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in Questions about two questions I think we (or at least I) concluded that we don't yet have a specific site policy on "career advice / what to study" questions.

Another question that popped up is https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/51785/music-as-profession. This question (at best) needs clarifying, but if we don't know what is/isn't on topic, it's hard to know what in what direction to push for clarification.

So - Are any 'career advice / what to study, type of questions' on-topic, and if so, what?

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    Questions that ask for "any advice" will have other issues rather than being off-topic like your second linked question which besides being broad is rather unclear. I don't think anyone is saying that career/study questions that are objectively asked are not welcome here, but the bigger point is that they are rarely defined in a way where we can objectively answer them.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 3 '17 at 15:26
  • @Dom agree absolutely. My motivation for the question was a comment under that question stating "as soon as it's clarified it will be off-topic" - I could see what the person was saying but I thought it might point back to the same lack of clarity that the other recent meta question pointed out.
    – topo morto
    Jan 3 '17 at 15:28
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I think there are a bunch of things we could deal with with some objectivity, e.g.:

  • syllabi and "what you would learn" on different types of courses
  • typical entry requirements for different types of courses
  • what a person's options might be given a level of experience and past attainment (this one seems controversial!)
  • what career paths tend to be taken by graduates of a certain type of course.
  • the realities of different types of musical careers.

I don't think we should be immediately put off if a question has an overall feel of "what should I do?", because that would be a fairly standard human thing to be thinking when needing the above kind of information, and we don't necessarily want to discourage human beings from using the site. (Of course, "what should I do?" isn't a question we can answer; we may nevertheless be able to help a person answer it themselves with the kind of information above).

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    I think the way you have worded this has pros and cons. Of your 5 bullet points, I would have to agree with 1, 2 and possibly 5. 3 and 4 are more of a challenge though.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Jan 3 '17 at 15:58
  • @DrMayhem I'd have thought 4 was fairly straightforward - institutions often release statistics along the lines of "XX% of graduates of this course found employment in YY timescale, of which ZZ% found work in a relevant field". Perhaps '5' covers the worthwhile bits of '3'!
    – topo morto
    Jan 3 '17 at 16:04
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    I agree -- tentatively -- with everything except the third point. A question about a person's specific options doesn't really seem helpful to future readers to me. Jan 4 '17 at 5:00
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    @GeneralNuisance edited the answer. I was assuming that at least in terms of courses, that in any given territory there would be a limited number of common types of courses at each level, and that would change relatively slowly - but I'm not familiar with music academia so maybe I am mistaken.
    – topo morto
    Jan 4 '17 at 9:56

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