Critical Thinking Skills Not Being Taught At Colleges

A recent study from the University of Washington finds that many college students have to adapt their critical thinking skills after graduation in order to benefit from them in their professional lives. Furthermore, less than one-third (only 27 percent) of graduates said their education taught them how to develop and ask their own questions.

Critical thinking is an important business skill; this issue could pose a problem for future grads and their employers, alike.

The study, published in January 2016, consisted of researchers interviewed over 1,600 graduates from ten U.S. colleges and universities. The study’s goal was to evaluate the continued learning needs of today’s college graduates. What researchers found was that 30 percent of graduate learning needs after college were related to the workplace. Of these learning needs, 69 percent were related to professional development, 57 percent were related to desktop and laptop use and 56 percent were related to interpersonal communications. Furthermore, of all 1,600 participants, 84 percent had approached a coworker in the past year, informally, to learn more about the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

 Many of today’s job applicants need to be tech-savvy, but they also need to have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills in order to been seen as valuable members of their teams.

The current emphasis in K-12 schools emphasizing multiple guess questions, do not teach critical thinking skills and if colleges do not teaching these skills where are students expected to learn them?