Here we go again usually when you have someone talking like this leads to ask. What really is in your mind? Teach tech skills? Show me the company that has a full budget to train IT personnel and then let them go to class. Sorry Mr. McLaine but I don't buy your argument here and one other thing being a former EDS employee I know how you think and that is costs of personnel not quality of personnel. Me when I hire people it is mandatory to have some sort of certification not because I will pay more but it denotes you are able to grasp the technology at some level.
What you are indicating here is a generalist so you can pay he/she the lowes possible salary and then give them a miserable 2% raise every 12 months. Please do not insult my intelligence and speak what you mean. For you a generalist is all you need and when it comes to crunch time hire the specialist at $200/Hr to fix the problem and then go away. Well that is the model I follow and the reason I will never work for corporate entities again. I am perfectly happy in charging 200/Hr for a 6 month engagement and walk away for a vacation. After all is market economy that rules.