Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Competency

Did you know? Employers rated critical thinking/problem solving as the most important skill they seek in job candidates. This essential skill is defined as: "the ability to exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. You obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness. You assess sources for credibility and weigh information for accuracy and without bias."

Start where you are to improve this competency by completing one of the challenges to improve your Critical Thinking/Problem Solving skills. Otherwise, if you have had significant past experiences  that have developed this skill, you are free to use that instead of completing a new challenge. It is important to be become a critical thinker and problem solver and equally important to know how to articulate this skill to employers.


  • Participant in Club/Organization Competition
  • Career Action Plan (CAP) Completed and Reviewed by a Career Specialist
  • Meet with Career Specialist for a Mock Interview (Case Interview)
  • Work as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader or Tutor
  • Original Research – Graded by Business Professor
  • Watch Career Prep Workshop video on Critical Thinking/Problem Solving (see below)

Once you have completed a challenge, submit your verification documentation.

The goal is to showcase your experience and skills in specific competency areas so select the verification form that is most relevant and helpful for you and the challenge/past experience you are articulating. You can use the following for verification: resume/cover Letter, elevator pitch, STAR interview response, or a reflection/summary.

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

Career Readiness Competency Information provided by NACE- National Association of Colleges and Employers