Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

The Journal of Technology Studies








Throughout history the success of economies around the world has in large part been influenced by technological growth and innovations. Along with such growth and innovations came higher living standards and an improved quality of life for citizens residing and participating in those economies. However, not all countries were able to grow and develop at the same rate, resulting in considerable differences in economic welfare across populations. As nations around the world address the 21st century, economic growth and prosperity for some nations will depend upon how well their citizens are equipped and motivated to seek new technological discoveries and innovations or participate in the supply chain for the production of such new innovations. Such decision making by individuals will be influenced by both economic and political factors existing within each respective country. After providing a description of economic development, the researchers analyze the current economic conditions in several advanced and developing countries and regions around the world, identifying factors that impact the development in those areas. In the remainder of the article, the focus is placed on the skills needed for 21st century workers and the role technology and engineering education might play in eroding the gaps in skill sets required for developing a workforce, thus moving a country forward in development and affluence.


© 2012 The Authors.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (unless stated otherwise) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original Publication Citation

Ritz, J. M., & Bevins, P. S. (2012). Economics, innovations, technology, and engineering education: The connections. The Journal of Technology Studies, 38(2), 90-104.