The association of socio-demographic characteristics of university students and the levels of their digital entrepreneurial competences

Heliyon. 2023 Oct 12;9(10):e20897. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e20897. eCollection 2023 Oct.


The aim of this article is to provide empirical evidence on the level of digital entrepreneurial competences (DEC) that higher education students acquire during their higher education and to investigate the relationship between their socio-demographic characteristics and the level of DEC. The first competence area (Identification of opportunities) of the DEC EmDigital competence framework was assessed together with its three sub-competence areas (Search for and analysis of information, Creativity and innovation, and Prospecting), and the relationship between the level of DEC and various socio-demographic characteristics of higher education students was investigated using logistic regression. The results show a relatively low DEC level of the participating students for the first EmDigital competence area. Location, field of study, level of study and employment status were found to be statistically significant for the acquisition of DEC, while the variables age and gender had little impact. The results of this study are a step towards the development of an DEC online assessment tool (using the Digital Competence Wheel as a role model) that universities and other stakeholders could use to assess the level of DEC their students acquire during university education. This research is the first study to assess the acquisition of DEC during university studies and the impact of different socio-demographic characteristics of students on their level of DEC.

Keywords: Digital entrepreneurial competences; EmDigital; Identification of opportunities; University students competence assessment.