CLEVELAND, OHIO – Advances in education technology can help our systems refresh outdated infrastructures with new functionality. However, experts say our education technologies need to be more systemic.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) Chairman and CEO Samuel Palmisano called for a realistic assessment of the skills available to employers in the United States, tying the prospect for economic growth to the nation’s education levels in math, science and engineering.

As part of a recent panel discussion that included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other business leaders, Palmisano said job creation can only occur with business growth, and that most of the potential growth for U.S. companies exists with the 95 percent of the world that lives in other countries.

“You have to participate in their economies,” Palmisano commented. “You have to engage. And as you engage, you have to innovate. There’s no reason we should not be competitive with any other country in the world.”

Palmisano compared current science and math skill levels in the U.S. with those in other countries and noted no structural disadvantage to the United States. He also said kids who have a basic high school education, know algebra, can read and write, have the ability to write code for computer programming and other areas.

The panel was convened by the Fed chairman and sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

In addition to the IBM chairman, other business leaders included Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and Curtis Moody, president and CEO of Moody Nolan, an architecture and engineering firm in Columbus, Ohio.

Along with calling for increased skills development to participate in an innovation economy and for regulatory clarity, Palmisano also cited the importance of public/private partnerships as a strategic priority for the U.S. to forge a brighter economic future.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow LTW at Twitter.