Cyber Security Degrees in South Carolina
There are five total institutions that are recognized as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in South Carolina
The popular schools, such as Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, are accredited within the cyber defense and cyber research designations. Other schools to keep in mind are South Carolina State University, The Citadel, and the two-year program at Trident Technical College.
Here is a list of South Carolina cyber security degrees that are from NSA CAE Designated Institutions:
- Clemson University
- South Carolina State University
- The Citadel
- Trident Technical College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- University of South Carolina
Online Cyber Security Programs in South Carolina
The Citadel offers an online Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences with a specialization in Cybersecurity. Students will gain the abilities to protect sensitive information and analyze security breaches to improve an organization's network in addition to software engineering and database design.
A total of 33 credit hours are needed to complete the degree, which can include up to nine transfer credits, and students must graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Courses that need to be completed within the concentration are Advanced Operating Systems, Privacy and Security Issues, Data Communications and Networking, and Advanced Cybersecurity.
Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Option at The Citadel
As an alternative, there is an option to get a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity with a focus just on the skills needed for the industry, ideal for professionals that already have a background in computer science and are looking to switch focus in their career.
Admission requirements include the submission of GRE scores within the last five years and official transcripts that detail the prospective student has received a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students can enter conditionally and take up to six credits if they fall under the GPA requirement, and if they are in good standing, can reapply for the full program.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in South Carolina
Many of the bigger universities in the state provide graduate education in cyber security, including Clemson University through the College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences.
They offer the Master of Science in Computer Engineering with a concentration in Cybersecurity. There are multiple ways to pursue the program, including the thesis option which requires 30 credit hours - six of them going toward the thesis.
The non-thesis option requires an additional three credits to complete, and there is no final comprehensive exam. It is expected that students will have a background in computer engineering, but those that graduated in any discipline with high marks can apply for the program. There is an ability to gain the prerequisites necessary at the university for no credit.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in South Carolina
Whether a shorter two-year program is needed to get a foot into the cyber security industry or an advanced degree for a more executive position, there are plenty of educational options in the state of South Carolina. Charleston is not only home to institutions like the University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College, but they also have the most cyber security positions in the state.
- Undergraduate Degrees:
Trident Technical College has two different ways to study cyber security. One is the Associate in Applied Science Cybersecurity. This 63-credit hour program will feature many foundational courses to prepare any student for the industry. There is also a general look at many software options, such as Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, with the Windows and Linux operating systems and Cisco hardware being part of the major’s requirements. Options for two electives within the program include SQL Programming, Cisco Multilayer Switching and Advanced Routing, and Designing Windows Network Security.
For those that already have some experience in information technology, there is a 30-credit certificate that will prepare students for industry certifications, like CompTIA Security+ and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacking. Course material consists of the fundamental information in network security, data assurance, digital forensics, and a look at Windows directory services and Linux system administration.
- Masters and Continuing Education:
The College of Charleston offers the specialization of Cybersecurity within their Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences curriculum. The program is suited for working professionals that are continuing their career while earning an education, and the program can be completed in 18 months. Graduates from the program have gone on to become penetration testers and cyber security analysts at government agencies and within the academic field.
- Cyber Security Employment Options:
Charleston and Columbia serve as the locations with the most opportunities for cyber security professionals. An IT audit associate and Kearney and Company, who provides financial and IT services to the federal government, must have solid understanding of information technology and performs tests and risk analysis to determine if network systems are within compliance and to maintain relationships with their clients. At least a Bachelor’s degree is needed with a background in computer science.
South Carolina Cyber Security Careers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina is on the low end of salary for information security analysts, averaging at $75,770, and there are over 1,280 positions throughout the state. For more experienced professionals, such as computer and information systems managers, these figures jump to over 3,000 positions and an average wage of $120,720 per year.
Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
PhishLabs is a growing cyber security company that works with clients to secure all their avenues of communication, providing services like threat intelligence, intrusion detection, and other tools to protect sensitive information. Many positions are frequently available at their headquarters in Charleston, with positions like a software engineering manager that develops and improves the products they offer to clients.