According to CompTIA, in 2018 more than 4,000 new technology jobs were added to South Carolina's workforce. The Palmetto State now has over 128,000 workers in the tech sector.
Governor Henry McMaster explained that in order for the state to reach its full potential, it must remain committed to training and educating a workforce that can support the ever-evolving technology industry. This is all great news for adults who are interested in pursuing IT degree programs in South Carolina. Upon graduation, they'll likely land positions in their fields of study.
South Carolina's Technology Initiatives
The state has implemented a number of initiatives to support and grow the technology industry as well as opportunities for students of IT schools in South Carolina. Let's take a close look at several of the most noteworthy ones.
- Promoting entrepreneurship in technology: Designed to support technology startups and education, the South Carolina Innovation Hub has created 24 entrepreneurship programs and educated more than 6,000 South Carolinians in technology curriculum.
- Supporting teachers with STEM education: STEM and Steam, a program created by the South Carolina Department of Education, supports teachers with the resources they need to incorporate STEM in their classrooms so that their students can become well-equipped to solve complex problems.
- Advancing STEM awareness: The Lowcountry STEM Collaborative aims to educate the state on the importance of STEM through the Charleston STEM Festival Community Event, the Regional STEM Symposium, Science Cafes, and the STEM Educator of the Month program.
- Motivating women to pursue STEM careers: South Carolina, in 2018, hosted the second annual Million Women Mentors symposium to encourage and support women to pursue IT degree programs in South Carolina. National companies such as FedEx and PepsiCo were there to provide mentorship to women interested in STEM careers.
- Improving the state's technology infrastructure: The goals of the 2018-2020 South Carolina Statewide Strategic Information Technology Plan are to advance information security and accessibility, improve state IT systems' reliability, and lead in technology innovation.
Best Colleges for Computer Science and IT in South Carolina
Opportunities for studying computer science or information technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels can be found at both public and private colleges and universities in South Carolina, including faith-based schools. Some institutions may offer fully online computer science degree programs, while other schools may allow students to complete some of their coursework online.
|Ranking||School Name||In-State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate||Number of Tech-Related Programs|
|1||College of Charleston||$70||79%||78%||2|
|2||Citadel Military College of South Carolina||$75||88%||85%||1|
|4||Trident Technical College||$4,714||91%||61%||3|
|5||University of South Carolina-Columbia||$11,462||91%||88%||3|
|8||Technical College of the Lowcountry||$4,824||87%||46%||1|
|10||Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College||$5,064||100%||58%||3|
Spotlight on Computer Science Schools in South Carolina
There are a variety of computer science programs in South Carolina. Some of the most unique ones include:
- Limestone College: Limestone offers a program that culminates in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a programming concentration. This program is designed to help students think out-of-the-box and design unique solutions to various programming problems. It includes courses such as visual programming, internet programming, and object-oriented programming.
- Clemson University: The computer science department at Clemson offers both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in programming and a minor in digital production arts for animation and game design. Students also have 24-hour access to multiple computer labs and computing facilities.
- Charleston Southern University: At CSU, students may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This program may be ideal for those who wish to work in network security or information analysis, as it combines courses in computer science, network security, mathematics, and criminal justice.
- College of Charleston: While this public institution dates back to 1770, its program options keep up with current demands. Its master's program in data science and analytics focuses on artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and of course, analytics.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in South Carolina
The demand for IT professionals such as software developers, web developers, and information technology managers continues to grow in South Carolina. There are several large employers in the state who are likely to be interested in hiring skilled graduates of computer science schools in South Carolina, such as Cryovac, a provider of food and product packaging; Blackbaud, a software developer for nonprofit organizations, Boeing, a massively large aerospace company; General Electric, a global digital industrial organization, and InterTech, a diversified chemical manufacturer.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage||Statewide Projected Job Growth Rate|
|Computer Network Architects||$85,450||13%|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$54,530||12.8%|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$80,200||13.6%|
|Information Security Analysts||$75,770||22.3%|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$75,630||11.2%|
|Software Developers, Applications||$90,830||33.7%|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||$80,250||15.4%|
Computer Science Scholarships for South Carolina Students
Program-specific and general scholarships may be available to students who want to enroll in one of the campus-based or online IT programs in South Carolina. In addition to searching the scholarship database on our partner site, Schools.com, for general state-related scholarships, here are a few that are specific to the computer science field in South Carolina.
- Julian E. Carnes Scholarship is an annual scholarship available to juniors and seniors at Clemson University who are studying computer science with a goal of becoming a patent agent.
- The University of South Carolina offers more than a dozen scholarships to eligible students who are specifically pursuing computing or information technology programs.
South Carolina Professional Organizations and Resources
There are a number of organizations that may be useful for aspiring technology professionals as well as students enrolled in IT programs in South Carolina. Here's a look at several of them:
- South Carolina Technology Alliance: The SCTA strives to help South Carolina become a recognized leader in attracting, creating, growing and retaining world-class technology intensive companies.
- South Carolina Association for Educational Technology: SCAET's goal is to promote the use of technology in education in an innovative, intelligent and responsible way.
- Computer Science Teachers Association: The South Carolina chapter of the CSTA works to advocate and assist computer science teachers. It can be an ideal organization for computer science students who hope to teach.
- Association for Computing Machinery: Led by students, this chapter of ACM at University of South Carolina focuses on advancing the field of computer science and helping students to prepare for their career.
To be included in the rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria:
- Be an accredited U.S. institution
- Offer either 2 or 4-year degree programs
- Be active in the 2016-17 school year
- Offer a degree in a technology-related subject
- Have awarded at least one degree in that subject in 2015-16
- Have reported data for all ranking variables listed below
- Related subjects, based on the number of relevant programs that are offered at any level
- Flexibility, based on number of relevant programs that are offered at any level via distance education
- Average in-state undergraduate tuition
- Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
- Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
- Graduation rate
- Retention rate
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Association for Computing Machinery, University of South Carolina, Accessed July 2019, https://cse.sc.edu/acm
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Programming, Limestone College, Accessed December 2018, https://www.limestone.edu/academics/science/computer/programming
- Computer Science, Clemson University, Accessed December 2018, http://www.clemson.edu/degrees/computer-science
- CSTA - South Carolina Chapter, Accessed July 2019, https://sites.google.com/site/cstasc/
- Cybersecurity, Charleston Southern University, Accessed December 2018, https://www.charlestonsouthern.edu/computerscience/cybersecurity.php
- Graduate Programs, College of Charleston, Accessed December 2018, http://compsci.cofc.edu/graduate-programs/index.php
- Largest Companies in South Carolina, Zippia, Accessed December 2018, https://www.zippia.com/advice/largest-companies-in-south-carolina/
- Lowcountry STEM Collaborative, Accessed December 2018, www.lcstem.org
- South Carolina Association for Educational Technology, Accessed July 2019, https://www.scaet.org/
- South Carolina Hosts Second Annual Million Women Mentors® State Symposium to Encourage Mentoring for Girls and Women in STEM, STEMConnector, Accessed December 2018, https://www.stemconnector.com/south-carolina-hosts-second-annual-million-women-mentors-state-symposium-encourage-mentoring-girls-women-stem/
- South Carolina Innovation Hub, Accessed December 2018, https://www.scinnovationhub.com/
- South Carolina Technology Alliance, Accessed December 2018, http://www.sctech.org
- Statewide Strategic Information Technology Plan, South Carolina Department of Administration, Accessed July 2019, https://www.admin.sc.gov/files/SC%20Dept%20of%20Admin_Statewide%20Strategic%20IT%20Plan_Final%20Version_121708_New%20Fo.pdf
- STEM and STEAM, South Carolina Department of Education, Accessed December 2018, https://ed.sc.gov/instruction/standards-learning/stem-steam/
- Technology Employment Expands Its Presence in the South Carolina Workforce, CompTIA, March 26, 2019, https://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2019/03/26/technology-employment-expands-its-presence-in-the-south-carolina-workforce