All working professionals have two attributes, Functional Role and Industry Expertise.
Before you start your career, you have a certificate from your School/College stating your education. You also have your interests/hobbies but very few get to certify it.
Mostly, it is the education which decides your first career and it will be a functional choice and not Domain. For example, a graduate will join Uber as a Software Engineer for his coding skills rather than his knowledge about Transportation sector.
As time progresses, You will move up in Functional Role while improving in Domain Knowledge. As years role by, your Domain expertise differentiates you from other people in similar functional role.
Now, more than ever, You are looking to capitalise on your Work Experience. You will want to take the path which will lead to a C-Level role in the future.
Let’s talk about C-Level roles. What defines an Individual who attains the role. I am not talking about Entrepreneurs, only Career professionals. Individuals who move up the Corporate structure by their workmanship. More often than not, these are well rounded individuals. They have experienced more diverse Business conditions than others in the similar Domain. They have interacted with more Functional areas of the business than others with same Functional roles. In simpler terms, they are Avengers, they have fought more enemies because they are powerful. They are powerful because they have fought a lot of enemies
Now, how do you chart a path which leads you to develop an expertise in your functional role and also experience diverse business conditions. Should you pursue a different functional role in the same domain ? Should you move to a different domain within the same functional role ? In the prior example, should our Lead Engineer move to Airlines Industry or should he aim for Principal Lead in Lyft/Uber ?
The simplest choice is to pursue an MBA. Yet, it is neither sufficient nor necessary for your path. The reasons to pursue an MBA are true but very limited Schools have the capability to teach you the learning tools to reach your desired path.
Your desire to find an answer to this question is the first learning tool. It increases your awareness to your functional role and to your domain. This awareness will lead you to further questions and more learning tools. It will lead to Compounded Work Experience.
The reason you are differentiated from your peers should not only be Functional but Domain expertise too.
Know more and learn more.