Difference Wiki

Discipline vs. Profession: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 26, 2024
Discipline is a field of study or expertise, while profession is a career or job one practices, often requiring specialized education.

Key Differences

Discipline refers to a branch of knowledge or field of study, like physics or history. Profession, on the other hand, denotes a type of job that usually requires specialized skills and education, such as law or medicine.
One can study a discipline at an educational institution to gain knowledge in that area. A profession typically involves applying this knowledge in a practical setting, often after completing specific training or certification.
A discipline evolves primarily through academic research and theoretical development. In contrast, a profession may evolve through changes in industry practices, regulations, and technological advancements.
Members of a discipline often contribute to a body of knowledge. Professionals in a profession usually adhere to a set of ethical standards and are often part of professional bodies or associations.
The primary goal of a discipline is the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. For a profession, it's the application of this knowledge in practical scenarios to provide services or solve problems.

Comparison Chart


Field of study or expertise
Job or career with specific skills

Educational Requirement

Not always requiring formal training
Often requires formal education and training


Advancing knowledge
Applying knowledge in practice


Through academic research
Through industry changes and regulations

Community Involvement

Academic and research communities
Professional bodies and ethical standards

Discipline and Profession Definitions


A specific branch of knowledge or learning.
Biology is a discipline that explores the complexities of life.


An occupation pursued as a career.
Her profession as a journalist took her all over the world.


Training to act according to rules.
The discipline required in martial arts teaches respect and control.


A vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning.
Teaching is a noble profession that shapes the future of society.


Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training.
Her discipline in time management resulted in impressive productivity.


A paid occupation, especially one requiring advanced education and training.
Law is a profession that requires years of study and practice.


Punishment intended to correct or train.
The teacher's discipline helped maintain order in the classroom.


A formal occupation or career.
Medicine is a profession dedicated to healthcare and patient wellbeing.


Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement
Was raised in the strictest discipline.


A job requiring specialized skills and often formal qualifications.
Architecture is a profession that combines creativity with practical skills.


Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order
Military discipline.


An occupation or career
"One of the highest compliments a child can pay a parent is to choose his or her profession" (Joan Nathan).


An occupation, such as law, medicine, or engineering, that requires considerable training and specialized study.


How does one choose a discipline?

Choosing a discipline often involves considering one's interests and academic strengths.

Can a discipline also be a profession?

Yes, some disciplines like psychology can also be professions when practiced.

Is a profession always based on a discipline?

Most professions are based on a discipline, requiring specialized knowledge.

Do all professions require a degree?

Not all, but many professions require formal education and degrees.

How do disciplines evolve?

Disciplines evolve through research, academic exploration, and theoretical advancement.

Can disciplines overlap?

Yes, disciplines like biochemistry overlap between biology and chemistry.

Are ethics important in a profession?

Yes, ethics play a crucial role in maintaining standards in a profession.

What's the importance of professional associations?

Professional associations set standards, provide resources, and support networking.

What is a discipline in education?

A discipline in education is a specific branch of knowledge or field of study.

Can one change their profession easily?

Changing professions might require additional training or education.

Do all disciplines lead to professions?

Not all; some disciplines remain purely academic or theoretical.

Is licensure required for all professions?

Licensure is required for many professions, especially in healthcare and law.

What's the role of discipline in research?

Discipline in research involves rigorous methodology and adherence to ethical standards.

What role does discipline play in professional development?

Discipline in behavior and approach is crucial for success in any profession.

Can a profession be self-taught?

Some professions, especially in the arts and technology, can be self-taught.

Is professional development continuous?

Yes, professionals often engage in continuous learning and skill development.

Are new professions emerging?

Yes, new professions emerge with technological and societal changes.

Is teaching a profession or a discipline?

Teaching is a profession that can involve various disciplines.

How is professional ethics different from personal ethics?

Professional ethics are standards set by a profession, while personal ethics are individual beliefs and values.

How does one advance in a profession?

Advancement in a profession often involves gaining experience, further education, and networking.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons