ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING

Distance learning is becoming more and more popular with students of the Russian Federation. However, since this form of education is relatively new for our country, its organization has some drawbacks that need correction in order to increase the effectiveness of such education. The purpose of this research is to determine whether students of distance learning are confident in the effectiveness of their education, as well as in their competitiveness with full-time students and readiness for entrepreneurship. It is necessary to find out directly from entrepreneurs whether graduates will be able to compete in the labor market. Two groups of respondents were surveyed: 426 students of public and private universities of Kazan and 35 local entrepreneurs. The survey was conducted in order to determine the prospects of distance learning from all possible aspects: both from the future applicant and from the potential employer. The results showed students’ positive attitude towards distance learning. It was confirmed by students’ confidence in their successful employment and readiness to compete in the market. However, half of the respondents were not ready for their own business activities. The reason for this may be the lack of adequate educational materials, lack of easy access to university libraries and lack of practice during the educational process. Moreover, the favorable attitude of entrepreneurs towards students of this form of education was revealed, since they find skills and experience more important than the specifics of the educational form. However, most entrepreneurs are not ready to do business with graduates of distance learning. Insufficient practical training of students may also be the reason for this. These developments can significantly affect the quality of distance learning. The administration of all universities should ensure that all students are provided with the necessary educational materials, as well as organize compulsory internships for undergraduates in each department where it has not been implemented yet.

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