While I totally agree with chl's decision to close this question about where and how to hire statisticians, I noticed that this sort of career/personnel/hiring stuff isn't explicitly forbidden by the FAQ. If one only skims the FAQ, these might seem okay.

Would it be appropriate to add a line or two to make that more obvious? If this has been a problem in general, I haven't seen it. But I also know that the temptation to post such questions can be great, especially if this is the asker's one connection to other statisticians. Even I have considered trying to sneak one in now and then, but I'm holding out for our Programmers equivalent...

Would it be worthwhile to add language to the FAQ regarding questions like these?


FWIW, some other SE sites find the business side of their interest to be worthy of discussion. E.g., read the thread at https://photo.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/614/questions-about-the-business-of-photography-on-or-off-topic .

Personally, I'm happy with similar questions on CV, provided we can keep out the headhunters and other riffraff who would abuse this opportunity. (I have nothing against headhunters except when they violate community norms when conducting their business.) Note, too, that all such questions would be subject to the usual SE rubric: if they are localized in time or space, they're off-topic. So "who's hiring in my city" and "what do people charge" questions would not get a warm welcome, I believe. But I suspect questions along the line of

"how does one get started as a consulting statistician/data miner/quantitative analyst,"

"how do you estimate the time needed to perform a study,"

"is there a code of ethics for professional statisticians,"

"what kinds of continuing education activities do statisticians engage in and which ones are really worthwhile"

could find a broad audience.

If the voting, replies, and comments in this thread give us a clear sense of what people want, it will be a simple matter to modify the FAQ accordingly, one way or the other. Thanks for bringing up the issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'm certainly open to considering that. Thanks for the link to Photo - I think it's very helpful to see how it works on a similar site. My general impression (partly from this old meta-question is that the community would be generally opposed to this, but I'm all for having that question answered directly. Thanks for broadening the scope. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker May 13 '11 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ Photo really seems to have its act together on the profession-question front - those mostly seemed well-asked and well-answered, and there weren't many. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker May 13 '11 at 23:04

I've initially flagged this question as off-topic, until I realized somebody else did the same. I had the feeling that this question was too broad, or at least not covered in the topics described on the FAQ; moreover, I seem to remember a similar question was closed some months ago.

I may be wrong and I'm open to any suggestion regarding notifications in the FAQ, whether this question shall be reopen (as CW), or whatever.

Thanks for raising this issue, here on our Meta.

  • $\begingroup$ Regardless of topic-fulness, it was far too broad. Please don't second-guess your decision on my account - it was a good one. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker May 13 '11 at 23:07

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