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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.
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Top Massachusetts Schools for Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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.
Massachusetts prioritizes accessible and affordable postsecondary education.
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
Number of Four-Year Colleges
Number of Two-Year Colleges
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student, 2019
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education, 2017
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree, 2019
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree, 2019
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher, 2019
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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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.
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.
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.
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%
Web developers design websites, produce content, and write code that enables proper website functionality. Web developers work in nearly every field including government, education, medical services, and finance.
Salary for web developers in MA:$91,480 Job Outlook in MA (2018-28):+11.6%
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.
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.
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
This organization provides support, professional development, networking, and resources to digital educators in Massachusetts. MassCUE leverages the interconnected relationship between education and technology to improve overall learning.
UMass Association for Computing Machinery
This special interest group connects UMass students with professional organizations for networking and building industry experience. As one of the state's largest student-run tech groups, ACM provides substantial support and resources to computer science students.
UMass Computer Science Women's Groups
UMass's CS Women's Group and Women in Informatics and Computer Science organization support female-identified students in their technology career goals. These groups promote representation in computer science and provide scholarly support, community-building activities, and online resources.
Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network
This organization improves computer science education and prepares young people for technology careers. MassCAN works with the Education Development Center, tech industry leaders, educators, and policymakers to improve tech opportunities and prospects for Massachusetts students.
Bachelor's programs in computer science (CS) cover the theoretical and mathematical underpinnings of computing. Schools offer various degree titles, including bachelor of arts in computer science, bachelor of applied science...