Generalist or Subject Matter Expert?

I come from a country (Argentina) where being an IT Generalist is almost mandatory for any position. The common rule there is that you need to be strong in one technology and know at least three more to be considered a good candidate for the job.

Here in North America, small and medium size companies also value the IT Generalist. They do not have a lot of staff and an IT resource able to multi-task between different technologies is very attractive and makes a lot of sense.

On the other hand, corporations do not seem to think the same. They do have a big workforce and know that an IT resource may only stay around for 2 years. Consequently, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are the ones that can start working on a specific problem right away with little or no training and therefore provide greater ROI in the short and maybe long term.

So, what is better: IT Generalist or SME? The perfect answer is "it depends"; but if I had to choose today, I would say SME.

Posted by Gabriel Maciel


Guillermo said...

Definitivamente este post queda marcado para los recomendados de la semana.

babu said...

i want to pursue MBA infrastructure management in india, Any idea which institute offers it?

Gabriel Maciel said...

Gracias Guille! Me alegro que te haya gustado :)

Gabriel Maciel said...

Hi Babu,

This is the only link I was able to find: Also, there is another well know Institute there called NIIT,, that maybe can provide you more information.

Thank you,