Valuing Thinkers in the Job Market — Or Do We?

At Work: Thinkers have value in today’s job market.| USA Today

In my new book about what employers are looking for today, every employer I talked to said the same thing.

Yes, some are seeking particular technical skills. But what they want most are people who can think critically, know how to listen, and be open to other points of view.


MSNBC Anchor Chris Hayes is still defending his philosophy degree, even while doing a high profile job his education prepared him for. Photo: Virginia Sherwood AP

There’s nothing in Andrea Kay’s article that I disagree with. However, it’s a bit pie-in-the-sky, Pollyannaish thinking, I believe, to assume that employers KNOW what they want. And if, in fact, they do, you still have to be put through the cattle-shoot of human resources vetting.

The real problem here — fundamental and a real world issue — is that while Chris Hayes may not have to explain the value of his undergraduate degree in philosophy every day … he is still defending its validity to people like NPR’s Terry Gross.

Like it or not, you are still going to have to prove why your B.A. in Medieval French Poetry or History or Anthropology is going to make you a better candidate for a job than someone with a B.S. in Statistics. That’s real. It ain’t fair, babies, but it’s real.


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