# Is Cross Validated an appropriate place to ask advice on career development questions in statistics?

As far as I know there is no Stack Exchange site for discussing career decision questions 'in general' but it would be nice to have this for the field of methodology and statistics. Many people are looking cross-entry from other fields, especially in the context of 'big' data science. Statistics is a very open field in general and a forum to exchange about directions and paths may be useful for many.

Is Cross Validated an appropriate place to ask such questions or where else may these questions (e.g., 'how can I transfer into the field of statistics from being an economist at xyz') be posed? Is there a different place I am not aware of?

• Possible duplicate of Why are there no soft question, advice, career development tags on Cross Validated? Dec 10 '15 at 1:13
• A question that came up a few weeks ago that got closed, much to my dismay, was something along the lines of "What should one know to be a biostatistician (as compared to the more generic term of statistician)?". There was a comment along the lines of "apply statistics to biology" and then the question was closed. I felt this was extremely misleading and a missed educational opportunity. Dec 21 '15 at 3:20

## 1 Answer

Is CV an appropriate place to ask such questions?

No, because the Stack Exchange platform has a policy that questions which seek primarily opinion-based answers are off-topic.

You can visit the help center page to learn more about which subjects are on topic in this community. I'd also like to recommend the following reading from the help center:

What types of questions should I avoid asking? An excerpt of it is:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

About the second question:

Where else may these questions (e.g. how can I transfer to field of statistics from being an economist at xyz) be posed?

You can ask in the CV's chat room Ten Fold. However, there you will find a more informal environment and only a few users participating in relation to the main site.

• I am not sure the answer really is "no", given that we have careers tag with 30+ questions. Dec 8 '15 at 20:28
• Perhaps I am wrong about what opinion-based is. About questions tagged careers, some are closed with precisely this reason. (@amoeba). Dec 8 '15 at 22:11
• I agree CV may be a place primarily for statistics and topics that can be answered by facts. However, stackexchange in general invites opinion based boards, such as academia.stackexchange.com which in my view is primarily a opinion based discussion board. So maybe a data science career board may be helpful. Dec 8 '15 at 22:16
• @Thomas, true. Have you already looked at the DataScience Stack Exchange? Perhaps, there would be an alternative. Dec 8 '15 at 22:25
• Note also that a high proportion of the careers questions have been made community wiki, & that the tag wiki excerpt says "When asking a question with this tag, please make sure that it is of general interest, rather than seeking advice about your particular job situation". I'm not sure there's a consensus that careers questions are off-topic per se, but they're likely to be better received when inviting fairly objective answers focusing on required statistical knowledge & experience for roles in general rather than peripheral or localized matters. Dec 9 '15 at 12:55
• Perhaps we could benefit having an additional answer emphasizing such points. I still read words like 'advice', 'general', 'career-development' and I imagine most type of questions in this category being opinion-based. (@Scortchi) Dec 9 '15 at 13:26
• @AndreSilva: I do tend to agree with you. "How can I transfer into the field of statistics from being an economist at xyz?" is a non-starter; "What concepts & methods from an education in (general) applied statistics would someone with a specialization in econometrics be unfamiliar with?" looks more promising. I'll try to work these points up into an answer that people can vote up or down when I find time. Dec 9 '15 at 13:38