Can ‘Over-Qualification’ Be Dangerous?

Written by Idede Oseyande

Can ‘Over-Qualification’ Be Dangerous?

Motivational speakers and life coaches, both digital and those with native intelligence, have drummed it into our minds the importance of starting small. From a tender age, we have been told to learn to take up little responsibilities, as it is the building blocks for greater opportunities in the nearest future. That admonition, I think, is one-sided, as some responsibilities can be beneath you.

The question now is, ‘can someone be ‘overqualified’?’ The answer is a resounding yes, without a second thought. But again, ‘can over qualification be dangerous?’ Now, this cannot be answered easily without having a second thought.

When Jesus was leaving his disciples for his final abode, he gave them a command which is stated thus:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

This command clearly stated the task to be handled by believers who had been filled with the ‘Holy Spirit’. They were to be witnesses, (preachers of the gospel), starting from Jerusalem, and to Judea, to Samaria, and thereafter, to the uttermost part of the earth.

When the gift of the Holy Spirit eventually came, the Apostles started well and obeyed the command by preaching. But as the church began to expand, they deviated and were soon more cumbered with the ‘#mundane’ things like breaking of bread and #serving tables. It got to a point that they used the same qualification needed for the ultimate task, #evangelism, for a mere serving of tables.

“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (the business of serving tables!)

Who needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit to serve tables? 🤷🏽‍♂
That qualification was far too high for such a task. And what follows, I believe, justifies my opinion.

“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
“Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”

There was no way the people would have been able to contend with Stephen on spiritual matters because his qualification was too high for that position. Those were not his audience, and exposing him to that stratum of the church as at that time led to his early death.

Pause for a moment and consider this analogy.

The world today is becoming more digital by the day, and because we don’t want the church to lag behind, as we now conduct online services, we decided to organise special ‘tech training’ for the people. And the qualifications expected of the tech tutors are Doctoral degree in Artificial Intelligence, Coding, Programming and the ability to use multiple computer languages. How do you expect someone with such academic qualifications and operating at that high level to be able to peacefully teach complete technological illiterates the use of simple Android devices?🤷🏽‍♂

The result is always death!🤦🏿‍♂

It is either the tutor would die career-wise, in trying to come to their level, or the people would die in trying to get to the level of the tutor.

Stephen was filled with knowledge, thanks to the Holy Spirit, and as common with knowledgeable people, they always want to share it and reason with others, no matter the audience. But the nature of his job has constrained him to always be among people whose thinking and exposures were far below his. The result is the misunderstanding that later transformed into full-blown hatred for the young revivalist.

After Stephen was murdered, and the committee disbanded, did you read the exploits of Philip? Philip was Stephen’s colleague in the table serving ministry, until his death.

The results of Philip ministry is a testament to the fact that they were underutilised for the table serving task.

There was a time Dangote group of companies announced that PhD holders were among those who applied for truck drivers vacancies in the company. For someone who has paid the academic price and had gone up the ladder to attain a PhD, and then applies for a job he did not even need a school certificate for, shows that the person is already frustrated. His academic life had died or is on life support the very moment he made that decision to jettison it.

I am of the opinion overqualification can lead to death. Physical death, career death, social death, mental death, etc.

Not all tasks or appointments is suitable for you.

Do you agree?

Please share your thoughts.

IDEDE Oseyande
A & B Coach

About the author

Idede Oseyande

IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.

He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.

Among his published works are 'What is Left of What is Right?', 'The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader' and 'Warri No Dey Carry Last'.

He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.


  • I believe that over-qualification for a job can kill the career of anyone.
    Been over-qualified will only limit you to what you can do with the present situation and not what you can prefer as solution if giving you the right job for you qualification.
    Is even more preferable to be under qualified for a particular job and grow thru on the job learning than to be over qualified for a job. It will kill the career if proper risk assessment is taking. My take.

  • I think it can be considering the king of orientation we have in this part of the side and also considering the system with which we put in place in the organisational and administration settings… So over qualifications can be dangerous sometimes…

  • Wow!
    With this, I am of the opinion that over qualification can indeed lead to frustration and death when there’s no opportunity to utilize your qualifications.

  • Life and death is a matter of choice Proverb 18:21 KJV:Death and life are in the power of the tongue:and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.If you must lose anything don’t lose hope;hang on.In due time that which befits you will be yours.

Leave a Comment