Technology education plays an important role in developing and building thoughts about entrepreneurship among budding entrepreneurs.
By Ashish Gupta
In today’s era, technology is rapidly changing and has been a major driver of innovation that has impacted everything around us. In the digital age, independent businesses (i.e. startups) leveraging advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or data analytics, are considered to be drivers of national development. Whether it’s providing solutions to many societal problems, creating new job opportunities, or overcoming economic downturns, these innovative startups led by new-age entrepreneurs are playing an important role in shaping future competitiveness and economic development. Although business acumen still goes a long way in building businesses, the importance of technological skills and knowledge cannot be overlooked.
In today’s volatile and dynamic market environment, entrepreneurs must possess advanced technological skills and knowledge to meet demand and remain relevant in the market. Technology education plays an important role in developing and building thoughts about entrepreneurship among budding entrepreneurs. In addition to technical and analytical expertise, technology awareness and education develops an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset and enables potential entrepreneurs to identify and seize business opportunities, overcome and learn from failures and to succeed in different situations. It provides entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools and attitudes needed to inject innovative solutions into any business environment. Therefore, most entrepreneurs come from a technological background. A recent study shows that up to 30 of the 58 founders of 42 unicorns in 2021 are technology graduates from IITs.
Rather than a traditional static learning approach focused on “what is” and “what has been”, technological education focuses on the process-oriented and action-oriented experimental learning approach, c ie learning by doing. At every stage of an entrepreneur’s journey – whether it’s idea generation, idea selection, assembling and utilizing resources, business development strategies, production and services or customer satisfaction marketing – technology awareness and education provide a competitive advantage to potential entrepreneurs. It improves generic skills in areas such as problem solving, creative and critical thinking, teamwork, and gaining experience with ambiguity. This implies that entrepreneurial thinking and mindset are automatically embedded in technology education. The try-and-fail approach and the feedback loop promote entrepreneurial thinking. It helps entrepreneurs to think through and examine problems from every angle applying a multidimensional approach to move towards a solution.
Undoubtedly, college education plays an important role in educating students and equipping them with the necessary skills to become successful entrepreneurs. However, a traditional education system limits potential entrepreneurs to a market-driven approach to learning. This leaves a portion of potential budding entrepreneurs untapped. Therefore, it has now become necessary to shift to a technology-driven approach, which can teach students how to use entrepreneurial skills to build a sustainable business and market their products. Moreover, with the continuous advancements in technology and its evolving nature, awareness of these developments makes it easier for the entrepreneur to maintain a constant learning curve.
Gradually, universities and academic institutions around the world, realizing the importance, are now seeking to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and technological education by imparting the technological skills and knowledge needed to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking among potential contractors. With a better understanding of the role of technology awareness and education, there has been a substantial increase in technology entrepreneurship courses and programs in higher education institutions around the world. In India, leading institutes such as Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) nurture various strands of technological and entrepreneurial excellence that drive innovation and entrepreneurship. These institutes also sponsor initiatives that inspire technology students to envision possibilities and create viable and innovative products, services, and processes.
The author is founder and trustee of Plaksha University.