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In 1928, Massachusetts saw the creation of the first computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Since then, the commonwealth has maintained a reputation for technological innovation.
MIT or Harvard may come to mind first when considering postsecondary education in Massachusetts. However, the state boasts more than 100 institutions of higher learning, many offering computer science degrees. With 38,300 emerging tech job postings in 2020, Massachusetts is a growing computer industry hub.
Tech-minded individuals can take advantage of online computer science degrees in Massachusetts to study innovative technology and pursue high-paying careers. Read on to learn more about computer science education in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts at a Glance
- Population: 6,912,240
- Per Capita Income: $46,241
- Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 107
- % of Workforce in Tech: 12.1%
- Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $97 Billion
- Climate: Average Annual Temperature: 47.9 ℉
Annual Precipitation: 47.7 inches
- Major Sports Teams: New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins
Top Massachusetts Schools for Computer Science
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Williams College
- Amherst College
- Tufts University
- Boston University
- Boston College
- Assumption College
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Smith College
Considerations for a Computer Science Degree in Massachusetts
Selecting a state for postsecondary studies can pose a difficult challenge, so prospective students should consider factors like degree goals and preferred instructional format. Follow the links below to learn more about computer science degree levels.
Associate Degree in Computer Science
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
Master's Degree in Computer Science
Ph.D in Computer Science
With a plethora of college campuses operating in a relatively small state, fewer Massachusetts students maintain online enrollment than the national average. However, the percentage of students enrolled in distance education courses in Massachusetts has increased steadily since 2012, suggesting growth in postsecondary online program availability.
Computer Science Concentration Options
As the computer science field continues to adapt and grow, universities offer an increasing array of specialized study options. Learners seeking computer science careers in Massachusetts may wish to consider the following desirable concentrations.
Concentrated studies in software engineering focus on high-performance programming, advanced data structures, and systems design. Many Massachusetts tech companies depend on software developers.
Computer hardware engineers design and create physical computer equipment. Specialized courses in this concentration may include modern active circuit design and parallel computer architecture. Computer hardware engineers enjoy especially high salaries in Massachusetts.
Information security courses teach enrollees to analyze and manage security in software applications, networks, storage hardware, and devices. Massachusetts employs thousands of tech professionals in these roles.
Why Go to College for Computer Science in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts prioritizes accessible and affordable postsecondary education. Degree-seekers in Massachusetts can lower their educational costs by following a MassTransfer A2B Map. This program allows students to begin their education at an affordable community college before automatically transferring to a local four-year university.
Commonwealth students also benefit from flexible schooling options. Thanks to remote and hybrid instructional formats, learners can pursue an online computer science degree in Massachusetts with little or no on-campus presence. Attending an online program allows students to save time and money.
With 147,710 residents employed in computer and mathematical occupations, Massachusetts offers substantial career opportunities for techies. Tech professionals in the state earned an average annual salary of $105,400 as of 2020. Attending school in Massachusetts helps graduates network with alumni associations and find work in this lucrative field.
Education Statistics for Massachusetts
Higher education plays a significant role in Massachusetts' culture and workforce. In fact, 43.7% of people in Massachusetts hold a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to the national average of 32.1%. The commonwealth's education focus makes it an ideal place to pursue a postsecondary degree.
To learn more about education in Massachusetts, take a look at the table below.
Higher Education in Massachusetts
|Massachusetts Data||National Data|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||88||2,679|
|Number of Two-Year Colleges||19||1,303|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||21.2%||36.6%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student, 2019||$7,859||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education, 2017||3.4%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree, 2019||7.6%||8.5%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree, 2019||24.1%||19.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher, 2019||19.6%||12.4%|
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census Bureau - American Community Survey
Accreditation for Massachusetts Schools
Postsecondary accreditation is the most significant academic quality indicator. Accredited schools ensure that their enrollees graduate with a degree that holds weight in the job market and supports them in pursuing computer science careers in Massachusetts. Higher education institutions in the United States can earn either regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation traditionally considered more rigorous and desirable.
Regional accrediting agencies regulate specific geographical areas. For example, Massachusetts schools should hold accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. This organization acts as a reliable authority on New England educational institutions' academic standards.
University programs can also receive field-specific accreditation. Across the country, computer science programs earn accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, an agency that regulates programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.
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Paying for Your Computer Science Degree
Accredited Massachusetts schools typically provide financing options to help students fund costly degrees. Applicants can take advantage of financial aid opportunities such as scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans. Additionally, Massachusetts offers the MASSGrant to eligible students. Follow the link below to learn more about financial aid.
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
While Massachusetts tuition rates often exceed national averages, the state's variety of schools allows students to shop around for their best fit.
New England learners can take advantage of reciprocity tuition rates at participating public schools through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE). NEBHE's Tuition Break program permits Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island residents to enroll in computer science programs in Massachusetts at a more affordable rate.
Massachusetts's Cost of Living
Along with tuition rates and school-related fees, other financial factors like cost of living play a significant role in a student's overall educational investment. Degree-seekers should carefully consider whether their budgets can accommodate both education and living expenses such as housing, groceries, and healthcare.
Massachusetts's cost of living index for 2021 stands at 131.6, compared to the national average of 100. Since both tuition rates and cost of living in the state tend to stay high, online computer science degrees in Massachusetts may help students save money by learning remotely.
Selecting Your Computer Science Program
In addition to tuition rates and cost of living, computer science candidates should also consider institutional factors like school size, reputation and prestige, location, program availability, and concentration or specialization options. Our rankings of the best computer science programs can help learners start their university research.
Explore Our Rankings for the Best Computer Science Programs
Careers for Computer Science Graduates in Massachusetts
Massachusetts boasts a strong economy. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic's onset, the commonwealth maintains its position in the nation's top five economies. Furthermore, Massachusetts ranks first in business environment and third in employment, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Computer science graduates may benefit from matriculating in Massachusetts since tech professionals in the commonwealth enjoy robust employment rates and high wages. With 450,548 residents employed in tech, Massachusetts ranks sixth in the nation for net tech employment. Additionally, Massachusetts tech personnel earn a median annual salary that is 72% higher than the national median.
The leading technology and computer science occupations in Massachusetts include software development, computer programming, web development, and quality assurance. Keep reading to learn more about computer science careers and employers in Massachusetts.
Select Computer Science Careers in Massachusetts
Software developers design and build computer programs, applications, and operating systems. These developers research user needs, create solutions, assess software, and streamline development. Software developers can work in manufacturing, finance, and software publishing.
Salary for software developers in MA: $119,790
Job Outlook in MA (2018-28): +23.4%
Computer programmers write code for software and computer programs.They also analyze existing program coding and resolve faulty lines. Computer programmers can work in information technology, government service, academia, and medical support.
Salary for computer programmers in MA: $102,170
Job Outlook in MA (2018-28): -10.5%
Computer Science Employers in Massachusetts
Based in Somerville, Formlabs develops 3D printing technology. The company specializes in printing precise parts for complex projects. Founded by three MIT students in September 2011, Formlabs employs computer science professionals specializing in software development, computer hardware engineering, and technical support.
Based in Boston and founded in 2012, Toast provides restaurant point of sale software and management systems. This cloud-based software helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales, and better serve guests. Toast employs over 2000 workers. The company seeks tech professionals with software engineering, cloud security, and IT systems backgrounds.
Headquartered in Boston, DraftKings provides a virtual platform for daily fantasy sports contests and betting operations. This company leverages technological innovation, teamwork, and sports passion to change how fans participate in fantasy sports. DraftKings employs software engineers, network operators, and data engineers.
Massachusetts Employment Trends
|2028 Projected Employment||2,390||232,300|
|Projected Job Growth, 2018-28||-10.5%||-7.2%|
Computer and Information Systems Managers
|2028 Projected Employment||23,200||461,100|
|Projected Job Growth, 2018-28||+9.4%||+11.3%|
|2028 Projected Employment||3,940||181,400|
|Projected Job Growth, 2018-28||+11.6%||+13%|
Source: Projections Central
Network & Computer Systems Administrators
Computer Systems Analysts
Information Security Analysts
Computer Hardware Engineers
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Source: BLS OEWS
Computer science professionals in Massachusetts earn above the national average in nearly every major career path. Computer and information systems managers' high salaries may especially appeal to ambitious techies.
Massachusetts does not generally offer higher growth rates than the national tech industry average. However, students who attend Massachusetts schools can participate in local internships and networking opportunities, helping them gain a competitive job market advantage after graduation.
Thanks to the growth in virtual options, nonresidents can take advantage of Massachusetts's education and job opportunities while studying from home. Remote learners may also avoid some of the commonwealth's increased living expenses.
Curious About Other Computer Science Jobs? Explore More Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is computer science a good major in Massachusetts?
Yes, computer science careers in Massachusetts often pay higher than the national average. Massachusetts also houses several major tech companies' headquarters.
What is the best field in computer science in Massachusetts?
While Massachusetts offers many high paying computer science careers, computer and information systems managers earn an especially high salary of $165,710.
What computer science jobs are there in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts employs professionals across the tech industry in roles such as software development, web design, and computer hardware engineering.
Does Massachusetts have online computer science programs?
Many schools offer online computer science degrees in Massachusetts. Often, enrollees can choose to study fully online or in a hybrid format.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Massachusetts
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