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A ‘dying’ career field

May 4, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

An article in Yahoo news caught my eye Thursday morning - "Dying Careers You Should Avoid." Guess what was listed as the second one? Not necessarily news editor but reporter. Great.but I kind of already knew that the newspaper business was an endangered species anyway.

According to the article, "People need to ensure that they're in an industry, or working to enter one, that has long-term potential and security," said Debra Wheatman, a certified professional career coach and president of Careers Done Write. And if you're not careful, you could find yourself putting your best earning years into a dead-end job.

The article outlined five common careers that may not be as common by 2020 (seven more years, yikes!), along with five alternatives to those careers that the Department of Labor said have a more "promising future."

So here's the five, along with the alternatives:

1. Desktop publisher / graphic designer

2. Reporter / public relations specialist

3. Semiconductor processor (one who makes microchips and integrated circuits) / database administrator

4. Auto insurance appraiser / cost estimator

5. Insurance underwriters / accountant or auditor

The article said that reporter and correspondent jobs are expected to decline by 8 percent from 51,900 to 48,000 in 2020. It's caused by the consolidation of media companies and the decline in readership of newspapers. That's nothing new to me. It may be a little disconcerting, but we're hanging in there.

As to why the public relations specialists field is growing is that when good and bad news spreads like wildfire, companies need a person to respond to these news developments, said the Department of Labor. My only real experience with public relations was doing promotional writing for public television up in Duluth and trying to make PR write-ups sound more like newspaper articles for a special section of one of the newspapers in Superior, Wis. And that was 17-19 years ago.

But what keeps the news interesting at times can be unusual or startling discoveries. Such is the news of the cannibalistic Jamestown settlers. We've all heard about how the colonists consumed everything from dogs, cats, snakes and shoe leather in order to survive those tough winters. Apparently, there are written accounts of colonists eating their own dead, which archaeologists were unsure of.

Earlier this week, the archaeologists of the Smithsonian's Natural Museum of Natural History announced the discovery of bones from a 14-year-old girl that showed she was "cannibalized." The bones date back to 1609-1610, which was known as the "starving time." Well, I guess a settler's gotta do what a settler's gotta do. Corpses were dug up to eat when there was nothing else, wrote early colony leader George Percy. A man even killed his pregnant wife and started eating her. He was later executed for his deed.

The remains of the 14-year-old girl was dubbed "Jane" by the researchers, and they were found in the summer of 2012. I won't go into too many more details as it was in Thursday's paper. And to me, it's a little gross, but it was what they had to resort to in order to survive.

While it may seem that I'm in a "dying" career field, the amount of news just never ends.



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