Entrepreneurship Education for Engineering Students – A Survey of Former Students’ Self-Employment and Market Attraction
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON. 2019, April-2019, 337-344. 10.1109/EDUCON.2019.8725095
Engineering students will meet a working life with great expectations and demands of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial skills. They will need to demonstrate abilities like business knowledge, management, marketing, finance, and networking. The objective of entrepreneurship education at University of South-Eastern Norway, Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences, and Maritime Sciences (USN-TNM) is to prepare students for self-employment or to be a highly appreciated employee in an established company. The entrepreneurship program started in 2004 with a 20 ECTS course called Student Enterprise. In the period 2004 to 2015, 242 students have succeeded taking the Student Enterprise course from USN-TNM. The Student Enterprises consist of 3 to 6 members and they have to invent and develop their own business ideas, market, and possibly sell technological products or services. An important part of the entrepreneurship education is to participate in regional and national competitions in order to enhance presentation skills and customer relations. A comprehensive survey was conducted in order to investigate former student's self-employment and market attraction. Students graduated from 2005 to 2015 were asked to respond to a survey and a total 46 % response rate was achieved. The survey included questions like time from graduation to employment in a company, the professional relevance in the first job, benefits of entrepreneurial competence in work tasks, benefits from experience with competitions, and if they had started up their own enterprise. The survey shows that the overall satisfaction with entrepreneurship program have a total average score of 4.2 of 5. Twelve percent (12%) of former students have established their own enterprise, which is quite high taking into account these student's high market attraction.