Should you be an expert or a jack of all trades?

Sunny Patneedi
2 min readOct 17, 2015

Figuring out your next career move is not always straightforward to some. Some questions I’ve asked my mentors and tried figuring out for myself are — “Should I keep building upon existing skills or learn new skills?” or “Should I become an expert in one area or a novice of several different areas?”.

If you or someone you know are going through similar thoughts, the article published today on TechCrunch is a good read (link at the bottom).


Historically, specialization has been a path to prosperity. Although specialization has certain economic advantages, in the era of technological convergence, well-educated generalists will be those who are the most valuable. It is time for a renaissance of the “Renaissance Man.”

Harnessing these 21st-century opportunities will require people who are “jacks of all trades, masters of none,” or, perhaps more accurately, master polymaths.

Self-driving cars don’t just need automotive engineers, they need people who understand software, traffic engineering, the psychology of drivers and regulatory processes.

This is even truer in technology fields; because they evolve so quickly, old leanings are rendered obsolete.

How do we do this?

1. Diversify your learning

2. Never too late to learn new skills

3. Level the playing field

4. Learn with intention

What is the Pareto principle?

Pareto Principle, or as it is more commonly known, the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is a specific expression of the power law and says, in many instances, 80 percent of the outputs are the result of 20 percent of the inputs.



Sunny Patneedi

Tech, Travel, Food, Fitness enthusiast | Aspiring photog | Opinions are mine alone. @Travelstellar | @Salesforce