New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
Engineers work to make things better, however, in modern global environment, engineers are likely to play several roles, that is, to create, manufacture, distribute and to administer the whole projects. Thus, entrepreneurial and leadership qualities become of no less importance than the classical engineering skills. Russian engineering universities, however, are lagging behind the leading US universities in introducing entrepreneurship into the engineering programs. Several steps, however, are made at some universities to bridge this gap. The paper introduces the experience of a Russian engineering university in developing entrepreneurship and leadership qualities of engineering students. At this university, three years ago, a mandatory course of entrepreneurship was introduced for all graduate engineering students. The course was created as the result of professional development programs for the faculty who visited several US universities and learned on site their successful experience of nurturing entrepreneurship and supporting leadership of engineering students. The course includes a series of lectures and practical classes, where students receive a task to write real life business plans or applications to granting programs. Moreover, students are invited to participate in additional classes given by leading international researchers and successful entrepreneurs. In the second year of the experiment, a survey was conducted among the students to evaluate the motivating factors and barriers to entrepreneurial activities. The survey was conducted in two stages, at the beginning of the course, and after its completion. The results show that course changes the attitude of students to engineering entrepreneurship, and the desire to run a business of their own. The paper gives the statistics on this survey and propose the solutions to improve entrepreneurial activities among the postgraduate students.
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