Local high school students who want to attend college and work in one of the nation’s fastest growing and highest paying employment categories may be able to do so thanks to a new scholarship opportunity at USC Aiken.
The USC Aiken Computer Science Scholarship Competition awards a dozen $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors living within 30 miles of the university who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, game and simulation, information technology, or data science at USC Aiken.
“USC Aiken is a cornerstone of the region’s cybersecurity infrastructure, with one of the nation’s first student-led Security Operations Center, a $65 million investment from the Department of Energy for an Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, and $30 million investment from the South Carolina National Guard for a cyber complex, all of which will be housed on the university’s campus,” said Dr. Scott McKay, dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering at USC Aiken. “Given these investments, there will be a significant surge in demand for STEM professionals, and it’s essential we prepare our students to be at the forefront of this movement.”
According to the National Association of Manufacturing, STEM vocations are growing at a rate of 17% per year, compared to 9% for other disciplines, and nearly 3.5 million STEM jobs will be required by 2025.
McKay stated that the institution is working to capitalize on this momentum by offering scholarships and collaborations with active and retired area scientists and engineers to connect students with the area’s science and technology knowledge.
“We’ve recently launched an Affiliate Research Program to connect students with the expertise of current and former scientists and engineers in the area, and we’re pleased to report we’ve seen a very positive response,” he said.
High school students who want to apply for the USC Aiken Computer Science Scholarship Opportunity must fill out a simple online application and write an essay stating why they want to pursue a degree in a STEM subject. Awardees will be chosen based on their previous academic performance as well as the quality of their essay submission.
Within 12 months of receiving the award, recipients must enroll in one of the predefined programs at USC Aiken. The deadline for applications is November 15.