AN INVESTIGATION OF THE PROFILES OF ZIMBABWEAN STEM UNDERGRADUATE FRESHMEN AS INPUT TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION FOR STEM STUDENTS
Entrepreneurship is the new buzzword in universities across the globe and this has been attributed to fundamental socio-economic forces such as the persistence of unemployment, precarious employment, the emergence of knowledge-driven economies, and the imperative of bringing innovations to market (Karimi, et al., 2011, Valerio, et al., 2014).The shift towards entrepreneurship education is also from the realization that students can and should derive benefit from learning how to create value from their knowledge and skills (Duval-Couetil, 2016).
The educational systems have not, until recently, been geared towards the development of entrepreneurship and self-employment in the STEM (Science Technical Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines (Hynes, 1996). Entrepreneurship has been confined to management and economics disciplines. The general consensus of late is that the provision of entrepreneurship education should not be restricted to certain courses or faculties, as entrepreneurial qualities and skills are needed in every sector of human activity (EC Brussels, 2006, Duval- Couetil, et al., 2011). It has been realised that entrepreneurship education, especially education that provides technological training, is crucial to the enhancement of entrepreneurs’ innovation skills in an increasingly challenging environment (Menzies and Paradi, 1999). In fact Hynes (1996) argues that technical and engineering graduates are the originators of product ideas but are usually left out because of their lack of business appreciation to develop the idea further. It is therefore not surprising that entrepreneurship courses are among the fastest growing curricular areas within engineering schools (Duval- Couetil, et al. 2011).
Key words: entrepreneurship, education, STEM, Zimbabwe