too few university places. That’s what happening in Singapore right now.

Although the Government keeps telling us that Singapore can’t be 100% full of university graduates and that there is no need to go to university to succeed, not many people listen.

However, it is true that you can still succeed without a degree. Just look at these Singaporeans!


Jennie Chua

Image: capitaland.com

She first started out as a teacher in St. Margaret Secondary School, after dropping out of university due to financial problems. After quitting her job as a teacher, she became a hotel trainee, slowly rising through the ranks to take charge of Ascott, a Capitaland subsidiary. She is now the president and CEO of the Ascott Group, and also holds important board positions in other companies.


Mark Lee

Image: cinemaonline.sg

While you drink your favourite Old Town White Coffee, don’t forget this famous actor who was the one who brought the brand over from Malaysia. Despite his mediocre education background, he now owns his own production company along with the Monsoon chain of salons.


Charles Wong

Image: nie.edu.sg

He doesn’t even have an O-level certificate, but the man started Charles & Keith from scratch with his brother. Now, the shoe shop is all over the world, with 300 stores all the way from Singapore to far-flung places like Turkey.


Neo Kah Kiat

Image: waf.org.sg

He dropped out in Secondary Two despite being a top student, so that he could start working. Today, he is the CEO of Neo Group, which has three catering businesses amongst a variety of other businesses like yacht-renting.


JJ Lin

Image: lollipop.sg

Singapore’s favourite golden boy is armed with just an A-level certificate, having graduated from SAJC. Besides composing for big names like Ah Mei, he has also won the prestigious Golden Melody Award back in 2014 for being the best Male Artiste.


Addy Lee

Image voguechinese.com

The Penang-born hairdresser came to Singapore at the tender age of 19 to make his mark on the world. Till today, he has laid claim to being a businessman too, and also stylist to celebrities like Mark Lee and Joanne Peh. Oh, and he has an apartment in Sentosa Cove.


Ben Yeo

Image: todayonline.com

He has a diploma in culinary skills but first started out as a Mediacorp artiste, hosting shows and acting small roles. Now, he is the owner of two food stores, an author of a kids’ cookbook and father to two sons.


Dick Lee

Image: theatrememories.wordpress.com

The homegrown musician hails from SJI with just a college certificate. However, he is now revered as one of Singapore’s top composers, having also written plays and musicals. He has also ventured into businesses with his restaurants Slappy Cakes and Dancing Crab.


Ryan Tan

Image: laughdieus.wordpress.com

Hailing from ITE, he has a popular YouTube Channel with his wife Sylvia. Initially, they merely wanted to improve their videography skills but one of their videos went viral with over a million views – Shit Singaporean Girlfriends Say. With over 585K subscribers, Ryan Tan is definitely successful in his own area!

(Article continues below) Most Touching Singapore Video: Jenny is brought up by a single parent, and when she steps into adulthood, she starts to forget that her mother used to be her everything. Watch it here:

(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)


Mathilda Koh

Image todayonline.com

This list indeed lacks some flower power, so here is one to encourage girls! She is the founder and CEO of Bioskin, which currently has 6 stores in Singapore. Mathilda was awarded the Spirit of Enterprise award in 2010 and the Successful Entrepreneur award for 2010 – 2012.


Always bored during your commute to and fro work or school? Here’s the best solution: download our app for new articles, Facebook videos and YouTube videos that are updated daily…and most importantly, exclusive contents that are only available in our app! It’s your perfect companion for your daily commute!

Click Here to Download the App!