I never felt that (not having a degree) was an issue in my career, where progression was performance-based.

- Cisco Systems managing director Joshua Soh (above)

The Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (Aspire) committee consisted of 34 members from the Government, educators and various industries.

Chaired by Senior Minister of State for Law and Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, members of the committee included Sakae Holdings chairman and CEO Douglas Foo; and Hyflux founder and CEO Olivia Lum.

Mr Joshua Soh, who is managing director of Cisco Systems, said he represented the Infocom and Media (ICM) industry. The company has been working closely with the polytechnics and ITE to provide internships, training and courses.

In February, the committee visited Germany and Switzerland to learn how these countries partner education institutions to offer hands-on training through apprenticeships.

Mr Soh emphasised that the Aspire review does not discount the importance of a degree.

"There has to be a match between qualifications and job roles. Even in the ICM sector, there is a diverse mix of requirements," he said.

But Mr Soh thinks that there is a trend of students who are getting a degree just for the sake of it.

"Blindly pursuing a degree is the antithesis of learning. It is also an opportunity cost, in terms of resources allocated to training them."