AnneMarie Rivera
Critical Thinking Reflection
March 12, 2015

Will receiving a college degree improve your career opportunities?

There are numerous benefits of having a college degree, ranging from cultural to financial. First, the experience and knowledge obtained while in college can help develop necessary interpersonal and communication skills, expand your skill set, and most importantly, think critically to handle any issues that may arise in the workplace. Obtaining a college education provides the opportunity for social growth and learning with other like-minded people who are doing the same. In addition, even though some may not be thinking about it, your education is furnishing the opportunity of exploration, and getting to know your interests and skills. In doing so, you get a better idea of what career path you would like to take, and what you want to do with your life. The more formal education you have, the more confidence you have in your expertise.

As a new graduate going into the career world, job positions are based largely on your level of education. While a college education statistically provides a better possibility of obtaining wealth CITATION Census \l 1033 (Cheeseman Day & Newburger, 2012), it does not guarantee success. You are responsible for taking all that you have learned and utilizing your newly obtained proficiency to make your mark as a competent and self-reliant employee. Many of the skills obtained, including critical thinking, will help you not just get a job, but also move up the career ladder and accomplish your goals.

It is inevitable that as an employee, you are going to come across issues on a day-to-day basis; whether it is within your department, with customers, systemically, etc. Being able to identify the subject, the origin of that issue, and various solutions to that problem will show your problem-solving skills. While doing so, utilizing the resources provided by your employer demonstrates your abilities, and how you maneuver throughout those resources to provide the best possible solution to the problem. Exhibiting your skill set and professional independence in the workplace offers a wealth of opportunity to move up within the company, and allows you to further develop and strengthen your skills, which will open doors to many professional opportunities.

How does the process of critical thinking you used relate to or differ from the process you used to find content for your answer?
How can you use critical thinking in other areas?
What steps can you take to ensure that you continue to use critical thinking in the future?

The critical thinking process was very helpful in finding content for my answer. The issue in question regarded the effect of a college degree on your career, which is the first point I had to determine. While thinking of my opinion on this issue and doing research, I had to evaluate any personal biases that would influence my answer too strongly, therefore, hinder any research I did. Being able to determine that allowed me to take in what I was reading more freely, keep an open mind, and invite any possible change of mind. The information I read wound up strengthening my opinions, but it was interesting to apply the process of critical thinking in stages. I was able to understand how each part plays a role in what you think, how you analyze, and how you determine the best answer or course of action. Being able to do the same in other areas provides the option of learning new things, as well as a possible change of opinion that you might not have been so open to before.

Depending on how the critical thinking steps are interpreted, they can be applied to almost every situation. In most cases, there is a problem, boundaries preventing an "easy fix", possible solutions, and outcomes that may or may not need further evaluation. They may not all require extensive research or deliberation, but if we learn to not act so impulsively, and think our issues through, we can prevent impending consequences. Since learning all that I did in this course, I have started to train my brain to think critically. I have learned that dissecting the issues to get to the root cause gives me so many alternative solutions, whereas little to no thinking only allows a