In this study, we explore the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job market and argue for the growing importance of critical thinking skills in the face of job automation and changing work dynamics. Advancements in AI have the potential to
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In this study, we explore the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job market and argue for the growing importance of critical thinking skills in the face of job automation and changing work dynamics. Advancements in AI have the potential to disrupt various professions, including, for example, programming, legal work, and radiology. However, solely relying on AI systems can lead to errors and misjudgments, emphasizing the need for human oversight. The concept of “job-proof skills” is introduced, highlighting the importance of critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, ethics, and other human attributes that machines cannot replicate with the same standards and agility. We maintain that critical thinking can be taught and learned through appropriate classroom instruction and transfer-focused approaches. The need for critical thinking skills is further reinforced by the influx of information and the spread of misinformation in the age of social media. Moreover, employers increasingly value critical thinking skills in their workforce, yet there exists a gap between the demand for these skills and the preparedness of college graduates. Critical thinking is not only essential for the future of work, but also for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex world. The potential impact of AI on job disruption, wages, and employment polarization is discussed, highlighting the correlation between jobs requiring critical thinking skills and their resistance to automation. We conclude by discussing collaborative efforts between universities and labor market organizations to adapt curricula and promote the development of critical thinking skills, drawing on examples from European initiatives. The need to prioritize critical thinking skills in education and address the evolving demands of the labor market is emphasized as a crucial step for navigating the future of work and opportunities for workers.