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This question and this other one have been recently put on hold for being strongly dependent on individual factors.

I think that the closure of the above questions is unfair and unwarranted, given that this community has well received many other, even much broader, questions about salary in various parts of the world, and I would like to encourage everyone to treat in a uniform way certain types of questions.

A few examples:

After my PhD how much salary should I expect as a professor of computer science?

How much is the normal salary of a postdoctoral fellow in North America and Western Europe?

What's the net income of a W1/W2 german professor?

How much non-salary income do computer science professors make in the United States?

Academic salaries at European universities

  • Given you yourself state "the questions linked above have a limited scope and they are reasonably unswerable" then that is reason for closure. – Solar Mike Aug 19 '18 at 20:34
  • @SolarMike Limited in the sense not broad. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 19 '18 at 20:35
  • and how do you then classify "reasonably unanswerable" ? You are making the clear case for closure... – Solar Mike Aug 19 '18 at 20:36
  • @SolarMike Have you seen the other examples? Just because you don't know the answer, it doesn't mean that others cannot have the answer too. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 19 '18 at 20:37
  • You gave clear reasons for closure but don't want to follow them... – Solar Mike Aug 19 '18 at 20:39
  • And, as the OP is asking about possible salary, how do you think non-salary income is relevant? - which does not have much of an answer ergo reinforcing the case for closure... – Solar Mike Aug 19 '18 at 20:41
  • @SolarMike I don't, but I removed that sentence that seems to mislead you. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 19 '18 at 20:41
  • It's alright - I kept a copy - it stated the situation too well to loose... – Solar Mike Aug 19 '18 at 21:09
  • @SolarMike You don't need to take a copy, the previous sentence can be recovered from the revision history... – Massimo Ortolano Aug 19 '18 at 21:19
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    @SolarMike What makes you think that the question can't be answered? It can't be answered if you are working in the states. I would guess for an Indian academic these are really not very difficult to answer. – xLeitix Aug 21 '18 at 22:31
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I propose that any such question should be rephrased as follows:

Where can one find salary data for job type X / country Y / field Z?

If the question is just "What is the salary range?", then what would an answer look like? If it just gives specific figures, then it can't be expected to be valid into the future. If it comes from someone's personal experience or guess, then it's purely anecdotal. What you really want are statistics based on large-scale data from a reliable source. So if such a source exists, then why not simply link to it? That way, people will be able to find well-referenced data into the future (assuming the source continues to update their data, which many do).

Also, if the source turns out to give a broader range of data (covering multiple job types / fields / countries) then the question can be broadened retroactively, so that people searching for any relevant combination can find their source in this question, and not have to ask separately.

This way, instead of giving people fish, we're teaching them to fish, or at least telling them how to get to the river.

  • Very much appreciate this answer. Some of the answers to questions Massimo linked as previously open examples fit this recommendation exactly, even if the original question did not. – Bryan Krause Aug 22 '18 at 15:31
  • Many well-received questions here and on other Stackexchange sites are, as it were, about getting a single fish. A good answer should certainly aim to teach the poster how to fish a bit, but we don’t normally insist that the questions must all be rephrased. – PLL Aug 31 '18 at 9:13
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There is a question What is the average postdoctoral salary in China?

and the question listed in this meta question, I think we should either close those salary questions altogether or open them all because the US is a country, China is a country, Germany is a country, Canada is also a country, …..

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    In fact, I'm for let's open them all. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 20 '18 at 2:22
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    @MassimoOrtolano I already voted to re-open both questions you mentioned above. Let's wait and see. – scaaahu Aug 20 '18 at 2:41
  • Looks like they are both still closed... – Solar Mike Aug 20 '18 at 8:14
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I don't understand why these questions were closed. The closing rationale is given as "depends on individual factors". While undoubtedly some universities will pay more than another, one can still give an answer based on salary range.

For example here's the rough salary of a Computer Science professor in the United States:

The average Professor - Computer Science salary in the United States is $110,787 as of July 31, 2018, but the range typically falls between $87,575 and $155,093. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

The equivalent for engineering teachers in Pakistan/India would answer the question.

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    So, go on put us out of our misery then, what is the range in those countries? – Solar Mike Aug 20 '18 at 5:04
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    @SolarMike I don't know, which is why I didn't answer the question. – Allure Aug 20 '18 at 7:19
  • @SolarMike The fact that one doesn't know the answer doesn't mean that a question should be closed. For instance, I'm not from India or Pakistan and I wouldn't be able to answer those two questions, but I'd certainly be able to answer a similar question about my country. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 20 '18 at 7:59
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    What, really, is the point of salary info for USA ? As an answer to the question as asked it is completely useless... – Solar Mike Aug 20 '18 at 8:11
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    @SolarMike as I wrote in the answer above, the equivalent for engineering teachers in Pakistan/India would answer the question. – Allure Aug 20 '18 at 11:07
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    @SolarMike I don't know what your deal is with regards to these questions. Post your own thoughts as an answer here, and stop passive-aggressively commenting all other answers. – xLeitix Aug 21 '18 at 22:33
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    The figures themselves aren't so useful in your example, since they'll be obsolete next year. What was really helpful in what you did was to give a link to where good data can be found. Hence, as I suggest in my answer below, the question should be asking for a data source, not just a number. – Nate Eldredge Aug 21 '18 at 23:52
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    @NateEldredge I think the figures themselves are useful actually, since one can always manually adjust by inflation afterwards. The adjusted values won't be as good as the current figures of course, but they're still a lot better than nothing. – Allure Aug 22 '18 at 1:56
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I am conflicted. While on the face of it all questions for the form

What is the average salary for position X make in field Y in country Z?

seem to be a good question for the SE format since there is presumably a concise evidence based answer that will not become rapidly outdated. Assuming position X is related to academics, then these questions are relevant to our community and potentially one that someone may not have easy access to resources to answer. For example, a US trained Postdoc looking to move to Japan might not know where to begin to lookup salary info and there may not be a specific job that they are applying to during the early stages of researching job opportunities.

I think the issue I see with them is that there are an awful lot of permutations of X, Y, and Z and we would get bored answering these questions. That in and of itself is not a reason to close the questions. I however am not intrigued by any of the listed questions and have not upvoted any of them (and have only left a somewhat snarky answer on one of them).

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