Today I had a short conversation with a geology professor. We hadn’t talked in a while and began to discuss the weather (classic) before shifting to deeper topics such as post college choices he made and I would be making. He explained that when he was a young adult, after the little square cap had been tossed into the air and the celebration was over, he was quite glad to have immediately sought a job. He chose to take a deviation from the path of  continuing education and broaden his horizons. This made me think. What are the benefits and drawbacks to specialization?

Look at any famous athlete, musician, scientist, or entertainer. These people have completely dedicated their lives to their trade and the world wouldn’t be what it is without them. They are respected and known for what they do. The expert is very good at one thing rather than being an amateur at many things.

Personally, I would like to live a life in which I get to engage in a broad spectrum of cultures, trades, and activities. This, to me, ads a spice to life that I think people who specialize in one thing don’t get to see. I may not be famous for what I do, but I am definitely satisfied with where I’m at. If you could be an expert in one discipline but sacrifice others would you?

3 thoughts on “Specialization

  1. Generalization or specialization? Nature or nurture? Paper or plastic. The right answer requires more than…a generalized answer.

    You can benefit either way. But as quickly as the world changes, having a breadth of knowledge seems to be a better long term approach, even if, in the short term you may be delaying “success”.
    Caveat – don’t put off diving into getting real experience, whatever you do. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty (vs being an observer with clean hands).


  2. I totally would, Professional badminton the whole way! No, I do agree that being well rounded is by far a more beneficial and satisfying way to live life.


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