Education enables one to understand the workings of the world, and mentally equips one with the ability to predict, discern, approach, and overcome real and imaginary problems, difficulties, and challenges associated with any particular field of study or aspect in life. Through education, we learn to cook, write, build our shelters, and reason logically. Political, economic, and technological growth, which are being experienced by highly developed nations couldn’t be possible if there was no such thing as education. This is because education influences our ways of thinking, changes our regressive ideologies, and facilitates effective decision making in different areas of our lives.
Education is the act of learning. According to Alain Delon, “Learning is essentially a lifelong process, and we are all inclined to learn about something in one way or another.” In other words, learning is fundamental to a sustained increase in one’s level of professional ability, life-coping skill, happiness, and security. Education is supposed to reduce your level of ignorance and increase your level of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore, there are only very few questions as odd as the question, ‘Can someone be over-educated?’
While learning is essential and rewarding, not all forms of learning are relevant. For example, as an engineer working in a manufacturing firm, learning about cell growth, the Mongolian history, or Shakespeare’s past literary works, especially if you do not have interest in these things, are completely irrelevant. And although, learning expands your ability to process new information, it is also supposed to be empowering, rewarding, meaningful, and applicable. Nobody can possibly learn it all in this world, simply because knowledge is limitless. Similarly, not all things learnt will be applied in one’s life.
Having multiple certificates in different disciplines won’t make your life any more meaningful. Most times, we lavish a great deal of time and energy learning about things we do not need, and taking lessons we will never get to apply in the real world, especially when such resources can be invested in far more rewarding activities (for example, in spending time with your loved ones). If your job at work is to carry out maintenance on machines and equipment, then it does you little good to have a Ph.D. in Literature or Accounting. Your abundant knowledge in other disciplines, which don’t get to be applied, will simply follow you to your grave.
Learning is vital only if you get to apply what you learn, and if it makes you happy. Learning a language you may never get to speak, or a musical instrument you may never get to play simply because you have nothing to do is just as irrelevant as learning to play chess or monopoly because most of your friends are doing these things. In this sense, you are being over-educated because you are learning things you shouldn’t be learning. Instead of learning extensively (i.e. learning about different disciplines, being a Jack of all trade), it is wiser to learn intensively (i.e. choosing one or two areas, and committing a lot of time and effort to learning a lot more about them). When you learn extensively, you are being over-educated, but when you learn intensively, you are being progressively educated.
There should be no limit to one’s learning about a valued course. In the course of one’s life, one can learn as much as one is able to