Back in the '80s, the statistic was 10% of college students stay with their original declared major. I doubt this has changed much.
K-12 needs to provide a well rounded education. But, humanity keeps adding to our collective body of knowledge. At some point, subjects previously considered optional need to be pushed down to the masses and made mandatory to be considered well rounded and prepared for life in the modern world. Remember that child in one ST:NG episode wailing to a parent that it didn't *want* to learn calculus? Basic chemistry is easy compared to calculus (until you start using calculus to describe concepts in chemistry - just remember to tell the students to study calculus as a pre-req).
The specialization required to pursue an advanced, well paying career is found in college. In addition, we should probably bring back the concept of apprenticeship, but after high school, for those who wish to simply learn trade skills and earn a modest living. There are some DIY projects I'm happy to tackle myself, either for the challenge or expressly to save money, but there are times when you need a licensed electrician, plumber, barber/stylist, etc. to do the job right.
Civilization requires a variety of skills and talents, but good citizens need a well rounded education of the basics to understand the world around them, which in today's world includes a fair amount of chemistry in everyday life. You do read product labels, right?