From The Stevens Point Gazette, by Kris Leonhardt
UW colleges are working to address a top skill requested by employers in 270 of Wisconsin’s industries, among 800 occupations – critical thinking.
A State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development report featuring long-term projections for 2018-2028 listed critical thinking, along with active listening, as the top skills associated with most new job opportunities.
This is something that universities such as UW-Stevens Point and UW-Green Bay are hearing from local employers are working to address, said UWSP Career Services Assistant Director Jacqui Guthrie.
“A couple of years ago UW-Stevens Point created a new general education requirement, making it so that all students had to take a class about critical thinking and analysis in order to graduate and that really is in response to what we hear from employers that complex problem solving, critical thinking, the dynamics of rhetoric and working through in a group complex problems is really key to them being successful,” she said.
“What I hear from employers is that they can train on the basic software that someone will use in a job that they can train on the business infrastructure, the tasks that they do in their work. But it is difficult to train on interpersonal dynamics, on communication effectiveness, on critical thinking and complex problem solving; that they need folks who can work in diverse environments who can communicate effectively, and all of those skills that are developed during an undergraduate education.
“It’s just hard for an employer in our region to train on all of that compared to some of their in-house job duties.”