I always appreciate (and learn from, and enjoy) writings by Michael Hait, where ever they appear. This week, writing a post at his "Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession" he asks: "Shouldn't we all be 'Primary Care Genealogist?' Be sure to read the comments and replies, as well, of course.
This discussion, of course, related to the issue of 'what is a professional?' - that has been cussed and discussed at length in the Geneablogs, lately. But, it is a little more pointed, at least the way I read it. I spent 15-20 years in 'academe' - coming in late, and exiting after a perhaps 'fairly short' exposure; though I did achieve a reasonable degree of success while I was there.
I am fascinated to see the same type of 'inside' cussing and discussing about what a 'professional' genealogist should be as I did regarding being a 'professional' academic. There, the big issue was, to oversimplify a bit, whether 'a teacher' or 'a researcher' was the true 'professional.' Michael here speaks about the 'generalist' versus the 'specialist' - and the first comment really takes off on it.
I believe I prefer what I believe Michael is saying: If you have good (genealogical) research skills, it really doesn't matter. The research methods are at the heart of any good genealogy work. Good research skills are at the heart of any academic work, as well. Whether you become a specialist is a separate issue. But, you still need good research skills, first, to be a competent genealogist. I also believe this is the basis for valid certifications, general or specific.
What do you think? If you care to comment, I invite you to do so. ;-)
Families are Forever! ;-)