All his life, Confucius was a frustrated intellectual. In this quote, 学者 refers to he who is learning. Confucius observed that in the past, people pursued knowledge for the sake of self development. During Confucius’ time, people were pursuing knowledge for the sake of others. In other words, they learning so they could land a job.
Confucius was an idealist and did not enjoy learning just to land a job.