The purpose of this paper is to present a report on a tracer study conducted to find out the extent to which entrepreneurship education received by tertiary tourism graduates had been beneficial to them.
Application of mixed methods research to collect data from 205 tertiary education graduates by the use of snowball sampling techniques and two entrepreneurship teachers selected purposively.
The study revealed that <3 per cent of the graduates were operating their own businesses. Among the reasons given for the low level of entrepreneurship practice among the graduates included their inability to access initial capital, absence of entrepreneurship spirit in the graduates and the unrelated nature of entrepreneurship education studied at the polytechnic to the tourism and hospitality industry.
The main limitation with this study was sampling bias associated with the snowball sampling technique. This was, however reduced by initially selecting respondents to represent the various year groups of the alumni. In addition, it would have been more appropriate to have included present students in the study to find out their perception of the entrepreneurship education that they are receiving.
The practical implication of this tracer study is the need for educators to evaluate the entrepreneurship programme to make it subject specific. The work will therefore help tourism educators to prepare syllabi and teach entrepreneurship education that will be relevant and beneficial to tourism and hospitality graduates. Another implication is the need to start teaching entrepreneurship as a course at the basic school level.
The social implications of this study is that it would enable managers of tertiary education institutions to find appropriate means to increase the number of its graduates who will be able to create their own jobs. These entrepreneurs will be able to create more employment avenues.
The novelty of the work is in the use of a tracer study to obtain occupational distribution of graduates of a tertiary programme that enabled the author to ascertain the percentage of graduates who have started and are managing their own businesses.
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