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Overqualification: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Overqualification is the state of being skilled or educated beyond what is necessary for a job. There can often be high costs for companies associated with training employees. This could be a problem for professionals applying for a job where they significantly exceed the job requirements because potential employers may feel they are using the position as a stepping stone.

Overqualified candidates may be seen as taking the position temporarily in order to obtain work experience for another position or taking the position temporarily until better employment can be found. Therefore it may be in a company's interest to reject job candidates that significantly exceed their job requirements because they are "overqualified" and not likely to be loyal to a position or company. An example would be an experienced high level manager who is overqualified for a low level management position.


As a euphemism

The concept of overqualification is often a euphemism used by employers when they do not want to reveal their true reasons for not hiring an applicant. The term "overqualified" can mask age discrimination, but it can also mask legitimate concerns of an employer, such as uncertainty of your ability to do the job, or concerns that you only want a job on a temporary basis, while you seek for another more desirable position.[1] Being overqualified also often means that a person was asking for too high a salary.[2][3] "Overqualified" can also be used to describe a resistance to new technologies, or a pompous approach.[3]

In the United States the term "overqualified" has been found by the courts to sometimes be used as a "code word for too old" (ie: age discrimination) in the hiring process. Hamm v. New York City Office of theComptroller (D. Ct. NY, March 4, 1998).

Responses to being described as overqualified

Noluthando Crockett-Ntonga recommends that job applicants address potential concerns such as salary requirements in a cover letter and interview before the employer makes any comments about overqualification.[3] Barbara Moses advises applicants who are described as being overqualified to emphasize their willingness to mentor younger co-workers, and to focus on what attracts them about the position they are applying to rather than emphasizing their ambition or desire to be challenged.[2] Being overqualified can be an asset for employers, especially when the breadth of your experience enables you to take on additional responsibilities in ways that benefit the employer.[3]

The Ph.D. Degree

The Ph.D. degree can reflect overspecialization that manifests itself as a lack of perspective and a lack of confidence; in the sciences, for example, a Ph.D. might not adequately prepare one for careers in development, manufacturing, or technical management.[4]

In the corporate world, Ph.D. graduates have been criticized as being unable to turn theories into useful strategies, and being unable to work on a team, although Ph.D.'s are seen as desirable and even essential in many positions, such as supervisory roles in research, especially Ph.D's in biomedical sciences.[5]

Even in academic jobs, people can associate negative factors with the Ph.D., including a lack of focus on teaching, overspecialization, and an undesirable set of professional priorities, often focusing on self-promotion. These forces have led both to an increase in some educational institutions hiring candidates without Ph.D's as well as a focus on the development of other doctoral degrees, such as the D.A. or Doctor of arts.[6]

Some employers have reservations about hiring people with Ph.D.'s in full-time, entry-level positions, but are eager to hire them in temporary positions.[7]

See also




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