Today’s young adults are inter­ested in becoming entre­pre­neurs for two main rea­sons, said Kara Miller, host of WGBH radio’s “Inno­va­tion Hub:” one is for the fame that fol­lows the founder of the next big thing, while the other is for the sheer neces­sity of finding work in a stag­nant economy.

There are more people who are saying, ‘I have to create my own thing because there may not be any open jobs for me. I may have to start some­thing new,’” Miller told a score of stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff who attended the latest install­ment of the Path­ways to Entre­pre­neur­ship Speaker Series last week.

The series is spon­sored by the Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engi­neering Entre­pre­neur­ship Edu­ca­tion, which is designed to arm engi­neering under­grad­u­ates with the appro­priate entre­pre­neurial skills to suc­cess­fully pitch and com­mer­cialize their innovations.

Inno­va­tion Hub” was launched in 2011 and airs on 89.7 WGBH. Miller, who is also the exec­u­tive pro­ducer, noted that the pro­gram fea­tures today’s most cre­ative thinkers—from authors to researchers to busi­ness leaders. For starters, she has inter­viewed Khan Edu­ca­tion founder Sal Khan, Yahoo! CEO and Pres­i­dent Marissa Mayer, and North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun.

Entre­pre­neur­ship is a major focus of Northeastern’s aca­d­emic mis­sion. The D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness offers a con­cen­tra­tion in entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion, while the Entre­pre­neurs Club helps stu­dents build real com­pa­nies and forge bonds with accom­plished entre­pre­neurs. IDEA, Northeastern’s student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator, helps stu­dents and alumni create, develop, and accel­erate new busi­nesses through coaching, men­toring, and gap funding.

Miller would fit in. In his opening remarks, chem­ical engi­neering asso­ciate pro­fessor Shashi Murthy char­ac­ter­ized the radio host as an entre­pre­neur for having devel­oped Inno­va­tion Hub while teaching Eng­lish at the Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts Dart­mouth, saying she is “well respected in Boston and beyond in the areas of inno­va­tion and the fron­tiers of technology.”

In her hour­long lec­ture, Miller described two of the biggest fac­tors dri­ving people to entre­pre­neur­ship. One, she said, is that more com­pa­nies are hiring fewer people, many of whom have been replaced by machines.

One of the things that has really astounded me when I have inter­viewed people is the degree to which machine learning is changing the job struc­ture,” Miller said. “It is taking over all sorts of jobs that used to be real human jobs.”

The other dri­ving force is the pop­u­larity of inno­va­tors such as Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, Apple founder Steve Jobs, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In Miller’s view, these high-​​tech entre­pre­neurs rep­re­sent the everyman—ordinary people who hatched ideas in their garages or dorm rooms and then turned them into a multi-​​billion dollar ventures.

Our media cul­ture has turned people like Mark Zucker­berg and Steve Jobs into celebri­ties,” Miller noted. “And they are every bit as famous as Tom Cruise.”

As the cul­ture of inno­va­tion con­tinues to evolve, Miller won­ders whether people will be able to pull them­selves away from high tech dis­trac­tions such as cell phones and the Internet in order to think big—really big.

There are thought leaders who are starting to think about carving out time for thinking about the big ideas,” she explained. “Having the time and the space to really think as an entre­pre­neur and inno­vator may seem like that is the least of your problems…but I think it’s actu­ally a really big challenge.”