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Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. - Career - Nairaland

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Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by megainvest: 9:29pm On Dec 25, 2016
As you advance in your professional career, time will come when you will have to make this decision. You can decide to specialise in a particular subject area eg If you are a Computer Scientist, you can take up a Masters degree / PhD in Data Analytics. If you choose to go for broadening instead, you may decide to go for an MBA.

Both paths have their advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to specialise, you will enjoy the benefits of becoming an expert or authority in a particular subject area. You can also become a consultant or even a lecturer (depending on your experience).

Being a specialist has its own drawbacks. In very large organizations for example, people who specialise too deeply in a particular area may be perceived as not having enough exposure in other areas of the business to lead multidisciplinary teams.

On the other hand, if you choose to broaden your skills, you may be better positioned for leadership roles especially in large organizations where different experts work together. However, you may be perceived as lacking depth if you do not have a particular area of specialization.

The big question on my mind today is "Can a person balance both?". I think it is possible but it may take a long time. You may start out as a specialist but as you climb up the ladder and towards the peak of your particular profession, you may decide to broaden in order to enhance your leadership skills. This may not be very easy to achieve in certain professions eg Medical / Health profession where specialization takes a long time to achieve.

Have you been faced with this sort of choice and what did you do?

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by veekid(m): 6:57am On Dec 26, 2016
Yeah both are possible; juz a matter of time and consideration
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by passyhansome(m): 6:57am On Dec 26, 2016
Yes, but you need to start early, which offers you a lifetime edge, you can pursue an ardous practice routines for years & years and that doggedness depends on emotional traits, Enthusiasm and persitence in the face of setbacks.

3 Likes

Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by sbashir10: 6:58am On Dec 26, 2016
both are possible, if you're going into academics you specialize but if You ain't its better to broaden first, it gives you an edge.

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by adewumiopeyemi(m): 6:58am On Dec 26, 2016
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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Icaretoo: 6:59am On Dec 26, 2016
Yea
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Sheikwonder(m): 7:02am On Dec 26, 2016
Good one OP. It bothers me too, this broadening vs specialization thing. I may not give expert advice here, but I sincerely think it all boils down to what profession one does. A 'professional' is clearly an expert at 'one' field of study. In certain fields like Economics, you usually start out with a knowledge of Micro and Macro concepts then plus a sound knowledge of Statistics and Mathematics before one can venture to become an expert at say, Petroleum Economics, Labour Economics, Developmental Economics and so on.

Now consider an economist who wants to work in the private sector like the petroleum industry. What good does having a knowledge of labour economics do for him/her? Not much except in terms of wage issues which is something the HR department can handle well. For such a person, specialization makes more sense.

On the other hand, consider if said economist chooses the public sector maybe decides to work as a lecturer. It makes much sense to broaden. In fact, specialization for a new lecturer is not an advantage. It is only after years of lecturing that he/she may decide to specialize especially if such a person is aiming to be a professor.

So, it does depend on one's career choice in my opinion but I'll be glad to hear what others think...

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by akoredebadru(m): 7:05am On Dec 26, 2016
True talk and u cn only do both wen u av attained some height in one area of specialisation before tut of broaden.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by usmanktg2(m): 7:06am On Dec 26, 2016
Broaden to fit in, Specialize to rise up.

The real truth is just broaden it smartly, Stay on your lane, but master anything that comes its way. I never take MBA as a different field, it is a prerequisite in any field.

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by karid(m): 7:07am On Dec 26, 2016
Hmmm I am facing it right now but I think we need to understand somethings first leadership is diff form profession but u can become a leader of ur profession . as we grow in life let pple knw u with something and u can then broaden on that thing example if u start out as hr u can become a consultant in tht area and or trainer for human capacity development the most important thing is "what do u want ?"

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by themonk(m): 7:11am On Dec 26, 2016
It depends on the individual sha. For me am a jack of all trade master of all type of person.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Olakunle007(m): 7:12am On Dec 26, 2016
.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by ercel: 7:16am On Dec 26, 2016
For fresh job seekers - broaden. Once you find the job you love to do - specialize.

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Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by klins4213(m): 7:30am On Dec 26, 2016
Broaden as early as you can...
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by naijakissleave(m): 7:31am On Dec 26, 2016
OP, just as others have rightly said. u need to have an indepth knowledge of what you specialize into which wil afford u the window of being analytical as u broaden in other field career
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Chuksemi(m): 7:49am On Dec 26, 2016
The simple answer to this question is, whatever you do, be good at it.

1 Like

Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by deebsman1(m): 7:52am On Dec 26, 2016
This topic is my exact headache. Imagine a computer scientist (bsc and msc) that's what I am but working In the field of consulting, (SME consulting to b particular). Tough ain't? Thou considering going for MBA soon as well. What have you say about that. I took the gig initially because of no options and still in it cos no jobs in town.what have u say peeps.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Naijalabel(m): 8:02am On Dec 26, 2016
usmanktg2:
Broaden to fit in, Specialize to rise up.

The real truth is just broaden it smartly, Stay on your lane, but master anything that comes its way. I never take MBA as a different field, it is a prerequisite in any field.

I buy into this

Broaden to fit in, Specialize to rise up.

2 Likes

Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Meetmeat(m): 8:07am On Dec 26, 2016
my advice is that as a fresh graduate don't rush for your masters, get a job first so that u can know what field to do your masters as this will help in broden horizon and specialization
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by LydayBobo(m): 8:10am On Dec 26, 2016
At the end of a training session {Emotional Intelligence} in portharcourt, the facilitator said that it's always a good thing to consider your passion first and be the best in that field. Specialist strikes as being an expert and even an organization can outsource some company needs to a specialist while it's being supervise by a Management staff called the Broaden. It's a depends on what you are looking for in life. My respect to all Specialist. I prefer Broaden.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Ramanto(m): 8:30am On Dec 26, 2016
broadening will make you a specialist in many fields.. broadening seems better
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by malton: 8:52am On Dec 26, 2016
ercel:
For fresh job seekers - broaden. Once you find the job you love to do - specialize.

Gbam!
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Rick9(m): 8:53am On Dec 26, 2016
Nice
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Janyves(m): 9:18am On Dec 26, 2016
Broaden on that which you have interests in..
Specialize in the lucrative one's.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by charloski(m): 9:23am On Dec 26, 2016
Yeah I have.... as @ no I am a Network Administrator ( Cisco Certified/ CompTIA)... a good @ what I do... also I have Love for Graphics.. Multimedia in general.... wh I intend having a Media Company ( By God's Grace) .... that of the Networking part is I have a solid Foundation... so Going further and further won't be an Issue... If One has a Strong Beginning.. then the speciality ha started..

Compliment Of Season
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by Wealthyone: 10:51am On Dec 26, 2016
Hmmmmnnn..... Such a useful thread. Being a HR person, starting as a generalist is d best. Few years after, u can specialise. My HR role came as a specialist but i made sure i work wit other specialists in my team to know what their specialty entails. So, i'm a specialized generalist (whatever that means grin)
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by hilsocial(m): 11:52am On Dec 26, 2016
In academics, it better to specialize than broaden. You can broaden your scope of knowledge using professional courses and membership and your experience. Try to specialize in academic pursuit.
Re: Broadening Vs Specialization: Different Approaches To Career Advancement. by TheSPEAKER(m): 1:10pm On Dec 26, 2016
Beautiful comments above me!

It is possible.

I'm a speaker, writer, music artist, medical student... It takes a lot of commitment.....and non is at the expense of the other... I have the order of priority!

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