Massachusetts ranks high in almost all quality-of-life areas--a strong tradition of education, great health care systems, high wages and a robust economy. According to an analysis by Money-Rates.com, Massachusetts' wages (highest of any state in the country) more than offset its high cost of living, putting it in sixth place in its ranking of 10 Best States for Making a Living. In addition, CNBC ranks Massachusetts first in education, second in access to capital--good for entrepreneurs--third in innovation and technology, and sixth in quality of life. In short, Massachusetts is brimming with diverse educational and economic opportunities for smart and motivated people.
Massachusetts Higher Ed for the Other 83 percent
Yes, Massachusetts is famous for education because Harvard and MIT are there. But only 7 percent of those who apply to Harvard get in, and only one in 10 applicants is accepted at MIT. And every one of those applicants was probably the smartest graduate in their respective high schools. How about the public schools? They're good, but Massachusetts' vaunted public higher education system is under pressure, and students are being asked to shoulder much of the cost. State taxpayers currently subsidize only about one-fifth of the UMass Dartmouth operating budget, and per-student spending in public higher education has plummeted faster in Massachusetts than in any other state, Jean F. MacCormack, chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, wrote in the South Coast Today newspaper.
So if you aren't Einstein and you don't have a trust fund, where do you go? In Massachusetts, online schools provide access to higher education for those who prefer a flexible approach and the ability to learn at their own pace. Massachusetts online degree programs cover the same subjects you'd get at a brick and mortar institution--the difference is in the delivery, which allows you to work your school around your life instead of upending your life to accommodate your school. Furthermore, studies have shown that for-profit online schools are more efficient with their resources and money than public schools--a consideration when every dime counts. Massachusetts online schools and degree programs can be an efficient and workable way to complete your education and start your career.
Top Jobs in Growth Industries
Massachusetts' top employers are heavyweights in medicine, technology, finance, and education, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Fidelity Investments, and John Hancock Life Insurance.
Many careers in health, education, information technology and science are experiencing high rates of growth in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Labor compiled a list of 53 high-demand/high-wage/high-skilled occupations in the state. Here are just three of those careers:
- Network systems and data communications analysts design, analyze, test, and evaluate network systems. These include local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and others. Most (56.1 percent) of people holding these positions possess a bachelor's degree or higher in computer systems analysis or a related field; 13.5 percent get in the door with an associate degree. Network systems and data communications analysts in Massachusetts earned a median income of $80,200 in 2009 and should see 43 percent job growth from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning patients' teeth and helping educate them about oral hygiene. Over 50 percent of dental hygienists hold an associate degree and 30 percent hold a bachelor's degree. In Massachusetts, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $79,800 in 2009 and are expected to see 24 percent growth from 2008 to 2018, the BLS reports.
- Financial analysts help individuals and institutions make investment decisions based on research and analysis of market information. Over 75 percent of financial examiners have earned a bachelor's degree or higher in finance, accounting, or taxation, and nearly 40 percent have earned a master's or doctorate degree. Financial examiners in Massachusetts earned a median income of $80,100 in 2009 according to the BLS and should see job growth of 7 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Massachusetts online schools offer training programs in these areas and more that can prepare you for life and work in this state with a strong economic outlook and high quality of life.