The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce designated data scientists working in operations research and those specializing in statistical modeling as having a “bright outlook statewide” for the ten-year projection period leading up to 2022.
Though data scientists are best recognized for the contributions they make to industries like healthcare, financial services, education, computer research science and more, their specialized expertise is being applied in new and innovate ways all the time. In South Carolina, this has meant applying predictive modeling to identify likely archeological sites.
English settlements in South Carolina date back to 1670, and some Native American settlements predate them by thousands of years. While some archaeological sites such as the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site are well developed, other sites have yet to be discovered. Both academic and consulting firms have been using geographical information system (GIS) predictive modeling techniques to identify likely archaeological sites in the state.
The firm Southern Research recorded 681 archaeological sites in South Carolina by using such techniques. These researchers also examined more than 10,000 acres of forestland and discovered hundreds of Historic Period and Native American archaeological sites and abandoned cemeteries. A number of researchers at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology have also been using these techniques to identify likely archaeological sites.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientists in the Largest Cities in South Carolina
South Carolina ranked 2nd in a list of states with the highest level of high tech employment growth in the country in 2011 according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s 2012 Technology Works report commissioned by Engine Advocacy.
Charleston received national press in recent years for its highly active tech scene. Lisa Chau summarized the explosion in high tech in Charleston in the Huffington Post Business in 2015. For instance, the city had a higher percentage of people employed in businesses related to IT than such high tech hotspots as Austin or Raleigh.
According to the Post and Courier, Charleston’s tech scene is growing as quickly as that of Silicon Valley. While Charleston has long been to home such powerhouse tech companies as Blackbaud and Benefitfocus, only in recent years has the city become home to hundreds of startups.
Charleston invested heavily in its tech industries and provides a public/private incubator called the Charleston Digital Corridor (CDC) that graduated 76 startups between 2009 and 2015. In addition, the Charleston Regional Development Agency partnered with 12 of the area’s top tech companies to unveil Charleston Open Source. This initiative will attract and connect national tech talent to local companies.
Thus, starting salaries are high for data scientists in Charleston and other major cities in South Carolina according to Robert Half Technology (2016). This tech staffing firm places thousands of jobseekers throughout the country each year and has amassed highly accurate salary information for this field. Their salary figures do not include bonuses or relocation assistance.
Bonuses are common in the tech industry, and 71% of data scientists reported being eligible for bonuses in 2014 according to the executive recruiting firm Burtch Works. An even higher percentage of data science managers are eligible for bonuses with 91% of them reporting that they were eligible for this compensation.
Drawing from US Bureau of Labor Statistics research, Robert Half accounts for geographic variation throughout South Carolina to provide salary expectations for data scientists starting their employment in the state:
- Charleston – $102,000 – $144,000
- North Charleston – $92,000 – $129,000
- Myrtle Beach – $66,000 – 94,000
- Columbia – $102,000 – $144,000
- Charlotte – $109,000 – $154,000
- Gastonia – $109,000 – $154,000
- Sumter – $76,000 – $107,000
- Greenville – $100,000 – $141,000
- Concord – $109,000 – $154,000
- Spartanburg – $90,000 – $127,000
- Anderson – $76,000 – $108,000
Salaries for Data Science Professionals in South Carolina Working in Various Roles and Areas of Focus
Experienced data scientists in South Carolina working in the areas of operations research and computer and information research science earned an average salary of more than $80,000 in 2014. An analysis of salaries for data scientists in other roles and industries as provided by the US Department of Labor are shown here:
Computer and Information Research Science
Workforce Trends for South Carolina’s Data Scientists
Nearly 800 data scientists working in the area of operations research were employed in South Carolina in 2012. In addition, 248 statistical modeling specialists worked in South Carolina that year. The highest numbers of these specialized data scientists were employed in the Midlands Workforce Development Region. In contrast, most of South Carolina’s data scientists working in computer and information research science were employed in the Trident region:
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Charleston area was home to the 10th highest concentration of jobs in the country for data scientists working in computer and information research science in 2014.
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Operations Research in South Carolina’s Major Cities
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries for data scientists working in the area of operations research in a number of South Carolina’s urban areas as of 2014. The median salary among these specialists in the Greenville area was higher than the state average for these data scientists. A full analysis is shown here:
- Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville – $99,660
- Columbia – $90,820
- Greenville-Maudlin-Easley – $134,500
- Spartanburg – $87,540
Statistical Modeling Specialist Salaries in the Major Metropolitan Areas of South Carolina
The median salary among data scientists working as statistical modeling specialists in the Greenville area was 17.6% higher than the statewide average for these specialists in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statisticse:
- Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville – $93,870
- Columbia – $79,530
- Greenville-Maudlin-Easley – $77,980
Salaries for Data Scientists in Computer and Information Research Science in the Charleston Area
Shown below is the salary for data scientists working in the area of computer and information research science in the Charleston area (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):
- Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville – $107,440
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics information shown here reflects salary data for broad occupational classifications that include data scientists. These estimates are expressed as the 90th percentile average to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.