What’s a smart specialism to be in?

I
am currently in a generalist HR role, and enjoy all the disciplines involved,
but am thinking the future lies in specialism. Which areas would you tip as the
big careers of the future in terms of earnings and employability?

Vic
Daniels, director at Carr Lyons, writes

All the good
generalists benefit from undertaking work in a specialism at some stage of
their career. If you want job satisfaction, I would suggest training and
development – a huge growth area with lots of potential. If you want to earn
more money, move into compensation and benefits – the number of vacant jobs
still far outnumbers the supply of good quality people. Salaries are on the up!

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:

I
would suggest pay and benefits. It is one of the highest paid areas.
It is also very interesting and, contrary to common view, requires imagination
and creativity, so it’s not at all boring!

 

If
this really doesn’t appeal, then the other area to consider is
developing others. This is going to rely more heavily in the future on an
ability to facilitate others’ skills development using a range of techniques.
This will mean face to face support, developing IT learning and also the
strategies to manage e- or distance learning which is a sophisticated process.

Allison
Sheard, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Group, writes:

The
most important deciding factor in what you do should be what you enjoy most.

If
you enjoy a generalist role and would like to earn more then it is probably
worth looking at which sectors pay best. Traditionally these would be the
City-based banking and finance sectors. Or you may be able to earn more as a
generalist with international experience, due to increasing globalisation, HR
in this area continues to attract a premium.

As
a specialism, compensation and benefits tends to be more highly paid than most,
particularly when concerned with director’s rewards, as does consulting in this
field. Combining the two in international comp and ben could be a good career
move. As could be working in the professions where recruitment and retention of
scarce talent is key.

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