Qualified is one of those definitions that means something slightly different to each person, depending on to whom you are talking. In terms of being qualified for a certain position, the definition is usually subjective because each person that weighs in on the definition will hold certain traits to a higher standard than others. For one person, it might be all about what school you went to. For another it might be all about your experience. Another type of person might not care at all about your background; they might just care about your motivation and work ethic. In each person’s eyes, checking that block makes you qualified for the position. But if we think about how different each candidate might be, depending on who ends up interviewing them, we see that the definition of qualified is much broader than it seems.
Qualified is a standard that we will face at several points in our life. As young people, we qualify for awards or competitions. This is important because it teaches us that there is a set of standards to which we will be held accountable for many things we do in our lives. Competitions establish a general knowledge of the concept of qualification as well as the pattern of qualification throughout our professional lives. Getting children to compete and succeed at a young age will better prepare them to compete and succeed in the workplace. Promotions depend on qualification, but there is also a competition aspect of promotions because you have to be more qualified than those around you.
The last interesting part of the idea of being qualified is being overqualified. As a young person, I do not typically think about being overqualified. But after I receive my MA in two weeks, there will be certain low level jobs for which I will be overqualified. Not all employers will tell you if you are overqualified because they figure that they are getting a great deal. It is ultimately your own responsibility to decide when you are overqualified for a position. This gets further complicated when you see a person that you know is way overqualified for the job they have, but they do it because they are passionate about the work they are doing. This is all to say- that qualification is subjective and sometimes it can be very important, while other times it is basically irrelevant. Early on we will have to prove that we are qualified in certain areas, but as we grow in our career we have more autonomy to choose whether or not we will abide by qualifications. Until then, do your best, play the game and work hard. That will get you far in life.