Thinking abilities can be broadly categorized into two sections: critical and creative. Creative thinkers are typically highly artistic and drive innovation. Critical thinkers are focused on logic and reason. They are typically highly organized, skilled with arithmetic and are ideal at creating strategies.
Critical thinkers are naturally prepared for several career paths. Almost every career will require a certain degree of critical thinking; however there are some ideal careers for critical thinkers that will put their latent abilities to use.
What is a Critical Thinker?
Before examining the careers that are well suited for a critical thinker, what exactly are they? According to R.H Ennis, author of “Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Current Research, Theory, and Practice,” there are several characteristics of a critical thinker:
- Capable of reasonable and reflective thought that is focused on decision-making. A critical thinker can see the positives, negatives and potential outcomes of a decision.
- Spend time thinking about the way they think. Philosophers are highly critical and use their logical thought processes to consider thought itself.
- Highly skilled in analyzing and evaluating information gathered from an observation or experience.
- Able to remain open to consider others’ perspectives and integrate them with their own.
You may just be a critical thinker if you possess several, or all, of the above characteristics. As a critical thinker, there are several careers that will be well-suited for you.
Put Your Skills to Use
Careers and industries that are regularly required to analyze and evaluate data and follow logical patterns are ideal for critical thinkers. There are hundreds of careers that utilize these skills, below are a few examples:
- Information Technology Management – This career is concerned with managing the technological resources for a company or organization. These resources should be managed to best accomplish the company’s goals. Resources include computer hardware, networks and software. An IT manager is also responsible for hiring, retaining and training a staff to maintain these resources. This position earns an average salary of $115,000, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS anticipates positions in IT management to grow by 18% by 2020. A degree in information technology is required for this position.
- Law – The law is based on a logical system of rules and regulations. A critical thinker is capable of understanding this system, which prepares them for careers in law. Judges and lawyers are highly specialized critical thinkers. A lawyer is responsible for advising and/or representing a business or individual on a variety of legal issues. According to the BLS, the average salary for a lawyer is $112,000 and there is an expected 10% increase in demand for them by 2020. Becoming a lawyer will require a four year degree, three years of law school and the passage of a bar examination.
- Financial Analyst – Becoming a financial analyst is a prime career for critical thinkers with an aptitude for numerical interpretation. A financial analyst can work in a variety of industries and is responsible for providing guidance to their clients about financial decisions. They may work for a financial firm and advise individuals and other businesses, or they may work within an organization and solely provide advice to the decision makers. A financial analyst earns an average salary of $75,000 and is expected to increase by 23% by 2020, according to the BLS. A bachelor’s and master’s degree are typically required for these positions. You can take this career a step further and become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) by pursuing a CFA exam prep program.
Polish Your Natural Abilities
You were born with a mind that is capable of seeing patterns, thinking logically and is highly reasonable. Put your natural abilities to good use by pursuing a career the utilize them. Technical, legal and financial industries are all well-suited for a critical thinker. However, you will need to refine your critical thinking skills by receiving a higher education. You will learn to polish your abilities and gain applicable skills that will prepare you for these positions.
About the Author: Charles Dorn is a contributing writer and is currently studying for the CFA exam. He hopes to become a financial analyst that helps individuals plan their retirement