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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Panel emphasizes importance of critical thinking skills

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The Collegian Logo

By Janaysha Brown/reporter

NE students listened as a panel of Tarrant County employers talked about the skills they look for when searching for potential employees during the campus’ Critical Thinking Conference Oct. 13.

The panelists emphasized the importance of critical thinking skills and focused on job tools to help students throughout their careers.

The panelists included Lyn Hamilton, vice president of manufacturing for Martin Sprocket & Gear; Clay Caruthers, city manager of Hurst; Steve Chapman, superintendent for HEB ISD and Mary King, executive director of Metroport Meals on Wheels.

One of the most sought after skills employers look for is the ability to solve problems. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze problems and create solutions, Hamilton said.

“Many people lack in problem solving,” he said.

When people engage in critical thinking, they connect the work to what they are doing in the rest of the organization, Chapman said.

“It is important for you to develop systemic thinking,” he said.

Critical thinking involves analyzing the situation, and employees should evaluate what they are doing in the correct context to determine the solution that can be applied to a situation, King said.

The panel also addressed the skills they desire most in employees.

“Interpersonal skills is at the top of the charts,” Hamilton said. “In the business domain, the term generally refers to an employee’s ability to get along with others while getting the job done. Good interpersonal skills are essential for many positions in an organization.”

Caruthers talked about the role of teamwork in the workplace.

“It is important to have core principles, be consistent, be a good team player and be team-oriented,” he said.

Caruthers emphasized three concepts to improve the work environment.

“Show teamwork, be respectful and have dedication,” he said.

Panelists compared the value of education to job experience.

It depends on the level of the position the person is applying for, Caruthers said.

A combination of education and experience is important, Hamilton said, because people can gain experience in the workplace, but without the education, they’re lacking.

“Everything is evolving,” Chapman said. “Having experience is important, but it has to be successful experience.”

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