It's all in the liberal arts!
What's funny about this is the fact that degree progams that would instill critical thinking skills are shunned, with quips like "Would you like fries with that?" I'm talking about liberal arts degrees.
I went to a liberal arts school after I had started my IT career as a software developer. Because I already had the needed skills, I decided to get a degree I wanted. This turned out to be a BA in Philosophy. I had a number of excellent professors who stretched my mind and taught me how to think through problems, see abstractions, and otherwise examine subjects critically. Most of these skills were directly applicable to my professional work. But they were also applicable to a wide variety of life circumstances - my degree has helped me a great deal.
My wife went to Johns Hopkins University as well as Ohio State. She talks about their differences. Take Chemistry, for example. At Johns Hopkins, you might get a lab assignment: "Given chemical compounds X, Y, and Z, make the new compound A. You have three hours. Go!" You had to be able to know how to synthesize that compound A, or know how to find out. At OSU, however, the assignments were more like, "Given chemical compounds X, Y, and Z, follow the formula I am giving you to make the new compound A. You have three hours. Go!" No thinking involved in this assignment - just do the steps the professor has outlined for you.
This is why the RHCSA and RHCE certifications are so valuable. Microsoft (and other certs) say, "Answer these hundred questions correctly and you get a cert!" RedHat says, "Here is a real broken system with a real OS installation. Fix it any way you know how, and then install these X number of services. You have X hours. Go!" If your system doesn't come out as they specify, you don't get the cert. You cannot obtain a RHCE without being able to think through problems.