Trav brings up some positives and negatives about specializing or generalizing in your career.
“I believe designers are all designers not just one type. An organization does this (narrow a designers scope) to help better define the individual and role but in reality a designer should understand many roles”
I think it mostly comes down to personality. We have two things here. The first is who you are, as a person. What are your interests and skills. What do you have to offer and what makes you happy.
Then the second thing is what the world needs. Or rather, what do the people that you know what have money need. It’s easier to hire a specialist at a big company. A small company can use a generalist more.
To it really comes down to you, what can you do, and what do you want?
I’ve got some specific talking points here that we can argue over.
It’s Easier to Specialize
Whichever path you take, push yourself outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. You might end up stagnating if you don’t. Pushing your boundaries helps you grow by necessitating more learning, researching, and studying, and it will keep you motivated and energized in your career.
Does it have to be one or the other? I’ve noticed that I was more scattered earlier in my career. And over time learned to focus myself. I had very real and specific talks about this topic with friends and colleagues. It ends up, everyone just kinda does what they do.
There is also the concept of the T-shaped designer. One who has a competency in a vast many topics, but can dive really deep on one or two specialities.