It is better to have broad knowledge of many academic subjects than to specialize in one specific subject.
Education systems tended to offer a broad instruction in the early years that has become more and more specialized as we move towards tertiary learning. This allows us to sample various subjects and presents a range of basic knowledge needed to function in modern society. In my view, while this may not be suitable for everyone, it is reasonable.
One reason why we need to educate our populations is that we can enter the workforce because skilled jobs often require specialization. For example, someone going to study mathematics at university would need to have a deep enough education in mathematics at secondary school to demonstrate the ability to cope with the requirements of a degree in the subject. Similarly, a budding accountant needs to show a flair for math when applying for work in accountancy. So, one can argue that an increasingly specialized educational system is a function of the job market and, therefore, determined by employers.
Alternatively, some countries do have a broader education extending into higher education such as a first degree similar to the United States system of majors and minors. This method may be acceptable in that it concentrates on relevant skills rather than specific knowledge while specialist knowledge can be acquired at master’s level. Although demonstrating an ability to delve deeply into a field of expertise is often required for professions and many other skilled careers, there may be others like general management where a wide range of skills is more appropriate. For those unskilled occupations, not requiring a degree or apprenticeship, again a broad education may be more pertinent.
In conclusion, in the English school curriculum, schooling usually tunnels our choices towards an ever decreasing number of subjects since, for many, the job market determines our education system and the depth of knowledge we need. In turn, the market dictates our need to specialize depending on our career choice. Though, personally, I tend to prefer the specific subject mode of learning, for I believe that it is down to the individual to determine his or her preference.