IT IS heartening to know that non-degree holders joining the civil service to perform management support roles will now be hired under the same scheme as most university graduates (“Better prospects for non-grads in civil service”; last Wednesday).

It is a great move by the Government to create more career advancement opportunities for polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education graduates.

This helps to correct the mindset that academic qualifications are the most important factor in helping one’s career progress.

I am a polytechnic graduate and did a five-year stint in the civil service.

Back then, I was employed under the Management Support Officer scheme and managed to climb up to the ceiling of the scheme.

However, as I was a non-graduate, I soon found myself trapped as I was unable to cross over to the Management Executive Scheme for graduates. Although my bosses tried very hard to appeal for my promotion, there was no way around it because of the way the system worked.

There were also limited opportunities for non-graduates to expand their job scope or to take the lead in projects.

My requests for sponsorship of my further studies were also futile.

As my position continued to stay stagnant, I left the public service for the private sector in 2011, where I was given the opportunity to take on new challenges.

I was not able to pursue my degree studies for better career prospects due to work, family and financial commitments.

This new initiative to recruit both degree and non-degree holders on the extended Management Executive Scheme brings hope to many non-graduates in the civil service who could not pursue their degrees.

Whether or not one advances in one’s career should not be judged by one’s academic qualifications. It much depends on whether a person’s personality is a good match for the workplace, his work experience and other relevant skills.

Vivien Tan (Ms)

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