Massachusetts Colleges & Universities

Perhaps you're already aware of the reputation of colleges in Massachusetts: established and renowned programs rich in student diversity and academic opportunity. But what you might not realize is that Massachusetts schools are also wholly accessible. With a unique fusion of practical lessons and industry-driven technology, you'll make the transition from classroom to career with more confidence than ever.

Massachusetts Colleges: On-point Preparation for Dynamic Career Growth: When you think of schools in Massachusetts, some pretty big names come to mind. The state boasts such storied institutions as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston University. There's also a collection of accredited community colleges and online schools that are just as effective in giving you valuable career skills. Massachusetts schools pride themselves on preparing you to make an immediate impact in the state's burgeoning economy.

Massachusetts Colleges: Renowned Names in Higher Ed: Massachusetts is home to 121 institutions of higher education. More than 40 colleges are located in the greater Boston area alone and ten are situated in the greater Worcester area. These include doctoral and research universities, baccalaureate colleges, associate's colleges, master's degree-granting institutions, and special-focus institutions. Some colleges in Massachusetts are administered by the University of Massachusetts system, the largest provider of postsecondary education in the state. Others are part of a network of 15 public community colleges.

With respect to student population, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) reveals that the higher education system of Massachusetts served 263,836 students in 2006, the last time the numbers were officially reported. In fact, 3% of the nation's college students attend school in Massachusetts.

Tuition fees are always a hot button issue with high school grads and those looking to return to school for career advancement. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) reports the following undergraduate resident and non-resident cost ranges for fiscal year 2010:

  • • Community Colleges - $720-$780/$6,900-$8,430
  • • State Colleges - $910-$1,030/$7,050-$9,975
  • • University of Massachusetts - $1,417-$1,714/$8,099-$9,937

The MDHE also lists the following graduate resident and non-resident cost ranges for fiscal year 2010:

  • • State Colleges - $1,675/$7,050-$9,975
  • • University of Massachusetts - $2,071-$2,640/$8,099-$9,937

Massachusetts Economy: Growth and Stability: Graduates of schools in Massachusetts will fare better with respect to employment and median annual salary than the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state will enjoy a mean annual wage of $52,710; that's almost $10,000 more than the national average of $43,460. The mean hourly wage of Massachusetts professionals clocks in at $25.34 as compared to the national mean hourly wage of $20.90.

With an emphasis on trade, technology and service, the Massachusetts economy is uniquely qualified to lead the nation in several meaningful benchmarks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the top industries in Massachusetts include education and health services (666,300 employees); trade transportation and utilities (539,000 employees); professional and business services (433,900 employees); and, government (438,700 employees).

Massachusetts is home to thriving businesses that span the spectrum of industry and service. According to the Official Website of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the following companies lead Massachusetts in terms of total number of employees:

  • • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (Springfield) - 27,000
  • • Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. (Springfield) - 25,200
  • • Stop & Shop Cos. Inc. (Quincy) - 21,668
  • • Kanzaki Specialty Papers, Inc. (Springfield) - 19,400
  • • KB Holdings, Inc. (Pittsfield) - 18,000
  • • Verizon Communications (Boston) - 14,000

The combination of robust collegiate programs, better-than-average economy, and promising employment outlook should place Massachusetts colleges high on your list of potential post-secondary education options.

The writer Kelly C. Richardson, EdS is a freelance writer, career adviser and educational consultant. He's written content for McGraw-Hill, Follett Educational Services and Pearson Higher Education.

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