I saw an article in Atlantic, on line, that suggested college is a waste for society as a whole. Please write a story set where most people don't go to high school or beyond but enter the workforce when they are in their early teens, like the Bar Mitzvah for Jewish boys when they become adults at 13. Or in the olden days when an eighth grade education was the most an average person got, and many had far less.
Here is the start of the Atlantic article:
"The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone
Students don't seem to be getting much out of higher education.
I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor's degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first "real" job—as an economics professor at George Mason University.
FROM OUR JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE
Thanks to tenure, I have a dream job for life. Personally, I have no reason to lash out at our system of higher education. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, has convinced me that it is a big waste of time and money."
Obviously lots of teachers would have to look for other work. Personnel departments would have to use other methods to select employees other than what schools they attended. But workers earnings would start when much younger and what you learn on the job will be much more related to your duties. And retirement savings after 50 or more years of work should be much higher, in part because of compound interest on savings, if you start when you are 15 and save until 65.
Some professions, doctors, ministers, possibly lawyers will need more schooling, although Lincoln didn't go to College, he was a lawyer's apprentice. There is a reason they abbreviate Bachelors Degrees as BS, and masters degrees as MS (more of the same) and PhDs as piled higher and deeper. All this education started out to keep younger workers out of the workforce so they wouldn't compete with older workers. Do we need to handicap our young people with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, so they can hang a diploma on their wall? And learn things they never will use and probably learn enough to regurgitate some "facts" in exam papers and promptly forget.
I hope to read some stories about society with much less formal education and a lot younger workers. If it is SOL, the kids will need to be 14 before you write about them.