Dr Lena Wilson, the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, told the
to increase sustainable economic growth in Scotland it was vital to prioritise all public sector investment using a "robust evidence base", on 9 May 2012.
Dr Wilson said the focus should be on growth, stimulating demand and achieving greater alignment across Scotland.
She said "We have to do as much as we can, as early as we can, at school and university at the moment, to educate parents first of all and then children and teachers into what is actually happening in the economy and where the opportunities actually are."
Dr Wilson added there were "lots and lots of jobs available" in engineering and IT at the moment.
The chief executive of Scottish Enterprise also said in Scotland the focus is often on the bad stories and not enough of the good stories were told and she was "absolutely on a mission to bust those myths".
The UK economy has returned to recession, after shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012.
Figures for the Scottish economy for the first three months of 2012 will be published later this year.
Philip Grant from Lloyds Banking Group said the independence debate was helping promote Scotland internationally.
He told MSPs there was some advantage because parts of the world were getting interested in Scotland again.
Professor Jim McDonald from Strathclyde University told the MSPs there was a need for a more coherent partnership approach between the academic, public and private sectors.