Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Scientists in Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for computer scientists. The national trend for computer scientists sees this job pool growing by about 24.2% over the next eight years. Computer scientists generally conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors.
Computer scientists earn approximately $42 per hour or $87,520 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $47 per hour or $97,970 yearly. Computer scientists earn more than people working in the category of Computer generally in South Carolina and more than people in the Computer category nationally. People working as computer scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: programmer, control system computer scientist, and software engineer.
There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer scientist. The most common level of education for computer scientists is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn to be a computer scientist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Scientist
In general, computer scientists conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. They also solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
Computer scientists assign or schedule tasks so as to meet work priorities and goals. They also analyze problems to design solutions involving computer hardware and software. Equally important, computer scientists have to meet with managers and others to solicit cooperation and resolve problems. Finally, computer scientists evaluate project plans and proposals to gauge feasibility issues.
Every day, computer scientists are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for computer scientists to apply theoretical expertise and innovation to generate or apply new technology. They are often called upon to design performance standards, and evaluate activities in light of established standards. They also design and interpret organizational goals and procedures. They are sometimes expected to participate in staffing decisions and direct training of subordinates. Somewhat less frequently, computer scientists are also expected to confer with users and technicians to establish computing needs and system requirements.
Computer scientists sometimes are asked to layout computers and the software that runs them. They also have to be able to maintain network hardware and software, direct network security measures, and monitor networks to insure availability to system users and evaluate project plans and proposals to gauge feasibility issues. And finally, they sometimes have to approve and adjust operational budgets.
Like many other jobs, computer scientists must want to innovate to meet new challenges and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:
- Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
- Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
- Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
- Computer Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
- Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
- Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
- Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
- Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
- Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Scientist Training
Benedict College - Columbia, SC
Benedict College, 1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29204-1086. Benedict College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,892 students. Benedict College has 3 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:
- Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.
- Computer Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC
Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-two and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has a less than one year program in Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated thirteen students in 2008.
Columbia College - Columbia, SC
Columbia College, 1301 Columbia College Dr, Columbia, SC 29203. Columbia College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,405 students and an admission rate of 77%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.
University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC
University of South Carolina-Columbia, , Columbia, SC 29208. University of South Carolina-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,500 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of South Carolina-Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:
- Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.
Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.
For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.
For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.
CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.
For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.
CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.
For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.
Internet and Computing Core Certification: IC is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in learning computer and Internet basics.
For more information, see the Certiport, Inc website.
Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.
For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.
Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.
For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.
Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.
For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.