Influence Of Entrepreneurial Education On Students Choice Of Job Career

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Influence Of Entrepreneurial Education On Students Choice Of Job Career


This study investigated the influence of entrepreneurial education on students choice of job career. Over a decade, the Nigeria Federal government introduced entrepreneurship development programmes in the country’s tertiary institutions with the primary objective of gearing entrepreneurship development of Nigerian graduates. However, the unemployment level in Nigeria has persistently been on increase level. This paper therefore examined the key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions and the link between entrepreneurship attitude orientations and business ownership intentions among Nigeria’s fresh graduates. This study utilized a survey research design. Data used for this study were collected using questionnaire from 230 randomly selected National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members serving in Ondo state. Appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were employed to analyse the data collected. This study showed that entrepreneurship education (β = 0.165; ρ = 0.038), ability to take risk (β = 0.291; ρ = 0.000), and the influence of family, friends, and mentor (β = 0.305; ρ = 0.00) were the major determinants of entrepreneurial intentions the selected participants. Moreso, this study revealed that entrepreneurship education has a positive and significant(r = 0.313; ρ = 0.000) influence on fresh graduates’ business start-up intention. This study concluded that establishment of more skills acquisition and innovation centers across Nigeria to equip the young graduates with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to be self-reliant will assist in making them job creators rather than job seekers, and in the long term effect, graduates unemployment and criminal activities among Nigerian youths will be reduced.

Table of Contents

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.1.1 The Concept of entrepreneurship
  • 2.1.2 Becoming an entrepreneur
  • 2.1.3 The emergence and evolution of entrepreneurship education as a research field
  • 2.1.4 Measuring the impact of entrepreneurship education
  • 2.1.5 Career choice intentions
  • 2.1.6 Career reflections and future work selves
  • 2.1.7 Entrepreneurship education as a career exploration intervention
  • 2.2 Theoretical Review
  • 2.2.1 Trait Theory
  • 2.2.2 Theory of Planned Behaviour
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Source and Method of Data Collection
  • 3.5 Instrument for data collection
  • 3.6 Validation of Instrument
  • 3.7 Reliability of the instrument
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.9 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Data Analysis
  • 4.3 Discussion of Results

Chapter Five:

Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

All over the world, entrepreneurship has been widely acclaimed to be a panacea for sustainable economic growth and development, thus, it has been the major source of job growth and economic development in developed, emerging and developing economies in this 21st century. According to Farkas and Gubik (2016), a country’s economic performance highly depends on successful entrepreneurship. Nigeria government had acknowledged this fact decades ago, thus, series of entrepreneurship development programmes had been introduced by federal government in the country’s tertiary institutions with the primary objective of gearing entrepreneurship development of Nigerian graduates. However, the unemployment level in Nigeria has persistently been on increase level. As at April, 2018, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is 18.80%. This figure is relatively high if compared with countries like India (3.4%), Mexico (3.20%), Indonesia (5.50%), Turkey (10.40%), and Brazil (12.60%) (Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, 2017).

Unemployment among tertiary institution graduates has been a major concern in the country. Entrepreneurship development has been identified by Nigeria government and policymakers as one of the sustainable sources of job creation. Dixxon, Meier, Brown, and Custer (2005) argued that ‘Entrepreneurship programs enhance graduates’ entrepreneurial skills, and encourage them to create new businesses. Entrepreneurs have played a vital role in both poverty reduction and economic growth around the world over the past decades. Entrepreneurial activity creates new opportunities, increases employment, and provides access to new markets and services (Haftendorn & Salzano, 2003).

Review of literature revealed that the probability of starting their own businesses by students that had attended entrepreneurship programmes is very high (Umar & Abubakar, 2015; Akarue & Eyovwunu, 2014; Agbim, Oriarewo & Owocho, 2013; Oyewumi& Adeniyi, 2013). It is also a consensus among scholars that entrepreneurial activities increase productivity and available products, advance innovation and technological developments, generate job opportunities, and overall, makes significant contribution to economic development (Ambad & Damit, 2016).

This finding had continued to increase the clamors of the policy makers for the inclusion of entrepreneurship programmes in the country’s higher institutions as a way of reducing the unemployment level. For instance, Nigeria governments and her agencies had introduced various intervention programmes to boost entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, notable among these are the introduction of entrepreneurship development courses as compulsory in the tertiary institutions by National University Commission (NUC) andSkill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) established by National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). SAED is NYSC response to the youth unemployment challenge in Nigeria. Annually, the programme mobilizes and prepares over two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) youths to become employable or startup their own businesses after completing their mandatory one-year service. The sole objective of these programmes is to encourage the Nigerians generally, and Nigeria youths particularly, to highly involve in entrepreneurial activities thereby creating jobs.

However, the rapid growing of unemployment level in the country has underscored this scenario.
According to Krueger, Reilly, and Carsrud (2000) individuals will only initiate entrepreneurial activities when the conviction level is high relative to the requirements perceived for a particular opportunity. Many factors such as personal attitude toward behavior, perceived behavioral control, person’s conviction, background factors, current situation, personal attitude, perceived relational support, personality measures, self-esteem, innovation and economic resources in the household have been identified in literature as determinants of entrepreneurial intentions (Ambad&Damit, 2016; Buli&Yesuf, 2015; Norhazlin, Nahariah& Tan, 2013; Per, 1995; Raijman, 2001). Understanding of the determinants of entrepreneurial intentions is germane because entrepreneurial behaviour is an outcome of intention (Buli&Yesuf, 2015).

The time as a student in higher education should accordingly be one of self-exploration, change and growth in terms of both personal and career development. It is a time when it is important to engage in exploration of different career trajectories and to reflect upon one’s future career opportunities. The importance of career exploration and reflection implies that higher education needs to arrange activities that promote this among students; i.e., career interventions that trigger career developmentthrough exploration and reflection. In the literature, career exploration is defined as a process of exploration that is both internal (understanding more about oneself) and external (understanding more about the world of work) (Porfeli et al., 2011). Career exploration can trigger and develop career reflection, which refers to the ability to reflect on personal capacities and motivations in one’s own career (Akkermans et al., 2012; Kuijpers et al., 2006). Career counseling during tertiary education has been suggested as one means of career exploration that stimulates career development (Kuijpers&Meijers, 2012), and so includes internships as integrated parts of higher education degrees (Silva et al., 2016). This research work sets out to investigate the potential of EE as a career exploration intervention and as an arena for career reflection. According to Kuijpers and Meijers (2012), a learning environment that supports career development is characterized by a practice-based and inquiry-based curriculum and provides opportunities to engage in career dialogue.

EE has many variations and differs in terms of objectives, target group, content, pedagogies and assessments (Fayolle&Gailly, 2008). However, a common denominator is its purpose to introduce entrepreneurship into an educational setting. In the thesis, entrepreneurship is defined as the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities for new combinations in the context of new venture creation. The definition is based on seminal work by Schumpeter (1934), Gartner (1988) and Shane and Venkataraman (2000) and will be elaborated in Chapter 2. Therefore, it should initially suffice to highlight that the definition emphasizes entrepreneurship as something that takes place in the context of the creation of new organizations. Accordingly, EE is about developing the mindset, skill set and practice necessary for entrepreneurship (Neck & Corbett, 2018). While EE takes place at all education levels, from primary school to PhD, the focus in this thesis is EE in higher education. After first being introduced into higher education at the Harvard Business School in 1947, EE has grown exponentially and spread to all corners of the world (Katz, 1992; Kuratko, 2005). The number of EE courses in the US exceeds 5000 (Kauffman, 2008) and EE continues to expand worldwide as a result of governments’ and policymakers’ interest in the role entrepreneurship plays as a catalyst for both economic and social development (Valerio et al., 2014).

EE encompasses many different pedagogics, from learning about entrepreneurship in a theoretical manner, to experiential learning through engaging in entrepreneurship practice (Neck & Greene, 2011). In its more active forms, EE is situated at the intersection of theoretical and practical learning. From a career development perspective, EE has potential as a career exploration intervention, since it encourages students to make use of other skills than those normally used in an education setting. EE thereby serves as a space for career reflection, where students learn more about themselves, about 4 entrepreneurship, about the workplace, and about their opportunities in future careers. For adolescents and young adults today, there is myriad of career alternatives available; a few generations ago, the concept of career choice was unknown for most people. Occupations were inherited from the preceding generation and, with a few exceptions, lasted for the rest of one’s life. Today, at least in the Western world, the alternatives are numerous and careers are described as discontinuous and boundaryless (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996). However, children and young adults spend far more time in school and have less opportunity to acquire practical work experience in everyday life. EE as a career exploration intervention provides an opportunity to overcome this challenge.hus, through a better understanding of the relevance of education to their future careers, students might become more dedicated to their studies and thereby avoid dropping out.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

The empirical link between entrepreneurship attitude orientation and entrepreneurial intention had been widely investigated by scholars in developed and developing countries. Majority of the researchers had reported a positive and significant relationship (Richmell, Acheampong & Owusu, 2018; Sultan, 2017; Adamu, 2017; Oguntimehin&Olaniran, 2017; Thomas, Ambrose, Denis & Kennedy, 2016; Setuza, 2016; Umar &Abubakar, 2015; Muhammed & Ahmed, 2015; Akarue&Eyovwunu, 2014; Garba, Kabir, &Nalado, 2014; Wee-Liang, Wayne & Robinson, 2013; Ramos, 2014; Norhazlin, Nahariah, & Tan, 2013; Emrah, Ali & Ibrahim, 2013; Agbim, Oriarewo&Owocho, 2013; Oyewumi& Adeniyi, 2013; Izedomi& Okafor, 2010; Wang & Wong, 2004) However, their focuses have been on tertiary institution students with the belief that their knowledge of entrepreneurship are most likely to shape their inclination to start their own businesses in the future, while only little or no studies focused on fresh Nigerian graduates that are more concerned with employment. Besides, studies that investigated the key determinants of entrepreneurial intentions and the influence of entrepreneurship education on self-employment intentions among fresh graduates across academic disciplines in Nigeria are scanty.

1.3 Research Objective

The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of entrepreneurial education on students’ choice of job career. Specific Objectives include to:

  1. Empirically examine the key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria.
  2. Examine the link between entrepreneurship education and self-employment intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the the key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria?
  2. What is the the link between entrepreneurship education and self-employment intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Null Hypotheses(H0):
  • There are no significant key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria.
  • There is no significant link between entrepreneurship education and self-employment intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria.
Alternative Hypotheses(H1):
  • There are significant key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria.
  • There is significant link between entrepreneurship education and self-employment intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

As discussed above, progress towards career development and a vocational identity has substantial implications for an individual’s well-being later in life. However, in an educational context, it also has more immediate implications in terms of retaining the motivation to graduate from higher education, as well as for the important school-to work transition. Statistics suggest that student drop-out and school-to-work transition are major challenges, both in the Norwegian and European contexts. In Norway, half of students do not complete their degree in the nominal study length (Statistics Norway, 2017) and an EC report indicates that completion rates in Norwegian higher education dropped from 65% in 2005 to 59% in 2011 (Vossensteyn et al., 2015). This is a trend seen in several European countries; the same report shows that in Sweden completion rates dropped from 69% in 2005 to 53% in 2011, while they dropped from 85% in 2005 to 81% in 2011 in Denmark. The UK is facing the same challenge and 20,295 UK students who began studying for their first degree in 2016 did not make it beyond their first year(HESA, 2018).

Career indecision and subsequent drop out from higher education have major consequences for both the individual and society. Immense investments are being made into higher education today and increasing the number of individuals holding tertiary education qualifications is at the top of policy agendas4 (EC, 2006; KD, 2017; OECD, 2018). The increasing student dropout rates are working against this goal and are also a major cost burden5 . It has long been acknowledged that goals and commitment towards a career are important for students’ decisions on whether to persist with, or drop out from, their educational process (Tinto, 1975; Wang &Degol, 2014).

1.7 Scope of the Study

The focus of this study is to examine the examine the influence of entrepreneurial education on students choice of job career. The study also evaluates the key determinants of entrepreneurship intentions and the link between entrepreneurship education and self-employment intentions among fresh graduates in Nigeria across academic disciplines.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The research study of this nature has its limitations; encountered some challenges administering the structured questionnaires in eliciting the views of some uncooperative respondents as it concerns the use of electronic devices in the conduct of election in Edo State. In the course of the study other impediments were encountered such as

Time constraints, financial constraints, logistics and lack of relevant information concerning electronic devices in the conduct of election from some respondents.

1.9 Definition of Terms


An individual who creates and/or invests in one or more businesses, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards.[4]The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.

More narrow definitions have described entrepreneurship as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often similar to a small business, or as the “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks to make a profit.”[5] The people who create these businesses are often referred to as entrepreneurs.[6][7] While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of start-up businesses have to close due to “lack of funding, bad business decisions, government policies, an economic crisis, lack of market demand, or a combination of all of these.”[8]


The creation or extraction of economic value.[1][2][3] With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.


According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), is people above a specified age (usually 15) not being in paid employment or self-employment but currently available for work during the reference period. Unemployment is measured by the unemployment rate, which is the number of people who are unemployed as a percentage of the labour force (the total number of people employed added to those unemployed).


Mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the content of the intention while the commitment is the attitude towards this content. Other mental states can have action plans as their content, as when one admires a plan, but differ from intentions since they do not involve a practical commitment to realizing this plan. Successful intentions bring about the intended course of action while unsuccessful intentions fail to do so. Intentions, like many other mental states, have intentionality: they represent possible states of affairs.


A relationship between two parties regulating the provision of paid labour services. Usually based on a contract, one party, the employer, which might be a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, a co-operative, or any other entity, pays the other, the employee, in return for carrying out assigned work.[1] Employees work in return for wages, which can be paid on the basis of an hourly rate, by piecework or an annual salary, depending on the type of work an employee does, the prevailing conditions of the sector and the bargaining power between the parties.


A location where someone works, for their employer or themselves, a place of employment. Such a place can range from a home office to a large office building or factory. For industrialized societies, the workplace is one of the most important social spaces other than the home, constituting “a central concept for several entities: the worker and [their] family, the employing organization, the customers of the organization, and the society as a whole”.The development of new communication technologies has led to the development of the virtual workplace and remote work.


The practice of making one’s living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).It is also “any activity or enterprise entered into for profit.”

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner’s personal possessions.[6] A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

1.10 Organization of the Study

There are five chapters in this study, the first of which discusses the background, statement of the research problem, aims, research question, and research hypotheses as well as the study’s significance, scope, and limitations. Chapter 2 contains conceptual, theoretical, and empirical reviews. The study methodology is covered in Chapter 3. This chapter covers the research design, the study’s population, the sample size and technique, the data collection source and method, the study’s instruments, the data analysis method, the validity and reliability of the study as well as ethical considerations. Chapter four entails data presentation, data analysis and discussion of findings. Chapter five encompasses summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The influence of the respondents’ field of study on their intention towards entrepreneurship was examined (see figure 1). Respectively, 47 and 117 indicated that they studied science and social and management sciences courses. Out of 47 respondents that studied science related courses, 68% (N = 30) indicated that their field of study has influence on their intention towards entrepreneurship while 87% (N = 102) of those that read social and management sciences courses responded that their disciplines had influence on their intention to set up their own businesses. Those that read Art and Engineering related courses were 29 and 15, out of these, 48.5% (N = 14) and 87.7% (N = 13) of the respondents revealed that their area of study has influence on their intention to start up new business after NYSC programme. 100% (N= 6) and 71.4% (N = 5) of the sampled Corps member that studied Education and Agricultural Sciences related courses respectively, indicated that “Field of Study” had influence on the intention to start up new venture.

The respondents were also asked whether consideration was given to starting their own business inorder to become self-employed. Their responses showed that majority of the sampled NYSC members (73.4%, N= 169) indicated that they were trying to start their own business. Only 26.5% (N= 61) responded that they did not plan to establish their own business after their NYSC service year (See figure 2). The participants were asked whether they were already running their own business or already self-employed. The results showed that 60.9% (N = 140) of the selected fresh graduates were not running own business or already self-employed.

A number of statements were presented to the respondents about their entrepreneurial intentions. The majority of the respondents were keen to pursue entrepreneurship. Out of the 230 Corps member selected for the study, 141 representing 61.3% showed that they have strong intention to start business someday while 135 (58.7%) have seriously thought of starting a business. Besides, out of 230 participants, 149 (64.7%) strongly agreed that they would make every effort to start and run their own business in the future. The implication of these findings is that the Nigerian fresh graduates have strong determination to set up their own businesses.

5.2 Conclusion

The study empirically investigated the major determinants of self-employment intentions and the effect of Entrepreneurial Attitude and Orientation on Entrepreneurial Intention among fresh graduates from the Nigerian higher institutions currently undergoing National Youth Service Corps programme. The study revealed significant relationship between the variables under investigation, besides, self-efficiency and societal influence were found to have negative and insignificant impact on the entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship education, ability to take risks, family and friends including mentor were linked to entrepreneurship intentions among the study participants. Thus, this study concluded that establishment of more skills acquisition and innovation centers across Nigeria to equip the young graduates with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to be self-reliant will assist in making them job creators rather than job seekers, and in the long term effect, graduates unemployment and criminal activities among Nigerian youths will be reduced.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. The duration and intensity of the entrepreneurship education should be increased beyond a semester’s course to realize a maximum impact on university students.
  2. Entrepreneurship education should not only be offered at the university level but should be entrenched and made compulsory at all other levels of education.
  3. Access to finance by micro, small and medium enterprises must be well liberalized by the government. There should be unhindered access to micro-credit for young graduates.
  4. Entrepreneurship education should be practical oriented so as to sustain students interest.

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