I've been working in Business Intelligence for a long time, and I'm considering changing the focus of my career to data science. Is Data Science the proper place to ask generic advice questions such as "should I take the Cloudera Data Scientist certification?"
No. Career advice questions are a problematic area that is extremely opinion oriented, specific to an individual, and in some ways fairly broad depending on how the question is put across. These questions are never good for a site, moreover, the same career question can be repeated 10s of times with minor modifications making every of them seem unique, even though it may all boil down to the same set of facts or opinions.
Career advice should be explicitly off-topic.
We are already seeing variations of the same question being asked multiple times on the site and we haven't even been in beta for a month.
- What are some easy to learn machine-learning applications?
- What do you think of Data Science certifications?
- Example tasks of a data scientist and the necessary knowledge
All three focus on the same thing; how to get started as a data scientist.
Also, I am not saying that these questions cannot work at all. I am saying that they have not worked in the past; but it is entirely possible that it may be possible to make them work given certain constraints and guidelines. However, without and until any suggestions or discussion in this direction, I think they should be closed to maintain quality and focus of the site.
A few months in now, I see that questions related to data science as a career are sort of popular, and get decent answers. I see why career questions are generally off-topic for StackOverflow, but it could be that right now, the calculus for data science is just different, and this is something people want to talk about.
Concretely, I feel uneasy closing several career questions that got a decent discussion, and have hesitated to do so recently.
I'm wondering if others feel the same at this point? comment or share your separate answer.
I'm new, but my mindset is that if it's related even a little bit, during the beta you should ask it and you shouldn't be discouraged.
3 weeks into the beta and there are only 70 questions on the board. There's no reason to avoid asking anything at this point.
It could potentially get a series of questions asked with a "career" tag that could liven things up a bit.