If you’re a regular reader of Yahoo! Education — and hey, who isn’t, right? — you might have noticed a recent article called “Dying Careers You Should Avoid,” which listed “five common careers that may not be so common by 2020,” paired with “five alternatives that the Department of Labor says have a more promising future.” It’s a solid premise for an article, we have to admit — when you’re looking for career advice, who better to turn to than a U.S. government agency, and the search engine you use when Google, Bing, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, and Lycos are all down for maintenance?
Unfortunately, the Yahoo! article generated a brief firestorm in the writing community — all nine of us gainfully employed journalists were pretty upset with the section titled “Dying Career #2: Reporter.” I started my career (such as it is) as a newspaper reporter, so I was personally shocked to see the alternative career that author Terence Loose suggested: “Public Relations Specialist.” For those unaware of the typical relationship between journalists and PR flacks, imagine if Loose had suggested “bank robber” as an alternative career for “police officer.” (To be fair, it’s probably more lucrative.)