Being a ‘Generalist’ in technology roles has paid off for most in their professional life – opening up doors to new opportunities in learning and career roadmap. Consider Frontend Developers who upskill on Middleware and Backend Development to become Full-stack Developers. software Developers study Data Science for relative roles. Fresh graduates oIen require to build a grip on R, Python, Node.js, Javascript, and a whole cohort of other languages.

Such talent is sought after by businesses on all stages, and this works because they can get more at less. By hiring a generalist, who could figure out seven things, instead of hiring seven functional experts, businesses save costs and arrive close to the desired result.

Historically, it has paid to be an adaptive generalist, but, with the advent of technology and changing market conditions, that stands to change. Here are some key developments that will change the generalist versus specialist dynamics in technology roles:

1. Offshoring vs WFH Economics:

Pricing efficiencies help the business extract more value out of the project, with an offshore team. It’s the reason why companies in India and Poland offer systematic back-office teams to businesses across the globe. However, there are challenges like the communication gap, increased project lifecycle, and time-zone differences.

Now imagine, working with an expert available at a distance of a few hours. Since he/she is not working in the office, the company does not have to bear fixed overheads. However, he/she can still visit the team and offer quick turnarounds when necessary. This has become a reality as COVID 19 has forced businesses to extend Work From Home. Though some companies have plans to go back to the office spaces, many more are planning to make a significant portion of their workforce permanently remote.

A Gartner survey points out that 74% CFOs plan to have 5% of their people permanently work from home. Here, leaders must decide – should they go for the generalist teams working in different time zones or should they bring in experts who are readily accessible round the clock? When the cost of working with both these types of individuals narrows down, stakeholders will prefer Subject Mader Expertise over Generalist.

2. Robotic Process Automation Will Leave Only the Most Value-Generating Jobs to Humans:

Businesses, preparing for the future, look at the entire enterprise model in terms of processes. Processes that require data, can be governed by rules, and are repetitive, are the ones automated leveraging Robo?c Process Automation (RPA).

As resources become more constrained and businesses restructure their operations, people will engage in the tasks that are not governed by rules and are not repetitive. Such jobs are generally available to experts who have a deep understanding of one area instead of having some idea about a lot of areas. The latter roles tend to fall into rule-based work which can easily be automated.

Summing It Up:

Becoming an expert does not mean every individual will have to hold a PhD to be eligible for a role. Expertise generally means understanding a subject-matter in its entirety that allows you to zoom in and out whenever necessary to solve problems. Cognizant had published its list of 21 Jobs for 2028. The list shows that jobs in the high-technology space resonate with the need for more subject expertise in areas like Quantum Machine Learning, Edge Computing, and more.