Data Science Degree Programs in South Carolina
The two largest industries in the “Palmetto State” are manufacturing (durable goods) and finance, which includes insurance and real estate rentals and leasing. The world of finance has already welcomed data science with open arms as being a finance “quant” is a well-known job within that sector.
Data science has ample utility within manufacturing as well, but data science hiring for that industry isn’t as obvious when we’re merely looking at job titles. Research and development, research scientist, systems analyst, data analyst, or any number of other monikers are part of the data science Venn Diagram. Deciphering whether or not you’re a “data scientist” essentially comes down to the work you’re actually performing in the role as opposed to having a specific title.
So, as you’re perusing the availability of data science jobs in South Carolina, look closely at the job requirements. If you’re going to work with massive datasets and build predictive algorithms (think along the lines of machine learning and AI), then it’s likely you’re within the data science activity set.
However, is there currently a demand for data scientists in South Carolina?
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in South Carolina
One data point that tends to correlate with the size of the data science job market in any U.S. state is the absence or presence of the tech sector. As of 2019, only 5.8% of the South Carolina workforce is employed in tech. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists a mere 370 Computer and Information Research Scientists in the “Palmetto State.” But, the proportion of data scientists within that total is not clear. It could be all 370 or just a handful.
Running a Google search for data scientist jobs in South Carolina produces in excess of 100 available jobs (as of this writing). The job titles vary: everything from Data Analytics Manager to Statistician I are included as results to that search. This fact reinforces that it’s not the title, it’s what you’re doing on the job. Ultimately, though, it appears that the career outlook for data scientists in South Carolina is strong, regardless of the actual job title.
Living in South Carolina is less expensive than the U.S. average: a total score of 94 vs. 100. Housing is substantially less (depending on where you’ll be living): the median home price is $159,700 vs. $219,700 for the rest of the U.S. Thus, even though you may be making slightly less as a South Carolina data scientist, the lower cost of living will compensate for that differential.
So, now that we know South Carolina has job opportunities for qualified data scientists, and you’ll be able to live quite comfortably (barring any other lifestyle spending habits), what about South Carolina universities? Do they have either on-campus or online data science degree programs to meet the demand for data scientists in their state?
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in South Carolina
The College of Charleston offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Science at their Charleston campus. Your required courses will include Intro to Data Science, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Statistical Methods, Computer Programming, Data Mining, and a plethora of other courses that explicitly meet the data science core competencies.
Additionally, you’ll select an emphasis (other institutions call them “tracks” or “paths”) such as Business Analytics, Science (e.g., Astronomy, Biology, etc.), Social Science, or the Arts and Humanities. This is quite forward-thinking as most data science programs limit you to health analytics, business analytics, or information systems. Data science can be applied to any discipline where there is data (and data is everywhere).
Admission requirements vary and depend on your status, e.g., Freshman, Transfer Student, or International Student. But, it’s a well-rounded program that will prepare you for an entry-level position as a data scientist (or analyst).
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in South Carolina
Despite the proliferation of online masters degrees, on-campus masters degrees for data science are still more plentiful throughout the U.S. South Carolina universities have a few options that are either analytics oriented or they are outright data science programs. The one exception is the availability of an on-campus Ph.D. in Data Science: there is no current offering for this option at a South Carolina school.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in South Carolina
In addition to their on-campus Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, the College of Charleston has a 36 credit hour M.S. in Data Science and Analytics. Your required courses will consist of Distributed Computer Systems Architecture, Implementation of Database Management Systems, Computational Data Science and Analytics, and Mathematical Data Science and Analytics (to name just a few).
Eligibility for admission includes submitting GRE scores, passing a proficiency test in programming, computer science, math, and stats, along with sending a Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Thus, the admissions committee has set the bar relatively high as many other masters-level programs in data science do not require additional proficiency exams beyond sending GRE scores and having completed certain math, statistics, and programming courses.
Summarily, this program does meet data science core competencies and provides an extensive technical foundation that is directly relevant to the data science career path.
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in South Carolina
Graduate certificates in data science aren’t prevalent in South Carolina universities. However, the University of South Carolina does offer a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics at its Columbia campus.
It’s a mere four-course (12 credits) specialization where you’ll complete Advanced Quantitative Methods, Data Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management and Data Mining, and one elective course. This certificate is particularly applicable for business majors (or other non-STEM degree holders) who want to focus on entering managerial or leadership roles within an industry.
Also, existing data scientists who are weak on the business understanding side of the data science Venn Diagram would benefit from a graduate certificate in business analytics. While you may have all of the high-level math and statistics down pat, this doesn’t automatically translate into an understanding of how any of that applies to business systems and processes.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in South Carolina
One of the fastest-growing sectors for data science is the health care industry. From patient “smart rooms” to “smart surgical assistants”, data scientists with a medical or health informatics background are in high demand. There is an insane amount of data to collect, analyze, and transform into actionable insight for physicians and health care organizations.
Clemson University’s Ph.D. in Biomedical Data Science is perfect for data scientists who want to help improve patient outcomes and drastically reduce health care costs. Be prepared, however, for an extensive program of study that will consume between four and seven years of your life.
Throughout the program, you’ll complete coursework in Applied Data Science, Applied Machine Learning, Introd to AI, Intro to Clinical Biostatistics, and High-Performance Computing on GPUs. When all is said and done, you’ll be at the top of the data science hierarchy in terms of depth and breadth of knowledge as applied to the biomedical field. If you’re not yet ready for a Ph.D., Clemson also offers a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Data Science.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in South Carolina
As of the 2019-2020 academic year, we could find no online bachelor degree programs that fit within the data science core competencies. But, we will update this section as more information becomes available.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in South Carolina
Locating fully online analytics programs in South Carolina was challenging. The only online program we could locate (that wasn’t a hybrid online/on-campus scenario) was the Medical University of South Carolina’s Master of Science in Health Informatics.
You can complete the program in as little as 4 semesters (2 years) if you can manage full-time study. Courses include Database Management, Systems Analysis and Design, Applied Statistical Research, and Data Mining and Analytics.
You’ll definitely fulfill a few of the data science core competencies, namely the technical aspects of data management, database systems, and statistical analysis. The programming component can be fulfilled through self-study (Python, R, SQL), taking relevant courses from other universities, or finding a suitable MOOC that will teach you specific programming languages for data science.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in South Carolina
We could not find any online graduate certificates in data science or in data science-oriented disciplines. But, we will add them here as one or more are made available in the future.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in South Carolina
Unfortunately, at this time, there aren’t any online data science Ph.D. programs available via South Carolina universities. Nor could we locate online Ph.D. programs that directly apply to the data science career path. We will update this section when relevant online Ph.D.s become available in the “Palmetto State.”