I don't know a whole lot about education in the UK, but kids there seem to be encouraged to specialize earlier than they are in US schools. Instead of taking general comprehensive tests like the ACT and SAT, they choose specific subjects in which they are examined, and they must do well on those subjects to major in them later at university.
As for higher education, Oxford and Cambridge at least use a tutorial system in which students meet one on one with a tutor in their discipline who regularly advises them, recommends readings and lectures, and assigns essays. This all culminates in a final comprehensive examination upon which success or failure depends.
I think that US colleges could do better preparing students for the workforce by teaching them to network, providing contacts with successful alumni whose interests are aligned with their own, and exposing them to career options compatible with their majors early on instead of waiting for senior year. Writing skills are also something that many students seem to graduate without, and those should be emphasized more strongly both in high school and college.