Background: Recent research has demonstrated the importance of entrepreneurship education programs (EEPs) in the professional development of engineering students. Numerous universities have adopted various forms of EEPs which are typically offered as elective programs. To create suitable programs that will encourage students to seek out EEPs, it is critical to understand the factors that influence student participation in EEPs. Using qualitative research methods, we examined the question “What influences engineering students’ participation in entrepreneurship education programs?” The purpose of our work is to identify and understand the factors impacting engineering student participation in EEPs. Results: Analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews of undergraduate engineering students was conducted using the first and second cycle coding methods to determine key factors that inform students’ participation in EEPs. We found that student decisions to participate in EEPs are influenced by several factors: entrepreneurial self-efficacy, entrepreneurial intent, attitude, subjective norm, goals, academic transitions, information and resources, social capital, opportunities and challenges, and past participation in EEPs. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that students’ non-compulsory participation is not a result of a single act, but is regulated by multiple factors. Explication of these factors using our qualitative results provides actionable guidance for EEPs to encourage engineering students’ participation and offers directions for future research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Engineering education
- Entrepreneurship education