Engineering Students' Experiences in Studying Entrepreneurship
Täks, M., Tynjälä, P., Toding, M., Kukemelk, H., & Venesaar, U. (2014). Engineering Students' Experiences in Studying Entrepreneurship. Journal of engineering education, 103 (4), 573-598. doi:10.1002/jee.20056
Published inJournal of engineering education
© 2014 ASEE. This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by ASEE/Wiley. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Background: Entrepreneurial learning, or the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, in engineering at the college level has become an important topic. The labor market needs engineers who are prepared to adapt to changing market conditions and enhance innovations that offer new value to customers and society as a whole. An entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are closely related to innovation and creativity as enablers of entrepreneurial actions that are essential to prepare students for a successful professional life. Purpose: This study sought to examine how engineering students experience studying entrepreneurship in a course that is based on a socio-constructivist view of learning and the integrative pedagogy model. Design/method: The data were collected using semistructured group interviews (n = 48) and individual in-depth interviews (n =16). The study adopted a phenomenographic research approach. Results: As a result of the analyses, four qualitatively different categories of experiencing entrepreneurship as part of an engineering degree program were identified. Entrepreneurship studies were experienced by students as a first step to self-directed learning, a preparation for work life, a path to possible self-employment, a context for developing leadership and responsibility for group achievement. Conclusion: The four categories identified show that integrating entrepreneurship studies in an engineering degree program can be experienced in a variety of ways by students. Pedagogical implications are discussed. ...