What they mean, in that book, by "ticket-puncher" is clearer in another sentence from that book.
The "mature ticket-punchers" entered Darden focused on a particular career
Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers. p. 71
That means they are only in school because a degree is required for the job. They are here to get their ticket punched.
That's what they mean by the label. However, the grid is constructed from asking two questions:
Academically, are you a pragmatist or a purist?
Do you identify with the dominate culture or some micro culture?
So people who are academically pragmatic and counter culture are being judged to just be ticket-punchers. They aren't here for cultural experience or pure academic pursuits. They just want a job.
The book's logic is a bit exclusionary. It could be that there are more than 3 possible reasons someone goes to school. They've eliminated two and just assume your reason must be the third. This only holds up if you insist all other reasons fall under these three somehow. But that's what you have to do if you want to draw these clever little two question diagrams.
In a broader context, that is, outside of this book, this literally means someone who gets their ticket punched. A practice used in everything from train travel to verify you are a paying customer, not someone reusing an old ticket, to earning you a free sandwich after having bought ten of them, as proven with ten punches in your ticket (a promotional gimmick that always made me wonder how expensive hole punches could possibly be).
While that is the root literal meaning it has grown into several others:
punch one's ticket
Do or achieve something that enables one to progress to the next step:
Krueger punched her ticket to the Championships by taking eighth at the NCAA South Regionals
US informal Deliberately undertake particular assignments that are likely to lead to promotion at work.
- (In sports) ensure one’s progress to a further contest or tournament:
in scoring 13 points, they punched their ticket to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville
Last Sunday, the Terrapins punched their ticket to an eleventh straight NCAA tournament with an uninspiring, painful to watch victory over a mediocre University of Virginia team.
He had punched his ticket as a climbing Sherpa, but the next challenge was to make his mark on Everest.
Johannesburg kept his record perfect and punched his ticket for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile later this month.
oxforddictionaries.com: punch one's ticket
get one's ticket punched
get one's ticket punched
Sl. to die; to be killed. (Literally, to be cancelled.) Poor Chuck got his ticket punched while he was waiting for a bus. Watch out there, or you'll get your ticket punched.
dictionary.com: get one's ticket punched