Life Hack

The Rise of the IT Generalist Jack of all Trades; Master of None.

Chances are you work at a company wherein you have to wear many hats.  This has been the case for me anyway.  So much so that I am beginning to wonder if we are living in the age of the IT generalist, as opposed to a specialist.

Generalist.  I first heard that word within the context of the HR department.  During a yearly review meeting, I asked about what the title entailed.  My response was that this person did a little bit of everything for the HR department and didn’t quite specialize in any one thing.   This sure sounded, I thought to myself, a lot like what I had been doing for the IT department though my official title read Technology Support Specialist.

Are we, then, living in a world that expects us to be more generalists than specialists? Personally, I find this to be something I enjoy.  To me, this means I get to do something different each day.  On some days, I might find myself scripting some manual server tasks.  Other days, I am helping end-users troubleshoot an issue. Yet another day, and I am assisting with some server administration tasks.  There is never a time one gets bored, as a new challenge presents itself every day; A new issue to be solved.

Do the rest of you in IT find that you are asked to wear many hats, as they say? How do you feel about this? Is this something you enjoy or would you rather go back to the days wherein one could be a specialist in one’s craft and get by (If such days ever even existed in the first place)?

More importantly, do you see that, in the future, IT specialists will need to become generalists in order to survive in the ever-changing IT landscape?

We often hear the first part of the quote: Jack of all trades; Master of None.  However, the full quote, I feel, conveys a better meaning in terms of the IT generalist: Jack of all Trades; Master of None.. Though oft times better than Master of One.

Contributed by an IT expert

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