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Disentangling the roles of academic major and gender in determining entrepreneurial intentions among students

Brian A. Polin (Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem, Israel)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 19 December 2022




The purpose of this research is to compare the levels of EI of male and female students, EI among students of three different academic faculties: business, engineering and nursing and the degree of change in their EI over the course of study. Additionally, the authors set out to isolate and quantify the effects of gender and field of study, independent of each other.


This empirical research is based on a survey of >750 undergraduate college students, in which participants answered a host of Likert-scale questions concerning perceptions of risk, self-efficacy, career path and entrepreneurial intent (EI). The survey also contained a number of demographic questions, including academic field (major) and year of study.


Business students express the highest levels of EI, followed by engineering students and nursing students respectively. Regardless of discipline, students become no more or less entrepreneurial over their years of study. Overall, males were found to be significantly more entrepreneurial than females. However, a comparison of males and females within a given faculty yielded almost no differences in EI between the genders.


These findings suggest that students self-select into fields of study based on traits, personalities and interests. It is these same factors that regulate one's EI and not their gender or field of study. Others have analyzed the effects of gender and field of study, the authors isolated the two and analyzed each independently.



Polin, B.A. (2022), "Disentangling the roles of academic major and gender in determining entrepreneurial intentions among students", Education + Training, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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