Computer Science Programs in Massachusetts

The computer science industry in Massachusetts is growing quickly and encompasses careers across industries. A job search on the popular career networking site LinkedIn turns up more than 8,000 results for computer science jobs in the greater Boston area alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for computer programmers in Massachusetts is $95,500, significantly higher than the national average.

Now is a great time to earn an online computer science degree in Massachusetts and take advantage of the career’s high demand and earning potential. For students considering a computer science degree, Massachusetts offers many options. This guide will help you become familiar with the available educational paths and career options.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for computer programmers in Massachusetts is $95,500

Higher Education in Massachusetts

The public higher education system in Massachusetts comprises 29 campuses, including 5 universities, 9 state universities, and 15 community colleges. The private, technical, and for-profit schools under the state’s education system purview add to the diverse higher education offerings in Massachusetts. Many of the colleges and universities in the state offer both online and on-campus programs, allowing students to tailor their education their academic goals and individual lifestyle. The University of Massachusetts, for example, has four campuses across the state and offers a large number of online degrees, including several degrees in computer science and related fields.

Massachusetts also offers residents a program called Mass Transfer, or an “A2B degree,” which allows students to begin earning a degree at a community college and transfer into a state university to complete the program. This option is ideal for students in computer science programs in Massachusetts who want to begin working toward a bachelor’s degree while paying lower tuition at a community college.

Computer Science Careers in Massachusetts

The tech industry is growing and evolving, with national and international business launching constantly. As people become more attached to devices, demand for professionals who design, maintain, and repair technology increases. Studying computer science in Massachusetts prepares you for careers in different areas of the tech industry.

The BLS projects jobs in software development to grow 24% by 2026, and in Massachusetts, the annual mean salary for these professionals is more than $110,000. Built In Boston, a database for tech jobs and startups in the Boston area, currently lists more than 200 job openings in development and engineering.

Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Senior Software Engineer $104,507
Software Developer $65,692
Software Engineer $76,707

Master's Degree

Senior Software Engineer $116,179
Software Developer $79,893
Software Engineer $90,469

Computer Science Employers in Massachusetts

  • Avid Technology: With an office in Burlington, Massachusetts, this tech company focuses on the entertainment industry. Avid Technology helps clients in music, movies, and television tell their stories through editing, recording, and live broadcasts.
  • Bridgeline Digital: Headquartered in Massachusetts, Bridgeline optimizes digital customer relations for its clients by providing a platform to help them manage social media, web content, and software.
  • Datawatch: This organization designs products to help clients, particularly large companies, handle and manage data more efficiently. Such products allow clients to manage large amounts of data with simple drag-and-drop operations.

How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Massachusetts?

Professionals working in computer science and related fields have high earning potential, but the salary for each individual depends on factors such as experience, credentials, and geographic location. The table below shows the mean wages for computer scientists in Massachusetts and in the U.S.

Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Massachusetts 142,740 $46.57 $96,860
United States 4,165,140 $42.25 $87,880

Source: BLS

Computer Science Programs in Massachusetts

The best computer science schools in Massachusetts produce graduates who contribute to the state’s growing technology industry. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in Cambridge, is one of the most recognizable and respected schools in the country. Massachusetts is also home to 29 public higher education institutions and many private and vocational schools. Many schools offering on-campus computer science programs in Massachusetts boast historic campus buildings, and UMass Amherst is known for its award-winning on-campus dining. UMass Amherst offers bachelor’s and graduate degrees in computer science, and the College of Information and Computer Sciences has more than 1,000 computing systems.

Students interested in online computer science programs in Massachusetts have plenty of options. Online programs provide scheduling flexibility and allow students to earn their degree while working full time. The UMass system offers online degrees through UMassOnline, including 12 degrees and certificates in computer science. Distance learners at UMassOnline have access to services such as tech support, libraries, and academic advising.

Whether you pursue an on-campus or online computer science degree in Massachusetts, ensure the institution is accredited. Regional accreditation is the oldest and the most highly regarded and indicates the school has been evaluated by an external agency. Massachusetts institutions are regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Types of Computer Science Degrees


There are many types of degrees students can choose when pursuing education in computer science: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degree. In general, further formal education within a field results in a higher salary. In addition, some positions require a certain level of degree. For instance, many research positions or teaching positions at the university level require at least a master’s or doctorate degree. The table below features descriptions and basic data about each degree type.

Associate in Computer Science

 

An associate in computer science provides students with foundational knowledge in computer languages and programming. In addition to learning about computer systems, students will emerge with general education courses usually required by four year colleges. Graduates with an associate degree qualify for entry-level computer science positions in the job market.

Average Program Length – 2 Years
Median Salary – $32,897

Bachelor’s in Computer Science

 

A bachelor’s in computer science provides students with knowledge of operating systems, a variety of programming languages, database management, and computer systems and architecture. These programs typically require 120 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project. Many employers in the industry are increasingly hiring individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

Average Program Length – 4 Years
Median Salary – $60,835

Master’s in Computer Science

 

A master’s in computer science provides students with a deeper understanding of computer systems, design, and programming languages. Some master’s programs may provide specializations for those who wish to concentrate further in a specific area. Individuals with a master’s degree typically earn a higher salary upon graduation than those with a bachelor’s.

Average Program Length – 1-2 Years
Median Salary – $104,269

Computer Science Ph.D

 

A doctorate degree in computer science is designed for individuals who wish to pursue research in the field. These intensive programs often require students to narrow their field of study and design and carry out a specific research project that culminates in a dissertation. Graduates with a Ph.D in computer science often go into academia as computer science professors.

Average Program Length – 4+ Years
Median Salary – $126,744

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What Schools Offer a Computer Science Degree in Massachusetts?


Many of the schools and universities in Massachusetts offer computer science programs; students pursuing a computer science degree in Massachusetts should research prospective schools to determine the best fit for their academic and professional goals. The list below includes all accredited on-campus and online computer science programs in Massachusetts.

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Professional Computer Science Organizations in Massachusetts

Professional organizations provide support and professional development opportunities. These organizations offer job boards, conferences, networking opportunities, and publications for students attending computer science schools in Massachusetts. The organizations below are open to computer science students and professionals in the state.

  • MassCUE: This organization is for educators who use computers and technology in the classroom. Members support one another by contributing to the pool of knowledge regarding technology use in the classroom.
  • UMass Amherst Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter: This group engages students in technology through events such as tech talks, programming competitions, and networking nights. The group is a student chapter of the national Association for Computing Machinery.
  • CS Women UMass Amherst: This group emphasizes the representation and interests of women in computing at UMass Amherst. The nearly 25-year-old organization has both graduate and undergraduate branches.

Additional Computer Science Resources in Massachusetts

  • Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology: This organization advocates for and works to understand the needs of women in technology. Many computer science colleges in Massachusetts offer this organization as a student resource.
  • Massachusetts Technology Collaborative: This organization supports tech businesses in Massachusetts as they form and grow. MassTech helps companies form networking connections and manage investments. The organization maintains programs and initiatives and works across areas such as education and government.
  • Mass Technology Leadership Council: MassTLC is one of the largest technology associations in the region. The organization helps grow the state’s tech industry as a platform for companies and entrepreneurs to connect.
  • Built In Boston: This website is a hub for job postings and information about new tech startups in the greater Boston area. The website includes tech news, job boards, and information about local networking events.