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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Entrepreneurship | 2013
Thesis number: 14511
Exploring the impact of higher entrepreneurship education: Critical experiences as triggers or deterrents for career perceptions of graduates
Author: Pokidko, Daniil
Title: Exploring the impact of higher entrepreneurship education: Critical experiences as triggers or deterrents for career perceptions of graduates
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Entrepreneurship
Index terms: yrittäjyys; entrepreneurship; korkeakoulutus; higher education; koulutus; training; urasuunnittelu; career planning; työ; work
Pages: 102
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14511.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2105994)
Key terms: entrepreneurship, education, career perception, critical experience
Existing research suggests that entrepreneurship education has varying degrees of impact on the economic outcome of the participants; however, there is no consensus on what the impact is, and what actually constitutes entrepreneurship education. In career literature, a link between higher education and career choices can be found. Therefore, understanding the differences in career paths and career accomplishment of different programme graduates can be key indicators of the impact of the specific study programme. More particularly, Griffiths et al. (2012) opined that by researching entrepreneurship education, we can understand the pedagogical strategies and teaching practices that are significantly related to the student's innovation intensions - those learning experiences that increases the likelihood that a student will become an innovative entrepreneur.

However, despite the plethora of research assessing different areas of entrepreneurship education; the issue of how entrepreneurship education interplays with career choices of graduates has surprisingly remained unexplored.

The current thesis addresses this gap in literature. It examines how critical experiences during the period of entrepreneurship education interplays with students' career perception leading to their career choices after graduation. A qualitative case study deploying the video-interview technique was used to study how critical experiences and emotions /associations acted as triggers, or deterrence for the formation, crystallisation or obscuring of self-entrepreneur image perception of MSc entrepreneurship graduates from Aalto University School of Business.

The findings suggest that different incidents and events both those formally embedded in the programme content, and extracurricular activities consisted critical experience for individual students. Thus, a dynamic interaction between perceived criticality of an experience and emotional association to the experience is observed; and such is dependent on the strength and certainty of the initial motivation, interest and preconceptions for choosing to study entrepreneurship.

The result of this study contributes significantly towards bridging the prior knowledge gap regarding: (a) factors influencing change in the career perception of entrepreneurship graduates; (b) triggers and deterrents for career choices after graduation; c) the role of critical experiences during the education programme on the formation and crystallization of graduate's career perception.
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