Massachusetts is home to two of the world’s top ranked business schools — MIT and Harvard — which are located in Cambridge, across the river from state capital Boston. The state is a true hub of graduate education, home to several other top schools that offer business masters programs that are internationally accredited and competitively ranked.
So why would a prospective business masters student study in Massachusetts? Well, the location offers a number of unique benefits. Massachusetts has ranked as the most prosperous state in the United States for nearly every year of the past decade, according to the Legatum Institute, a think tank.
Legatum evaluates states based on their performance on 11 pillars – safety and security, personal freedom, governance, social capital, business environment, infrastructure, economic quality, living conditions, health, education and natural environment.
Boston is one of the country’s intellectual, technological, and political centers. And with nearly 60 colleges and universities in the Boston area alone, creative, intellectual energy is a key part of the fabric of the city.
There are a total of 114 colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that are listed under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This includes many of the top business schools not just in the US but the world, such as MIT Sloan School of Management.
So the state provides an inspiring academic atmosphere. The Boston area alone is home to more than 250,000 students from around the world, adding to the city’s vibrant and multicultural atmosphere.
In fact, UMass Boston’s College of Management boasts the most diverse student body — measured by ethnicity, gender, age, sociocultural background, professional aspiration and disability — among local schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). UMass Boston offers a number of business masters programs in finance, business analytics, accounting and more.
Maura Herson, director of MIT Sloan’s Master of Science in Management Studies program, says there are a number of lifestyle perks that may be attractive to prospective students. “Boston is an international city and is home to a thriving restaurant, entertainment and cultural scene including the world-renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra,” she says.
“Each year in mid-April the Boston Marathon welcomes the world’s elite runners,” she adds. “Steeped in history, the Freedom Trail and historical buildings and monuments spotlight the city’s leading role in the American Revolution.”
In addition, Massachusetts has top-ranked sports teams including the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins hockey team, and the New England Patriots football team. Meanwhile, Cape Cod is home to Massachusetts’ famed beaches and seafood culinary delights. And the Berkshires, home to Tanglewood, arts and culture, and hiking, kayaking, and skiing is located in the western part of the state.
So there is a lot going on in terms of extra-curricular activities. Babson College, which puts on the Master of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership program, stresses the more than 100 student clubs and organizations at the business school in Boston along with special interest housing, vibrant student life and oversized pancakes.
Major cities such as Boston are cultural hotspots, great for students who want to immerse themselves in live music, theater, museums and much more. That’s in addition to the wide array of world-class restaurants, entertainment, sports and athletic events.
Massachusetts is also a great location for travel and exploration. Boston is one of America’s major travel hubs with frequent transatlantic flights and domestic trips to major US cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami.
When it comes to post-degree job prospects, the Massachusetts economy is one of the very strongest in the country, thanks largely to its ingenuity and high-tech jobs, and a strong showing in patent creations, venture capital and finance. According to a study by local economists in April 2021, the Massachusetts economy grew at a much faster pace than the national economy in the first quarter.
“Over the last ten years, major tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and LinkedIn have opened offices in Kendall Square to attract current and graduating students and have become part of the ecosystem of the neighborhood,” says Herson.
“Moderna and Pfizer, creators of the US Covid vaccines, are both located in Cambridge,” she says. “Job prospects in Massachusetts are among the highest in the country.” The Boston area is also the headquarters for other global companies such as Bain Capital, Converse, Boston Scientific, Fidelity Investments, and State Street.
Of course, there are some downsides to pursuing a business education in Massachusetts, and some challenges that students may face. According to World Population Review, Massachusetts is the sixth-most expensive state in the US, and Boston is one of the most expensive cities nationwide.
The state has an overall tight housing market. And, according to a new study from Texas A & M’s Transportation Institute in June 2021, Boston has the second worst traffic congestion in the country. But for many prospective students the upsides to studying business in Massachusetts will far outweigh these drawbacks.