The Critical Thinking Advantage

Sometimes students wonder why I wedge critical thinking into all of my courses.

I believe the future job market for those that can think, reason, and work though difficult issues will be strong. For those that need to be told what to do, the future lacks as much promise.

But it’s more than that. Those that don’t think for themselves fall prey to those that do.  I have no data to support my idea that critical thinking skills suggest better decision making and better decision making leads to more wealth.

To me, the root cause of wealth inequality is…

a disparity of critical thinking skills. Just as you  understand how the game is played (and stop getting ripped off), scoundrels change the game. If true, this means the key skill in navigating life isn’t leaning how to do something, but rather how to figure out what you should do.

Maybe someday I’ll collect some evidence to support my theory.

This article from the Wall St. Journal does provide evidence however that other professors and programs don’t subscribe to this thinking. The data shows that students fall short on critical thinking when tested after graduation.

If you want a competitive advantage in your future career, then apply your energy to learning how to critical think while learning the material covered by the various subjects.

The material will continue to change, but your ability to understand, reason, and think though how to best deal with it will only increase in value.

In short, if you leave college thinking you have it all figured out, then you should ask for a refund. Your going to need it.

If you leave college thinking, “I have the ability to figure it out”, you should donate to the alumni association. You’ll have plenty to give.

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