I am having two options for users to select from, either they are a Student or they are a Professional. What one word can be used to represent both the names collectively? I tried a lot but couldn't think of any.

The context is that i have a registration form for a test that has to be taken by a variety of people so i need to have a single word to represent student and professional.

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    What is the context? If it is for a transportation system, they could become university passengers or such – mplungjan Nov 5 '13 at 7:24
  • The context is that i have a registration form for a test that has to be taken by a variety of people. – Nitesh Verma Nov 5 '13 at 7:39
  • Employment type? – mplungjan Nov 5 '13 at 8:25
  • yes sort of. Actually it would be specific and would be chosen by the person. eg. if a person is in IT he gives a test in IT or if a person is a graduate in English he gives a test in English. – Nitesh Verma Nov 5 '13 at 8:28
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    Target, Audience, Applicant – mplungjan Nov 5 '13 at 8:34

My suggestion is Applicant based on your comments

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Basically you are asking:

a student and a professional are both ___________ (noun).

This question has two types of answer.

You could be asking what superclass both belong to. In linguistics, this is called a hypernym. According to WordNet,¹

student (is a kind of) enrollee (is a kind of) person
student (is a kind of) intellectual (is a kind of) person


professional (is a kind of) adult (is a kind of) person
professional (is a kind of) athlete (is a kind of) contestant (is a kind of) person
professional (is a kind of) authority (is a kind of) expert (is a kind of) person.

Thus if your question is about shared inherited hypernyms, the answer is that a student and a professional are both people.

Or you could be asking for a general category reflecting a significant property or attribute shared by students and professionals. But you don’t say what you consider significant. For example, if you consider literacy significant: they are both literati or intelligentsia. Or if you consider them to be types of vocation: they are both occupations, callings, or job descriptions.

Unfortunately you provided very little context in your question, so it is hard to know what kind of answer you expect.

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  • Agreed that it's a little frail on the context. What kind of "professional" are we talking about? A professional student? Or a student who is a professional in another field? – pmusser Nov 5 '13 at 7:19

The easiest answer is student or professional. But since you asked for a single word, and since you're describing this as a trait, I'll go with role.

Role:  Student [_x_]  Professional [___]

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