Generalist or Specialist?

Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist in today’s working world?

What is your opinion?


In today’s competitive world, the ecosystem of business becomes more specific than ever, therefore specialist are easier to be hired than generalist. However, our world is not only competitive but also changing very frequently as well. In this case, being a generalist will be more competitive than a specialist because of wider job variety, better work performance and the ability to see a wider context than generalist. Which in my point of view, in this ever changing world, being a generalist is better than a specialist.

Generalists can apply jobs from different field therefore having a much secure future. For instance, a graduated engineering student with great culinary skills, good writing can apply for kitchen helper, writer other than just engineering jobs. During recession, generalists can temporary work for another job while waiting for a more suitable job. Conversely, a specialist can only wait while finding a job which matches his speciality. So being a generalist can earn bread and butter easier as they can choose different jobs in the insecure working environment.

As a generalist, different skills can be co-operated together into their work for better results. Presentation of a generalist can be more vivid than a specialist because the former may introduce different skills and elements into their work. Other than that, generalists tend to think more creative and innovative than specialist because of the wider exposure to different areas. All of these advantages show that generalists performs better than specialist in terms of working.

Last but not least, with a society of specialist, all these knowledge and skills will never be fully utilize without generalist weaving them together. As generalist have broader perspective rather than in depth understanding, generalist sees the bigger picture than specialist. Apple former CEO, Steve Jobs creates many successful products because he understands the need of consumer and combines it with technology and design. As a result, Apple creates beautiful looking electronic products while being useful in the same time. This shows that generalist also plays an important role in our society especially on the top of an organization.

In short, having the advantages to be employed while performing better in working environment as well as understand the bigger picture, generalists earn a solid stand in today’s complex working environment.


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