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I hate to ban the category out right but if not maybe we should have some guidelines for what is acceptable for this type of question.

https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/728/what-is-the-minimum-experience-needed-to-change-the-industry-i-work-in-from-the

This question as originally asked is too broad but I am thinking if the question was how do I change my career form Public works Project management to IT project management I Could see this been a good question.

Or should we just say this class of question is off topic?

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    There's all sorts of problems with that question...the title screams too localized, "minimum experience" screams not constructive...not a good example for anything. – Rarity Apr 18 '12 at 14:39
  • @Rarity - Which is why I posted this question. How do we fix them or do you just say no career path questions period. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 18 '12 at 15:27
  • I'm on the fence. The hiring/recruiting process seems definitely on target, as does career development...but the actual career shift stuff gets pretty dang industry specific. – Rarity Apr 18 '12 at 15:29
  • @Rarity - Comments are for clarification not answers... you should know better. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 18 '12 at 15:30
  • As an answer, what does "I'm on the fence" bring to the table? What does a vote on that mean? – Rarity Apr 18 '12 at 15:38
  • @Rarity - So that makes it ok to not follow the rules? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 18 '12 at 15:56
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    Discussions happen on Meta. That's how it works. You're inappropriately generalizing the "what comments are not" post; comments are still important on Meta. – Rarity Apr 18 '12 at 16:28
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Judging by the number of tags career advice (hiring process, resume, interviewing, ...) seem to be the most important part of the workplace.SE right now. If we would ban these questions, we would lose a large part of the traffic/questions. This bags the question if there should be another SE which would specialise in career advice, to which these questions might migrate at a later point. Until then, I would see them as on topic.

Edit: My point - besides the argument about losing traffic if we would ban these questions - is that right now we have a very broad definition of the topic as posted in the FAQ:

The Workplace - Stack Exchange is for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting.

Unless we sharpen this definition, I find it hard to argue that career questions are off topic, since one's career path is the long-term result of navigating the professional setting. If we liken this definition with an answer to the question "What is on topic in this SE?" is is lacking further explanations: What is meant with "navigating", what is meant with "professional setting", and what is meant with "workforce".

  • I think these questions are either on or off topic here. Opening another SE just to take away traffic from this one is probably not a good move at this point. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 18 '12 at 13:42
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I agree with the curiosity around these questions - it's definitely hard to see the long-term benefit here. However, long-term benefit is something that often needs to be proved (to exist or not exist) vs. something that can necessarily be predicted without substantial prior evidence, which we don't really have since the site is still very new. It's true that we can draw parallels between questions we see here and similar questions we've seen on other network sites, but that's not necessarily a correct (or useful) correlation to make on new sites.

To provide a contrarian view, many of these questions could be rewritten and possibly turned into public wiki articles on skills that are important to various fields. Of course, that idea presents its own challenges (do we want to be the warehouse for qualifications listings for a ton of job descriptions)?

However, as others have pointed out, where else in the network are these kinds of questions going to be on-topic, and how much of the motivation to begin this site has to do with career transitions, advice on getting /changing/starting/leaving jobs, and other somewhat advice-based questions. I'm starting to see the wisdom in at least attempting to answer these questions without jumping on the "too localized/non-constructive" train just yet.

So long as a question is phrased in such a way that it's answerable, I'm starting to think that these sorts of questions (at least at this very early stage in the site) or more helpful than hurtful. If anything, the first real problem I think we'll start to see with these questions is the need to close many future questions as duplicates, but only time will tell.

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