How Expertise Is Created in Emerging Professional Fields

Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 20)


Changes in society, science and technology affect our daily lives and can cause new jobs to emerge. These global issues, i.e. ‘change drivers’, require global solutions in various domains. At the same time, informal ways of knowing and authentic working-life practices develop in communities of practitioners, sometimes in cooperation with clients and suppliers. Professional expertise is contingent upon and builds on interpersonal relationships with other professionals. To better understand the variety and richness of emerging jobs to come, a classification has been created of the reasons behind changes in professional practices in various occupational domains. Based on the literature and prior experiences in academic apprenticeship training in Finland, we have found three kinds of explanations for changes in professional bodies. These are: (1) bureaucracy and legislation; (2) needs for a multidomain knowledge base and hybridisation of the professions, i.e. integrating related fields towards specialisation; and (3) technological development and innovations. These findings have implications regarding the design and implementation of programmes of professional education and what role recognition of prior learning has in regard to these emerging fields.


European Union Professional Practice Incidental Learning Knowledge Practice Change Driver 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research has been funded by FUTUREX project that is part of European Social Fund programme; Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (Asko-project), and Academy of Finland grant 263787. The article was written during professor Boshuizen’s research period, funded by the Open Universiteit in the Netherlands.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Learning ResearchUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Welten Institute – Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and TechnologyOpen Universiteit in the NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

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