Students' Self-Perception of Their Entrepreneurial Characteristics

Vibhavari Vempala, Jacob Frederick Fuher, Heydi L. Dominguez, Jeremiah Ogunbunmi, Aileen Huang-Saad, Prateek Shekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, entrepreneurship has been viewed as a necessary component of engineering education to support the development of an innovative workforce. Engineering entrepreneurship education is seen as a means to develop entrepreneurial mindset and skills that are essential for a successful professional life. In an effort to integrate entrepreneurship education into an already dense curriculum, universities and colleges offer a range of entrepreneurship programming from individual classes, certificate programs, and minors and or majors. With these various options, students have several different pathways to entrepreneurship education. However, research has shown that student demographics influence their participation in entrepreneurship programming. Further, self-efficacy, which is the belief in one's ability, is seen as a key characteristic motivating intent and activity. To continue to understand the factors that affect student engagement in entrepreneurial learning and their development of entrepreneurial skills, we examined students' self-perceptions and beliefs with respect to demographics and background. Specifically, we looked at students' self-perception of entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE), creative self-efficacy (CSE), and Risk-taking with respect to gender, family background, class standing, major, previous exposure to entrepreneurship classes, and on their self-identification as entrepreneurial. Survey data was collected from 194 students at a large, Midwest public research university. Independent t-tests were used to look for differences in ESE, CSE and Risk-taking with respect to student demographics and background. Results indicate that men score higher in risk-taking than women. Students with entrepreneurs in the family and students in their third year or higher score higher in some aspects of ESE. Students with previous exposure to entrepreneurship classes score higher in CSE. Finally, students that self-identify as entrepreneurial score higher in ESE, CSE, and Risk-Taking. These results indicate that engineering students hold varying entrepreneurial characteristics based on their background and demographics and that the characteristics assessed are more sensitive to students' self-identification as entrepreneurial than their background and demographics. Implications of the results on the development and implementation of entrepreneurship programming for engineers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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