Critical Thinking is What Employers Want

This piece from Forbes reports on the results of an employer survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE): The College Degrees And Skills Employers Most Want In 2015. One of the key questions NACE asks concerns the skills employers most value in new hires.

Topping the list are competency in:

  • Critical thinking / problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism / work ethic
  • Oral / Written Communications

The survey also notes that the employers surveyed are mostly looking for grads from engineering and business programs. Humanities grads are less desirable. But, interestingly, humanities programs (like philosophy and English) are traditionally thought of as the places to learn many of the ‘most-desired’ skills listed above.

The lesson for business students? Majoring in business is great, but make sure to take some courses that give you the valuable skills that typically come from studying the humanities — courses in critical thinking, ethics, and so on.


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