What Is Critical Thinking: 8 Reasons Employers Value It
Hear the phrase “critical thinking,” and what comes to mind? Do you associate it with negativity, positivity, or something else? Perhaps the word root “critic” makes you think of people who never have anything nice to say. Maybe you think about movie or book or music critics.
Whatever the connotation, know this. Critical thinking is a good thing. It’s a skill that is in high demand among employers. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll start working on your skills today. That’s because it is ultimately what will make you look good to an employer.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the eight reasons that employers tend to value these skills above all else. Without further ado, let’s put our heads together and begin!
1. Critical Thought Prevents Errors
Critical thinking forces you to slow down. When you slow down, you’re able to notice the attention to detail that’s necessary for avoiding errors. On a small scale, that may not be such a big deal. (Think doing your homework.)
When you apply it to business procedures and financial outcomes, it can mean an enormous difference. Oversights have cost companies billions of dollars. Single companies. Being able to think critically about processes, troubleshooting, and specific outcomes helps companies to avoid such costly mistakes.
You can’t major in critical thinking. That said, it’s top-of-mind for every employer that’s worth working for when they go to make a hiring decision. Refine your skills, and you will stand out among the pack of other applicants.
2. Protects Against Liability
Think for a moment about a company that has developed a mostly automated process for design and production of a vehicle. They’re able to cheaply design, engineer, and produce a vehicle to be used by millions. Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last 25 years, but it still can’t think critically at the high level of the human brain.
Inevitably, something like a self-driving car is going to have an error of machine judgment. When that happens in one unit, it’s likely to happen in more since they all follow the same means of production. The potential for mayhem (and liability) abounds.
Applying human oversight to the problem can be a difference-maker. That’s why you’ll never see companies like Tesla abandon their human capital. If anything, Elon Musk is looking for ways to upgrade the human mind, and it’s because of what an asset critical thinking is.
3. Distinguishes From Competitors
There are many companies out there producing the same types of products. But not all the products are the same in quality and value, and that’s largely due to factors that require critical thinking. That thinking can pertain to design, engineering, and quality of materials.
Company owners understand that AI and automation tools are not there to replace human ingenuity. They may take the place of low-level jobs, but they cannot outdo brainpower. As a result, many companies are already looking to add to their human workforce. They simply want to do it in a way that adds critical thinking rather than rote manpower.
5. Ensures Well-Trained Employees
Employers also value critical thinking for the role it plays in preparing their employees for specific situations. Technology is helpful when it comes to training employees, but it serves in a role of convenience and mass communication. It cannot replace the experiences of your team and their ability to build bridges between the old and the new.
Experienced employees can offer relatability through their critical thinking processes. They’re able to do so by putting themselves in the shoes of those they are training. As a result, you benefit from a cycle of well-trained employees and positive generational relationships that help you think in terms of legacy as a business owner.
6. Improves Morale
Now put yourself in the shoes of someone taking on their first serious job. You’ve graduated college. You’ve landed your position. You’ve spent a minimum of four years honing your critical thinking capabilities so you can step out into the world and be of immediate value.
Instead, you show up for day one of the new position and they have you sitting at a table in the basement eight hours per day opening mail. The stark contrast between your training and your reality would quickly kill your desire to continue working for that company.
Walk into a company that values your opinion and entrusts you with tasks that require critical thinking. You feel appreciated. You feel capable. You see yourself moving up and making a career with the company.
Employers get this about critical thinking. That’s why most of them value it as highly as they do. They know the more of it that you can do, the more of an asset you’ll be to them.
7. Creates Better Opportunities
Factory workers of 25 years ago were still standing in one spot all day. Their sole objective: affix a single part to a consumer product all day, every day. That’s not a critical thinking type of job. A machine can very easily replace it. And that machine can do so at a higher level of accuracy.
Getting rid of those types of jobs created a lot of pain at first. But they opened up new opportunities for a better-trained workforce over the years. As a result, the stigma behind “manufacturing jobs” started to change. Those positions, by 2011, were starting to become better-paid and more sustainable.
Now, “advanced manufacturing” is a highly sought-after career. It’s one of the few areas in the world economy where one can earn decent pay with a bachelor’s degree and often find employment with companies that will pay one to continue their education. This adds further to the employee’s marketability.
8. Builds New Possibilities
Critical thinking is so highly valued among top global employers because of the future. They see what an asset CT is. They understand that not everyone can do it. They also realize that the ones who can enable them to chart new courses in the long term.
Show yourself to be a critical thinker, and an employer will find a place for you within their organization. They’ll do so because they understand that’s what it takes to expand and thrive in the future economy. In short, your critical thinking skills create new paths for them and for you.
Critical Thinking Is Critical To Success
Critical thinking, in short, is critical to success, not just for the individual using it. It’s also critical for the organizations, businesses, consumers, and people who depend on it.
No matter what your major is, take time to develop your critical thinking skills. Your degree is but a foot in the door of a career that you really want to pursue. The CT side of things will take you much further than any piece of paper ever could.
Now it’s your turn, readers. What do you do to work on your critical thinking skills each day? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Max Pixel Creative Commons License]