Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Are your peers from college doing financially/QOLife-wise better than you?

It's hard to get a job as an attorney right now, and it's ev alphabet01/23/12
Right out of college there are very few careers where most o CattleProd01/23/12
Whoa boy, I'm not using 100K as my baseline for success by a alphabet01/24/12
Did you go to a shitty undergrad? frugal_and_puzzled01/23/12
LOL this. As a mediocre lawyer I'm probably on the lesser h KarlFarbman01/23/12
Answer: no. Not even close. mississippilawyer01/24/12
Stop comparing sizes. We aren't kids anymore. john0908/13/15
Most of my undergrad friends have good jobs, houses and are noobesq201/23/12
Over a dozen members of my extended family are nurses, many sunny01/23/12
Eh to the whole nice house thing. One of my close friends fr PolkHighRB01/23/12
Comparing it with the 5 guys I used to hang around with in t relater01/23/12
Three years out... not really. The rules of the game have mordecai01/23/12
Actually, this is how it always is, for the majority. frugal_and_puzzled01/23/12
good point. mordecai01/24/12
Yes, but most of them started out way richer than me, so it unfrozenlawyer01/23/12
The guys I grew up with didn't go to 4-years. They are trad worseoffthanaplumber01/23/12
There is no such thing as "political protection" for public CattleProd01/24/12
Lets see, i will try to give a good array and not skew it on flawed01/23/12
i find it very untowards to ask my peers about their salary thecharmingmresq01/23/12
Not really. There are plenty who have a higher quality of l KeithD01/23/12
KeithD - As a '94 college grad, I feel the need to compa LionelHutz01/23/12
What is the best location in the country? alphabet01/24/12
Its the "best location in the country" based on price apprec LionelHutz01/24/12
tl;dr: this is the bay area jdsalesinger08/13/15
@ Keith D Please Reply! Two of my favorite posters in a meet mordecai01/24/12
I graduated from undergrad back in 1993. Of all my non-lawy LostSoul01/24/12
Was he a smart guy in school? Did he get good grades in M frugal_and_puzzled01/24/12
You just capitalized math and science as if they were proper TheImmigrant01/24/12
Welcome to JDU anonattempt08/13/15
- One is a paralegal/bar tender, don't know what she makes, aknas01/24/12
I graduated in 2005 from a large state school that is well-k Shaudius01/24/12
.... Macunaima01/24/12
Me and a lawyer buddy of mine are definitely the underachiev shitlawjedi01/24/12
Most of my friends from college are doing way better than me BigSal01/24/12
Most of my high school friends are still struggling in schoo UnemployedVol01/24/12
The one that gets me is my stepsister, intellectually vacant Mikoyan01/24/12
I grew up with all very middle class people. All my friends charadeyouare01/24/12
This is one of the few posts here that reeks of truth. TheImmigrant01/24/12
This is one of the few forums where truth is allowed charadeyouare01/27/12
I went to a pretty highly ranked public U undergrad. The hi BallSoHard01/24/12
.... wawaweewa01/24/12
Long-time lurker here who'd thought about going to law schoo HCDevid01/27/12
I can echo the experience above--I went to Columbia undergra jj8208/13/15
I'll say it for everyone else. Go fuck yourself. 7 years of Mnem01/27/12
I'm older than most of you but I can tell you that nearly ev stephen01/27/12
Great thread. cavebro08/12/15
Yeah, definitely. serbexo07/06/18
Went through the responses. Seems like according to what peo mrlollipop08/12/15
My friends from college generally went into teaching, medici patenttrollnj08/13/15
No offense, but your post is kind of crazy. Scientists wh georgecostanza08/13/15
Crazy or not, these are the experiences of my college friend patenttrollnj08/13/15
yeah I also call flame here. I think he underestimated sal gonetomorrow07/06/18
I wouldn't know where to start. First, I didn't have many qdllc08/13/15
I'm a 2014 grad of a T4, but with lots of friends that range flyer1408/13/15
There's nothing wrong with Bernie Sanders. He may call himse intranetusa08/13/15
I am definitely doing better financially than most of my fri onehell08/13/15
Very interesting, but I have a somewhat different experience patenttrollnj08/13/15
I agree with you here. The difference between your experienc onehell08/13/15
Also sort of parallel to my law school experience... I trans anonattempt08/13/15
To be honest, I don't think a STEM major from a non-elite (o patenttrollnj08/13/15
Dude, again no offense, but are you crazy? There is no glut georgecostanza08/13/15
I said "healthcare workforce," which includes more than just patenttrollnj08/13/15
I hire nurses and work with physicians. You are way off here pherc08/14/15
I've heard of a few nurses who have a rough go of it at firs onehell08/14/15
I am doing okay, but kind of funny that my little brother ju anonattempt08/13/15
Do not compare yourself to your friends. That is a recipe fo justrmor08/13/15
Besides wallowing in self-pity why would you ever try compar thirdtierlaw08/13/15
This sounds like a good crew for the 4th Hot Tub Time Machin anonattempt08/13/15
Completely agree. I have no idea if my friends make more justrmor08/13/15
This is a good attitude to have. Personally, I have no i onegin08/13/15
Only people who do not struggle financially say stuff like t adamb08/13/15
Not sure about that. I was at my most miserable when I was w onegin08/19/15
double adamb08/13/15
I went to college in the Bay Area, so 90% of my college frie spaghetti08/13/15
Being 20 years out from UG in engineering from a very large heythere08/13/15
Yes. 2008 UG. Graduated in metro NYC. Most of my college carol14208/14/15
I am going back to high school because I think it's more tel superttthero08/14/15
I'd like to offer some encouragement here. Provided I did t patenttrollnj08/14/15
I wish I kept in touch with more people I went to college wi shammer08/14/15
Yup, I know all about the "beg for funding" routine. That's patenttrollnj08/15/15
Twenty yrs out from college, but thanks to Facebook I'm sort cranky08/16/15
Interesting you ask. I'm from NYC. I graduated from a T2 lawyer31209/03/15
Grew up in a middle to upper class town with almost entirely loblawyer09/04/15
Said it in another thread, but perspective looms large in th loblawyer09/04/15
I am probably the worst off from my high school, college and thepoporcoming09/07/15
You never know how young people who pity you are going to en parlance09/07/15
Difficult to quantify but I'd say I'm in the top 5 %. My wi defensivelawyer09/07/15
Who cares? Stop comparing your life with others. Live soundmind09/08/15
So how do you "network" with family and friends for job lead sanka09/08/15
All our doing better... but most of them are doctors or engi superttthero07/08/18
One is in prison for having sex with a minor. I'm doing bett fettywap07/08/18

alphabet (Jan 23, 2012 - 6:26 pm)

It's hard to get a job as an attorney right now, and it's even harder to make a good living as an attorney in the early stages of your career. But one thing I've always thought about was - how are my old friends doing? Did I make a mistake by going to lawschool instead of spending the last 4 or so years trying to get my foot in somewhere straight out of undergrad?

Looking at my peers/friends and their employment 4 years out of undergrad from a large state school, virtually all of them are not in substantially better positions than me. The jobs range from temp work as an Asian languages translator, teaching English in Korea/Japan, airport baggage worker, computer-lab assistant at a community college, commission sales, and several unemployed friends who've done some minor temp work over the last few years. Two outliers are a girl with an accounting degree who got into one of the big accounting firms and a girl who got a decent administrative job at a power company by virtue of working their part time throughout college and graduating circa 2006 when the economy wasn't as harsh.

Basically, it doesn't matter whether the degree was business, science, or liberal arts, my old friends/peers who graduated from an average university right into the shitty economy are mostly unemployed or not in positions with mobility/career potential. How about your non-lawschool friends?

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CattleProd (Jan 23, 2012 - 7:11 pm)

Right out of college there are very few careers where most observers would call you "successful" in your mid to late 20s. But by the time you hit 30, statistics show that you better be achieving something in terms of a career or the odds are very low that you will ever do so.

Most of your 20s is about building a resume so that you are taken seriously in your 30s and 40s. That is done with education and good entry level positions in whatever field you choose.

I would not expect someone who is 4 years out of undergrad (around 25-26 years old) to be an amazing success. If someone at 25-26 is making $100,000 then that is really outside of the norm. That was true even back when the economy was good in pre-2007 years.

There are not many careers where 5 years of experience means $100,000 at the age of 26. The only people I know who can make that sort of money (with only an undergrad degree) based on 5 years of experience are high skilled information technology types. I am not referring to help desk IT jobs. I am talking about network engineers, database experts and application programmers. I know quite a few as family friends.

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alphabet (Jan 24, 2012 - 12:33 am)

Whoa boy, I'm not using 100K as my baseline for success by any means ;)
Computer lab assistant, airport baggage handler - I'm pretty confident my old friends can't be bringing in much more than 40K annually. I completely agree with you about building in your 20s for your career in your 30s and 40s, but how do you leverage off of being a computer lab assistant, a baggage handler, or an assistant teacher of English in Korea?? That's the frustrating thing I've seen for my peers and I - not that the entry level jobs we're able to get are low paying, but that they aren't respectable enough or give us the appropriate experience to leverage us into better positions if the economy improves in 5 or 10 years.

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frugal_and_puzzled (Jan 23, 2012 - 7:44 pm)

Did you go to a shitty undergrad?

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KarlFarbman (Jan 23, 2012 - 7:46 pm)

LOL this. As a mediocre lawyer I'm probably on the lesser half of the bell curve of my friends from undergrad. None are unemployed and more than a couple are making bank.

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mississippilawyer (Jan 24, 2012 - 9:56 pm)

Answer: no. Not even close.

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john09 (Aug 13, 2015 - 8:55 pm)

Stop comparing sizes. We aren't kids anymore.

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noobesq2 (Jan 23, 2012 - 7:52 pm)

Most of my undergrad friends have good jobs, houses and are starting families. All are in a better position than me except for one who recently got laidoff. Funny cuz I supposedly had the most "potential".

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sunny (Jan 23, 2012 - 8:34 pm)

Over a dozen members of my extended family are nurses, many only a little older than me. Every single one of them has a good job, takes vacations, nice car, nice house, works 2-3 days a week, etc. I would absolutely HATE being a nurse but in retrospect I should have done it anyway.

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PolkHighRB (Jan 23, 2012 - 8:46 pm)

Eh to the whole nice house thing. One of my close friends from undergrad who is just as successful or probably more successful than me has a "nice house" in a great suburban city. So from the outside it would appear that his QOL is fantastic.

But there's no way he'll ever be able to sell it for what he paid in 2005. His mortgage is nearly $3,000, and while he makes good money (around $90k I believe) and has no school debt (computer science undergrad from 2001 from cheap state school, no grad school necessary), that house payment is a serious ball and chain.

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relater (Jan 23, 2012 - 8:52 pm)

Comparing it with the 5 guys I used to hang around with in the early 90s:
- One is an engineer (a smart guy) working overseas on large oil projects and making megabucks.
- One had a commerce degree, then leveraged a temp job at a transport agency into a high profile financial analyst job in the USA, making serious serious bank.
- One (smartest of them all) moved into computers and is doing very well.
- One (extremely lazy) didn't finish his degree and ended up doing commission financial sales.
- One ended up as a handyman, travelling around the world.

So I would say 3 doing better, and the last two about equal.

Law degrees are a curse.

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mordecai (Jan 23, 2012 - 9:07 pm)

Three years out... not really.

The rules of the game have changed...

Nearly everyone I know falls into the falling categories...
1) In Graduate School stuyding a useless subject to avoid the job market.
2) In the job market but underemployed and miserable.
3) Sexy entry level jobs on the coasts, but with high costs of
living and student loan payments, thus broke.

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frugal_and_puzzled (Jan 23, 2012 - 10:21 pm)

Actually, this is how it always is, for the majority.

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mordecai (Jan 24, 2012 - 12:35 am)

good point.

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unfrozenlawyer (Jan 23, 2012 - 9:04 pm)

Yes, but most of them started out way richer than me, so it makes sense.

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worseoffthanaplumber (Jan 23, 2012 - 9:38 pm)

The guys I grew up with didn't go to 4-years. They are tradesmen, cops, and firemen making 6 figures with job security and political protection, which will ensure that they are ok as white collar America implodes.

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CattleProd (Jan 24, 2012 - 2:23 pm)

There is no such thing as "political protection" for public jobs. Most public jobs are under attack due to various federal, state and local budget issues. something like 10% to 15% of public jobs have been cut at the state and local level.

Being a teacher used to be a safe path for a career. No longer. There are tons of unemployed teachers.

Fire and police are also being reduced. In our local city fire department, they have given demotions. Too many top heavy in the police and fire departments.

Even the US military is cutting. I read that the Navy cutting thousands of mid-career officers because they simply are overstaffed in some specialties.

These things are all cuts in the public sector that have almost never been used before. But it is happening now.

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flawed (Jan 23, 2012 - 10:32 pm)

Lets see, i will try to give a good array and not skew it one way or the other.

All 2008 undergrads, good to good plus local private U, we all live in a major metro area

- One graduated undergrad 3.5 years ago with teaching degree, only been able to sub teach no permanent position.

- One graduated with finance degree, making good money in big corp (prob 50 - 70k range) but not happy with job

- One graduated with marketing degree, works for major marketing firm 50-60k

- One in school for masters.

- One is a cop, just started, don't know salary (major city)

- One is a paralegal/bar tender, don't know what she makes, prob not much

- One in HR, was making 60k-ish but quit for personal reasons, now unemployed

- One working in a a real public interest area, makes like 30k but is in it for the work not the $$$

- And then me, struggling lawyer making 36k in shizer-law.

So overall, a lot of success but also some people fumbling around looking to improve their situation.

* I am also kind of concerned that I know way too much about my friends situations, I am too nosey.

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thecharmingmresq (Jan 23, 2012 - 11:07 pm)

i find it very untowards to ask my peers about their salary etc. it would be impossibly shaming

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KeithD (Jan 23, 2012 - 11:18 pm)

Not really. There are plenty who have a higher quality of life than me, but our generation really seems to be just royally screwed. I graduated college in 2001, and I really think that's the point where the shit really hit the fan. The people who graduated in the '90s seem to be the last generation who really were able to get in on the Boomer-fabricated American Dream. After the Clinton economy collapsed, that was pretty much the end of it. My buddies from college, just like me, have gone from low paying job to low paying job, sometimes going to grad school in order to get a higher paying job, graduating and finding yet more competition for scarce low paying jobs, only now with more debt, etc.

I think quality of life also includes personal life, and I've found in this area again that our generation is just dysfunctional. One of my best friends from college is an attractive, smart female who can't for the life of her find a man to settle down with. Our generation seems to be floating through life, without job security, retirement plans, real health care, real property, or familial stability, and many of us with dysfunctional Boomer parents who seem to be getting even more hapless as they reach those retirement years. Yay, us!

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LionelHutz (Jan 23, 2012 - 11:49 pm)

KeithD -

As a '94 college grad, I feel the need to compare Gen X for you folks in Gen Y. While I agree that Gen X is in a much better place than Gen Y career-wise (given the time we entered the workforce and the fact that there are much fewer of us than you), I really doubt that most in Gen X have many financial assets to show for the 15+ years they have been in the workforce.

Remember that many in Gen X were buying their first homes or buying trade up homes in the housing bubble and they are now probably more underwater than any other generation. Also, we have been accumulating savings during the most dismal time in the equity markets, so having any investment gains is unlikely.

Also Gen X has the misfortune to work for your Boomer parents who are not going out to pasture smoothly and handing the reigns over to us, so most of us haven't had many advancement opportunities.

Of course Gen X does get the pleasure of watching the offspring of the Boomers (you) crash and burn in the economy the Boomers have left for you, which is nice.

[as far as the actual thread goes, I am doing much better financially/QOL than my peers, but I have done much better than the average Gen Xer thanks to stock options, high salaries and owning a house in the best location in the country]

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alphabet (Jan 24, 2012 - 12:34 am)

What is the best location in the country?

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LionelHutz (Jan 24, 2012 - 10:29 am)

Its the "best location in the country" based on price appreciation/stability over the last decade or so - think S-1 filings and sunshine.

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jdsalesinger (Aug 13, 2015 - 1:32 pm)

tl;dr: this is the bay area

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mordecai (Jan 24, 2012 - 12:39 am)

@ Keith D Please Reply! Two of my favorite posters in a meeting of the minds!

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LostSoul (Jan 24, 2012 - 1:38 am)

I graduated from undergrad back in 1993. Of all my non-lawyer friends there is one guy who stands out the most. He and I have been friends since the 5th grade. He started his own video game company after getting his associates degree at a local community college. After a few years Microsoft bought his company out, and he went to work for them as a VP. He worked there for about 7 years and left to start another software company. He is probably the most successful individual I know personally. He accomplished this all on a associates degree. Back when we were in high school his dad told me that higher education and law school were a scam. I should have listened to him.

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frugal_and_puzzled (Jan 24, 2012 - 6:20 pm)

Was he a smart guy in school?
Did he get good grades in Math and Science?

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TheImmigrant (Jan 24, 2012 - 6:26 pm)

You just capitalized math and science as if they were proper nouns...

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anonattempt (Aug 13, 2015 - 1:10 pm)

Welcome to JDU

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aknas (Jan 24, 2012 - 5:43 am)

- One is a paralegal/bar tender, don't know what she makes, prob not much"

I work with two paralegals, neither of whom have a paralegal certificate or any legal training. One has experience as a document clerk, the other has experience as an analyst. Both make about $25/hr., with no student debt. The white girl lives in an underwater house in a good suburb with a working husband, two kids, and brand-new SUV. The black girl lives in an inherited apartment near the ghetto with a new boyfriend and some kids from absent father and just bought a new 60 inch screen TV and new furniture, with some supplemental income from child support, a personal injury structured settlement.

Both paralegals complain about how poor they are, yet seem richer than most lawyers on this board.

My bartender has his own home, with a huge beautifully finished basement, has a nice SUV parked in a primo spot at the bar, and has plenty of free time shooting pool and watching football. He has a good life and works no where near half the hours of a typical under-/un-paid legal intern in DC.

Law School is a luxury for the independently wealthy. It's not even the vo-tech for liberal arts majors that I grew up hearing about.

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Shaudius (Jan 24, 2012 - 6:06 am)

I graduated in 2005 from a large state school that is well-known for engineering. All my engineering friends are doing pretty well for themselves(although none are what I would consider rich, they all live comfortably). The liberal arts friends are doing alright but nothing to write home about, the science friends, mixed bag, most of them went to grad school full ride paid for and are just now getting their PhDs so its hard to say what the future has in store for them(they'll probably be fine with not much debt but they also had it as bad as me as an law student and new attorney for the last few years but aren't saddled with the debt).

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Macunaima (Jan 24, 2012 - 6:18 am)

....

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shitlawjedi (Jan 24, 2012 - 7:17 am)

Me and a lawyer buddy of mine are definitely the underachievers of a group of us who all graduated from high school together. Anybody with an engineering or business/accounting degree seemingly has the edge over us.

Even worse is within your extended family, where you get to watch your not incredibly bright cousin get a nursing or construction management degree and now you have people who stumbled through life as C students pulling down bank like they fell ass-backwards into Scrooge McDuck's vault. Yeah, yeah, I know they still have to work for it, but it sure makes you question "What is intelligence...obviously they figured the game of life out years ago, and now I'm the jackass driving a 2003 Toyota Corolla who is good at Trivial Pursuit."

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BigSal (Jan 24, 2012 - 9:21 am)

Most of my friends from college are doing way better than me. My roommate even went to work for a police department, and he makes way more than I do as a lawyer.

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UnemployedVol (Jan 24, 2012 - 3:31 pm)

Most of my high school friends are still struggling in school, unemployed, or working minimum wage or just above minimum wage jobs in food service. Some of my college friends were a bit more successful. One is working IT at a bank and not getting paid much more than minimum wage. One is in the Air Force. Another is about to graduate pharmacy school. The best job is of a guy who lives in Chicago and he works for some software company or something and makes bank.

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Mikoyan (Jan 24, 2012 - 3:58 pm)

The one that gets me is my stepsister, intellectually vacant (she must be *kinda* smart, but you'd *never* know) and rather unpersonable (even if she's mellowed slightly in the past couple of years). She's a nurse anesthetist. Working 35 hours a week, she pulls down something like $110k a year. And her husband makes a fair if not fat stack doing some kind of engineering gig. I'd say probably $180k combined income, which is more money than I could even think of anything to do with (they could though, they bought a $300k house--at least I have no interest in giant houses, but I would like to live in a non-attic, non-pseudo-apartment).

School? 2 year nursing degree at local tech school, plus nurse anesthetists' school at a mid-level medical university, which I think took about a year.

No, wait, the one that *really* gets me is my "friend" from my old pre-law school job who dropped out of college and, eventually, stole my girlfriend, is a manager there now, making about $55k. Yeah, that's not too pleasant either.

Of course, my ex-girlfriend, also college dropout, also makes more than me. Yeah, I guess I'd say they're doing better financially/QOL-wise.

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charadeyouare (Jan 24, 2012 - 4:51 pm)

I grew up with all very middle class people. All my friends and I graduated high school between 02-04. Nobody was hooked up to a rich family or anything like that. I've noticed that generally, the less one exposed himself to school, the better off he is now.

Of course most went to a 4 year university and graduated after the economy collapsed.

One was an English major, and got an internship senior year which led to a job. She probably makes 12-15/hr, and has some debt to pay back.

Quite a few were psychology majors who inevitably ended up going to grad school for that subject. So they're still in school now.

One majored in kinesciology or however you spell it, got a gig and I think he's doin fine.

My current roommate graduated undergrad with a degree in History in 07 and took a sales job for a plumbing company. He appears to be making about 30k per year with heavy loan debt.

Three guys I know became accountants and got jobs right away making decent money. They bitch about having to work long hours, but really they're the only ones that are doing alright.

Friend's brother became an electrician around 20 years old and he's got enough money at least to have moved out and got a new car.

Another friend is an electrician/drug dealer and he's doing great.

One avoided college altogether and joined the family business as a mechanic/salesman. He makes 40k a year with no debt at 26. He attended a trade school very briefly and is now poised to inherit the business. But he is also an exceptional case as most of us don't have a family business to go into.

One majored in political science and is now in law school.

One majored in sociology and last I heard she worked at a coffee shop part time.

One went to community college briefly and then became a security guard, got married and I lost touch with him.

One never went to college, but just moved from one dead end job to another for the last 8 years, and now probably makes about 20-25k judging by the way he lives, but has no debt.

The only one I know who is worse off than me (and I don't say that lightly) is a guy who took way too many hallucinogens during his teenage years. He went to a 4 year university for 5 years, then dropped out and now works at a gas station.

..actually I take that back, he's probably a little better off than me cuz he doesn't have as much debt.

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TheImmigrant (Jan 24, 2012 - 6:52 pm)

This is one of the few posts here that reeks of truth.

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charadeyouare (Jan 27, 2012 - 5:00 am)

This is one of the few forums where truth is allowed

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BallSoHard (Jan 24, 2012 - 8:12 pm)

I went to a pretty highly ranked public U undergrad. The high SAT average meant you definitely had a lot of highly qualified students who are pretty well off now. Meanwhile the resource limitations and the bigger student body also meant people who missed undergrad OCIs were essentially fucked.

As such, I can pretty sum up the OP's question with the following:

1. The super well off: Mostly high GPA/ sociable business and econ majors. Got tier 1 Management Consulting or Ibank jobs right out of school. Some now work in PE making over 120k a year BEFORE the age of 28 or close to 100k working in Corporate Development/ Internal Finance (not to mention a solid work life balance). All the while, they have minimal debt because public tuition was cheap.

2. The above average crowd: STEM or accounting majors who got into solid entry level jobs in tech/pharma/Big 4 accounting companies ranging from 50k-65k. Solid way to jump start a career with a decent salary (unless they lived in high cost of living areas) but no where near the status of number 1.

A few exceptions in this group were the average GPA students (of all majors) who simply knew how to play the job recruiting game and found a way to "sneak" into a decent entry level job despite a seemingly shoddy resume. (most drastic example being my former roommate who was a Bio major now working at a tech firm despite being put on academic probation twice).

3. The grad school crowd: I graduated in 2008 so a lot of these results are still TBD. Some may well end up eating shit (ones that went to TT law schools with 120k loans) while others (Stanford Med) may end up doing just fine long term.


4. The fucked crowd: People who mostly didn't have GPA to make the school's business or engineering tract (yes... you had to try out) and got dumped into a shitty liberal art degree tract. A number of them are working dead end office jobs/ temping/ or waiting tables while moving back home with parents. Sad thing is... a lot of them could have (and should have) gone to a lower ranked undergrad, partied more, and still have gotten a higher GPA to vie for group #2.

The worst case that I saw was this one guy I used to play fantasy football with who had to work for 2 years at the school cafeteria because he really couldn't find anything else. Even though he lost his fantasy football pool that year... I decided not to collect his money since he was already at his nadir. I told him to pay me back whenevers and I haven't heard from him since.

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wawaweewa (Jan 24, 2012 - 9:29 pm)

....

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HCDevid (Jan 27, 2012 - 12:48 am)

Long-time lurker here who'd thought about going to law school but opted out. I went to Wharton for undergrad so I figured I could help opine on the Category 1 guys from BallSoHard who went into finance or consulting since a disproportionate chunk of my friends are on that track and I used to be until last year.

Consulting (Operational and management, not IT, doesn't pay that well, even if you work at Mckinsey/Bain/BCG compared to Finance. You'll get $60-90K as an analyst/associate (they change titles depending on the firm) but you spend very little of your income bc Monday - Thursday you're at the site and bill all your meals and travel expenses and as a result it doesn't surprise me if people living outside of Ny/LA save much more. Very normal for people to achieve Delta VIP status within a year or two.

What can happen though is that people leverage the first two or three years into consulting into finance and get to skip the 90 - 120 hr. work weeks. One of my friends worked at Bain, and now works at Bain Capital. His gross in this economy is probably in the 120 - 200K / yr. range. If you're doing this as a junior person though, 95% odds you have to have worked at Mckinsey/Bain/BCG.

Alternatively, if they don't want to stay in consulting or get grinded in finance, people move to "real company" for the stabler lifestyle and hours.

Finance people are very all over the place depending on what area. I-banking and trading for an investment bank pay the same generally at a junior level. Base pay for first years is $70K, and $80K for second years. The bonus on top in 2010 & 2011 was 0 - $80K depending on your ranking. A normal year has the bottom 5 - 10% get $0 and told to get out. A bad year like this one is much higher obviously. So all-in comp number for an analyst is generally between $80-$150K in 2010 or 2011.

The PE numbers quoted above sound like lower-end middle-market PE comp to me unless they are just base compensation numbers. The three people I know in Megacap PE (Warburg Pincus & Blackstone after two years in banking) are grossing $150-250K all-in with generally 75 - 90% of it being cash and the other "phantom equity".

Hedge funds are even more all over the place depending on economy and firm performance. Rule of legitimacy is that they have to have at least $1Bn that I'll use for talking purposes. in AUM usually. I would say the base there runs anywhere between $100 - 200K. And bonus will be anywhere from 0 - 200% of base. Much less structure bc of the nature of the industry.

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jj82 (Aug 13, 2015 - 10:13 am)

I can echo the experience above--I went to Columbia undergrad, and am East-Asian. Pretty much all of my friends were South or East Asian.

Over 3/4ths of the Indian folks are doctors now, mostly doing very well. Those on the lower end of the income spectrum on the ones starting their own private practice, but that is due to the initial startup/capital constratints.

The remaining Indians and nearly all the other East Asian people are working in finance/business. They are doing astonishingly well: as mentioned above, the lower level income folks were the people who stayed in Consulting, Industry, etc. Granted, "lower level income" is all relative--we graduated 2004, so at this point they are Directors or VPs, so they make a few $100k at least.

Otherwise, the real achievers are people who are front-office/principals of Hedge/Private Equity/Investment Funds or Traders. Some of these people are clearing well over $1 million+ per year.

Not surprinsingly, had one friend who majored in English. He is currently unemployed.

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Mnem (Jan 27, 2012 - 4:38 am)

I'll say it for everyone else. Go fuck yourself. 7 years of higher ed, working my ass off and the Effing US Gov't, which overpays everyone AND gives them a ridiculous pension, wants me to work for free. GTFO.

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stephen (Jan 27, 2012 - 5:41 am)

I'm older than most of you but I can tell you that nearly everyone I went to high school with is doing better than me. Same with college. The good news is that I'm doing better than many of my law school class. BTW half of those in my LS class that are doing well are in law but the other half are in other fields. The ones doing well in law got in right out of school. The ones doing well in other fields left law when they didn't get in after trying for a few months. Those of us that stuck it out and opened as solos or formed small firms are hurting.

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cavebro (Aug 12, 2015 - 6:42 pm)

Great thread.

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serbexo (Jul 6, 2018 - 2:47 pm)

Yeah, definitely.

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mrlollipop (Aug 12, 2015 - 10:53 pm)

Went through the responses. Seems like according to what people are saying is that their peers who do well falls into two groups. First are the government employees; second are the blue collar workers. And maybe a few consulting and I bank type.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 13, 2015 - 1:10 am)

My friends from college generally went into teaching, medicine, dentistry or research science.

The research scientists are all doing TERRIBLY. The luckier ones have desk jobs in some company making around $75K, while most work either part-time or do freelance. None of them were able to get a lab of their own, and none of them were able to get funding for research. They are very frustrated and unhappy.

The doctors all have jobs, generally making between $100K to $150K, but they're all complaining. They don't like the direction medicine is going. They expected to make more money, and they're sick of all the paperwork. They do not, however, worry about finding work, and NONE of them over-work the way my father did.

The teachers and dentists are the happiest. Teachers make a good salary of $70 to $80K with good benefits. Dentists comfortably make a little over $100K working 4.5 days per week. One of my friends became an oral surgeon and is making $200K, but he's over-worked and stressed.

I went to a top 25 private university for undergrad.

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georgecostanza (Aug 13, 2015 - 8:23 pm)

No offense, but your post is kind of crazy.

Scientists who would be competing for their own labs (PhD level) aren't making 75k in industry, unless they are doing stupid sh!t like publishing/ editing etc. 4 people in my group got offers this year out of post-doc and they are making between 110k (plus 5% in the startup) - 130k at a major company. 75k doesn't happen... you either get a job or you don't.

No doctors are getting 100k to 150k unless they are working 2 days a week. Full time physician even in a low paying speciality (peds) is at least 160k... general care is 180-200k and everything else is way above that.

Teachers making 70 - 80k... maybe, but that would be in really good school districts.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 13, 2015 - 10:07 pm)

Crazy or not, these are the experiences of my college friends.

You say a PhD would not be making $75K unless they're doing "stupid sh!t" -- well yes, but "stupid sh!t" is exactly what my friends are doing. Like I said, it's hard for bio-researchers to find work these days.

As for the others' salaries, that's what they tell me they're making, and I have no reason not to believe them. My father happens to be a doctor as well (and some other relatives), so I know that there are plenty of doctors that make under $150K.

And, by the way, my one teacher friend works in the Bronx and is making about $80K, so it's also crummy/high-risk neighborhoods that pay them well. $70K to $80K is not unusual for a teacher in North Jersey and Long Island (and, frankly, that salary won't get you very far up here given the high cost of living).

You have a science background?

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gonetomorrow (Jul 6, 2018 - 4:37 pm)

yeah I also call flame here. I think he underestimated salaries by 50%. I had a closing for oral surgeon who also works as dentist recently - he made over 7 figures.

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qdllc (Aug 13, 2015 - 7:00 am)

I wouldn't know where to start.

First, I didn't have many "friends" in law school. Of those I knew, only two I am aware of.

One was a woman, older than I am, who EVENTUALLY started her own practice in SC because she couldn't get a job. I have no idea how well or poorly she's doing.

Another was a man, younger than me, who (thanks to family connections) got a clerkship with a federal judge, which lead to a job with a local prosecutor's office, which lead to a contact job with the federal government that I presume is now full time, permanent. He looks way older than me...likely from the hours and the stress.

I have little to no interest in having a "body part measuring" contest with former law school associates. I chose not to practice for personal reasons, and I knew of damn few who had prospects or offers coming out of school. Since they showed no interest in me, I really could not care less about them.

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flyer14 (Aug 13, 2015 - 8:44 am)

I'm a 2014 grad of a T4, but with lots of friends that range in age +/- as many as 10 years. My UG was a local state school. Has decent local recognition but otherwise nowhere near a national ranking.

Whether the friend graduated from UG seems to have almost no relevance. Some dropped out and are making good money, most aren't. Some graduated and are still broke.

The general answer to the OP about QOL is generally "no", my QOL and salary are both far better than the vast majority. This includes both from undergrad and law school. A huge majority of friends I made in college (including ones who graduated much more recently) have no money. I mean *no* money. Many are working in crappy service sector jobs or call centers or warehouses for $12 an hour or less. The fact that I'm employed in a good job has actually been a source of friction (a frightening number of them are drawn to Bernie Sanders.)

One friend went on to attending another T4 against my advice and is already complaining about student loans (she is now a 2L). That T4 is even worse than the one I attended.

I would clarify that I'm not in law practice - I'm in government. I'm at 50k in a very low COL area, and I'll be at mid-70s in two years. I just spent all of Wednesday on the golf course at an outing, on the clock where I got to drink lots of beer and eat free burgers and hot dogs. And I went home at 2:30 that day.

Then again, my experience isn't mainstream. RIF's and furloughs aside, my path to a decent middle class living is clear. It's not for the vast majority of the friends I made in college.

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intranetusa (Aug 13, 2015 - 11:16 am)

There's nothing wrong with Bernie Sanders. He may call himself a socialist, but his positions aren't anywhere close to the actual socialist fringe. Same with Donald Trump. I have a good job with a good salary, and I'll take either one of them over another Bush-Clinton mashup.

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onehell (Aug 13, 2015 - 11:50 am)

I am definitely doing better financially than most of my friends, who are mostly various kinds of engineers from unremarkable state schools. For the most part, they started out way ahead of me but within the course of about a decade, I caught up with (and eventually surpassed) most of them.

It feels like the tortoise and the hare; STEM majors at low-ranked schools get a significant head start but it doesn't mean that people in law won't eventually catch up even if they do miss the OCI boat.

That said, their lives are much more "normal" than mine. They get to live in normal places, i.e. real cities, because getting a job does not require a willingness to move to weird places like it does with law. They don't have big student loans. They aren't nearly as stressed out and when they leave work they stop working. And since they didn't have to delay the start of their real adult lives for 3 years of law school and 5+ years of dues-paying, they may overall be happier. They reach the normal life milestones like having kids at the normal ages, etc. etc.

Also, I get the distinct feeling that if I were to lose my job, it would be significantly more difficult for me to get another one than it is for them.

Also, the people who didn't major in STEM are in pretty much the same position as the people who didn't bother with college at all: Waiting tables at chain restaurants like Chilis and Outback seems to be the most popular option for those folks. I genuinely worry sometimes whether we have an economy that, for more and more people, consists largely of selling hamburgers to each other.

There are a small minority doing probably better than me, but they went either to elite undergrads or into healthcare. I don't know a lot of those people though so I don't have a great basis for comparison. What is really interesting though is the co-workers and colleagues I have whose kids are in high school. It feels like virtually all of their kids are gunning for med school now, so much so that I wonder if that might be the next "glut." When I was in HS I don't remember there being nearly so many people who were so dead-set on health care.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 13, 2015 - 1:13 pm)

Very interesting, but I have a somewhat different experience regarding non-STEM people.

I should say that I went to an elite undergraduate school, so there were many opportunities for our non-STEM majors that less prestigious undergraduates did not enjoy.

Note: my college friends were all STEM people, so I'm just reporting what I have heard indirectly (or what my disgruntled research science friends bemoan about).

If you majored in something like economics, political science and/or international relations, then you typically did extremely well. These people got into finance or banking, or they became executives in some huge company.

People who majored in things like history, English, psychology, religion or a foreign language either became teachers, or they just became desk workers somewhere. Unless, of course, they went into law, in which case they typically got into a VERY good law school due to the high GPA they were able to obtain (due to the easy major).

Bottom line: non-STEM is only really worth doing if it's at an elite undergraduate, but you can potentially do VERY well.

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onehell (Aug 13, 2015 - 2:42 pm)

I agree with you here. The difference between your experience and mine is precisely that: The elite UG.

For example, I am well aware that econ is a popular major at elite schools to get into finance/banking/etc. But at my non-elite undergrad? I don't think most people really even knew what an investment bank even was. They sure as heck weren't coming to campus.

Econ as a major was entirely full of people who just didn't make the cut to get in to the undergraduate business school, which was a selective major. Do elite schools even HAVE an undergraduate major in "business"? I think most do not. Kinda like having an actual major called "pre law." If your school has it, then you know you're going to a certified, bona fide triple-t.

And as to law school admits? Sure one or two kids would somehow crack a 170 LSAT and end up in the top 14. But mostly it was 2nd tier and lower. Of course GPAs were high, as they are for most liberal artists who have at least some motivation. But the LSAT would fix any misimpressions from that right quick. Seeing combos like 3.9/150 would be pretty darn common.

It's just a very different outlook and a very different peer group to compare oneself to. And the kids at Flagship State U are by no means dumb, in fact they're probably in the upper range of normal. Usually in the top 25% of their high school class, in fact. I think that on boards like this we tend to really overestimate just how rare outcomes like ibanking really are in the general population, because on boards like this (and at elite schools) the population we compare ourselves to is very skewed and non-representative.

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anonattempt (Aug 13, 2015 - 2:49 pm)

Also sort of parallel to my law school experience... I transferred law schools... and the judging by LinkedIn, the difference in the number of good employment outcomes is fairly staggering.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 13, 2015 - 3:41 pm)

To be honest, I don't think a STEM major from a non-elite (or at least a semi-elite) school is worth it either. There is such a surplus of educated people in the workforce, you practically have to go to an elite undergraduate now.

Note that in my school, the median GPA for a person going to medical school was a 3.3, while at the local state school it was a 3.7. This explains a lot.

As I noted above, many of my friends who got PhD's with the intent of being scientists are now doing trivial stuff way below their training.

Plus, as you noted above, there is absolutely a glut in the healthcare sector. Have you noticed that they are practically inventing diseases to keep doctors employed? Plus what is this "preventive medicine" nonsense? Sorry, but you cannot "prevent" heart disease if the patient refuses to stop smoking.

With the student loan crisis and the growing backlash from 20-somethings, I think society will start seeing education very differently. For example, you now have presidential candidates openly critical of universities. The trades are seeming much more promising these days.

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georgecostanza (Aug 13, 2015 - 8:26 pm)

Dude, again no offense, but are you crazy? There is no glut in the physician workforce. How many laid off doctors have you met in your life?

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patenttrollnj (Aug 13, 2015 - 9:38 pm)

I said "healthcare workforce," which includes more than just physicians. For example, nurses are being laid off and replaced with lesser-trained nurse adjuncts/extenders. Pharmacists and physical therapists are having a difficulties.

As per your question regarding laid off doctors, I actually know of three unemployed doctors (not personally, but my father who is an MD tells me about them). However, they're pretty young, so they should find a full time position soon enough.

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pherc (Aug 14, 2015 - 12:28 am)

I hire nurses and work with physicians. You are way off here. The nursing shortage is real, I can struggle to fill a nursing position in one of my departments for up to a year because there aren't enough nurses. Physicians do not make 100k, anywhere. And preventative medicine is actually fairly effective. It is one of the reasons there is less acute care and we manage more and more patients in the outpatient setting. You don't really seem to know what you are talking about.

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onehell (Aug 14, 2015 - 6:29 pm)

I've heard of a few nurses who have a rough go of it at first if they have no experience, but absolutely the shortage is still around and in rural areas it's downright acute. Medicine isn't even worth discussing. Of course there's a shortage.

That said, I don't think there's a shortage of people that are interested and could do the work. Rather, these professions have done an AMAZING job at erecting barriers to entry. Go to big state U undergrad and look at the prereqs to get in to the nursing program. They're a mile long and so is the waitlist if you do meet them. And career changers? Good luck. It feels like everyone and their mom lately is over at the community college trying to earn prereqs. So even getting into the prereq courses, much less finishing them, is a major obstacle. Many layers of bottleneck.

So the glut might not be in the number of jobs, but the demand for seats in classes vastly exceeds the supply.

In my humble opinion, the total lack of any prerequisite coursework or experience requirement is one of the single biggest drivers of the lawyer glut, just as an excess of such prereqs is one of the biggest drivers of the healthcare worker shortage.

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anonattempt (Aug 13, 2015 - 1:38 pm)

I am doing okay, but kind of funny that my little brother just has a BA and he makes almost double my salary in sales (somewhere in the $110K - $150K range). And we have BA's from the same undergrad with almost the same GPA. But really, he's my bro so I'm happy for him, and I personally hate working in sales (I dabbled once upon a time).

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justrmor (Aug 13, 2015 - 2:14 pm)

Do not compare yourself to your friends. That is a recipe for depression.

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thirdtierlaw (Aug 13, 2015 - 4:54 pm)

Besides wallowing in self-pity why would you ever try comparing yourself to your friends?

I like this board because it's a bunch of people grinding it out and being honest about the legal profession, however there seems to be this obsession with the amount of money a person makes. It is dumb and doesn't tell you anything about their lives.

Here are a few of my friends.
Friend 1 T10 Summa cum laude got a big law gig. Paid off her debt and now an elementary school teacher making $45,000 a year and has never been happier.

Friend 2. Wall street guy worth close to $20mil spent his life at work his wife left him and got full custody of the kids, developed a bad drinking problem and tried to kill himself. Now he is "retired" at 35.

Friend 3 T25 school went big law absolutely loves it.

Friend 4 electrician makes about $75,000 a year low cost of living area and wants to go back to school to do anything other than what he is doing now.

Me: third tier regional school, $60,000 base at a eat what you kill firm on pace to make $90,000. It's "shytelaw" but I love it. I have dinner with my family everynight, though before I trial I go in the basement and will work long hours.

So once again, who cares how their friends are doing economically compared to yourself. You can't go back and change the past. You need to play the hand you are dealt now.

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anonattempt (Aug 13, 2015 - 5:01 pm)

This sounds like a good crew for the 4th Hot Tub Time Machine movie.

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justrmor (Aug 13, 2015 - 6:45 pm)

Completely agree.

I have no idea if my friends make more money than me. Some probably do; some probably don't. But I do know that I am happy. I like my job, and I love my wife. I've got a good thing going. Whether my friends all strike it rich or whether they all go bankrupt, it is not going to affect my happiness.

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onegin (Aug 13, 2015 - 7:53 pm)

This is a good attitude to have.

Personally, I have no idea how much my former classmates make. If I had to guess, I'd say most fall solidly into the lower-middle-class spectrum, given that we attended a highly religious liberal arts college without any real STEM options.

If I had to put a rough figure on it, I'd say about 65-70% of the women in my graduating class are now stay-at-home moms/wives and the rest are divided between teaching, daycare, HR, counseling and nursing. Those in Nursing are probably doing better, financially speaking but the hours can be brutal.

Taking the men as a separate group, a few went on to grad school for things like Philosophy, Theology, etc and of that group those who are doing "well" by material standards got into teaching. The remaining group is split. I can't think of anyone who went to med school, a few went to law school (T3/T4 mostly). In college they really drilled it into you to get married and have as many kids as possible on a single income (women in the workplace being considered more of a necessary evil), so the pressure was on the guy to get at least a somewhat passable job. The few who didn't still got married and had a ton of kids, but they live with in-laws, parents, etc with differing degrees of happiness.

From my graduating class, I probably easily landed in the top 5% of income earners for my age, easily; not really though anything other than being a few years younger than average and stumbling into a STEM job in a high COL city. Does it put me in the top 5% in terms of happiness? I would argue no...

While income to some degree has a direct correlation to stress, it doesn't necessarily appear affect happiness beyond the minimum level needed to provide comfortably for basic needs.

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adamb (Aug 13, 2015 - 11:59 pm)

Only people who do not struggle financially say stuff like that.

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onegin (Aug 19, 2015 - 6:22 pm)

Not sure about that. I was at my most miserable when I was worried about where the next rent check/meal would come from. Once I hit "living wage" it evened out once the stress was mostly gone. Having as little as 1-2k in reserves can make a big difference. Having 50k vs 100k in savings? Arguably not as much.

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adamb (Aug 13, 2015 - 11:59 pm)

double

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spaghetti (Aug 13, 2015 - 9:50 pm)

I went to college in the Bay Area, so 90% of my college friends are in the tech industry. They fall into two camps:

1. Working a reasonable amount of hours for a reasonable salary for anyone else in the country other than the SF Bay.

2. Engineers who work obscene hours but who get paid a lot.

Notably, they all love their jobs with the exception of the few who hate their office's politics. They all have varying degrees of stock options/benefits that are all over the place. One, for instance, got in early with a start-up that got bought out, which let him retired at the age of 35 with an unknown amount of millions.

Everyone else is all over the place - from remaining as a teacher barely scraping by in a third world country (voluntarily) to recent graduates of estimable institutions like La Verne College of the Law.

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heythere (Aug 13, 2015 - 11:53 pm)

Being 20 years out from UG in engineering from a very large flagship and very well-respected state university, I can assure you that my fiends who majored in engineering are way ahead of my friends that were humanities or science grads. They are ahead of most everyone with whom I graduated from a T4 law school ten years ago.

For those, who have gone into the public sector, salaries are public record. Same years there, same benefits, engineering grads outearn science grads and humanities and most of the law grads that I knew. Yes, there a few acquaintances who stepped into a firm where their last name was part of the firm name and likely they are doing well and then there is the guy who joined a Fortune 50 company and is now the GC, but they are the aberrations.

A few others from my engineering program joined the same large company that I did. I know the salary structure there - the combination of engineering and business degrees outearns everything there. Unless you were hired in big law and made partner in big law, your 10 year earnings would lag behind what someone with an engineering degree and an MBA from a top 50 school. (Yes that would mean 2-3 years engineering work and 2 years MBA full time or 4 years part time, which is entirely acceptable there.)

Of those who became unemployed during the great recession, the engineers recovered best. They may not have been the first as my philosophy grad friend who opened a coffee shop did or the MA psych grad who became a teaching assistant, but they formed companies that provide B2B services in their field. The coffee shop is open 80 hours per week. The microvalve designer spends a long week each year sailing his boat from Maine to Florida in the fall and reverses the same in the spring.

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carol142 (Aug 14, 2015 - 2:35 pm)

Yes. 2008 UG. Graduated in metro NYC. Most of my college friends earn above 6 figures, and were earning near six figures while I was paying tuition in law school.

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superttthero (Aug 14, 2015 - 3:07 pm)

I am going back to high school because I think it's more telling than my college friends, many of whom I lost contact with.


I had two sets of high school friends. 9/10th grade I hung out with a group of "losers" from divorced families that all went military. 11th/12th I was in all AP classes with mostly kids from married households that ended up going to University of Florida for free, or to mostly elite schools. One guy in the latter group was similar to me (immigrant from broken marriage).

BOTH groups are doing better than me. Much better.

The "good" kids all had parental assistance or scholarships and got out of Harvard, MIT, Caltech, UF with very little debt and great job prospects (from Google, Microsoft and Weizmann Institute researchers to BIGLAW and successful startups).

The bad kids either stayed in the military forever and have most food and daycare taken care of with a SAHM in the base or got out and got decent jobs in mechanics, IT.

The worst part for me was "having the brains" to follow the college path. I would have been better to stay in my lane and being one of the brighter guys from the "loser" group. I didn't have the equipment to compete with the "successful" kids as I had to pretty much work fulltime in UG and have massive law school debts eating at my disposal income.

Moral of the story? Stay in your lane. I remember stupid me in 1999-2000 leaving the Naval recruitment office and deciding that college was the way to go. I want to kick 17 year old me in the nuts.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 14, 2015 - 3:29 pm)

I'd like to offer some encouragement here. Provided I did the math correctly, you are still in your early 30s. There is still plenty of time to set things right. So don't get too discouraged!

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shammer (Aug 14, 2015 - 7:37 pm)

I wish I kept in touch with more people I went to college with (I went to a big name public school). Since I was a hard science major nerd a lot of my friends ended up staying in academia. Most of them are just getting their PhDs (roughly 7-8 years out). One of my friends is working on some cool applied science stuff with nanofibers. The work sounds interesting but they mostly convey the utter drudgery of having to literally beg for funding. Its like that in most basic sciences nowadays.

Some of my other friends ending up doing traditional stuff like going to med school and they are doctors practicing in various specialties. My ex became an anesthesiologist. They mostly seem to like their respective careers. I still don't think I would have liked going to med school straight out of college.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 15, 2015 - 12:24 pm)

Yup, I know all about the "beg for funding" routine. That's actually why I decided to do law instead of research science. It's a real problem for them. My one college friend lost her job because she couldn't secure funding. A second was kicked-out of her postdoc for what I presume was a similar reason. Generally, all my friends that went into research science are miserable.

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cranky (Aug 16, 2015 - 3:41 pm)

Twenty yrs out from college, but thanks to Facebook I'm sort of back in touch with many old friends. Looks to me like everyone is doing well, taking vacations with their families, but then again, people tend to only post braggedy, positive stuff on Facebook. One old friend went to a good top 25 law school, and when we met in person, he confided in me how depressed and anxiety-ridden he was when he was practicing law. I had thought he had a great, high-powered litigation career. The stress caused him to have medical problems, and he had to move back in with his parents, feeling like a loser with no spouse, kids, or job like his peers. I'm not sure what he's doing now, since he's not posting on FB anymore. As for myself, I feel like I'm about average in terms of QOL. Probably not making more money than most, but as a solo I have a lot more flexibility.

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lawyer312 (Sep 3, 2015 - 11:55 pm)

Interesting you ask.

I'm from NYC. I graduated from a T25 law school, make 55k at a law firm, work very reasonable hours (as in, I can come and go when I please, work from home on some days, etc.) I am 28 and live with family. I love my job but have a ton of student loans. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to move out when I'm 30, despite living on my own during college and law school.

Most of this information comes from close friends and Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Most high school people I know are not doing much better. Most went to college. Some still live with family, regardless of occupation. One friend broke 100k as an engineer but moved back in with his folks because his roommates couldn't split the NYC rent. Others are working retail or moderately paid white collar jobs in the salary range of 40-70k. The ones who have bought houses (I can only think of several) have done so only because they are married and have two incomes coming in. Most I know are broke after paying NYC rent.

Several exceptions come to mind: those who are doing "well" (in six figure range) are either doctors (people my age are just starting residency though) or are In finance or certain types of engineers. That's really about it. I know someone my age who was elected to the New York assembly, but I think pay is something like 92k.

I personally believe congress and the banking industry has exacerbated most of these problems. Who knows if things will get better, but I can only imagine the money will get better, as long as I stay in the legal field..

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loblawyer (Sep 4, 2015 - 6:31 pm)

Grew up in a middle to upper class town with almost entirely middle class friends from families with no significant money or connections. Most of my friends were honors, above average intelligence types who generally did the minimum to get by in high school (and college as well for some). Generally went to non-elite but decent to respectable undergrads. I can put most of them into a few groups:

1. The programmers - all of them are doing well, likely over six figures. Have witnessed a few of them choose their next jobs with ease.

2. The engineer - lifestyle does not suggest six figures, but he has a lot of undergrad debt. Definitely doing alright though.

3. The teachers - a few had a rough go breaking in similar to lawyers but now have steady jobs and seem to be doing fine.

4. The liberal artists - generally working in retail, very low end corporate, etc.

Myself and another JD friend probably fall in the zone beneath the programmers but above the liberal artists.

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loblawyer (Sep 4, 2015 - 6:41 pm)

Said it in another thread, but perspective looms large in this type of subjective comparing. Elite career paths like i-banking, consulting and the like weren't remotely on the radar for most people I grew up with. Heck, I don't think most of us had a senior year OCI (did not know that acronym until law school) or knew to gun for that sort of thing. Just graduated and figured it out afterwards.

The other piece to lend to this thread isn't just economic background, but also social outlook. My group doesn't really obsess over money - we are generally simple guys with simple tastes. There is some major income disparity between #1 and #4 above which has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on where one falls in the social pecking order. Our activities are largely affordable for everyone, even those living paycheck to paycheck. Those with more money definitely do nicer things with their significant others, but as far as I can tell there is no jealousy or dick measuring. It is simply a non-issue - we are competitive about other things outside of jobs and money.

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thepoporcoming (Sep 7, 2015 - 12:41 pm)

I am probably the worst off from my high school, college and law school friends.
It's not even about the money. I don't work as a lawyer since I took a nonlaw job after 1 year of unsuccessfully looking. I went to a regional crappy t-2 and graduated barely top-half in 2010.
Now I fear for the path I am taking. I don't really know what the future holds and work in the news industry, which is extremely brutal. Entire departments get cut and I don't have the news background some of my colleagues have.
I've also recently gotten more depressed after learning that a good friend of mine, after attending a t-10, got a big law job in my city. He is a great dude, but I am bitterly jealous not because of the money, but the opportunities he'll have. He also kind of lucked his way around, so it annoys me. But he is one of those genuine guys and probably the best person I know. I also get envious easily.

I don't want to be that 50 year old dude that works in a cubicle who is pitied by all the younger workers around, but I am going down that path.
I am also terribly unmotivated, which is how I first got into this mess.
But I do think there is an unhealthy obsession on Jdu regarding money. I know a couple of people that quit their big law jobs to pursue a career in something that pays a quarter of what they used to earn. Everyone chases different dreams. Happiness vs meaning right? Some people would rather put down a marker and make a difference.

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parlance (Sep 7, 2015 - 12:59 pm)

You never know how young people who pity you are going to end up themselves. They're going to make dumb choices of their own. Guaranteed.

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defensivelawyer (Sep 7, 2015 - 4:25 pm)

Difficult to quantify but I'd say I'm in the top 5 %. My wife loves me, my kids are doing great, we make more than we spend, we have pretty much everything we want, and I look awesome.

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soundmind (Sep 8, 2015 - 1:24 am)

Who cares?

Stop comparing your life with others.

Live your life and be thankful for what you have been given by the grace of God.

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

http://secondtierreality.blogspot.com

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sanka (Sep 8, 2015 - 10:33 pm)

So how do you "network" with family and friends for job leads and not compare your sad pathetic life to their fulfilling lives?

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superttthero (Jul 8, 2018 - 10:40 am)

All our doing better... but most of them are doctors or engineers.

I was too stupid to continue on either pass because I wanted to be a prosecutor... that never happened and I hate life.

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fettywap (Jul 8, 2018 - 1:16 pm)

One is in prison for having sex with a minor. I'm doing better than him. Yay me!

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