Critical thinking focuses on understanding the world by exercising sound reasoning and creativity. Rather than simply memorizing a set of facts so that they can be recalled on demand, critical thinking involves analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, or synthesizing information and applying creative thought to form an argument, solve a problem, or reach a conclusion. Critical thinking skills are developed through learning how others make arguments, and then applying that knowledge to how we structure our own arguments.
According to a 2006 survey of human resource professionals, critical thinking is ranked as one of the most important skills employers seek in job applicants, yet one which many college graduates are lacking or in need of improvement. Unlike skills specific to a particular major (think: coding for a computer science student), critical thinking is a 21st-century skill essential to all majors and types of work, and allows college graduates the flexibility necessary in the fast-moving and unpredictable economy of the future.