I just participated in a Statistics Canada National Graduate Survey. They picked a bunch of people who graduated from a post-secondary institution in 2005, to find out about the effect of post-secondary education on employment and income.
I think I just threw off their entire system. Especially when you consider the fact that, since I finished my Master's degree in 2005, I've been employed for an average of four hours a week, for eight months a year, bringing in a poverty-level income. I am currently unemployed (unless you count scholarship money, which they don't), and I think that I'll have more of that four-hours-a-week employment in the fall.
What did amaze the surveyer was the amount of scholarship money I have won since I began my post-secondary education. She got out the calculator an actually said "Wow!" Well, until I mentioned that that money has been my primary income over the past nine years. When you divide that number by nine...
You know, graduate school is really depressing when you boil it down to the numbers like that.
Actual exchange between the surveyer and me (after we'd gotten to the point where we both were recognising the hilarity of this situation and had gotten chatty):
Stats Canada: And what is the purpose of your current degree?
Me: Employment. Seriously, you can't get a job in my field without a PhD.
SC: That's so sad.
(At least I didn't inform her of how little I expect to earn upon completing this degree!)