Sixteen years of school to work?

We need to stop pushing 4 year degrees and make more out of grades 1-12.

It is a big problem that you need a four year degree to obtain many employment positions, but it isn't the employer's fault. With a four year degree tacked on, you are looking at 16 years of education to make a student an employee. This is a very inefficient and expensive education system. 

I think by looking at the four year degree itself it is easy to see the general waste in the school system. Look at the number of classes a student takes in those four years that are completely unnecessary for the average American's future employment. Core requirement classes are the biggest problem. Why on earth does a student need to struggle through college level mathematics, science, or history courses if these courses have no bearing on what they will be doing in the future. Why force someone to take a history course when they want to be an Art major? 

"It's important that students learn in an environment that presents them with a variety of course topics and challenges to allow them to grow intellectually. You want a student to graduate and have no grasp on human history? Should someone not be able to appreciate a classic work of literature?"

A well-rounded education is what high school, grades 9-12, should be for. Hell, that's what grades 1-8 were for. Twelve years? You are telling me that in twelve years a student isn't able to narrow down what they want their college-level course of study to be? After twelve years of education, ending at the age of seventeen or eighteen, a student should have a pretty good idea of what they want to do. If they don't, going through 4 more years of school at a very high cost is not the answer. 

Going even further, why don't we make students start picking their specializations, college major style, in high school? Don't force a student to fail math for four semesters in a row, counsel them and guide them to a course of study that they are capable of, interests them, and gives them real job possibilities. If a student is struggling with the basic math skills that he will need in the real world, how did that student get past grade 8? Personalize his course load to get rid of the courses he really doesn't need. In the time that is opened up, teach and give hands on experience for real-world job skills. Put the idea in student's heads, and then make internship positions happen for the students that demonstrate real interest. Stop trying to force students through a system rather than guiding them to something that works best for them.

Stop being afraid to let students fail in academia. The high school diploma you hand out after 12th grade graduation is meaningless because you won't just let the kids that don't want to be there fail.