Young professional

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The term young professional generally refers to young people in their 20s and 30s who are employed in a profession or white-collar occupation. The meaning may be ambiguous[1] and has evolved from its original narrow meaning of a young person in a professional field.[2] Although derivative of the term 'yuppie', it has grown into its own set of meanings.


The term was originally, and is still used to some degree, to narrowly refer to recent graduates of professional schools serving in professional careers.[2][3]

Stereotypically, they can also be viewed as having an "obsession with success" and "plagued with loneliness."[4] Alternatively, young professionals can be seen as highly spiritual and "seeking a spiritual outlet to balance their hectic working lives."[5]

Young professionals are viewed as being strongly attached to technology and media[6] and are targeted by makers of those products.[7]

Impact and connections with larger entities[edit]

Young professionals can provide a welcome increase in a local area's tax base and can also create a snowball effect of attracting and infusing young energy and talent into an area.[8] Young professionals can also organize themselves and bring energy to shape communities and alter local or ethnic politics.[9]

Young professionals are courted by larger social and occupational organizations or employers in some contexts,[10][11] but not in other.[6]

Young professionals are also heavily targeted by purveyors of career and financial advice.[12][13]

In the workplace, young professionals can be viewed as talented and energetic individuals who present special management challenges[14] or as "cannon fodder" to be cast aside once they are no longer profitable to a business.[3]

As euphemism for "single"[edit]

The stigma that developed in the 1970s around singles functions and singles groups led some organizations to switch the name of their singles events to "young professionals events".[15][16][17] However, other organizations specifically for young professionals insist that they are not "singles groups".[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "I am not sure what "young professionals" means..." After the storm: American society a decade after the Vietnam War : proceedings of the International Conference on "The U.S.A.: A Decade After the Vietnam War", 1987, p. 33
  2. ^ a b Arun Arora and Andrew Francis, The rule of lawyers in Modernising Britain, Fabian Discussion Papers, iss. 42, 1998, p. 4
  3. ^ a b John Taylor, 'Down With M.B.A.'s' , New York magazine, November 2, 1987, p. 36
  4. ^ Max Lucado, The applause of heaven, 1996, p. 120
  5. ^ Engaging Generation Aleph: A Resource for Young Adults in the Synagogue, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, ed., 1997, p. 3
  6. ^ a b Ryan Kohnen, Young Professional's Guide to Success, 2009, pp. 1, 103
  7. ^ "Jeffrey Evans, creator of TigerText, hopes the app will attract young professionals who already use texting as their main mode of communication." Veronica Belmont, The Tangled Dating Web: TigerText, CheaterRegistry, and other digital means to aid or shame cheaters,, March 18, 2010
  8. ^ Neighborhood organizing: nurturing strong, unified voices, charles Stewart Mott Foundation, ed., 2007, p. 8
  9. ^ Glenn Omatsu, "Four Prisons" and the Movements of Liberation, in Asian American studies: a reader, Jean Yu-wen Shen Wu and Min Song, eds., 2000, p. 178
  10. ^ Aart J. M. Van De Laar, The World Bank and the poor, in Series on the Development of Societies, Institute of Social Studies, ed., vol. 6, p. 101
  11. ^ Government Executive, vol. 26, 1994, pp. 16, 18
  12. ^ Lisa C. Jones, Money Management for Young Professionals, Ebony, October 1992, p. 128
  13. ^ Tanner Strasky, Find Your Inner Ugly Betty: 25 Career Lessons for Young Professionals Inspired by TV Shows, 2008
  14. ^ Roger B. Winston, Don G. Creamer, and Theodore K. Miller, The professional student affairs administrator: educator, leader, and manager, 2001, p. 394
  15. ^ Berk, Bernard (1976). "Face-Saving at the Singles Dance". Social Problems. 24 (5): 530–544 [p. 532]. doi:10.2307/800123.
  16. ^ Fried, Stephen (2002). The new rabbi: a congregation searches for its leader. p. 57.
  17. ^ Engaging Generation Aleph: A Resource for Young Adults in the Synagogue. Union of American Hebrew Congregations. 1997. p. 81.
  18. ^ Engaging Generation Aleph: A Resource for Young Adults in the Synagogue. Union of American Hebrew Congregations. 1997. p. 96.