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Just wanting to know from the mods why was this question regarded off topic and this has several answers and is generally well received?

They seem to be both at least trivially the same, both being career advice / what to study, type of questions.

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    The two are a little different. The first one you linked to is just a terrible question. The second one is a bit better, and isn't asking for recommendations, as it asks the specific question "can someone do this..." That specific bit is answerable, but admittedly some of the rest of the question is off topic. – Doktor Mayhem Dec 31 '16 at 11:59
  • @DrMayhem you've commented on the first that "it appears to be a career suggestions/recommendations question - which is off topic here" - I was trying to find where that's been decided on meta, but I failed... any pointers? – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 31 '16 at 14:04
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    topo - career suggestions are offtopic almost everywhere on Stack Exchange (even on Workplace, unless they meet specific requirements) because they come under the category of opinion based/subjective/too broad. – Doktor Mayhem Dec 31 '16 at 16:37
  • @DrMayhem Yes, I can see that they would often be at risk of being primarily opinion based/subjective/too broad - but any that are could (in theory) be dealt with directly under those close reasons, rather than infer that career advice questions will necessarily fall into those traps, and that career advice questions therefore are off-topic (which our site can make its own decision about if we haven't already - I am a relative noob here so there may be much discussion I've missed!) – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 31 '16 at 17:54
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    @topomorto I don't recall having discussed careers questions separately from business questions, but I have found that sometimes letting new users know "we don't do this" is more effective than saying "this is too subjective" -- the latter tends to engender argument. That said, I agree with Dr Mayhem's reasoning either way. One could argue that most of our added, site specific close reasons fall under "not useful to future readers", but I think it's more helpful to have more specific ones. – user28 Dec 31 '16 at 19:34
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From the comments it seems we don't have a specific site policy on " career advice / what to study type of questions", so mods and other users alike can only use their personal judgement when voting and close voting. The upside of that is that questions can be dealt with on their own merits. The downside is that it can make things look a little inconsistent.

It currently looks to me like both questions were well-received (currently +4/0 and +7/0 votes respectively) so if anyone wanted to promote the issue and see if a decision could be made on these type of issues (where not primarily opinion based/subjective/too broad/racist/etc...), it might be worth a separate general meta question.

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    Agreed with you here. However, worth noting that it's perfectly valid to upvote useful/well written/etc off topic questions and downvote on-topic questions -- for the most part, they're orthogonal concepts. (Though certainly many users will treat them the same.) – user28 Jan 1 '17 at 6:11

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