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Generalists or Specialists

By michmoor ·
Good Day everyone:

I am new to this site and so far its fantastic. I am not a complete newbie to I.T. but i do have a question that perhaps is better placed here. Like the title states, either or, which is better for ones career. I currently hold a CCNA but i can state that I do less networking at my job and more General task such as reinstalls, computer deployments, troubleshooting and slight networking problems. I dont want to lose my CCNA knowledge, my network knowledge but i fear that i will because my job doesnt utlize that aspect of my skill set. Any ideas on what i can do ? Lets say i do more Desktop than Network Eng, lol, which is not bad i suppose.

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Wrong mindset

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Generalists or Specialist ...

Being a specialist can be very lucrative, but tech fades and dies, becomes less marketable, requires constant and f'ing expensive retraining.

People call me a generalist to put me dowm. It's quite true, there are a lot of guys who know more about X than me. Not my fault they know f'all else though is it?

I've been out of work a total of three months since 1981...

Let's hear it for the multi skilled.

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Depends on what you want from your career.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Generalists or Specialist ...

First, welcome aboard the good ship TechRepublic. Try to ignore those rats scurrying to get off...

As Tony noted, specialists make more money. But they have to spend more to stay current.

Generalist may have better job security. When it comes time to swing the axe, the expensive, single-skill specialists often go first. If a generalist does get cut, usually there's always a small IT shop looking for some help.

Starting as a generalist exposes you to a variety of technologies. You may find one you like and then decide to specialize. Starting as a specialist may prevent you from seeing other areas you may enjoy more than the field you chose.

Disclaimer: I'm a generalist, although I started as a COBOL and FORTRAN programmer.

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Generalist

by Mr.Wiz In reply to Generalists or Specialist ...

That way I can always find something to do. And I get to play with more stuff.

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Specialization is for insects

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Generalists or Specialist ...

Go for the general, you can always focus on a specific later, but a good foundation of a broad base is always a plus.

Our systems are getting complex, and I don't see a reversal of that trend.

A good generalist can get a bunch of things linked together in ways specialists can't see.

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Quick Response.

by michmoor In reply to Specialization is for ins ...

First of all let me say thank you for the responses. I am just at a point in my career where i am trying to make an informed decision about where I want to go. I really feel i need a better foundation of practical experience in Networking despite the CCNA because to me it shows theroy not realism. At the same time, one just gets tired of dealing with end users, lol, and doing other desktop duties. Any more insight would great.

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Don't think of it as a crossroads or a burnt bridge

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Quick Response.

Practical experience is something you need, but narrowing your focus will simply limit your opportunities to gain some.

Also ,it may turn out that you are in greener grass mode and the halcyons days of advising some noob that it's not a cup holder will regain their magic.


You deal with users as a network admin / consultant. Your helpdesk skills won't suddenly become irrelevant. Task Management, issue tracking, procudures, back out options, risk assessment, customer relations...

Net Start ...
sort of pales behind that lot.

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