Is it better to stay general or to try to specialize in one thing? Currently, most of my career has been with companies where I have been in a general support role more than any one specific path. This has included end user support, industrial machine programming, SQL database management, Cisco networking, Windows Server environment support, VMware, project management and a whole lot more.
The issue is that while I have workable knowledge is almost any part of IT, I don't feel qualified for any one route. I work as a IT manager in an automotive component supplier where I am the only on-site IT support. I do have a non-dedicated off-site support team of specialist but for the most part I am on my own. The best description I can give of my responsibilities is "If it needs to be physically touched, it's my job".
I guess what I am asking is, if you were in a similar position starting out, how did you decided what to focus on?
Local Plant size is about 40 office workers, 300 employees with 24/6 production across 9 assembly lines.
Global company is about 12500 employees across 96 facilities with the same HQ support team for all plants.
That is because wages are set as a function of the utility of the skillset vs the number of people who can provide that service, so if you are highly optimized around quickly picking up a new paradigm that no one is qualified in and making things work, you can quickly become a leader and provide a lot of value before many other people get there to compete with you.
Job titles and the education pathways that inform most peoples career planning lag the edge of innovation by like 5 years to decades depending on where you are, so you get a huge head start if you know how to work outside the established system.
I don't know how that maps to regular IT work though. It probably doesn't.