CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — I graduated from high school a little over 50 years ago. What I learned prepared me, by and large, for what my future held in store. But students in high school today are not being prepared for what they will face. They are being shortchanged.

Comparing the requirements I faced in high school with those students face today, the two sets are remarkably similar. For example, the requirements at Yarmouth High School (attended by most students in my community) include English, social studies, mathematics, science, visual and performing arts, and health science. (I don’t recall the specific requirements I faced, but they were basically the same.)

Based on what students are learning today, it is apparent that educators do not anticipate large-scale changes over the next 50 years.

However, consider some of the ways the world is likely to change over the next half-century. There appear to be rising threats to four areas: security, employment, the environment and monetary stability.

First, there are terrorism and the nuclear threat, including the threat of dirty bombs. Back in the 1950s and ’60s, there were worries about nuclear war, specifically with the Soviet Union. In this country we had the Weather Underground.

But today we have the Islamic State and various “lone wolves” on the terrorist front. On the nuclear side there are North Korea, Iran, Russia and China to worry about. According to a 2015 Department of Defense report to Congress, “North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear technology and capabilities and development of intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile programs underscore the growing threat it poses to regional stability and U.S. national security.”

Second, there are at least three threats to employment: automation, robotics and artificial intelligence; next, there is outsourcing; and finally, there is self-service.

Each of these serves to reduce labor costs, but on the other side of the coin, unemployment and underemployment are bound to increase. The immediate answer to outsourcing that has been offered is a reduction in free trade, while one long-term answer to all three is universal basic income.

Third, there are environmental threats, including global warming, a rise in ocean levels and ocean temperatures, species extinction and population growth.

Fourth, there is debt held by the United States. This issue is closely related to entitlements, since current retirees, on average, receive more than they have put into the system. According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2046 the ratio of debt to gross domestic product could reach 154 percent, which would have the effect of driving down discretionary spending.

In their latest report, the trustees of Social Security and Medicare forecast that payments will be made “until the trust fund reserves become depleted in the third quarter of 2023. At the time reserves become depleted, continuing income to the DI (Disability Insurance) Trust Fund would be sufficient to pay 89 percent of scheduled DI benefits.”

Consider how various problems of the sort mentioned above, as well as solutions, interact: Solutions tend to interact additively, while problems tend to interact multiplicatively. In other words, solutions solve what they were intended to solve, but have few other effects. Problems, however, can interact with other problems to create yet more problems.

For example, a reduction in employment due to factors mentioned above would threaten payments to recipients of Social Security, because the latter system is pay-as-you-go. Perhaps today’s students should assume that Social Security may not be there for them, and plan accordingly.

Are students today being prepared for these problems? It would appear not. Consider these cases.

The current courses at Yarmouth include a course on robotics, but I see no course detailing the likely effects of this field on employment. Presumably certain career paths will likely be eliminated by robotics, but are students given the tools to evaluate such events?

Similarly, there is a course on economics, but are students learning what effects an increase in national debt would have? Presumably certain career paths would help insulate students from that debt, but which ones?

There is a course on environmental science, but I see no evidence that students are learning how to deal with the likely effects of environmental problems. For example, if ocean levels rise a meter by the end of this century, then perhaps where one lives should be dictated by its height above sea level.

Students today are being prepared for the world of the past, but it is only reasonable that preparation for our likely future should dominate the curriculum.