A bachelor's degree isn't needed to get a good job in Massachusetts. Fast-growing positions in health care, advanced manufacturing and technology can be found by those with a postsecondary certificate, diploma or associate degree.
In fact, 46 percent of the commonwealth's jobs require middle skills -- that is, they require workers to have some training or education after high school but not a four-year degree. However, only 35 percent of workers are qualified to fill these jobs, according to the National Skills Coalition.
Available jobs vary by region though. In Boston, medical assistants, paralegals and web developers are among the high-growth occupations, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Head to the Cape and Islands, and you'll find veterinary technologists, nursing assistants and HVAC technicians have the hot jobs there.
Why is Massachusetts Good for Vocational Schools?
Being able to start a new job quickly is a key reason to consider trade schools in Massachusetts. You may be able to finish your education in anywhere from a few months to two years, depending on what you study. And less time in the classroom can mean lower tuition costs.
Vocational schools in Massachusetts also do a good job of ensuring their graduates are able to put their skills to work. U.S. Department of Education data notes 79 percent of postsecondary graduates from career technical programs are placed in careers or are pursuing additional education within six months of graduation. Overall, nearly 61,000 postsecondary students are enrolled in career technical education programs, and it could be the right choice for you too.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Massachusetts
Financial Aid for Vocational Students in Massachusetts
While tuition varies by institution, career schools in Massachusetts can be significantly cheaper than other colleges and universities. The average cost of tuition and mandatory fees at community colleges in fiscal year 2019 was $6,380, according to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. That compares to $10,608 for state universities and $15,151 at the University of Massachusetts.
Plus, financial aid is available to further reduce the cost of earning a degree or CTE certification. Massachusetts recently added $7 million in aid for community college students, in fact. That's the largest increase in its MASSGrant funding in more than 20 years.
However, to receive Massachusetts scholarships and grants, you'll need to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. You can learn more about the form and how to apply for financial aid in Massachusetts in our financial aid guide.
Here's a closer look at some programs offering financial aid in Massachusetts:
- MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus: These programs provide grants to students who have demonstrated financial need, and the amount of the award can vary. While students at all state-approved schools can receive a MASSGrant award. Know more about how to apply for a Cal Grant.
- Part-Time Grant Program: If you're enrolled in school for at least six credits but fewer than 12 credits, you could receive a Part-Time Grant. These awards have a minimum amount of $200 and can go up to as much as a student's demonstrated financial need.
- LEADA@Liberty Scholarship: Offered by Liberty Mutual Insurance, this scholarship is available to students who are African-American or of African descent and who are enrolled in a Massachusetts community college. The scholarship provides $2,500 per year and is intended for students who plan to transfer to a four-year school.
Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers in Massachusetts
Ready to learn more about vocational schools in Massachusetts and your career options? Here are a couple resources to get you started.
- Technical schools in Massachusetts, as well as other colleges and universities, are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. You can visit their site for more on the accreditation process and the standards used.
- The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education provides information on financial aid, education initiatives and credit transfers.
- If you're interested in exploring careers, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a page on their website dedicated to helping you find a job.