• Problem Solving

    For decades we have been hearing about the importance of critical thinking skills, yet in today’s job market, critical thinking may not be what companies seek in their employees.

    Johnny Taylor, CEO and President of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, explains in a recent Kaplan Career Journey webinar, “How to Discover and Leverage Your Talents, Excel Within Your Organization, or Start Your Own Venture,” that when business leaders say they want critical thinkers, they often mean they want problem-solvers. “At the end of the day, businesses want to innovate and solve problems to attract customers. It is less about the theoretical, education-based concept of thinking.”

    This is a vastly different definition of critical thinking than what is often taught in school. Managers may complain that their employees lack critical thinking skills because schools and businesses understand the term so differently.

    Academics use the classic model to measure the effectiveness of a critical thinker. How well do students defend their ideas in front of peers and teachers? Can their arguments withstand questions and criticisms from their audience? On the other hand, business leaders see the ideal critical thinker as an original, creative, and unique individual.

    To teach students the skills they will need to be successful business professionals, schools need to encourage original, creative, and divergent thinking.

    While companies need problem-solvers to grow and thrive, they also need creative thinkers who can brainstorm a multitude of ideas to grow a company and raise profits. Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton says he employs some people who can analyze trends, dissect methodologies, and sharpen products, but to grow his business, he prioritizes finding people who identify as problem-solvers and can demonstrate it in action.

    Want to develop and utilize your talents to help in your job search? Check out one of Career Journey’s popular lessons, “What Are My Special Talents, Abilities, and Interests?” Watch more videos, complete short activities, and discover what makes you attractive to employers. Then, when you’re ready, discover personalized job opportunities that match your profile, career goals, and interests in the Opportunity Finder. These are career tools you don’t want to miss.

    “How to Discover and Leverage Your Talents, Excel Within Your Organization, or Start Your Own Venture” is part of the Career Journey webinar series. Career Journey is a no-cost interactive platform developed by Kaplan University and powered by LinkedIn to help you advance your career. Visit Career Journey today to find more great content on developing your career.

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    And if you are considering pursuing higher education we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University’s programs and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.

    It is important to note that certain career paths are growing and our degrees are designed to strengthen your knowledge and prepare our students to advance their careers. But Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Several factors specific to a student’s or alumni’s backgrounds and actions, as well as economic and job conditions, affect employment. Also, keep in mind that national long-term projections covered in articles may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.


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