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A primary goal of the university education is to build the skills in students which help them to succeed in job and entrepreneurial career. The entrepreneurship course is designed to graduate students in engineering studies who aspire to become leaders. This paper explores the impact of entrepreneurship education on engineering students. The study adopted a survey design and data were collected using structured questionnaire. The data collected were analysed using frequency count and mean score. Findings focus on the entrepreneurship education influences on the career intention of students
Keywords: Entrepreneurship Education, Intention, Students
Entrepreneurship has found its way into the education institution curriculum and there is an increasing focus on entrepreneurship education in non-business courses and extra-curricular settings (EC, 2008). Entrepreneurship education implicates that entrepreneurship is not 'special' and should be viewed as one of a number of career options for graduates, being an area of expertise which can be taught and learnt (Greene and Rice, 2007) A central issue of entrepreneurship research has been is to find an answer to the question of what triggers and reinforces entrepreneurial intention and entrepreneurial activity of individual (shane and Venkataraman 2000). Entrepreneurship education is a central strategy at education institutes to foster Entrepreneurial intentions among students (Linan 2004). The essential requirement behind this plan is that Entrepreneurship is both teachable and learnable.
*M.Sc, M.B.A, Department of Management, Cambridge Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Karnataka. Research Scholar, Rayalaseema University, Kurnool, AP. E-mail: [email protected]
**PhD, MBA, LLB, Professor, Department of MBA, PESIT, Bangalore, Karnataka. Email: [email protected]
2. Definition of Entrepreneurship
Due to variety of topics including elements of several domains such as economics, sociology, and psychology, there are still no generally accepted definition of 'Entrepreneurship'. The lack of commonly recognized definition of these terms is seen as one major obstacle for researchers in contributing to the understanding of Entrepreneurship (shane and Venkataraman 2000). A large number of definition have been given in many research contribution dealing often solely with the issue of defining Entrepreneurship. Gartner (2001) takes a behavioral approach and consider Entrepreneurship as a role that individuals undertake to create organisations. Stevenson et al (1989) proposed 'Entrepreneurship is a process by which individuals pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control. Following this definition, researcher defines Entrepreneurship in the context of this paper as the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities to create future goods and services by the natural individual through the creation of a new business venture.
2.1. Entrepreneurship Education
In the study on Entrepreneurs Van der sluis et al 2005 found that the individual education positively affects Entrepreneurial success. Studies dealing with timely decision to start an own business during the time of education shows the relationship between education and Entrepreneurial activity. Researchers believe formal education in general do not encourage Entrepreneurship, rather it prepares students for corporate domain (Timmons 1994) and suppresses creativity and Entrepreneurship (chamard 1989) Weber et al (2009) suggest that the effects of entrepreneurship and enterprise education and its resultant impact on individual students will differ from student to student 'because students have received signals of their entrepreneurial ability prior to the entrepreneurship courses taken at a university'. These signals come, not only from family and peer groups or from educational experiences, but from wider collective cultural arbitraries, including gendered notions about the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in particular roles (Bourdieu, 1998). Gupta (1992) in his survey among Indian Entrepreneurs obtains a similar results that education is not an important driver of Entrepreneurial attitudes. Garavan and O'cinneide 1994 argue for classification and differentiate between 'Entrepreneurship education' and 'education and training for small business owners'. The goal of Entrepreneurship education is conveying necessary knowledge
about starting and leading a business to increase the number of students who are willing to undertake new business venture. Linan (2004) focus on Entrepreneurship education which provides a whole set of education and training activities within the educational system that try to develop Entrepreneurial knowledge and desirability of the Entrepreneurial activity that affect the intention, where the 'intention' means to start an own business. The transfer of knowledge and skills to be able to start an own business, but also associated attitudes and personality characteristics. It also serves as a borderline to education that does not deal with personality and career attitudes and intentions of the students. Linan 2004 list four categories of Entrepreneurship education:
I. Entrepreneurial awareness education: the objective is creating knowledge about small enterprises, self-employment and Entrepreneurship. The goal is not the immediate creation of more Entrepreneurs. After taking a course, attendees should be able to make a more educated decision about their future career. Instructors do not actually try to transform participants into Entrepreneurs, but only allow them to make their future professional career choice with a grater perspective.
II. Education for start-up: courses in this category aim at the preparation of individuals to be the owner of a small business. The focus on the people with already existing Entrepreneurial intention and try to further develop it. The practical aspects related to the start-up phase.
III. Education for Entrepreneurial dynamism: this type of Entrepreneurship education applies
to Entrepreneurs who already passed the start-up phase of their business. It promotes dynamic Entrepreneurial behaviour after the initial phase. Here the participants acquire knowledge about strategies for expanding their business and open up new markets to secure growth.
IV. Education for Entrepreneurs: a specialized version of education in generally designed tom allows improvement of the Entrepreneurs abilities. The courses mostly found in education institutions belong to the Entrepreneurial awareness education. Many of the short term courses would be working as awareness program (curran and standworth 1989). These courses allow students to assess their own Entrepreneurial skills and aptitude to make decisions about their own career. These courses are implemented in education institutions at the beginning of the year, when students' career intentions are still not well-defined (Collins et al (2006).
The objective of Entrepreneurship education at education institutions namely of creation of more start-ups and more jobs may not be the appropriate one. Preventing a student, who is not suited to an Entrepreneurial career, from failing at an experiment such as starting an own business can be also considered a success of education.
Gibb dyer 1996 claims that specialized entrepreneurship education might give some people the confidence they need to start their own business. It is also pointed out that attitudes towards entrepreneurship are ideal connecting factor for entrepreneurship education. Robinson et al (1991) claim that attitude of entrepreneurship has transformed entrepreneurship education programs as attitude are open to change and can be influenced by educators and practitioners. Some studies try to measure the direct outcome using the number of new business started or indirect measures like increased entrepreneurial intentions among the participants. Clark et al 1984 survey students participating in introductory entrepreneurship course. By the end of the course, 80% intend to start an own business and indeed these plans have often been executed. 76% declare that attending the course had strong influence on their decision to enter the entrepreneurial career. The course evaluation of five entrepreneurship courses Garavan and O'cinneide 1994 measure the success of these courses by means of the number of started business and created jobs. The results from 755 participants have created 2,665 jobs. To evaluate entrepreneurship education on a macroeconomic level using figures such as the number of jobs created was criticized (souitaris et al 2007). The effects of such program on an individual are a complex issue and measurable results creation of jobs can often be observed years after the course. That is why researchers concentrated on the individual attending the course rather than outcome. Behavioral approaches delivered the central variable of interest to measure the effects of entrepreneurship education on individuals. Walter and walter 2008 generate a dataset of 2621 computer science, electrical and information engineering and business administration students at 30 german universities. They differentiate between not application based and application based entrepreneurship education and aim at examining the relationship between the fact that entrepreneurship courses of either types are offered and the entrepreneurship intentions among students. Their results indicate that by offering not application based courses a university cannot significantly affect entrepreneurial intentions among students at all, and only male students seems to be attracted by application based courses.
2.2. Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurial Traits
Hansemark 1998 examine how attending an entrepreneurship courses affect personality traits that are associated with entrepreneurs. Researcher found that entrepreneurship education participants exhibit a higher need for achievement and locus of control compared to member of a control group. Collins et al (2006) assess the effect of entrepreneurship course on the level of entrepreneurial self-efficacy is lower among students. Overall entrepreneurial self-efficacy is higher among students who have completed the course than among students who have not yet begun the course. Fayolle et al (2006) found after evaluation of three day entrepreneurship course at a French University that the effect differ among several sampled students. Courses have a positive impact of the course on students entrepreneurial intention, who have not previously attended an entrepreneurship course and who have not been exposed to entrepreneurship through their family. The impact of the entrepreneurship course on the entrepreneurial intentions is dependent on the level of intention. The psychological literature suggests that entrepreneurs possess certain characteristics or traits, such as:
• Risk-taking ability: The theory suggests that entrepreneurs are risk-takers, Very nature of their activities and roles performed in the society. However, there is no apparent agreement with respect to risk-taking, and the prevailing belief appears to be that entrepreneurs are more prone to taking calculated risks than are other sectors of society (Cromie and O'Donoghue, 1992), and that they are more able to cope with the uncertainty than are non-entrepreneurs (Koh, 1996).
• Need for achievement (nAch). First propounded by McClelland in 1961, this suggests that entrepreneurs have a high need for achievement, and achievers will choose situations that are characterized by: individual responsibility, moderate risk-taking, knowledge of decisions, and
future possibilities. It is the prospect of achievement that motivates them. Empirical research support for McClelland's theory of nAch has been somewhat conflicting and it is generally held that 'although people with a strong need to achieve might well act entrepreneurially (Cromie, 2000)
• Locus of control. This is based on the work of Rotter (1966). Entrepreneurs are believed to possess a high internal locus of control and believe that the achievement of a goal is dependent on their own behaviour or individual characteristics. Cromie, (1987) have found significantly higher 'internal' scores compared to experienced managers, while others researchers (Cromie etal., 1992) have found no differences between the scores of these two groups. Additionally, it has been suggested, as Cromie (2000) has recognized, that high achievers will also exhibit these behaviours.
3. Research Objective
Entrepreneurship courses designed to introduce students to the principles of business and management have tended to 'teach students how to become proficient employees instead of successful businesspersons' (Solomon, 1989). Since these statements were made, numerous entrepreneurship programmes have been introduced in many parts of the world (Brockhaus, et al., 2001). Often such programmes equate entrepreneurship with new venture creation or/and small business management and educate about entrepreneurship and enterprise rather than educating for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education should be focus on developing in their students the skills, attributes and behaviour of the successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship orientation and awareness programmes which focus on general information about entrepreneurship and encourage participants to think in terms of entrepreneurship as a career. 'The skills traditionally taught in business schools are essential but not sufficient to make a successful entrepreneur'. While students still need to develop their business skills and understanding, more attention needs to be paid to the development of their entrepreneurial skills, attributes and behaviours. This means introducing courses specifically designed to develop in students the awareness and characteristics of the entrepreneur. To offer entrepreneurship education courses so as to enhance the skills acquisition of education graduates for self-employment. This paper therefore attempts to find out the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intentions
4. Research Design
The study was a descriptive survey design. To test the validity of the concepts entrepreneurial
tendencies of 152 full time BE (Mechanical Engineering) students from the affiliated colleges of Vishveswaraya University of Technology, Belgaum, Karnataka State, India. Final year students in the 2011 - 2012 academic sessions were used for the study. These category of students were chosen because they are about to face their professional career choice and they belong to the higher entrepreneurial inclination segment of the population. The instrument used to test entrepreneurial tendencies of the students at the beginning and end of the experiment. It is a 36-item questionnaire designed to assess- Need for Achievement (12 items), locus of control (12 items), and Risk-taking (12 items). Each item is a statement and participants are required either to agree or disagree with it. The survey was taken after the completion of entrepreneurship course by students of BE.
The students had lower performance scores on all of the measures, suggesting a somewhat lower propensity to be entrepreneurial. The findings indicate the challenge facing in management education if they are to create entrepreneurs as, increasingly, appears to be required. The respondents were asked to indicate their career intentions after graduation. Results revealed that majority of the respondents 29.6% indicated employment, 26.8% indicated self-employment, 21% employment and part time business, 15% further studies, 7.6% outlines the career intentions of students. . This result can be given several interpretations. It appears that most graduates still prefer to be in the employment of others which is an indication of high preference for remunerative job. This corroborates the earlier findings of Onuma (2009) that most graduates aimed for wage employment in the formal sector. Their social expectations are oriented to working in the management of private enterprises. The fact that 26% had intention of starting their business is an indication that entrepreneurship education has created a positive impact on the respondent to consider self-employment as a career option. This finding affirms Autio et al (1997) research that entrepreneurship education created a positive image for entrepreneurship as a career. It also corroborates Fayolle (2005) view that entrepreneurship courses create more entrepreneurship students which in turn lead ultimately to a greater number of students willing to start their own businesses. This finding also agrees with that of Kolvereid and Moen (1997) that graduates with entrepreneurship major were more likely to start new businesses and had stronger entrepreneurial intention than other graduates. Through mean analysis the result states that- The need for achievement scores 9 (max12), risk taking scores 8.3 (max 12) and locus of control scores 8.5 (max 12). While BE students appear, to possess a relatively high need for achievement, they underscore somewhat in terms of their belief that they control their own destinies, and their preparedness to take risks. These characteristics can be developed in them, but not by using the more traditional, pedagogic teaching methods and styles nor by teaching the standard functional competences traditionally taught in management education.
The students in this study were asked to rate the level of skills acquired after undertaking entrepreneurship education. Clearly, a significant proportion of the participants indicated moderate skills 47.2%; 28.8% high skills and 24% low skills). The result of this study upholds that, entrepreneurship courses can indeed raise the level of students' skills on entrepreneurial activity and training can influence the development of entrepreneurial role. Evidently, the result of this study is an indication that entrepreneurship educations have created a positive impact on the respondents and has raised their level of skills. Moderate skill is also an indication that much of what is done is theoretical with little or no exposure to practical aspect.
Form the research it can be adopted the principles promote here in the way students are educated for entrepreneurship; it is possible to increase their entrepreneurial tendencies, both as a group and as individuals. It would seem that if the education system is to meet the challenge of developing more entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours in its students, then there does need to be a very significant transformation in not only what is taught but also how it is taught. Developing entrepreneurs in the classroom is about developing the enterprising environments and approaches to learning in which entrepreneurial aptitudes and capabilities can flourish, alongside business insight and understanding. It must not be assumed that entrepreneurship education is solely about encouraging 'students' to set-up and run their own businesses. While there is some evidence that experience in a small firm can help the development of more enterprising individuals. Research and knowledge about how to teach entrepreneurship remains relatively underdeveloped, despite the increasing demand, globally, for more entrepreneurially oriented graduates. It is the intention that this paper to provide some insights into how the educational process might need to change and develop, and will act as a catalyst for research that will progress the subject and ensure business schools retain their premier position in the creation of entrepreneurs.