Master of Professional Studies in Information Science?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by dcan, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. dcan

    dcan New Member

    Hello all,

    I've been looking around for possible graduate degrees after I complete my current undergrad and came across the Master of Professional Studies in Information Science program at Penn State World Campus. When I review the courses available this sounds like a great program that fits very well with my interests over the past two decades. And when I view their faculty I remain impressed (DARPA projects, NASA, etc).

    However, I am dissuaded by statements like this one that bash the idea of an MPS degree. I had never heard of an MPS before this (other than a public service degree) and from what I read on Wikipedia it is an "applied" degree that is broad rather than focused. But then Wikipedia also has an excellent description of the field of information science that sounds compelling.

    My question is two-fold:

    1. How is an MPS degree viewed in "the real world"?

    2. Whenever I research "information science" online I am inevitably bombarded with "library science" degree descriptions, but this seems very far removed from that topic. Has anyone here heard of or know anything about the field of information science?

    For background, I am an Active Duty Air Force programmer nearing retirement. I punted to get a degree at the end and went with a BSBA CIS at TESC but am also working on a CS cert in the process with studies in data structures, operating systems, computer architecture, etc. I don't see myself moving beyond to a doctorate but also don't want to restrict my options nor do I want to hamper myself with a "useless degree". I would love a degree in this field that covers the methods and models used to manage large sets of data, data mining, theories and techniques of information capture and propagation, etc. What I don't want is a degree that takes anyone and has no real benefit. My goals after retirement are to work in the military IT and military education arenas in systems analysis, architecture, software development, etc.

    I appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this degree and field, as I can't find much else about this field online.

    (I have also e-mailed the department with similar questions, but have not yet heard back)
  2. dcan

    dcan New Member

    I should add that I am interested in the field as described on the Wikipedia entry and as described through the course description. I am also attracted to it because of its interdisciplinary nature since information can be studied separately from the implementation methods and fields of study while remaining applicable to both. This makes it sound to me like a broad theory-based degree, but other reading I've done on the concept of an MPS makes it sound more like a terminal degree, almost the graduate equivalent of an AAS degree. If that is the case I'm assuming that is viewed as a negative indicator? I've also read that a "broad interdisciplinary degree" is frowned upon in academic circles, is that correct? If so are there any true MS (M.Sc.,...) degrees in this field that are not "library science"?

    Here is an example course description:

    (This "applied" program also has a research requirement, though I have no idea how "deep" such a project would be)

    Any advice or insight appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2013
  3. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I'm no expert on IT degrees, but this seems like a good program to me. I'm sure TEKMAN will add his .02 when he find this thread.
    This is coming from a guy with an AAS and multidisciplinary degree. :sgrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2013
  4. dcan

    dcan New Member

    Thanks Lawrence. I am becoming more and more excited about this degree program. I looked them up on MBS Direct last night to research the texts they use -- I like to find interesting courses and buy old used textbooks on Amazon to get the knowledge for free. :)

    One of the courses teaches directly from what is apparently the best CISSP study guide out there. Here is part of the top review on Amazon:

    I was already very seriously considering using my remaining TA to pursue the CISSP between undergrad and grad school, so color me impressed. :bigeyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2013
  5. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    Sounds like a plan. Get all you can while you're still active.

    I'm surprised the good folk at DI haven't commented.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's a Master's degree form Penn State. I wouldn't think you'd have much trouble from it.

    Given your description of your interests, I'd think it would be fine.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2013
  8. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    It is a bit pricey at over $800 per credit.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the MPS. USF has MEd, MBA, MEng, MS, MA etc. You can just tell people you have a masters in Information Science from PSU and that is a true statement. It looks like the courses would work as prereqs into a doctoral program in information systems. You might want to send the info to one or more doctoral programs to be sure. Worst case you can go to NCU for your PhD or DBA in Info Sys because NCU only requires a masters in any field which is not typical.

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