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.
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
Scholarship, far from leading inexorably to a profession, may in fact preclude it. For it does not permit you to abandon it.
Walter Benjamin, "The Life of Students" (1915), in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings – vol. 1: 1913-1926 (Harvard University Press: 1996), p. 38