Rapid change and emerging professions

​Changes in society, science and technology affect our daily lives and can cause new jobs to emerge. 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.

Central questions in this new research field are how new generations should be prepared for future, at least partly unknown, working lives and how old workers should be supported in the necessary updating of their knowledge and skills during their work careers are added challenges. We are particularly interested in analyzing how contemporary theories of learning are suitable for understanding learning for rapid change.


Palonen, T., Boshuizen, H.P.A, & Lehtinen, E.. (2014). How expertise is created in emerging professional fields. In S. Billett,  T. Halttunen & M. Koivisto (Eds).  Promoting, assessing, recognizing and certifying Lifelong Learning: International perspectives and practices (131-150). New York: Springer.

Lehtinen, E. , Hakkarainen, K. & Palonen, T. (2014). Understanding Learning for the Professions: How theories of learning explain coping with rapid change. In S. Billett, C. Harteis H. Gruber (Eds). International Handbook of Research in Professional Practice-based Learning (199-224). New York: Springer.

Lehtinen, E. (2012). Learning of complex competences: On the need to coordinate multiple theoretical perspectives. In A. Koskensalo, J. Smeds, A. Huguet & R. de Cillia (Eds.) Language: Competencies – Contact – Change (pp. 13-27). Berlin: LIT Verlag.