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We had a question on the main site about trying to get a job in operations for an airline. Personally I think the question is on topic (not withstanding a need for some editing) because we do, generally, consider questions about airline operations as on topic. And I would consider a question about how to get a job in operations as a question about airline operations so.... I think those sorts of questions should stay.

I should note at this point: This question may be a bad question for other reasons, but try not to get too caught up in that. My basic question is this: Should we be allowing questions about careers in aviation, either as a pilot, an ATC operator or in Airline Operations?

My personal vote is yes because I think it would create an opening for a lot of interesting and informative questions about the more practical aspects of aviation. But I'm curious to hear what everyone here thinks.

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I consider a few factors for career questions:

  1. We don't help people locate resources (as specified in the Help Center).
  2. Career options may vary a lot across geographic locations. The answer to, say, airline careers in Taipei or Singapore, would be completely different to one in Egypt.
  3. Career advices are "personal" - they change depending on the qualifications and circumstances.
  4. Stack Exchange aims to provide factual and helpful answers to readers.

I'm not against career questions in principle, but I think the portion which fits our site is not large. (I tried to ask a career question once - it was closed within hours). For a question to fit, I think it has to be beneficial to anyone reading them, and useful if it shows up in search engine results. This rules out questions that are too "particular" and "situational".

If a question about career is general enough, and attracts answers that are applicable to a variety of scenarios, I suggest to keep it.

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I don't see any reason to disallow questions about aviation careers in general. Although many of the site regulars pursue aviation as a hobby only, a lot of amateur aviators are doing it as a step on the way to making that a career - and others might find that their work and hobbies start to interact. For that reason, I think these questions could definitely be of interest to users. We also have some professionals on the site from different aspects of the aviation industry - pilots, ATCOs, and aerodynamicists, for example - and they may well be able to offer the benefit of their professional experience.

That said, I think it's hard to pose careers questions which are objectively answerable and not too broad. The question you link is, as you point out, a prime example. It's exactly the kind of thing you might ask an experienced friend, but it's a bad fit for this site, because it's broad and opinion-based: there's no one answer that works for everybody. For this reason, we'll end up closing a lot of careers-related questions, and it will look to outsiders like we just close all of them. It will be hard to convey to new users that careers questions are welcome provided they have all the other properties that make questions a good fit for Stack Exchange.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your assessment, I just hope users here will be willing to point out what kinds of edits can be made (assuming edits can save the question) as opposed to just closing it. That will help new users understand that we don't mind the topic, we just can only answer questions that are narrow and can be answered with verifiable facts rather than opinions. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Aug 24 '16 at 15:17

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