A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, such as the IEEE. Some definitions of "professional" limit this term to those professions that serve some important aspect of public interest and the general good of society.
Professional communication, encompasses written, oral, visual and digital communication within a workplace context. This discipline blends together pedagogical principles of rhetoric, technology, software, and learning theory to improve and deliver communication in a variety of settings ranging from technical writing to usability and digital media design. It is a new discipline that focuses on the study of information and the ways it is created, managed, distributed, and consumed. Since communication in modern society is a rapidly changing area, the progress of technologies seems to often outpace the number of available expert practitioners. This creates a demand for skilled communicators which continues to exceed the supply of trained professionals.
Some persons are led to believe that ... the whole idea of their lives is that they ought either to increase their money without limit, or at any rate not to lose it. The origin of this disposition in men is that they are intent upon living only, and not upon living well; and, as their desires are unlimited they also desire that the means of gratifying them should be without limit. ... If they are not able to supply their pleasures by the art of getting wealth, they try other arts, using in turn every faculty in a manner contrary to nature. The quality of courage, for example, is not intended to make wealth, but to inspire confidence; neither is this the aim of the general's or of the physician's art; but the one aims at victory and the other at health. Nevertheless, some men turn every quality or art into a means of getting wealth; this they conceive to be the end, and to the promotion of the end they think all things must contribute.
Aristotle, Politics, 1.9
Towards this fine honor of a trade converged all the finest, all the most noble sentiments—dignity, pride. Never ask anything of anyone, they used to say. … In those days a workman did not know what it was to solicit. It is the bourgeoisie who, turning the workmen into bourgeois, have taught them to solicit.
Charles Péguy, Basic Verities, A. & J. Green, trans. (New York: 1943), p. 83