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This is a great forum but career questions are often interesting and people like reading/responding to them.

Why not allow these types of questions as long as they are tagged "career"? Are there any related forums where these types of questions are allowed?

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    Programmers seems like a good "forum" because any real forum is going to have much more crap to wade through, but in reality it's not a forum. I'm not sure there are any sites which fit the "extended discussion" goals of a forum yet don't have all that baggage. It's precisely that goal of SE that's keeps it from degenerating that way. – Nicole Oct 29 '11 at 2:07
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    Man, we so need for the new Careers SE to open - now meta is filling up with career thread, too... – Cyclops Oct 29 '11 at 12:06
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Programmers is for questions about software development and being a programmer: career advice questions are off-topic here unless they uniquely apply to programmers.

That is, they hit the blue part of this diagram:

Scope

Most don't: there are a great many things about careers that are applicable to any job, which dilutes the core focus of this site and diminishes the value Stack Exchange brings to the Q&A space: focused sites filled with experts on that one particular subject. Programmers's expertise is software development, not general career advice.

However, there is a proposal in the works, Professional Matters, that will invite experts on general career and workplace questions. It's currently in the commitment phase: with a few more committed people, it'll launch.

Beyond the scope issue we get into problems that are just unsolvable in the Stack Exchange Q&A format: particularly questions where the asker wants someone to tell them what they should do given a broad situation. Those questions aren't going to fit here or Professional Matters, regardless of topical scope. We simply don't know the person asking well enough to provide meaningful advice to their specific situation.

For more about this problem, check out:

Are Career Advice questions useful to anyone except the poster?

As to why an inordinate amount of questions in the tag (also, , ) are closed: we deprecated them in favor of more specific and meaningful tags a few months ago:

Posse request: jobs/career/etc. tag cleanup

So, -tagged questions are either:

  1. Good, on-topic questions that get retagged; or
  2. Off-topic questions that are closed and left to either be substantially improved to become on-topic or deleted

Since we've been fairly vigilant about the former category, the end result is a tag that's more or less a wasteland. We've tried various tactics to clean the tag up more quickly, but we haven't found a magic bullet yet.

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    I disagree. I used to enjoy reading these type of questions on the old JOS forum and there was value in reading them even though the questions and answers were posted by others. That being said, I appreciate the work that you all do on this forum and look forward to the new proposal. – user39601 Oct 28 '11 at 22:48
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There are at least four career-related sites proposed in Area51, the furthest along of which are Professional Matters and IT Careers & Training. If you'd like to encourage development of one of those sites, consider committing to one or the other.

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    Except committing doesn't give a site, so there's still no place to ask these kinds of questions until one of those sites gets into beta, if it even makes it that far. The attitude seems to be "Oh well, just don't ask your question then" which gives off the wrong kind of vibe. – Wayne Molina Nov 21 '11 at 21:58