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Massachusetts Computer Training Schools

Massachusetts is home to a diverse technology ecosystem and is one of the country's leaders in the information economy. In an effort to expand the state's technology footprint, the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) developed a collaborative plan to create 100,000 new technology jobs by 2020. Supported by government, academic and business leaders, the plan focused on investment, infrastructure, innovation and talent.

The latest report shows Massachusetts has generated approximately 17,650 new jobs between 2010 and 2013 (the latest figures available) and by the end of 2013, the state had more than 214,000 technology jobs and 8.63 percent increase since the project started in 2010. According to MassTLC's latest report in 2015, tech is the state's largest industry, employing 19.2 percent of the workforce and producing $160 billion in economic output.

Computer science education in Massachusetts

One of the biggest factors in advancing the knowledge-based economy is building job-ready talent at all levels. Academia, public and private interests are collaborating to improve access to training programs at the postsecondary level, particularly for underrepresented groups such as women and minorities. Research from the Donohue Institute at the University of Massachusetts found that IT professionals are more likely to have bachelor's and master's degrees than those working in other industries. Yet, there exists broad opportunity for workers with varying levels of educational attainment in the IT industry in Massachusetts. In 2009 the Donohue Institute estimated there were approximately 60,000 individuals in the IT industry in the state that have an associate degree or less.

Prospective students can select from 67 different colleges and universities in the state (public, private, and for-profit) that offer computer science-related degree programs. There are 27 two- and four-year public programs, 36 private two- and four-year programs, and four for-profit two- and four-year programs. In 2013, these universities awarded more than 11,500 degrees and certificates to students in 32 different fields of study in the computer and information sciences. Below is a list of the most popular degree levels in computer science-related fields in Massachusetts:

  • Bachelor's degree: 4,608
  • Master's degree: 3,033
  • Associate degree: 1,833
  • Doctoral degree: 303

The most common areas of interest included computer and information sciences, computer science, computer systems networking and telecommunications, computer information technology management, information technology and computer software and media applications.

As noted above, there are employment opportunities for students with less than a bachelor's degree in the state. There are 20 two-year colleges that offer degree programs in computer science areas of study. Examples include Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable), Holyoke Community College (Holyoke), Bunker Hill Community College (Boston), Berkshire Community College (Pittsfield) and Massasoit Community College (Brockton). According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the most popular fields of study at the associate level include computer and information sciences, computer systems networking and telecommunications, computer science, computer programming and computer software and media applications.

Top degree granting community colleges in computer science fields in 2013 included the following:

  • Bunker Hill Community College (210 degrees)
  • Bristol Community College (132 degrees)
  • Quinsigamond Community College (126 degrees)

At the bachelor's and graduate degree levels, Massachusetts is home to 50 universities that offer degree programs. Institutions range from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Boston University and Brandeis University. For prospective students, Massachusetts has eight universities ranked in the top 100 of US News & World Report's best graduate programs in computer science:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - #1
  • Harvard University - #18
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst - #25
  • Boston University - #48
  • Northeastern University - #60
  • Tufts University - #70
  • Brandeis University - #82
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute - #90

The most commonly pursued majors at the bachelor's and graduate level included the following:

Area of Study

Bachelor's degree

Master's degree

Doctoral Degree

Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

1,536

1,011

101

Computer Science

1,538

724

162

Computer and Information Sciences, General

647

418

38

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2013

However, students may want to look beyond computer science when they are considering an educational path and career path. MassTLC notes the state is actively courting investments and industry growth in the following information industries:

Big Data

Advanced Manufacturing and Design

Education Technology

Mobile Infrastructure

Healthcare

Robotics

Life Science IT

Security

Cloud Computing

Internet of Things

Computer science school spotlight: Boston University

Boston University is a major university with more than 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students spread across a 135 acre campus. The university employs approximately 10,000 faculty and staff members, offers 250 fields of study through 17 different schools and colleges. Ranked as the 42nd best national university by US News & World Report, Boston University has award winning, nationally recognized programs in computer science, information technology and computer engineering.

A core focus of each program is research. For example, the Computer Science Department has seven research groups clustered in areas including Internet Programming, Databases and Data Mining, Security, Operation Systems and Services, Networks, and Image and Video Computing. Students in computer engineering can pursue studies across a spectrum of topics, such as bio-design automation, computer architecture and design, synthetic biology, cybersecurity, mobile computing, embedded computing and more. Degree tracks are available at bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.

Program recognition

  • US News & World Report, Best graduate program in computer science - #48
  • US News & World Report, Best online graduate program in information technology - #3

Tech industry and career outlook in Massachusetts

As a growing tech hub, Massachusetts has launched a number of efforts to develop homegrown talent, attractive new investments, and foster a business friendly environment for technology companies. MassChallenge (the largest start-up accelerator program in the country), Greentown Labs and Venture Development Center are just three of the groups investing in and supporting technology start-up companies.

In addition, there are a number of innovation districts that promote technological investment and research, including the Cambridge Kendall Square district, the N2 Corridor, the Holyoke Innovation District and more. Major companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Paypal all have research centers in the state. Indeed, Massachusetts should be an attractive location for prospective students to consider attending school. With a rich and vibrant tech sector receiving approximately $4.6 billion in investment between 2011 and 2014 according to PriceWaterhouseCooper, employment opportunities should be plentiful.

Evidence of the state's commitment to the tech sector can be found on Deloitte's 2014 Technology Fast 500 Ranking, a list of the country's fastest growing technology companies, and Inc.'s 5,000, a list of the country's fastest growing private companies. Massachusetts placed 28 companies on the list across five business areas on Deloitte: Biotech/Pharma (6 companies), Internet (2), Medical Devices (4), Semiconductor (3), and Software (13). The top-ranked Massachusetts companies included:

Rank

Company

Location

Primary Industry

10

C-4 Analytics

Saugus

Internet

23

Boston Heart Diagnostics

Framingham

Biotech/Pharma

35

Acquia

Burlington

Software

60

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Cambridge

Biotech/Pharma

109

Vertez Pharmaceuticals

Boston

Biotech/Pharma

In 2014, 174 companies were placed on the Inc. 5,000 in areas ranging from software to IT services, including Acacia Communications (#5), Affectiva (#69), Cogito (#268), Cumulus Global (#349), and Kanda Software (#459).

In February 2015, CompTIA released a report that examined state-level technology industries. According to the report, Massachusetts ranked #5 for tech employment and #2 for tech job wages. With nearly 300,000 individuals employed in technology-related jobs in the state, payroll reached $36.4 billion in 2014 with an average wage of more than $120,000 per year. Those wages are 94 percent higherthan the average wage of all other workers employed in the private sector.

Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows computer and information systems managers were the highest paid technology professionals in the state in 2014, earning a median annual wage of $133,510. The table below includes average salary information for computer science-related occupations in Massachusetts.

Occupation

2014 Median Annual Salary

Computer and Information Systems Managers

$133,510

Computer Network Architects

$133,970

Computer Hardware Engineers

$114,070

Computer and Information Research Scientists

$100,020

Computer Systems Analysts

$85,180

Computer Programmers

$85,870

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

$81,390

Computer Network Support Specialists

$76,700

Computer User Support Specialists

$58,430

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, Minnesota Occupational and Wage Estimates

Some of the careers expected to experience the biggest job gains include computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists, computer and information systems managers, network and computer systems administrators and computer network architects, according to data from Projections Central.

Occupation

Number of Openings

Employment Growth (2012 - 2022)

Computer Systems Analysts

4,020

23.9%

Computer User Support Specialists

3,430

19.4%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

2,540

15.4%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

1,260

12.6%

Computer Network Architects

880

18.0%

Source: Projections Central, 2015

Top metro employment centers for computer programmers in Minnesota

Metropolitan Area

Total Employed

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy

5,830

Framingham

1,240

Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford

410

Springfield

340

Worcester

290

Lawrence-Methuen-Salem

160

Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury

120

Taunton-Norton-Raynham

70

Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton

40

Peabody

40

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014, Massachusetts

Sources

Deloitte, Deloitte Fast 500, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/us-tmt-fast500-2014-ranking-list.pdf
CompTIA, 2015 Cyberstates, https://www.comptia.org/resources/2015-cyberstates
Projections Central, Massachusetts, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
Inc., 2014 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2014/state/mn/
Inc., Inc. 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/2014/facts-and-figures.html
Mass.gov, Information Technology, http://www.mass.gov/hed/economic/industries/information-technology.html
MassTLC, Growing 100K Tech Jobs, http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/masstlc.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/Research/MTLC_State_of_Tech_changes.pdf
National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter
National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
US News and World Review, Best Computer Science Graduate Programs, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings
Boston Globe, Massachusetts Leads the Nation's Technology Workforce, http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/02/10/massachusetts-leads-nation-technology-workforce/AJF4Xi9nOOZyvpA4BHRJlN/story.html
Donohue Institute, The IT Industry: Hub of Massachusetts Technology Economy, November 2009, http://www.donahue.umassp.edu/docs/IT_Study

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