Cyber-crime is on the rise and by 2021, it is estimated that the cyber-crime industry will be valued at $6 trillion. That is trillion not billion, according to the Official Annual Cyber Crime Report in 2017. And to make matters worse, there will be 3.5 million jobs in cyber security that remain unfilled by 2021, as well. While this is frightening for the world, it is good news for you. A career in cyber security will provide you with almost guaranteed job security throughout the next 10 to 20 years. And the jobs in this field pay far more than many, with many titles earning over six figures. If you are in search of a challenging career with job security and great pay, cyber security might be the right fit for you.
Why an Advanced Degree in South Carolina is Needed
An advanced degree is required for entry-level positions in South Carolina. Due to the great demand for cyber security professionals, many people will begin with an associate degree, get a job, and continue their education to complete a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s while they work. Another common practice these days is for people to change career paths. Many individuals who have been working in a career that is becoming obsolete are in pursuit of a career in cyber security. And incoming freshmen are flocking to the field due to the vast amount of job opportunities and pay incentives. If you wish to advance your career to a managerial level or higher in cyber security, you will require a master’s degree. And everyone will be required to continue their education through certifications as technology and cyber-crime evolve.
South Carolina Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements
A cyber security associate degree is an ideal way to enter the field regardless of whether or not you already have a degree and wish to change your career or if you are just beginning higher education for the first time. An associate degree typically takes two years to complete and it only requires a high school diploma or the equivalent to apply. Keep in mind that many two-year programs will have a minimum GPA required to qualify. Some higher learning institutions will have higher requirements than others. The courses for an associate degree are often beginner and basic courses that will familiarize you with simple job functions, terminology, and general industry know-how, such as Introduction to Computer Science.
A cyber security bachelor’s degree will be a requirement in the field for most entry-level positions. You will likely not have the option of a dedicated cyber security degree; many colleges and universities, however, do offer computer science and information technology degrees. These schools will typically allow you to minor in cyber security or select cyber security as a concentration, emphasis, or specialization while you major in other technology-related degrees. These programs last four years and courses will vary based on the degree program, such as Advanced Microcomputer Applications, Telecommunications and Network Security, and Computer Compliance and Regulations. A standard bachelor’s degree in cyber security will take four years. If you choose a dual degree program or a double major, the length of time may vary.
A master’s degree in cyber security is often a requirement for career advancement. If you have ambitions to become an executive, you will likely require a master’s degree. Many people choose an MBA with a cyber security emphasis or concentration. It is also possible to complete a dual degree program to combine a bachelor’s degree in cyber security or business and a master’s degree in another area of technology, information-related fields, or business. This will reduce the amount of time and money it takes to complete both degrees. You will take advanced courses in cyber security such as Application Security, Security Architecture and Design, or Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning.
Certifications in South Carolina
Many people are choosing to begin with cyber security certification as a way to enter the professional field of cyber security and information assurance. You can begin certificate programs after completing a few pre-requisite courses at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree level. You can also complete professional certifications in various areas of specialization deemed most pertinent at the time based on your skillset and career ambitions. Many people use certificates as a way to continue their education as the industry evolves to maintain a relevant skillset and as a way to increase salary.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation and a Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) endorsement are essential for long-term career growth in cyber security. The NSA and Homeland Security approve some cyber security and information assurance programs that meet their rigorous standards and requirements; they give these institutions the title of CAE. These are the best programs you can complete in cyber security at this time. Accreditation is different in that a college or university and program can be accredited by a governing body that is not affiliated with the school. The governing bodies have established a set of standards by which colleges and universities must follow to remain accredited. This tells future employers that your higher learning institution provides a higher quality of education than those that are not accredited or those that have a national accreditation over a regional accreditation. For the best start to your career, you want to graduate from a regionally accredited college or university that has a cyber security program that is approved by the CAE.
CAE Accredited Programs in South Carolina
- Clemson University
CAE-CD / 2018-2023
CAE-R / 2018-2023
- Citadel Military College of South Carolina
CAE-CD / 2016-2021
- South Carolina State University
CAE-CD / 2019-2024
- Trident Technical College
CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
- University of South Carolina
CAE-CD / 2014-2020
CAE-R / 2014-2020
Computer Science or IT Programs in South Carolina
Clemson University offers a cyber security minor rather than an actual degree. The minor requires 15 credits from an approved list that has been endorsed by the CAE. You may choose to select a complementary major, such as business management or a computer-related field. And they have Pathway courses in cyber security and electives you can complete at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
Computer Programming/Programmer - Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Informatics - Doctorate Degree
Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $19,508
College Retention Rate: 93% (Full-time Students); 33% (Part-time Students)
College of Charleston
The College of Charleston has a cyber security club and a graduate certificate program. You will be required to have a bachelor’s degree before you can pursue this four-course certificate program of 12 credits. The program is jointly conducted by the Citadel and the Graduate School of the University of Charleston and it will prepare you for cyber security analysis, risk assessment and ethical information handling.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer Science - Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Information Science & Studies - Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $19,649
College Retention Rate: 79% (Full-time Students); 50% (Part-time Students)
University of South Carolina - Columbia
The University of South Carolina at Columbia offers cyber security and information assurance programs through the college of engineering and computing. The college is endorsed as a CAE institution and it hosts the Center for Information Assurance Engineering. You will focus on both education and research and collaborate with a variety of institutions including government, industry, and academia.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer Science - Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree
Information Technology - Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $20,181
College Retention Rate: 88% (Full-time Students); 50% (Part-time Students
Limestone College has a dedicated cyber security and information assurance bachelor’s degree program that prepares individuals to complete professional certificates. This program focuses on preparing student participants for a demanding career in information assurance and cyber security. You will be able to take certification exams upon completion such as CompTIA, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and Check Point Certified Security Administrator.
Computer and Information Sciences – Associate Degree & Bachelor’s Degree
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Programming/Programmer - Associate & Bachelor’s Degree
Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management - Associate & Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $23,881
College Retention Rate: 52% (Full-time Students); 25% (Part-time Students)
Coastal Carolina University
Coastal Carolina University offers a degree in information systems with an intelligence and security studies emphasis and all technology programs offer a cyber security minor. During such a program, you will learn digital forensics, digital privacy, offensive security, and more. You will be able to find jobs in a vast array of areas, such as intelligence analysis, operations, and communications.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Master’s Degree
Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree
Information Technology - Bachelor’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $16,368
College Retention Rate: 69% (Full-time Students); 33% (Part-time Students)
The Citadel Cybersecurity and Intelligence Scholars Program
Amount: Up to $10,000
The Cybersecurity and Intelligence Scholars Program is dedicated to students planning to pursue careers in national security and cyber security. You can complete a degree in a variety of areas including computer science, biology, mathematics, and health and exercise science. Program participants will receive tuition assistance, mentoring, career development activities, training, and much more. This scholarship is for Citadel students.
South Carolina Augusta University Cybersecurity Scholarship
Amount: Up to $60,000
The South Carolina Augusta University Cybersecurity Scholarship is dedicated to out-of-state students so that they only have to pay in-state tuition prices. Program participants must be in pursuit of specific majors in various colleges, including the College of Arts, College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.
SWSIS Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship
Amount: up to $10,000
Deadline: February 1
The SWSIS Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship is dedicated to women in pursuit of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in information security. The scholarship is awarded in conjunction with the CRA-WP and the Applied Computer Security Associates. To date, more than 75 women have received this scholarship. You must have experience with a security-related job or be a member or a security-related organization. Sixteen scholarships are awarded each year.
The Rural Technology Fund Cybersecurity Scholarship
Deadline: April 15
The Rural Technology Fund Cybersecurity Scholarship is committed to providing financial assistance to individuals from a rural community in the US. This could be in any state. You must be pursuing a degree in a technology-related field specializing in security. Applicants must complete various essay questions to qualify. Individuals capable of demonstrating a passion for cyber security and their local communities will have a significant advantage.
USC STEM Supplement
The USC STEM Supplement is for incoming freshman only who are in pursuit of a degree in STEM fields. This is a one-time scholarship and it does not prevent you from applying for additional financial aid and scholarships if you so choose. It is also for the University of South Carolina students only and your major must be pre-approved from a qualifying list.
Conferences and Workshops
SC Chamber of Commerce Annual Cybersecurity Summit
The SC Chamber of Commerce Annual Cybersecurity Summit centers around the most relevant cyber security topics and practices of the year such as new markets, efficiency, productivity, infrastructure, consumer data, threats, and more. It also discusses the economic impact of cyber-crime on businesses and communities. You will learn the best ways to avoid risk and the optimal ways to create best practices.
SC State IT and Audit Conference
The SC State IT and Audit Conference is committed to bringing awareness to internet connections and the DMZ. You will also discuss firewalls, proxy servers, load balancers, VPNs, and additional ways to protect internal networks. At this conference, you will learn to monitor, configure, and maintain your cyber security to better protect your networks and devices from cyber threats.
Cybersecurity Legal Institute
The Cybersecurity Legal Institute is for cyber security professionals and experts in various industries such as law enforcement, insurance, information technology, and law. The presentations and discussions teach these individuals the most current ways to protect businesses and information of customers, employees, and the business. This conference is hosted in connection with the FBI.
South Carolina Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
- Information Security Analysts:
Information security analysts currently hold around 1,280 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $75,770. As an information security analyst, you will be responsible for updating and installing new software, maintaining permissions for access to networks, examining security practices, and making improvements to the current network and system.
- Computer Systems Analysts:
These professionals currently hold roughly 7,140 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $80,200. As a computer systems analyst, you will be required to analyze and examine the existing system processes and procedures, provide efficient and effective remedies to issues, and improve daily practices. These professionals must be able to understand both IT and business to be successful.
- Computer Programmers:
Computer programmers currently hold around 3,060 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $81,940. As a computer programmer, you will be required to test, write, and repair programming. Most programmers will be required to know at least a few programming languages. You might also have to learn new languages as they become relevant.
- Database Administrators:
These supervisory professionals currently hold roughly 820 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $82,500. As a database administrator, you will have to work with a number of individuals in other departments to be able to properly create new databases. You will also have to make certain all databases work together properly, as well as to combine databases, and terminate ineffective or outdated databases.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators:
Network and computer systems administrators currently hold roughly 5,780 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $75,630. As one of these professionals, you will oversee the day-to-day operations of computer systems and networks to keep them secure.
- Software Application Developers:
These developers currently hold around 4,580 jobs in South Carolina with a median salary of $90,830. As a software application developer, you will create new applications centered around the needs of end users, systems restrictions, budget limitations, and deadlines.
- South Carolina Department of Insurance
The South Carolina Department of Insurance has a number of resources to protect your home and business. You can also report crimes electronically through the website. This cyber security resource helps businesses remain in compliance with South Carolina laws.
- Trident Technical College Cyber Center
The Trident Technical College Cyber Center has a vast array of cyber security resources for program participants and the community in general. The overall goal of the cyber security center is to help both students and professionals, particularly those in STEM fields. It is also CAE endorsed.
- Cyber SC
Cyber SC is a non-profit organization and is home to both the Cyber Association and the Cyber Foundation. These entities work to protect homeowners, students, and businesses from cyber threats. They offer workshops, conferences, training, and a variety of resources available to all.