How Well Do Finance Students at ASU Identify and Apply Knowledge of Finance Concepts to Real World Problems Tested Through NPV
This study explores whether finance students at Arizona State University learn important technical business concepts at a textbook level and, if they do, do they recognize when to use them in real-world scenarios. These questions are important because the ability to learn and adapt knowledge to different situations is a desirable skill for a business professional. I chose NPV as the concept to test because it is arguably the central concept to learn in business school. Additionally, NPV is specifically taught in at least two courses by the time students graduate and it is frequently applied in business. The main hypothesis the study intends to explore is: students that have taken finance 300 will be able to identify the NPV problem. Survey results indicated that only 47% of students could identify the NPV problem. Further results indicated that only 27% of the original 100% (8 out of 30) participants could further apply NPV knowledge. Additional analyses based on grade earned and personal confidence level showed that having higher of either of the attributes generally showed the ability to identify NPV. Based on the results, I propose teaching more application-based learning to enhance career-readiness. Further research, expanding on these results, could be made to formulate a function to predict a student’s ability to identify NPV before being surveyed. This function could then be used to predict the outcome of the next student tested and allow for change to be made in teaching techniques.