I'm looking for two words. They aren't opposites, but they sit on different ends of a spectrum.
The first word describes someone who takes what they have learned and applies it in the 'real world'.
Related to: Creator, applier, worker
The second word describes someone who takes what they have learned and proposes new ideas in that field.
Related to: Theorist, innovator, researcher
It would be best if both of these terms were flattering, and of equal value.
Perhaps the 'related to's I've provided are the best available options; but someone with a greater lexicon will hopefully be able to provide a powerful pair of options.