I've just seen a question closed by a moderator because "Career advice is explicitly off-topic, per the FAQ" (link), which is simply incorrect: the FAQ makes clear that career advice specific to programmers is relevant, by linking to an answer, the first sentence of which is "First and foremost, any career advice questions need to relate directly to software development".
Closing the question did nothing to make this a better site, and was taken on the basis of a clearly incorrect understanding of what is defined as on-topic.
The Meta answer you reference is not an one liner, I really don't understand why you choose to build an argument around a single sentence. You could have at least gone with the first paragraph (emphasis mine):
First and foremost, any career advice questions need to relate directly to software development: general career advice questions with no relation to software development or where software development is a minor facet of the question are off-topic. A good way to test this is to ask the question, "Would the answer to the question be materially different if a non-programmer answered it?" If no, the question should be closed as off-topic.
The core questions in the closed question are:
So basically here are my questions: 1. Will getting an MSc in AI hurt my chances in getting an SE job (in case I decide to leave academia)? 2. What are the job prospects in SE in Canada in comparison with the US.
There is nothing in those two questions that requires the unique expertise of software developers, as software development has absolutely nothing to do with predicting job perspectives. There is a single answer in that question, coincidentally yours:
To be honest, if you want to do a PhD, just do a PhD. There's no reason to do a master's first.
From your question, it sounds like you really want to study more, and that this is a one-shot thing. You might as well go for it.
The amazing thing here is that, even if you are not convinced the question is off topic, your answer actually proves it, since there is nothing in there that shows any specific software development related expertise. That's not a comment on whether you have or don't have software development expertise, but only if that's visible in that specific answer.
So, I certainly agree with the three users and the fellow moderator who voted to close the question. Unfortunately there are quite a few similar questions that are still open, and that may have confused you on whether we consider them on or off topic. Fortunately, the Structured Tag Cleanup of the [career] tag take care of a lot of that crap.
To summarize on career related questions: They are off topic, unless they explicitly require the unique expertise of software developers.