This study examines the association between the two sets of variables namely, ‘Technological readiness’ and ‘Higher education and training’ through twelve countries in the Middle East using the findings of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2012-2018. We employed Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) which is based on the data published by the World Economic Forum Reports (WEFs) in the period from 2012 to 2018. It analyses the relationship between the two sets of variables and maximizes the correlation between linear composites of the two sets of these variables. Moreover, CCA identifies the preference variable in each set of variables. The main findings of the study revealed that the two sets of pillars, ‘Technological readiness’ with six variables and ‘Higher education and training’ with eight variables, are highly positive correlated. The most influential variable in the first set ‘Technological readiness’ is ‘Availability of latest technologies’ followed by ‘Firm-level technology absorption’, ‘Foreign direct investment and technology transfer’, ‘Internet users’, ‘Mobile-broadband subscriptions’ and finally ‘Internet bandwidth’. While, the most influential variable in the second set ‘Higher education and training’ is ‘Internet access in schools’ followed by ‘Extent of staff training’, ‘Local availability of specialized training services’, ‘Secondary education enrolment rate’, ‘Quality of management schools’, ‘Quality of math and science education’, ‘Tertiary education enrolment rate’ and ‘Quality of the education system’. The outcomes of the study can benefit decision-makers in the Middle East countries by focusing on the most influential factors in each set to stimulate and boost economic growth. © 2019 IEEE.