South Carolina’s growth in the tech industry outpaced that of the national average last year, according to a recent report.
The U.S. tech industry grew 3 percent last year, according to a Cyber report released in February by CompTIA.
South Carolina’s tech industry, according to the report, grew by about 4 percent. By comparison, neighboring state North Carolina was one of the top five states for employment growth in the tech sector with a 4.5 percent change over last year.
Georgia and Tennessee had 3.7 and 1 percent growth, respectively, the report said.
South Carolina has more than 60,000 workers employed by the tech industry and an additional 12,000 self-employed or self-proprietor tech workers.
According to the report about 3.7 percent of South Carolina workers are in the tech industry.
The state has about 6,000 tech business establishments.
Neil Burton, executive director of the Clemson University Center for Career and Professional Development, said each year about 50 percent of Clemson graduates with a tech-related degree got employment in the state as opposed to getting tech jobs in other states.
Last year about 47 percent of graduates with a tech-related degree stayed in the state to work in the technology field, Burton said.
The previous year about 54 percent stayed in the state, he said. “Anecdotally, I’ve spoken with numerous Clemson alumni who are anxious to return to the area after having worked a few years in other states.”
He said South Carolina has several technology clusters, but Greenville and Charleston seem to be the most entrenched.
Burton said the state has “much to offer both workers and companies in the knowledge economy” and he’s “glad this news is spreading beyond our fair borders.”
The average wage in the South Carolina tech industry is $74,000 – about 85 percent more than the $40,000 average yearly private sector wage in the state, according to the CompTIA report.
The average tech industry wage in North Carolina is $91,000, more than double the state’s private sector wage of $45,300.
The average tech wage in Georgia is $90,000 and more than $76,000 in Tennessee.