New Masters degree

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Rohan, Dec 24, 2010.

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  1. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe some of our law enforcement members could comment on this but I'm guessing that if your career goal was to work in some agency like the FBI then this degree could be a great ticket in or up.
     
  3. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    I've tossed the idea of a Masters in CF/DF around for some time (..I am a forensic analyst/examiner) and have not come up with a conclusive answer myself, but I'll throw in my thoughts:

    The APUS programme looks interesting - the courses look good, but are they just throwing in a programme to appeal to a larger audience? Where does credibility in the field of CF come in? Don't get me wrong, I have looked at the APUS program, and while affordable and RA, is it a good choice to pursue a Masters in CF? Personally, I won't be applying... Other Universities have had a CF discipline in place longer and for me, at least, that carries some weight. Two that jump to mind: UCF and URI. I've been accepted into the Grad Cert in CF @ UCF. US Citizens then have the option to roll the Grad Cert into a Masters @ UCF...if they choose to..

    Is it worth pursuing? That largely depends on what you want to do... do realize that CF is a field for true geeks - yes, you go into the heart of a drive to carve out data. You dive into the Windows Registry... you look at memory dumps in a hex viewer, looking for data strings. I enjoy..nay..love my job.

    My thoughts? At this point I am leaning towards completing a Grad Cert @ UCF and then going for a Masters in Information Assurance.
     
  4. Beagle412

    Beagle412 New Member

    In my research into transitioning my 15 year IT career into the information assurance arena, I looked extensively into the very interesting career options for digital forensics. I'd say that the relative future value of any particular degree is really dependent on what you intend to do with it. Digital Forensics is a field in which career opportunities generally are segemented into three basic categories: legal/law enforcement (civil or criminal investigation and analysis), private industry (auditing, corporate investigations, etc.), or consulting (could traverse both private and public realms depending on your qualifications and experience). The general knowledge and skills conferred by most of the formal graduate programs that I have seen in CF/DF would seem to be acceptable and well received in any of the employment categories, but actually getting into those fields can be the challenge due to the other requirements and prerequisites you may need. For law enforcement and legal investigations, most digital forensic investigators in many jurisdictions (especially municipal, county, and state) are sworn officers that have gained additional education and training in digital forensics. I've found in my area, there would have been virtually zero opportunity for me to get a job in digital forensics doing this type of work without being a police officer or possessing a private investigator's license. The requirements vary from state to state, so if that's what interests you, keep that in mind. On the other hand, there are other digital forensic career options in the private sector (go to Indeed.com and search for "Digital forensics" or "computer forensics" to see what's out there). Most of them are with large law firms, audit/accounting firms, or consultancies with forensic practices. Especially in the legal field, industry certifications or experience with particular tools such as EnCase or FTK seem to be a requirement for many of these positions. It would be worth asking whether the APUS program uses industry standard tools or has laboratory activities in the curriculum that at least provide exposure to these and other common tools. The University of Rhode Island's online graduate program actually prepares you for EnCase certification, which I saw as a big plus. BlueMason's experience in the UCF program and in the profession would be REALLY interesting to hear and probably very valuable. Since the opportunities for this career are so limited where I live currently, I have chosen not to pursue DF despite the fact that I think it would be a very interesting career. Unfortunately, I would also need to be able to get a paycheck from it, which doesn't seem likely in my particular geographic area.
     
  5. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    I only said LEANING towards the UCF Cert... I am heavily swayed by UCD's CCI programme though... very heavily... so much so that I'm going to apply for it :)
     
  6. spiralthinker

    spiralthinker New Member

    I have a friend who just got her masters in the IT field. We were pursuing the same degree, so I thought "wow, she should be making some good money and have an interesting career." Now, one year later, she is a teacher. This is NOT what I had thought she would be doing. Teaching is a respectable profession but I definitely am NOT getting an IT degree to turn around and teach others. Sorry had to vent...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2011
  7. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    ..sometimes you have to change with the tide to make ends meet... or, conversely, perhaps she enjoys teaching. I taught for 3 1/2 years and thoroughly enjoyed it... I would not hesitate to do it again.
     

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