This is a question that has been debated by experts in various fields for the past several years. Will the future, with all these rapid changes and technologies, be in the hands of experts or those with ordinary knowledge?
Being an expert or a generalist?
We have to push back to start a flashback. It does not matter in what decade we grew up. Once everyone realizes who the expert is, the atmosphere arises that one must become an expert in one area to grow. Benefits of becoming a specialist include getting more money, career advancement and an easier life; But the main question, or rather the challenge today, is whether the future will really move forward with the same vision. Given the changes and differences that have arisen, it seems that the future will be really different.
The problem is that in today’s world, if the speed of nothing is high, the speed of technological change is uncontrollable. The rate of change is not the same at all as people adapt to technology. One of the factors that has led many countries to lag behind technology. In fact, the pace of science learning does not change much. What is read today is no longer valid tomorrow. These complications have left future conditions uncertain and, most importantly, unsafe. Conditions that have created anxiety in the hearts of people to know the latest changes and scientific growth.
Hence, two views emerge:
- Becoming an extremely skilled in a very specific field
- Learn everything and become a so-called generalist
This can be considered the same as To be or not to be. To either be an expert or learn everything. There has always been and will always be a challenge to choose between the two. It is not possible to say which one is correct; But from the professional point of view and studies of psychologists and sociologists, and incidentally published in an article in the Harvard Journal, it is better not to specialize than to specialize in one field.
To choose, one must know the difference between an expert and a generalist. Knowing the difference better than anything will help you choose the right path.
The difference between specialist and non-specialist in the future
- The world is moving towards the use of artificial intelligence. What does artificial intelligence mean? This means that tools and parts will work and make decisions instead of humans. A very obvious and professional example of this could be drones. If until yesterday a specialist was doing a certain activity; But today, a device does its job easily, faster and with the least error. A device that ultimately needs an operator. A device that an ordinary employee can easily work with.
- The error rate of an expert is always higher than the device. An example would be weather forecasting. A meteorologist makes predictions using simple digital tools. It must also analyze the data itself; But professional devices used in Europe and the United States analyze much faster and without error over the next few days. A typical employee just needs to enter the information. The analysis will be shown to him in a few seconds and very quickly. In a world of change, a percentage, however small, can produce far worse results.
- The monopoly is being destroyed. If until yesterday a very special tool was in the hands of a few people; But today, most users can use them very easily. An example is a very simple example. To produce and edit the photo, it was necessary to get help from a graphic designer; But now there are many applications and software that can easily produce a quality photo without even having graphic knowledge.
- Specialist is limited. With this limitation in today’s world where everything is changing and world news is spreading faster than anyone else, one can not ignore people’s curiosity. People like to dominate everything. The reason is that there are no restrictions. In fact, no boundaries are defined.
Is it bad to be an expert now?
Not yet; But it must be said that the world is moving towards generalization. Of course, many tools are specialized; But if you look at the same tools a little bit, they are the result of combining the knowledge of several people with each other. A photo editing application needs a programmer, graphic designer, marketer, etc. It is a kind of combination of general knowledge.
In today’s world, you have to give up expertise to succeed. A teacher of Persian literature must know their language in order to be able to communicate with the literature of other nations. Now what happens if he only specializes in Persian literature and does not know the English word? He is a professor of Persian literature; But it only works in this area. It can not go beyond its borders. Now, if he is relatively fluent in several languages and can even use today’s digital tools, he will not only communicate but also increase his knowledge.
A generalist, or rather, having knowledge of any field, will acquaint one with the other world and will even increase the speed of his learning. It should not be forgotten, however, that in order to make the best use of knowledge, one must be an expert in one’s field; But not limited.
If we want to have a general conclusion, expertise is very good, but no industry today can proceed in a one-dimensional way. Large Iranian companies in various fields such as home appliances, none have grown individually and with a specialty. A collection of knowledge has been put together to witness the success of domestic brands and increase national production capacity today. For example, we can give an example of an Iranian home appliance brand. SNOWA Iran, a leading company in the advanced home appliance industry, has been able to become the flagship of advanced home appliances in the country with the cooperation of experts and the use of state-of-the-art equipment. Success requires people to share their knowledge.