Assessing students’ entrepreneurial skills needed in the Knowledge Economy

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The purpose of this paper is to explore how students acquire entrepreneurial skills requested by a knowledge economy, in a country with an emergent economy. Knowledge economy is based dominantly on processing intangible resources, which needs different skills from the knowledge workers than from the industrial workers. Knowledge economy develops fast, including the countries with emergent economies like the Romania. Universities have to adapt to the requirements imposed by the knowledge economy and to change their teaching processes based on knowledge transfer into developing students’ skills which will allow them to perform in a turbulent business environment. The paper focuses on the entrepreneurial skills and presents an evaluation of students’ entrepreneurial skills in a Romanian university, students being enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs of economics and business. The set of entrepreneurial skills considered in this paper have been selected based on literature, and they are expected to define the entrepreneurial behavior by the 2030 time horizon. The following skills have been considered: complex-problem solving, critical thinking, originality thinking, active learning, and judgement and decision making. For the quantitative research we developed and applied a questionnaire in order to assess the level of these skills for the students at “Stefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, Romania. We processed the obtained data set by using the specialized software package SPSS, version 25, and applied the statistical function of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) for the purpose of identifying which are the main factors influencing their perceptions about the investigated categories of skills. The results of the Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed a set of 5 factors which we correlated to validate the research hypothesis. Our results show that economics and business education contributes essentially to the development of these entrepreneurial skills.

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