How to Become a Computer Scientist in South Carolina

Computer Science Education Guide for South Carolina

Search Programs

What is Computer Science?


When it comes to finding the right computer science college and degree program, South Carolina offers a number of excellent options. Students can choose from a range of degree programs, from traditional four-year degrees, online degrees that provide the same outcomes, and more specialized certificates and graduate programs.

With a bachelor's degree in computer science, graduates can enter a growing industry and specialize in a variety of fields. Careers in this field range from web development to programming to network management and security. You can also specialize in one or more subfields of computer science such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, or robotics.

Online courses are offered at a variety of educational levels, including associate’s, bachelor's, and master’s degrees in computer science or specialized subfields. These online programs are often delivered in asynchronous formats that let students manage their time and schedules. Some colleges offer online accelerated programs to help students complete their studies in a shorter time, and they are accessible for students who wish to attend school from out-of-state.

Regardless of the degree level or how it is earned, computer science students learn how to analyze computers and develop programs. They develop valuable skills in computer architecture, software engineering, operating systems, and networking. They create mathematical models, write efficient programs, and analyze networking needs. Graduates in this field can choose to work in a variety of fields including data analysis, software engineering, or software development. Once they have graduated, students may work in any of these fields and enjoy a rewarding career in the industry. This is especially true considering that the field is expected to increase in demand at least until 2030.


Search Programs

Top Online Colleges in SC

Online Computer Science Education in South Carolina


There are several different kinds of computer science jobs, and each has its own specific duties, so it’s difficult to specify what a day in this job will look like without knowing the specific role you expect to gain. And even the function of that role may shift depending on how large the company is, what industry it is involved in, etc. A computer science professional studies the theory and algorithms behind computers, including the hardware and software. Essentially, anything that deals with computers can fall under the field of computer science. This can range from developing new applications to designing new computer systems. Some computer science jobs require certification, while others do not. However, a college degree or professional certification can give you an edge over other applicants.

Advanced computer science workers will work with algorithms, cryptography, and database management systems. They will also make consistent use of their study of formal methods of probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics. Those looking to specialize in particular areas should consider pursuing a master's degree. The career outlook is bright, but there are many challenges that lie ahead. According to the BLS, an online degree in computer science, data shows that workers who have higher levels of education typically earn more and have lower rates of unemployment compared with workers who have less education.

Online Associate Degree in Computer Science (AS)

Earning an associate degree in computer science online can be a great way to start your career in computer programming or get a head start on your bachelor's degree in the field. Additionally, online degrees in this field can be flexible and customized for your specific goals and needs and are just as good, in most cases, as traditional in-classroom options. Computer science is the systematic study of computing processes such as data processing, programming, and network security. You'll learn how to protect a network from cyber threats and maintain the integrity of customer data, among other things.

The curriculum of associate degrees in computer science is designed by industry experts, and there are plenty of options under the computer science umbrella available at the associate degree level, if you already know where you want to focus your education. If you choose a focused degree in web design, you may gain hands-on experience creating interactive web designs and software, or courses may cover programming and web hosting, content creation, and design. In addition, you'll have the chance to develop a digital portfolio showcasing your technical skills. In other programs, you'll learn how to apply best practices and use programming languages. Many curriculums emphasize efficiency and security.

Top Ranked Computer Science AS Programs Online

Online Bachelors Degree in Computer Science (BS)

Online bachelor's degree programs may emphasize database application development, programming languages, operating systems, and software design. These programs generally require students to complete around 120 hours of general education, foundational courses, and electives. Students may find a program where they can complete the curriculum with a concentration, such as those in software development or computer architecture. The electives you take will allow you to learn something outside your direct field of study. These may include options such as data communication, computer networks, artificial intelligence, or microcomputer fundamentals.

Tuition can vary widely between online and campus-based programs, or it can remain the same, depending on how the school is run. However, public universities often charge less for in-state students than they do for out-of-state students, although some public schools allow distance learners to pay in-state tuition no matter where they’re from. Private institutions, on the other hand, are likely to charge a flat rate for all students.

Top Ranked Computer Science BS Programs Online

Online Masters Degree in Computer Science (MA)

When choosing a master's degree in computer science, you'll want to focus on the type of program you want to pursue. You may find a degree in ‘computer science’ but there are also many specializations under this umbrella which are available at this level including data science, software engineering, and network security, among others. Other options include software project management, database design, and web application development. Some programs even offer a thesis track. Before you begin your program, make sure to research the required prerequisites and what they entail.

While some master's in computer science degree programs do not require admissions tests, others do. This can have a huge impact on the ease of entry into a program. If you have a graduate degree or significant professional experience, many schools will waive the GRE. The accreditation of a college or university is another important consideration. Most colleges in the United States have at least regional accreditation. A regionally accredited school can earn the seal of approval you need to get federal financial aid. However, for some fields, such as cyber security, it’s important to consider other accreditation (programmatic accreditation), which in the case of cyber security is best found under CAE accreditation.

Most master’s degrees require around 60 credit hours be completed before you earn your degree. However, a master’s degree in computer science usually that requires thirty to forty-five credits of coursework. Due to its shorter nature, you may be able to complete a program in around 18 months, or 2-2.5 years if you can only attend part-time. Tuition varies according to several factors, including state residency and whether a school is a private or public institution.

Top Ranked Computer Science MS Programs Online

Online PhD Degree in Computer Science (PhD)

While online PhD in computer science programs are available to all students, there are some important differences between them. At this level, coursework typically focuses on research methods, which helps students prepare for dissertation research and writing. Many of these programs also offer business classes and explore concepts from accounting to finance. Doctoral programs also offer various specializations for students to choose between. Be sure to find the one that best suits your ongoing career plan before applying.

Typically, doctoral programs devote the first two to three years to required coursework, although this can vary. Many PhD programs offer courses that help students hone their teaching skills. These may not be required courses but will aid any student who looks to move into teaching or gain a tenure track position in college-level teaching.

Online Computer Science Certifications

Computer science certifications are becoming more and more popular as many employers are requiring them for certain positions. These can be obtained through various online programs, some of which are offered by schools, but many of which are provided by institutions or associations. These certifications might focus on specific skills that can be transferred across jobs and businesses, and some of them focus on learning how to use specific software so that you can prove you are capable if a job comes along that requires that knowledge. These are known as vendor-specific and non-vendor-specific certifications. The fact that many of these are available online is convenient for those who are already working full-time. The most common computer science certifications are the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

Obtaining a computer science certification can help you stand out from the competition and prove that you have the necessary skills for the job. It can also lead to career advancement opportunities and higher salaries.

Become a Computer Scientist in South Carolina


If you're interested in becoming a computer science professional, South Carolina is a great state to get started in. There are many colleges and universities that offer computer science degree programs, and the job market for computer professionals is strong. In addition, the cost of living in South Carolina is relatively low, making it an affordable place to live and work. To become a computer science professional in South Carolina, you might need to follow certain steps:

  • Step 1: Have a college degree in computer science or related field

    In order to be successful in the field of computer science, it’s important to have a college degree. Many companies are looking for employees with degrees in computer science or related fields. Having a degree will give you the skills you need to work in this field. You will learn about programming languages, operating systems, cyber security, and more. An associate degree may be enough to get your foot in the door, but a bachelor’s in becoming more common.

  • Step 2: Gain experience in the field by working as a computer scientist for a few years

    There are many benefits to working as a computer scientist for a few years before pursuing a graduate degree in the field. For one, you will gain experience in the field and be better prepared to handle the challenges of graduate studies, and some master’s programs require at least a couple of years of real-world work experience. Additionally, you will likely earn a higher salary once you do pursue a graduate degree. Finally, you will build relationships with professionals in the industry who can provide valuable networking opportunities.

  • Step 3: Stay up to date on the latest computer science technology by taking continuing education courses or gaining new certifications

    In the ever-changing world of computer science, it's important to stay up to date on the latest technology. One way to do that is by earning certifications or taking continuing education courses. These courses can help you learn new programming languages, tools, and techniques. And, if you’ve already earned a certification, continuing education courses may be required to maintain that credential. If you're looking for a way to further your career in computer science, or just want to keep your skills up to date, either of these options might be the right one for you. There are many different options available, so find one that fits your needs and interests.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Computer Science?


In today's economy, a college degree is more important than ever. And for students who want to work in the computer science field, a bachelor's degree in computer science is the way to go. But what can you do with a bachelor's in computer science? Well, there are many options available once you graduate. You could become a software developer, working on new applications or improving existing ones. You could become a systems administrator, managing and maintaining computer networks. Or you could become a database administrator, ensuring that data is accessible and secure. You could even find a career in business, where knowledge of computers is a must, but you never have to audit a system for safety or build a network from the ground up.

The possibilities are practically endless with a degree in computer science. So, if you're interested in computers and technology, be sure to check out a bachelor's degree program, the most commonly earned degree in the field.

Potential Careers for Computer Science Graduates


  • Computer Science Professor:

    A computer science professor is responsible for teaching computer science courses at a college or university. They may also be responsible for conducting research in the field of computer science and publishing their findings in academic journals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A doctorate degree in computer science
    • Teaching experience
    • Research experience

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer science teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2021 was $77,910
    • The mean annual wage for computer science teachers, postsecondary in South Carolina is $76,590
  • Security Consultant (Cyber Security):

    A security consultant will be responsible for identifying and mitigating cyber security risks within an organization. They will work with clients to understand their needs and develop strategies to protect their data and systems. The consultant will also be responsible for staying up-to-date on latest cyber security threats and trends.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • 5+ years of experience in cyber security
    • Strong understanding of security principles and technologies
    • Excellent communication and presentation skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for information security analysts in the US in 2021 was $102,600
    • The mean annual wage for information security analysts in South Carolina is $96,310
  • Network Analyst (WAN/LAN/etc.):

    A network analyst is responsible for the installation, configuration, and maintenance of computer networks. They work with network hardware and software, routers, switches, and firewall systems and will also troubleshoot network problems and provide technical support to users.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
    • Certification in network administration or related field
    • Experience with network installation, configuration, and maintenance

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators in the US in 2021 was $80,600 and computer network support specialists earned $62,760
    • The mean annual wage for network and computer systems administrators in South Carolina is $83,810 and computer network support specialists earn $64,820
  • Full Stack Software Developer:

    Full stack software developers are responsible for developing and managing web applications. They work with a variety of programming languages and tools to create, test, and deploy web applications.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Strong programming skills
    • Experience with multiple programming languages and tools
    • Familiarity with web development frameworks
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers in the US in 2021 was $120,730
    • The mean annual wage for software developers in South Carolina is $102,630
  • Software Engineer:

    A software engineer will be responsible for developing and maintaining software applications. They will work with a team of engineers to create high-quality and innovative software solutions and will be required to have strong problem-solving skills and be able to work independently when needed.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
    • 3+ years of experience as a software engineer
    • Strong programming skills in languages such as Java, Python, or C++
    • Experience with databases and web technologies

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers in the US in 2021 was $110,140
    • The mean annual wage for software developers in South Carolina is $102,630
  • Network Architect:

    A network architect is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing computer networks. They work with hardware and software to ensure that network systems are stable and secure.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
    • 5+ years experience in network administration or engineering
    • In-depth knowledge of networking protocols and standards
    • Experience with network security tools and technologies

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer network architects in the US in 2021 was $120,520
    • The mean annual wage for computer network architects in South Carolina is $105,470
  • Web Designer & Developer:

    A web designer and developer will be responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of websites. They will work with clients to create a website that meets their needs and specifications and will also be responsible for ensuring that the website is accessible and easy to use.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience as a web designer & developer
    • Experience with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
    • Familiarity with graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers in the US in 2021 was $77,200
    • The mean annual wage for web developers in South Carolina is $69,790
  • Big Data Analyst:

    A big data analyst is responsible for analyzing large data sets to find trends and patterns. They use their findings to help businesses make better decisions and improve their operations.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Strong analytical skills
    • Experience with data mining, statistical analysis, and machine learning
    • Familiarity with big data tools and platforms

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for operations research analysts in the US in 2021 was $82,360 and data scientists earned $100,910
    • The mean annual wage for operations research analysts in South Carolina is $86,020 and data scientists earn $100,620
  • Security Analyst:

    A security analyst will be responsible for ensuring the security of a company's data and systems. They will monitor networks for security breaches and implement security measures to protect data. They may also work with an IT team to ensure that systems remain secure.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field
    • 2+ years of experience in information security or related field
    • Knowledge of network security and encryption technologies
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for information security analysts in the US in 2021 was $102,600
    • The mean annual wage for information security analysts in South Carolina is $96,310

Search Programs