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Dangers of Overspecialization

By: Allison Jia

As our day-to-day technology grows more and more advanced, jobs require more specialization and education than ever. While employees may benefit from the deeper understanding of their specific field, they miss out on other opportunities to listen to other professionals in similar fields and connect the dots to make bigger discoveries.


As KLA Tencor’s CTO Ben Tsai put it, “Imagine a piece of paper. If you tear it to shreds and use glue to put it all back together, it weighs a lot more than the original paper did itself.” In other words, the splitting of work in the companies, while efficient at some times, can ultimately lead to more time and energy wasted than if the company had worked together in the first place.


Many companies as well as universities are now beginning to focus on interdisciplinary fields to combine different fields together to accomplish more. In fact, UC Berkeley has created their own field of interdisciplinary studies, solely created to tackle the problem of overspecialization.


However, technology continues to advance; overspecialization is difficult to avoid. Yet at the end of the day, we must remember just to sometimes take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

About Allison Jia

Allison Jia is a freshman at The Harker School. She loves science, especially biomedical research and neuroscience, traveling, watching movies, and playing volleyball. She is involved in many STEM clubs at her school, including Science Research, Math, and Medical, and currently serves as an officer in her school's DECA program.

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