I believe that critical thinking is very important for an individual who wants to study at a postgraduate level, why, because what happens is that students face a great deal of challenges when the level and the nature of the studies’ changes or when they move to a higher stage of education in this case it would be from undergraduate to postgraduate.
It is not an easy task for an individual to study at a Master’s level especially if it is a MBA program. Studying at a Master’s level requires a student to become an active learner, why, because it means that the student needs to take responsibility for motivating him/ herself , by pacing their studies, and managing their workload. It is quite natural that there will be deadlines, which will need to be met for example, assignment submission dates, but matters like how, when and where the student study (apart from attending their classes) is also very much up to the student as well. The student will have the support of a personal tutor as well, why, because he/ she will support the student and will help the student to progress throughout the course they have chosen and he/ she will provide advice when the student needs it. And if the students want to be critical thinkers then they need to develop or have qualities like maturity, open-mindedness, be self-confident, analytical, systematic and inquisitive and last but not least truth-seeker.
The level of postgraduate requires the students to have the ability for researching and if they have the ability for researching then it become important to critically think when they are going about doing their study and projects. The postgraduate program basically help the individuals by furthering their skill base regarding research, it also furthers the individuals knowledge in a particular field chosen by them and it also improves the individual’s job prospects as well.
There are different skills that are required by a student during his or her MBA program. The students need to develop these skills along with the critical thinking because the skills will help them in their world of work. These skills are as follows:-
Self- Organizational Skills: the self – organization skills will help the student to organize his or her time; they will be able to reorganize their deadlines for the submission of assignments on time. It will also help the student to motivate him or her – self and this will also help them to study independently, without anyone’s help. Plus they will be able to delegate their work. When conducting projects, it is important that the students learn to train their teams and make sure that they delegate responsibilities to each and every member of the team; therefore this will reduce the stress and will help them to cope with it.
Time Management Skills: Time management is one thing which causes the most stress on the students. Newcomers and as well as old ones have the most problem with time management they are not able to cope up with their schedules because it is so different from their high school schedules. This causes the students problem and therefore are not able to fulfill all their obligations. What happens is that the students are not able to cope with their studies, either they are too busy having fun, or are distracted by other problems. With developing time management skills the students will be able to decrease the level of stress and give you more time to do other things that you want to do in life. And it is important to organize one-self as well. For example, I am able to time management is the best a way person can cope up with stress, if you are able to do just that then it time manage myself now as I become more used to the life at campus and its schedules
Setting Priorities: It is important for a student who is studding in a MBA program needs to set priorities which are appropriate, but the problem is that there is a great deal of confusion as in how they need to balance their schedules that is what needs to be done and what they need to do if they want to think critically and apply themselves in the studies. This leaves the students with little time for studying for exams. It feels like the student is always on the run and doesn’t have the time to do one this comfortable.
Literacy Skills: literacy skills will help the student to read the texts of their books and journals at a quick pace and it will help them to understand the text in an accurate manner and they will be able to think critically about the text and understand it properly. This skill is also going to help the write clearly and concisely without any sort of grammatical error and correctly spelt words.
Intellectual Skills: with the help intellectual skills the student will be able to critically understand and question different assumption in their text, it would also help them argue in a consistent manner but in a logical manner. The intellectual skill will help them in research work and this ability will help them to search and find appropriate material for their thesis or assignments. It is also going to help them by classifying evidence in a precise manner and assess its value. This skill is also going to analyze and make connections within their work materials.
Learning Skills: learning skills are very much important for a student if he or she wants to think critically think about the subject matter of his or her program which is the MBA program. Without the learning skills the student will not be able to succeed in his or her course. And it is very important for the students to improve their learning skills, why, because they will be able to enhance their learning experience and it will help them when they are transiting to become independent learners.
Oral Communication Skills: oral communication skills would also include presentation skills as well; with the help of the presentation skill the students will be able to present their in accordance with the academic conventions. It is important for postgraduate students to build and develop their oral skills because it is considered helpful when they are engaged in communication with their colleagues and professors with their research, it is the best to explain about one’s work. With the help of communication skills the student will be able to talk and justify about his research to his or her professors and colleagues. When talking about the research thesis students needs to put in a great deal of his or her thinking into ad needs to critically analyze so that it meets the academic standards and is engaging in communication about the research with other researcher, academics so that they are able to get expert opinions from them.
Critical thinking is very important for students who are getting a degree in MBA. It has been found in recent studies that critical thinking is not considered as an intrinsic part of the instruction at any level of the education. What happens is that critical thinking is usually taken for granted by the professors where as the students when they enter the post graduation program have no training in critical thinking. But if there is no critical thinking learning becomes very difficult for students in other words it becomes transitory and superficial and there is no systematically design within the education. Critical thinking helps to develop skills, abilities and values within the students.
Critical thinking will help the MBA students by enabling them to gain knowledge and understand the functions of the business and it will also help them to with inter-relationships within the organization where they will work and it is also going to help in communicating. Critical thinking will show the students that how a structure within an organization works and understand complex situations related to the business and wit will also help them to apply their knowledge very effectively and efficiently. Critical thinking is also going to help the MBA students with applying their theoretical knowledge in their practice in a confident manner. The critical thinking will help the students to read and stimulate their ability to appreciate their management theory and it is also help them in developing a lifelong learning and it is also going to help them to be responsible with their work.
With the help of critical thinking the MBA students will be able to think critically about the future and how to manage problems that will arise in their organizations where they are going to work, because they don’t know what’s in stored in the future for them. Future uncertainty also causes a great deal of stress within the postgraduate students, because they are not very sure about the major they have picked up to get a degree in. The students start to question their motives that whether they have picked the right subjects for further study or not due to their growing interests and changing behaviors, which is all considered a good thing.
Plus it is going help them with their problem solving, and it will help them by developing a problem solving strategy as well. The students will be able to identify their problem (critical thinking will help them to evaluate their present state with that of the goal state). Then it is going to help the student by analyzing the on hand problem (i.e. they will be able to seek different perspectives of the problem, brainstorm for solutions, will be flexible with their analysis etc.). Critical thinking is going to help the student by formulating (creativity is going to come handy in this situation along with thinking for all possible solutions) and evaluating (weighing the pros and cons of each solution) all sorts of solutions. Critical thinking is going to help the students by selecting the best solution for the problem (by viewing three things practicality, compatibility and risk).
Critical thinking is important for MBA students because it also helps them with their decision making process, as we know that an MBA grad usually ends up being a manager, therefore it is important that his or her decision making skills are excellent. It will help the students with considering the outcome of each decision, it will help them to compare different alternatives and it will consider the risk of each outcome etc. because as we know that a right decision can make a career whereas a wrong one can break it. And as a critical thinker the student will be able to evaluate different arguments critically of other individuals. And it means that they not only have the responsibility of evaluating, they would have to create their own arguments with credible evidence and without any sort of biases and another responsibility that goes with a critical thinker who makes decision is that he or she will be held liable for all their actions.
Kay, F (2004), Evaluating Critical Reflection Of Postgraduate Students in Computing. Available from < http://informingscience.org/proceedings/InSITE2005/I38f36Field.pdf>, retrieved on 1st July’09