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I have often wondered how one joins a profession with a non-traditional career path. Some examples are:

  • How does one become a ship captain for an international freight line?
  • What is a typical career path for becoming an astronaut?
  • What is the career track for an overseas commercial pilot?

Would questions such as these be on-topic? If not, is there another stack at which they might be?

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No.

We have a close reason that specifically declares this off topic.

Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?")

This type of question is basically asking what skills should I learn.

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    I was under the impression that we close those question because of the "I" in "What should I learn." we cannot possibly guess what is best for another person. But "how to become an airline pilot" seems to be pretty straightforward, unlike unanswerables like "C# or Java". – nvoigt May 18 '15 at 16:43
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    @Nvoight - No general how do I become a ___ questions have been off topic since early in beta. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 18 '15 at 17:42
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Would questions such as these be on-topic

Questions like this are very hard to answer in a Q/A format and not a discussion, for a few reasons:

  • They are normally very specific to the asker's circumstances, life priorities, and background
  • They are impossible to conclusively answer except in rare cases
  • Most careers have people who come into them in all manner of backgrounds. Nearly no job title/type has a one size fits all background and path to it

Each combination of interests and backgrounds will result in a customized answer to "how do I become an X?" which is very difficult to make useable for others.

These sorts of questions are much better for chat/forums where there will be large amounts of clarifying questions and responses.

The site chatroom is a good place on the SE network.

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