Vibrant Careers Are Available For Those Who Choose To Specialize And For Those Who Choose A Broader Pathway
Career planning and pathways can take many directions, and one of the numerous choices that students will have to make is whether or not to generalize their skills and experiences, or specialize. Generalists tend to have broad-based training backgrounds and a diverse range of skills sets. Specialists become experts in one specific area of their dedicated work-focus. Specialists often have a deep understanding of a particular content area. Generalists have a wider-scope and can usually discern the proverbial “big picture” better.
It can also be helpful to consider key disruptive skills that are emerging in top career fields, as you contemplate whether or not to specialize. Our research partner, Emsi Burning Glass, has provided data for students on the key disruptive skills in the areas of information technology, healthcare, and business.
So… which career path is right for you? Let’s look a little closer at these two career choices to learn even more!
Generalists can bring immense value to their teams, during the course of their careers.
While current educational and career pathways have typically favored the specialist, it can be important not to underestimate the value of generalists. Generalists have a lot of skills and experiences to draw upon and can often be found doing very well in loosely defined roles within organizations. If you like both flexibility and the prerogative to explore and change as you learn and grow, then choosing to be more of a generalist in your career can serve you quite well.
Also, having a strong understanding of a wide selection of subjects and life experiences can allow you to solve complex issues and work smoothly with numerous people. And, in a fast-changing world, having transferable skills can be a ticket to various opportunities and multiple successes.
Specialists can sometimes out-earn generalists, as they are paid for their career expertise.
Since specializing in a career area requires greater levels of initial investment in both work experiences and education, the salaries for these types of positions can be higher than those offered to generalists, on average. Specialists have a depth of knowledge in one very specific area that can be hard to come by in a pool of job candidates, so competition from companies for a specialist can lead to greater salaries and benefits packages.
As a specialist, you will have the opportunity to focus deeply on a subject that you may be passionate about, and you will have the chance to dedicate your entire career to that area. If you like the idea of becoming a thought leader, too, then choosing the path of the specialist may be an excellent fit for you. In addition, specialists can feel more stable in both their knowledge-bases and general career trajectories. If you personally value stability over flexibility, then you may want to consider specializing.
Not sure if you want to be a specialist or generalist? Do you want to explore a variety of topics to see what interests you most? Check out all of the amazing Summer Enrichment Classes for students that Stride offers: https://www.stridesummerenrichment.com
Thinking about working a job over the summer break? Make sure you view the Top 5 Summer Jobs In Business For High School Students.
To find out more about Stride Career Prep’s online programs, visit the site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep.html
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