Are you ready to discover your college program?
The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by CyberDegrees.org.
As more businesses and services rely on digital infrastructures like cloud computing, the need for cybersecurity professionals to manage those networks will likely continue to increase. This makes now an ideal time to earn a degree in this field.
In South Carolina, technology fields like cybersecurity continue to grow: A 2020 study from the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness found that the number of tech firms in the state has increased 254% since 2000, signaling growth and continuing demand. The state boasts abundant educational opportunities in cybersecurity, with degrees available for learners at multiple levels.
Keep reading to learn more about cybersecurity degree opportunities for South Carolina learners.
South Carolina at a Glance
- Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $82,100
- Percentage of Workforce in Tech: 3.7%
- Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $11 billion
- Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 62
Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS
Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in SC?
South Carolina is home to 62 higher education institutions which offer a variety of programs.
South Carolina residents benefit from state-based scholarships and other funding opportunities, including a lottery-funded program to offset tuition for students attending two-year institutions.
Students in South Carolina can earn their degree in cybersecurity on campus or online. Online cybersecurity degrees often provide scheduling flexibility for students who must balance family and career obligations. However, keep in mind that some online and hybrid programs may require occasional on-campus components.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information technology and cybersecurity jobs nationwide are projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031, indicating high demand for these professionals. Earning a degree in cybersecurity can help students find jobs in these expanding industries across South Carolina.
Education Statistics for South Carolina
|Higher Education Statistics||South Carolina Data||National Data|
|Students Enrolled in Distance Education||75.3%||72.8%|
|Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||9.9%||8.6%|
|Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree||18.2%||20.2%|
|Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||10.8%||12.7%|
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census ACS
Accreditation for South Carolina Schools
When researching the best cybersecurity programs in South Carolina, look specifically for institutionally accredited schools. Third-party accreditation agencies audit institutions to determine that these schools' academic offerings meet standards of quality and rigor. Employers may prefer candidates with educational credentials from accredited schools.
Some cybersecurity programs also hold programmatic accreditation. Agencies offering programmatic accreditation focus on specific departments or degrees to ensure their curricular offerings are designed to impart relevant skills for careers in the field. Organizations like ABET offer cybersecurity-specific programmatic accreditation.
Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in SC
Prospective students should take multiple factors — including distance learning options, tuition, and degree concentrations — into account as they decide which school best aligns with their goals.
Applicants should research the availability of specific programs and degree levels, as some learners may wish to earn a two-year degree or specialized certification, while others may seek a four-year bachelor's program. Many colleges and universities in South Carolina also offer graduate and professional programs in cybersecurity.
Tuition is also an important consideration for students. Public schools in South Carolina usually offer lower costs for in-state enrollees, with many state-funded scholarships and funding opportunities available for state residents.
In addition to in-person programs, many schools in South Carolina offer distance education options, including fully online and hybrid programs. In 2020, 35.4% of students at South Carolina institutions enrolled exclusively in distance education.
Below, we present information to help you decide if South Carolina is the right place to earn your cybersecurity degree.
Explore rankings for top cybersecurity programs around the country:
Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs
Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs
Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
Most Diverse Cybersecurity Programs
HBCUs With the Best Cybersecurity Programs
Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees
Schools in South Carolina may offer a variety of concentrations or degree tracks related to cybersecurity. However, key industries and growth areas in South Carolina make the following concentrations particularly applicable to career opportunities in the state.
|Security Software Development||Software development employs cybersecurity skills in creating applications designed to protect and secure networks and databases. In addition to security-specific concentrations, programs may offer more generalized software development tracks.|
|Systems and Security Engineering||Systems and security engineering specializations cover an array of tech-related subjects, including cybersecurity topics. With more than 10,000 cybersecurity and systems engineers employed in South Carolina, according to 2022 data from CompTIA, specializations like this can be a great option for career-driven learners.|
|Computer Science||Computer science degrees typically explore a variety of common topics in the field. Students gain the foundation they need to qualify for positions across South Carolina's tech industry.|
Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree
Earning a degree can be costly, but learners can take advantage of a variety of funding pathways available to students enrolled in South Carolina institutions.
Average tuition in South Carolina is higher than national averages. For example, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition at public, four-year schools for the 2020-21 school year was $12,544, compared to the national average of $9,375.
To help pay for school in South Carolina, students can pursue financial aid options like scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans. Though loans require repayment, funding sources like scholarships, grants, and fellowships do not. Some state-based scholarships and tuition assistance programs can also help state residents finance their degrees.
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
Typically, South Carolina state residents pay lower tuition than out-of-state enrollees. In the 2020-21 school year, the average tuition at South Carolina public four-year schools for in-state students was $12,544, while tuition for out-of-state learners averaged $33,055.
Fortunately, even out-of-state learners can benefit from in-state tuition rates: The Southern Regional Education Board maintains the Academic Common Market, allowing students from participating states to pay in-state tuition at institutions in other participating states. This reciprocity agreement includes South Carolina and 14 neighboring states.
South Carolina's Cost of Living
When determining where to attend school, students should also factor the cost of living into their calculations. In South Carolina, the cost of living index is 93.6, almost 7% below the national average. This means the average prices for necessary expenses like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare are lower in South Carolina than in the U.S. as a whole.
Jobs for SC Cybersecurity Graduates
Because of the need for cybersecurity across sectors, earning a degree in cybersecurity can provide graduates with the skills to work in an array of industries.
In South Carolina, many of the largest, most lucrative industries — including manufacturing, aerospace, distribution, and automotive, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce — employ cybersecurity professionals. Many organizations in all these industries employ cybersecurity professionals to manage their networks and databases.
According to 2022 CompTIA data, 3.7% of South Carolina's workforce is employed in tech, with the state ranking 27th for net tech employment. CompTIA data also shows that jobs in tech boast higher-than-average wages: Tech professionals nationwide earn 125% more than the national median wage for all occupations.
Select Cybersecurity Careers in South Carolina
Security consultants provide organizations with guidance about the effectiveness of their network security systems. Consultants may work for multiple organizations at a time, providing as-needed services. These consultants typically hold at least an undergraduate degree.
November 2022 Average Salary for Security Consultants: $89,100
Computer Forensics Analyst
Computer forensics analysts use their programming, operating system, and data storage knowledge to investigate cyberattacks and other illegal online activity. They may work alongside law enforcement in these investigations or work for individual companies to analyze attacks and help protect company data and systems. These analysts typically need at least a bachelor's degree, but often hold additional credentials.
November 2022 Average Salary for Computer Forensic Analysts: $75,010
Security managers oversee the digital security operations within an organization. These managers often hold at least a bachelor's degree, but because these roles are advanced, some employers may require graduate-level education.
November 2022 Average Salary for Security Managers: $120,280
For career growth projections, the BLS and Projections Central include many cybersecurity roles in their broad information security analyst category. From 2018 to 2028, information security analyst jobs in South Carolina are projected to grow 38.4%.
Learn more about South Carolina employment trends in cybersecurity and related fields in the tables below.
South Carolina Employment Trends
|Computer Hardware Engineers|
|2030 Projected Employment||510||67,300|
|Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030||+2%||+1.7%|
|Computer Network Architects|
|2028 Projected Employment||1,000||174,200|
|Projected Job Growth, 2018-28||+11.1%||+5.4%|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers|
|2030 Projected Employment||12,220||2,257,400|
|Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030||30.8%||+22.2%|
Source: Projections Central
|Career||South Carolina Employment||South Carolina Average Annual Wage||National Average Annual Wage|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||3,410||$132,010||$162,930|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||390||$102,100||$136,230|
|Computer Network Architects||940||$105,470||$120,650|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||1,840||$64,820||$71,350|
|Computer Systems Analysts||8,300||$84,600||$102,210|
|Information Security Analysts||1,800||$96,310||$113,270|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||3,900||$83,810||$91,250|
Source: BLS OEWS
In South Carolina, average wages for cybersecurity roles tend to align with national averages. However, projected job growth rates for software quality assurance analysts and testers, computer network architects, and software developers are higher for those roles in South Carolina than nationally.
Earning degrees in cybersecurity or related areas like computer science, programming, or software development help qualify learners for careers in these fields.
Discover more cybersecurity jobs Consider a cybersecurity career in government Which cybersecurity careers are best for veterans? Transition from IT into cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Employers in South Carolina
Medical University of South Carolina Health: MUSC Health is a large healthcare provider with locations around the state. With the rise of telehealth and digitized medical records comes the need for IT professionals to manage these systems. This may translate to increased demand at employers like MUSC Health for cybersecurity workers.
Michelin Group: Michelin, an automotive company, is part of one of the state's largest industries. This organization, like others in the industry, employs cybersecurity and tech professionals in a variety of positions, including network operations managers, analysts, and computer engineers.
University of South Carolina: Institutions like this state university employ cybersecurity and other information technology professionals to secure data; manage online learning platforms; and assist students, faculty, and staff with IT issues.
Cybersecurity Organizations in South Carolina
South Carolina Cyber Foundation
This organization provides educational resources to foster innovation and collaboration for cyberprofessionals working in South Carolina. The website offers a job board and resources for small businesses, government agencies, and individuals.
The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness created this consortium. Its goals include preparing a growing tech workforce, supporting entrepreneurs in the state, and making South Carolina a hotspot for the technology field.
This organization houses both the South Carolina Cyber Foundation and the South Carolina Cyber Association. Their website connects users to resources like a job board, event listings, and a newsletter.
South Carolina Cyber Association
A subset of CyberSC, this association provides resources for members and nonmembers alike, including a job board, a calendar of upcoming job and networking events, and a directory of tech and cyber employers around the state.
South Carolina Cybersecurity Summit
This yearly summit brings together cybersecurity professionals from around South Carolina, covering employment and industry trends, new tools and innovations, and opportunities for networking.
Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in South Carolina
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Clemson University College of Charleston Horry-Georgetown Technical College Limestone College Piedmont Technical College Trident Technical College University of South Carolina-Columbia University of South Carolina-Upstate
Questions About Cybersecurity in South Carolina
What colleges in South Carolina offer cybersecurity degrees?
A number of colleges and universities in South Carolina offer cybersecurity degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and graduate levels. Explore our degree pages to learn about individual programs and schools in the state.
Can I get a cybersecurity degree in South Carolina?
Yes. South Carolina is home to 62 higher education institutions, many of which offer degrees in cybersecurity and related fields. These programs run in several learning modalities, including in person, online, and hybrid.
What cybersecurity jobs can I get with a degree from South Carolina?
South Carolina is home to several growing industries, many of which employ cybersecurity and information technology professionals. Some of the leading tech employment areas in the state include software, IT support, cybersecurity, and system engineering.
Is cybersecurity a good career in South Carolina?
South Carolina is home to many organizations that employ cybersecurity and tech professionals in a variety of roles. The state is home to over 50,000 tech workers.
Darnell Kenebrew is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network and has reviewed the introductory matter only, not the ranked programs. Kenebrew is not affiliated with the schools in the ranking.
Page last reviewed: Nov 7, 2022
Take the next step toward your future.
Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.