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This question seems pretty opinion based to me, however, I was a bit hesitant to close it initially (since it was well-framed). @NorbertSchuch mentioned that we might create a [career-advice] tag for such questions, but I'm not sure we would want such a tag on our site.

In my experience, such tags tend to be very vague and often attract extremely "opinion-based" questions. Any comments? Also, should we entertain career-advice questions on our site?

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    $\begingroup$ I'd say: Either such a tag or close such questions. No particularly strong opinion about which of the two is better, though. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Sep 3 '18 at 23:48
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I personally think these questions should be off-topic.

Career advice is inherently strongly dependent on the specific situation at hand, and I struggle to see why these kinds of questions should be asked here, rather than to a senior researcher/professor/advisor that is closer to the person and likely more familiar with the specifics of the situation (and if none is available, chances are that the question is ill-posed anyway).

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Quantum computing is an extremely obscure field and there is a lot of "pop science" excitement over it. I think it's pretty unclear for students what is the right trajectory to actually do quantum computing (and probably more importantly, if this is the right field for them).

I think the community has a pretty clear moral obligation to not mislead students into thinking things are what they are not. Just the existence of a "quantum computing" stackexchange is extremely misleading. There isn't even a "computer engineering" stack exchange! It's completely reasonable that someone who's young sees this place and thinks that is like a real "profession" or career path like being a lawyer or a doctor. And in the same way someone chooses to be a biomedical engineer or a systems engineer, a young person might decide to try to get into "quantum computing." I work in one of the largest physics departments in the country and I don't think we have a SINGLE PhD student who does quantum computing research. And I do not think this is unusual.

Around the world there is very little quantum computing research, and I think it's very unreasonable to try to shut down any conversations real people are asking to find out if it's doable for them.

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    $\begingroup$ I mean, I don't have any actual statistics at hand, but there's plenty of people working on quantum computing and related topics. Of course, it depends a lot on what exactly one means with "quantum computing", but I wouldn't say it's a niche topic at all. There's also (for better or worse) plenty of startups working on quantum-computing-related topics. But I don't really understand your concern here, you worry we might be enticing students to go study physics or cs in the hopes of working on quantum computing after finishing their degree? I'd say worse things can happen! $\endgroup$ – glS Sep 1 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ I'd also like to think that the existence of a stackexchange site called "quantumcomputing" won't significantly influence someone's decision to go spend the next 3/5+ years of their life studying a specific topic. And if it does, there's bigger problems at play. Regardless, how would you suggest we handle this sort of questions? Questions about getting this sort of advise are intrinsically opinion-based, which is exactly what stackexchange is built to not be. $\endgroup$ – glS Sep 1 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ Finally, depending on what exactly you mean by "computer engineering stackexchange", there is probably (more than) one. Including engineering.SE, which has a computer-engineering tag. Not that I see how this connects in any way with quantumcomputing.SE, mind you. $\endgroup$ – glS Sep 1 at 9:34

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