Certification questions in general, and certification market-value questions in particular, need a more obvious close reason. They may also benefit from some red flags in the help center.
Certification Questions as Shopping Questions
Now that Stack Exchange has rolled out the new close options, questions that were previously closed as NARQ or Too Localized don't have a self-explanatory radio button for closing because they are easily searchable, are shopping-type questions, or are otherwise too narrow in scope.
For example, About the new PMI-ACP certification in comparison to PMP could be closed as a duplicate (we already have some related questions), but it is also fundamentally a shopping question because at some level it's asking for advice on what tool to buy. In this case, the "tool" is a certification rather than a gizmo, but that doesn't really change the nature of the question.
Certification Questions as LMGTFY Questions
Certification questions are also often searchable. Even when they aren't, the correct source is generally the certifying body. In my opinion, the broad category of certification marketability is one that should always be off-topic because it will probably always fall into one of the following categories:
- Searchable by job availability, market research, or certifying authority FAQ.
- Only relevant to a narrow situation or a particular point in time (see next section).
Certification Questions as Too Narrow
Certification questions, especially ones about certification marketability, are also too volatile. Even when the answers aren't completely subjective, an objective answer such as recent job survey data or market-sector polling would be out of date within a short period of time. There's a reason why salary guides like Robert Half's annual IT salary guide come out yearly, after all.
Such questions are also generally useless unless narrowed geographically, which may render the answers useless to anyone not in the same geographical region. For example, a salary guide for Japan will probably yield very different results than one that surveys jobs in Australia. As a concrete example, note that Robert Half's salary guides are divided into 15 geographical regions.
Finally, while the question that triggered this meta question wasn't one of them, most certification market-value questions are inherently too narrow because the real underlying question is how valuable they would be to the questioner. While you can certainly make some general statements about the marketability of a Ph.D., whether or not having a Ph.D. in comparative fly-fishing will help me personally achieve my dreams of financial success in the world of quantum mechanics research is probably not answerable, nor would any possible answer be relevant to anyone else on the Internet.
I'd like to see a targeted close reason for certification questions. One possible decision tree might be:
- off-topic because -> too narrow
- off-topic because -> shopping question
- off-topic because -> too temporally volatile / too quickly obsolete
but please don't down-vote just because you don't like the suggested decision tree wording. Please focus on the issue of whether the certification category in general needs better close reasons instead.
This question is fundamentally about whether the community finds value in certification questions. If we don't, we should make it easy to put such questions on-hold. If we do value such questions, we should provide actionable feedback to askers about how to refactor off-topic questions so that they become on-topic for our community.