I recently came across this answer:
And instantly had an issue with the choice of words:
We are professionals and will help you get your files back.
I decided to edit this, replacing professionals with experts. This is due to my understanding that an expert is somebody with extensive knowledge of a certain field. On the other hand, a professional is an expert who has been certified to act ethically and professionally in their field.
The subsequent edit was rejected for the following reasons:
A professional is someone who gets paid for their work. Therefore ransomware developers are indeed professionals.
This is a valid point and one we can all agree with. However, I would say this definition doesn't go far enough. An extreme example is somebody who deals in the distribution of narcotics. They get paid for their work, but I personally wouldn't regard them as professionals. I believe the same can be said for Ransomware developers and distributors, getting paid through extortion doesn't comply with my definition of a professional who acts ethically.
Experts and professionals are two very different terms. Being expert puts a lot more weight to your opinion than being a professional.
What alarmed me here is the contradiction to my understanding, an understanding that was part of securing my BSc in IT Security. As aforementioned, my understanding is a professional is an expert in a certain field with the addition of certification that they act within the accepted practices/procedures within that field.
So I would like to know what our definition of an IT Professional is in the real world. I already know what I have been taught, but due to the contradictions I have received it seems right to clarify this.