Endangered Jobs?

Endangered Jobs?
By: Holly Brantley

With things changing all the time, it's hard telling whether or not your job will be around in the next decade.  That's why a new list from Entrepreneur Magazine caught our eye at Heartland News.

They came up with 10 industries that might be on the verge of extinction, and almost every job on the list exists right here in the Heartland.

So does that mean we're in trouble?  Probably not.  While these jobs might be evolving, they're probably not dead yet.

First on the list, crop dusters, a job farmers across the area depend on.  Analysts say technology and dangers of the job make the profession less attractive.  But, local farmers say there will always be a need.

"If crop dusting went away, it would severely impact my farm," said Donnie Beggs of Beggs Family Farm.

Beggs says at his farm, they use crop dusting to protect their crops.  He predicts crop dusters will be around for a very long time.

"I find it hard to believe they wouldn't be around in 10 years.  I asked my crop duster what he thought and he agrees it sounds like a wild rumor," said Beggs.

Meanwhile, the outlook isn't so good for coin-operated arcade machines.  Of course, that's thanks to home video game systems.  Those in the industry say they're still popular, but many establishments decide to put in pool tables or dart boards instead.

Still, bar managers say regulars come in just to play these games.

"Megatouch games are popular," said Marcellus Jones of Buckner Brewing Company in Cape Girardeau. "Tiger Woods, Madden, those still do a lot of business.  They make a lot of money."

Mike Jensen of Sikeston's Standard Democrat says he's used to hearing rumors that newspapers aren't long for this world.  However, Jensen says his newspaper had it's best year ever in 2006.  While some say technology will be to blame for the demise of the daily paper, they use the Internet to boost business.

"We don't see the Internet as competition," said Jensen. "We use it as a tool to expand our reader base."

Meanwhile, for the past 30 years, the Book Rack has been a cozy spot for avid readers like Georgia McMullen.  So-called experts predict the end of the used book store, again, thanks to the Internet.  But, McMullen says she's not about to start buying her books online.

"The Internet is fine and dandy if you like that," said McMullen. "But when I want a book, I want it now, and I like this place.  I know them.  The Book Rack is great for me."