Going against the grain, degree-holders Aloysius Yap, Sudhersen Hariram and Fabian Tan chased their dreams of becoming professional footballers in the S-League.
However, the trio have since left the game in search of more viable careers elsewhere.
While all three have fond memories of their footballing lives, all hung up their boots when good job offers came along.
Until last August, Yap juggled between studying at the Singapore Institute of Management and playing for Woodlands Wellington, his third club after Balestier Khalsa and Gombak United.
Good enough to play for the elite National Football Academy, he stopped when he graduated with a degree in banking and finance, and found a job with OCBC.
"As a student, I felt very rich when I was paid $2,000 a month to play football," the 26-year-old personal banker said. "But, in the long term, reality sets in. Bank executives stand to earn more than $100,000 a year."
Sudhersen, on the other hand, already had an economics degree from the National University of Singapore when he joined Tanjong Pagar United in 2011.
Over two seasons, the right winger made about 20 S-League appearances, earning $1,500 monthly, but also took up law studies.
Now into his final year, the 27-year-old said: "If the money had been better, I might have stayed for a few more seasons. "It was tough balancing studies and training and it is not a viable career. "
Nonetheless, both Yap and Sudhersen insisted that they loved their time under the stadium floodlights.