30 Mindblowing Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Why are young people in America so frustrated these days?  You are about to find out.  Most young adults started out having faith in the system.  They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college.  But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow.  Even in the midst of this so-called "economic recovery", the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall.  And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well.  At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt.  As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents.

It can be absolutely soul crushing when you discover that the "bright future" that the system had been promising you for so many years turns out to be a lie.  A lot of young people ultimately give up on the system and many of them end up just kind of drifting aimlessly through life.  The following is an example from a recent Wall Street Journal article...

James Roy, 26, has spent the past six years paying off $14,000 in student loans for two years of college by skating from job to job. Now working as a supervisor for a coffee shop in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill., Mr. Roy describes his outlook as "kind of grim."


"It seems to me that if you went to college and took on student debt, there used to be greater assurance that you could pay it off with a good job," said the Colorado native, who majored in English before dropping out. "But now, for people living in this economy and in our age group, it's a rough deal."

Young adults as a group have been experiencing a tremendous amount of economic pain in recent years.  The following are 30 statistics about Americans under the age of 30 that will blow your mind...

#1 The labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.

#2 The ratio of what men in the 18 to 29 year old age bracket are earning compared to the general population is at an all-time low.

#3 Only about a third of all adults in their early 20s are working a full-time job.

#4 For the entire 18 to 29 year old age bracket, the full-time employment rate continues to fall.  In June 2012, 47 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.  One year later, in June 2013, only 43.6 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.

#5 Back in the year 2000, 80 percent of men in their late 20s had a full-time job.  Today, only 65 percent do.

#6 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 year old age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#7 American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#8 During 2012, young adults under the age of 30 accounted for 23 percent of the workforce, but they accounted for a whopping 36 percent of the unemployed.

#9 During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#10 At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

#11 The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

#12 According to one survey, 82 percent of all Americans believe that it is harder for young adults to find jobs today than it was for their parents to find jobs.

#13 Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

#14 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.  Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#15 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

#16 Incredibly, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#17 According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.

#18 In America today, 40 percent of all households that are led by someone under the age of 35 are paying off student loan debt.  Back in 1989, that figure was below 20 percent.

#19 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#20 According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.

#21 The student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.

#22 One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the "real world" while they were still in college.

#23 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

#24 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#25 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

#26 According to the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket lived with their parents during 2012.

#27 One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#28 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

#29 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents according to Time Magazine.

#30 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a nearly 17 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives.

And this trend is not just limited to the United States.  As I have written about frequently, unemployment rates for young adults throughout Europe have been soaring to unprecedented heights.  For example, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Italy has now reached 40.1 percent.

Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog discussed this global trend in a recent article on his website...

Youth unemployment rates in these countries are upwards of 40% to nearly 70%. The most recent figures published by the Italian government show yet another record high in youth unemployment.


An entire generation is now coming of age without being able to leave the nest or have any prospect of earning a decent wage in their home country.


This underscores an important point that I’ve been writing about for a long time: young people in particular get the sharp end of the stick.


They’re the last to be hired, the first to be fired, the first to be sent off to fight and die in foreign lands, and the first to have their benefits cut.


And if they’re ever lucky enough to find meaningful employment, they can count on working their entire lives to pay down the debts of previous generations through higher and higher taxes.


But when it comes time to collect… finally… those benefits won’t be there for them.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to get even weaker.

In the United States, Gallup's daily economic confidence index is now the lowest that it has been in more than a year.

For young people that are in high school or college right now, the future does not look bright.  In fact, this is probably as good as the U.S. economy is going to get.  It is probably only going to be downhill from here.

The system is failing, and young people are going to become even angrier and even more frustrated.

So what will that mean for our future?

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90's Child's picture

We the lost generation bitchez

JamesBond's picture

posture bitchez back at ya




90's Child's picture

That's a counterfeit.

Obama on the trill

Ben on the 100m

And little Ben Netanyahu on the 10m everyone. Knows that.

cifo's picture

Waiting for the big RESET.

Pure Evil's picture

If this keeps going, the college/university system as we currently know it will collapse as more and more young adults refuse to go into debt for an education with no hope of realizing gainful employment upon graduation.

90's Child's picture

That's funny, cause everyone I know from graduation class completed college this year. And only gained four years of debt to show for it.

So you logic on "gainful employment upon graduation" is skewed.

Shocker's picture

The Job Market is turning from Full Time, Good Pay to Part Time, Minimum Wage.

Current Job Situation - http://www.dailyjobcuts.com


Oh regional Indian's picture

The 30 mind-blowing stats mirror the decline of all the factors that matter in the "nurture" part of the nature/nurture debate.

Brought up on a diet of diet drinks and high fructose corn syrup, flouride in the water from birth, a totally artificial and manufactured food diet, too much sick meat, chemtrails, television, music's parallel descent.........

It really is a chicken and egg thing....

The signs of a nation in decline (or put into programmed decline). What is daunting is to consider is how much needs to change for anything to change.  All or nothing.

man internally divided, everything outside him is obviously similarly fragmented.

now how do you "save" the millenials? 




Skateboarder's picture

It's all about the chard. Sautee with minced garlic in olive oil and balsamic vinegar till cooked. Holla.

malikai's picture

My prediction:

In 2100, the former US(*)A will be the low-cost laborer of the world.

johnQpublic's picture

"who majored in English before dropping out"


ummm....how the fuck would you expect an english major to pay off big when you drop out before completing it

and that ladies and gentlemen is the problem with this generation

malikai's picture

Come on.. Could you withstand an English major course?

I know I couldn't. Wouldn't choose it either, for that matter.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Isn't that kind of the point? From Obama on down it is drummed in that "college needs to be accessible" (not affordable, mind you) in order to guarantee success in our "globalized" "competitive" new paradigm. It doesn't matter... just pick something. Reality sets in when they realize that only limited numbers of English Majors can score by turning around and preying on the next victims as an "educator".  

malikai's picture

Not necessarily. A good friend of mine has an MA in English. He's also an excellent programmer.

Anyway, the future isn't all dark clouds for English majors.. Just better learn to enjoy real Chinese food.


nmewn's picture

"Reality sets in when they realize that only limited numbers of English Majors can score by turning around and preying on the next victims as an "educator"."

lol...too true.

And this is just so rich I just have to share it.

Everyone, meet Chad Henderson.

Apparently one of the only two or three Americans who was actually able to navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth that is, buying ObamaScare...supposedly.

Cept, he really didn't buy anything:


So why again was he put Forward! as having been able to sign up & buy so easily?

Well, you have to know who he really is don't you? Here he is:


"I'm often labeled "the guy who always talks about politics" and it normally has negative effects lol so I'm here to clear things up: If you were to hang out with me one night and you'll see (sic) I'm not that obsessed with politics at all. Yes, I do post political stuff on here and other social networking sites. But it's for a good reason. For one, I think it's good if people get some insight into the world they live in. Secondly, I work for an organization that pays me quarterly to posts (sic) the political stuff as "advocacy" (so it's kind of my job)."


A paid shill in Orgainizing For America...I know, I know...its shocking right?

I'm sure the state-run media will be all over this after they scrape the shit out of their eyes...lol.

Screen shots:


petolo's picture

"I have an MA IN ENGLISH literature . Do you want fries with that?"

Maghreb's picture

Which begs the question whether all these national work ethic myths are jut a hoax on the gullible so they ignore the far more important credit cycle. Remember when the Japanese were all super men carrying out an economic miracle? Asian Tigers? BRICS?
What happened in India with all the new billionaires. Heard the currency just lost 30 percent of its value and they are talking about robbing thousand year old temples.

None of my business what happens in these places but the pattern seems to be repeating itself all over the world. I grew up in the shadow of housing bubbles. Walked through whole districs that are empty in atleast 4 different countries. See generations of kids wanting to become architects or real estate agents because thats where they thought the money was. The ideas were fed to us in everything we saw. Sad thing was looking out of a bedroom window was enough to see the empty houses. Keeping in touch with freinds was enough to know people were losing jobs in these sectors.  

Watch out for the countries with growth miracles and new billionaires Alot of these people are frauds. All they did was get themselves and lots of other people in debt buying shit these countries probably could have eventually got a hold of If they had been patient. The African's have been falling for it for the last few centuries with terrifying results.

We are being fed something new now. Lots of talk of fire. Lots of talk of revolution. Alot of anger against alot of different people. Its more foolishness coming from the same sources. Why Occupy the banks now they are almost as fucked as we are? Why hate the immigrants now they are here because they fell for this shit in their home countries as well? 

We had a choice about whether we took the poison. Be it MTV, Coca Cola, crack cocaine, insane housing bubbles or mass immgration etc. What worries me is people are going to go deeper into fantasy land. They made bad choices and now they want out. They'll blame someone else for the problems they had and follow anyone who offers to maintain a way of life that never even fucking existed.

I'm seeing this poison seeping out now in the direction of your "Regional India"  with this whole rape thing. I know girls talking about how they heard how Indian men are bad and they have a "huge problem" with them raping women. Be honest I;d be more worried if there were no rapes in India a nation of one Billion people. I never knew of such a problem existed before and to be frank I never gave a shit what Indian men got up to with Indian women, but being a black guy I'm also 100 percent sure these rumours have been spread about us too at some point. The fact that this shit is getting stirred up at the exact same time it looks like the economic "miracle" is coming to an end is too much fucking coincidence for me. You do realize that western women have alot of power in turns of swaying public opinion. Every enemy we ever had in Britain has always been called a rapist if only to make sure our women hate them as well. Are Indian men now the enemy? You've gone from Raj from Big Bang Theory to arch rapists in the eyes of the gullible. Weird.  

I think they are going after the family unit in India. Pit the women against the men. Undermine the ultra macho Hiindu nationalists and their system which has stood the test of time for thousand years. They say the temples are lined with gold and that in itself is enough to turn broke westernized secular liberals against you. Talk enough and they'll the see the rejection of progressive ideals as proof the conservativess guilt. Throw in Secretarian tensions, Caste struggle, Maoists and nuclear weapons in to the mix and you'll realize the subcontinent is in a big a mess as anybody else. 

I like what you write ORI but i feel like your kind of a cliche bit like Sawyer and Anonyamous. If you are who you say are I tell you to watch the fuck out ORI your people took the poison as well.  

Oh regional Indian's picture

Very very incisive commentary and insights there Maghreb. Almost every point you make. This is a time for the demonization of everything that really makes up the fabric of any society. Just like it was done to the US starting with the 60's when the rug was yanked out from under american society with engineered rebellion, drugs, flower power etc. etc.....

Rape is the new anti-male mantra here. And since you are black, remember the freed black slaves were always rapists. the "red" indians always were rapists....

Old game by the brits and whoever it was that designed their divide and rule technique.

Well said all around and yes, India is very much in the "hem"lock. Receeding hems, for sure!




buttmint's picture

Maghreb...many good points, but have you lived in India for more than a years' time?

e_goldstein's picture

You want fries with that?

masonman's picture

That is the most depressing website I have ever seen

masonman's picture

That is the most depressing website I have ever seen

derek_vineyard's picture

if they slaughter us, i will understand

The Shootist's picture

As a young American under the age of thirty looking at the state of things, most of the core problems today were started 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. I have to say, the Boomer generation seems to have completely dropped the ball.

You can't even say "We voted for Obama." (Obviously I did not.) The country had been changing for so long under the watch and care of older generations, that the millenials simply were not responsible. They were born into a mess that had already been set in motion.

My generation was not on the watch as the dollar was decoupled from gold, the entitlement state created, the military industrial complex created, the growth of the government workforce, the growth of professional banana republic sports, and diminishing lessons about the constitution.


But lest we forget, the Federal Reserve is the root of all evil.

FreedomGuy's picture

You are better informed than your peers. The bottom line answer is liberty. The twentieth century was the century of socialism. People from the FDR era to present still have religious faith in governments. They will not easily lose that faith and as long as they can get a 51% vote they will continue to vote more free stuff, vote not to pay for it and vote for the guy who says you and even people younger than you will be very happy to pay for it.

Personally, I think there will have to be some form of an intergenerational revolt or the system just collapses on its own.

RECISION's picture

An army of unemployed... will eventually become... an army.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Incisive insight there recision, brilliant in fact.

tenpanhandle's picture

and then,unfortunately for them, they'll be sent to Syria.

Ranger4564's picture

psst... revolutionaries, not soldiers

TruthInSunshine's picture

Politicians are bought and paid for by the banking/financial-multinational corporation complex (which the military-industrial complex is part of).

There's never been a time in U.S. History where allegedly "elected" representatives were less loyal to or concerned with the direct best interests of the American People, including those even in their own districts.

The banking/financial-multinational corporation complex has completely captured all 3 branches of American Government, and these 3 branches now run on & perpetuate themselves off of the resources that global concerns, having no allegiance to any particular nation, funnel their way.

In other words, allegedly sovereign governments, including that of the United States of America, not only operate on a day-to-day basis that is dismissive of doing things that are in the best interests of their citizens, but incredibly, they actually operate in a manner whereby they do things that are antithetical to the best interests of their citizenry.

Deep Capture has been accomplished.

BoNeSxxx's picture

The solution is not political. People are asking one group of politicians (2nd tier at that) to do what their 1st tier brethren are incapable of doing- act with honor and integrity to uphold the word and spirit of the Constitution. They want the lion to lay down with the lamb.

The people, as communities, are more capable of succession than the States. Like minded Americans, who believe in liberty are all that is needed. Succession is a state of mind.

In this whole world filled with an infinity of variables, where butterfly wings in Beijing create storms in the midwest, where every single human live lives of unique experiences- how is it that history continues to repeat itself? If every choice creates a new future and everyone makes different choices- why are the results always the same? 

Where is the evolution of thought? Why are we stuck on the same questions pondered by the Greeks and others? Why has society remained the same for the last ten thousand years? Systems of slaves and masters.

History repeats itself because the world is controlled and manipulated for the benefit of a special class. Religions become tools. Politics become tools. Economics become tools. Science becomes a tool. Education becomes a tool.

When the end result of all our technology, learning and philosophy is a failure to develop liberty and fulfillment or worse, the complete and utter intransience of a social system that has all the hallmarks of slavery being perpetuated forever, should we not question whether there is a source point that controls humanity? **


** Originally posted a couple of years ago by Sean7K and one of my top 10 favorite ZH posts.

Ranger4564's picture


What you wrote is fairly obvious... the real question is, now what. What are some paths to get us out of this stranglehold? We need ideas / alternatives.

I think the origin of this is the corruption of the concept of money and exchange. I think the corruption you describe reveals the failure of the structure of governmental organization and requires us to reconsider how to organize to further limit or eliminate corruption. Like the mob, we will not get rid of government... we created one to help protect ourselves from others in our communities... so the real task is, how to organize governance to achieve the necessary tasks, without allowing for the participants in that governance from becoming coopted.

My solution to that is randomness and chaos, frequent and unpredictable changes in who is governing... anyway, the republic will not stand because it is a model of oppression... the few decide for the many... those few are still deciding, we just don't like their decisions. What we are living through is the republic model of governance on a multi-national scale... new world order indeed.

The only salvation for humanity is democracy, rule by the people, but the task then is to entice everyone to become informed / involved... but to make it more defensible against corruption, the people choose their governers from among themselves, unpredictably, for very short terms... term limits. No nepotism, longevity, no career in governance. No standing governers. Governance arises like self evolving systems, when governance is required, like a lynch mob or road crew, or a board of education, but only when needed and with various rules in place. The citizens control whether a governer can continue in their role for the duration of their term, and can freely replace them by consensus.

What we need to resurrect is concern for the community and welfare of others, instead of concern only for the self. It's a fine line we need to travel... self-development / self-satisfaction and the development / satisfaction of others. It's often portrayed as though these are mutually exclusive, which is false and a lie perpetrated by the oligarchs... concern for self and others simultaneously is the only way to a truly prosperous and healthy civilization. Given adequate education and opportunities, most people would not end up disenchanted / lazy, they would be energized to participate. Only people who have no say, have no hope, have no opportunities become lazy... and also those who only worship money... no extracurricular hobbies / passions / motivations, just ambition to acquire money. When not earning money, they dawdle.

We are not doomed, we are allowing the doom. We can stop it as soon as people start questioning everything they have been taught to believe. I have concluded I will be long dead before that happens, because a good 99.9999999999% of people are actually believers, not undependent thinkers, and our only hope is in disbelief and independent thought.



drunkenlout's picture

"intergenerational revolt"  I'm in the grandpa generation, but I'm gonna fight with the youngsters.

Confused's picture

I hope you meant NOT going to fight with the youngsters. Because apart from the absurdity of this type of divide, they have less to lose. 

Mitzibitzi's picture


Anyone over the age of 50 has HAD all the advantages of the easy living system they voted to pay for off the work of the following generations.

The young have a LOT more to lose you fucking dick. They can live in a system that treats everyone fairly, albeit at a lower standing of living than the older generations can to expect. But not if they are reduced to slavery to keep the entitled elderly high on the hog. Which seems to be the fucking plan.

malikai's picture

1. Voting is an individual choice, not a class choice, despite our best efforts to simplify reality.

2. Voting doesnt mean shit anymore except for revealing one's own brainwashing to believe in voting as an effective political action mechanism.

Really? You're going to go to war with and wipe out an entire class of people just because they 'had the advantages of the easy living system', even though many of them may had disagreed with them?

In 20 or 30 years or so, we'll be well on to the other side of Hubbert's curve. When kids then learn of your own oil usage today, should they then exterminate you, I, and everyone else alive in our times for taking advantage of it?

Wars are won or lost before they are faught. The fighting just tells us as dumb groups, who has won.

Abaco's picture

Faulty assumption that anyone over the age of 50 voted for the leviathan.  

CH1's picture

Anyone over the age of 50... they voted to...

No. Most of them, but not all of them.

In addition - you have a LOT better info today than we had in 1974.

Your comments are not without merit, but don't spread them on too tick.

buttmint's picture

Touche! drunkenlout, am in agreement, The youngsters are getting a raw deal of debt that was not even in our mindscape when we were of their age. I'd throw forces in with "the kids." They have energy, are smart, just need a bit of coaching and guidance we might be able to provide.....

Sean7k's picture

None of the things you mentioned have anything to do with the boomer generation, we came after. We have all watched, some of us in horror, as our country has been revealed to us through age and diligence. While we didn't have the internet, we did have plenty of books to point the way, but we failed to discover them.

Perhaps your greatest gift from us is that you have nothing to want to be an American for. If your government is foul, criminal and without redemption, maybe you should consider replacing it and defaulting on the zionist debt. I see no reason why you should be saddled with these problems we have done nothing to fix.

Why fight wars for corporations? Stop joining the military. Why work for minimum wage? Start black market economies with real money. Obamacare? Tell them to find another fool. Taxes? Evade them. Buy land and move multiple families on them and divide the tax. Share vehicles, ride bikes, and stop buying all the useless crap that fills every yard and garage.

Stop being consumers and become producers and stop giving your life's work for a debt you never created. Please.

NemoDeNovo's picture

You watched, like that somehow excuses the FACT that the ramp up in the decline happened under the "Boomers", shameful.  Oh and BTW I'm 42 and have been fighting this since I was 25 and got out of the Army when I figured out the "Game that my Boomer parents led me into, and still refuse to see.  I will sit and watch all the Boomers suffer horribly without shedding a tear or lending a hand.  NO ONE I know in my age group is doing well all are pay check to pay check, but every Boomer I know is planning their annual winter pilgrimage to Florida for the winter.


Fuck the Boomers, selfish, self center arrogant whiny pricks.


~ Nemo

antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

And fuck all the 42 year old arrogant whiny dickheaded pricks too.  You and your cohorts have had 20+ years to fix the problems and you've FAILED by your own admission.  Is that the Boomers' fault?  When does anything become YOUR fault? I mean the Boomers can just as easily blame THEIR parents for planting the seeds of destruction. 

You apparently have some sort of idealized view of the pre-Boomer world, but I guarantee you that the so-called "greatest generation" was just as full of shit as every other generation before and since. The Boomers turned their parents' world on it's head because it needed to happen. What the fuck has your generation done besides whine about only having the 2nd most lavish lifestyles in the history of Planet Earth, behind only your own parents?

Sean7k's picture


If you are truly as aware as you purport yourself to be, you would know most boomers are not planning winter pilgrimages to Florida. Most have minimal savings or none at all. They live paycheck to paycheck, working long past what they thought they would have to. They are scrambling to survive and will live in poverty in their "retirement". 

This is not a plea for sympathy, as I said, we didn't do what was required- replace our government. However, I see no rebellion in your generation either, just generational warfare, the type that tears a nation apart for the benefit of the elites. Your animosity shows you have NOT figured out the game, but are playing an instrumental part in the division necessary to rule an angry people.

You do seem to have a deep seated issue with your parents, one's you have not been brave enough to discuss in a rational manner. Your parents may not agree with you or see the tyranny that surrounds them, but they do love you. It is hard to tear down an edifice that has been kind to you financially. History is replete with examples.

As for the ramp up to the decline, you need to start blamng the northern industrialists, Lincoln and espcially later, FDR, because that is when it started. Like all generations, they watched and went along. There were hearlds then as well, but they were dismissed and marginalized. 

Anger is never conducive to good judgement. Most of us selfish, self centered, angry pricks are on your side.

Abaco's picture

Groupthink and sterotyping might be one reaon you don't know anyone in your age group doing well. That and I suspect you are looking for a well payig job instead of trying to create one.

mrpxsytin's picture

You're right that we weren't around when all those things were done. But I bet we would have done exactly the same things if we were around... 

The avergage IQ is only 100. And a lot of people sit below the mean. This is true for any generation. Our generation is just as ignorant as the previous ones. To think that we would have done anything different is really naive. 

Confused's picture

Most rational response yet. Easy to look back and blame. Easy to look at current generation and call them lazy. Not so easy, however, to say "hey, we are no different." 


Of course there have always been pockets of those that stood out against the system. But time and time again they have been marginalized. 


At one time they were called hippies. ;-P 

strangewalk's picture

Too many fake degrees. Those with majors in the sciences, engineering, accounting etc can always get a good job. Those with degrees in LGBT studies, or similar, maybe not