Trying to decide between 4 online Master's Programs (BU/VT/USF/NE Uni).

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Pirates, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Pirates

    Pirates New Member

    I am an IT PM without a technical background. I am interested in working in cyber security / information assurance in either a strategy/management capacity or in a policy/planning role. I am really interested in business continuity, security planning, and cyber security impact from either a business, governance, or society impact.

    So far I have found 4 schools that meet my demands (cyber security/IA option, CAE Certified, technical undergrad not required, GRE waiverable)., but trying to choose which 1 or 2 to apply to.

    4 Schools I am Considering
    1. Virginia Tech: MS Information Technology, Security concentration
    2. Boston University: MS Computer Information Systems, Security concentration
    3. University of South Florida: MS Cybersecurity, Information Assurance concentration
    4. Northeastern University – Align Program: MS Information Assurance & Cyber Security
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    . . . and what do you see as being the pros and cons of each program?
  3. Pirates

    Pirates New Member

    Sorry, I appear to have left off part of my original post, but I am curious if anyone has attended any of these programs and could elaborate on them or tell me about their experiences.

    As far as Pros & Cons: From an outsider perspective, they all appear relatively similar in terms of length and cost (2-2.5 years and 28-32k). The biggest difference and perhaps a pro/con I can see is VT/BU are more broadly focused on IT and appear to be more technical, whereas SFU and Northeastern are specific to the field of Cyber Security and IA, and could potentially be less technical. However, I really would like to get an insider's view, instead of just what I've learned from marketing material.
  4. jhp

    jhp Member

    I have not taken any of these.

    But if I may, I would make very certain that any degree labeled "cyber-security" is not technical for your perspective & needs. There are plenty of managers, but few technologists. Schools try to fill voids.
  5. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    My daughter earned her Master's and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Computer Science. This is not exactly a first hand experience, but I can tell you she is doing very well and she has no regrets about choosing VT.
  6. russogd3

    russogd3 New Member

    ** typing this post on my cell phone, disregard misspelling & grammar/ punctuation errors **

    Hello, I am a recent grad of BU. I completed the MSCIS with a security concentration. What I can say about myself is that I have a technical background. Not necessarily in coding, but in networking and systems administration. In addition, I have taken courses in computer science and am not foreign to opening up a text editor or IDE to modify/ create code.

    My recommendation would be to pass on this program if you are not at least somewhat profecient in 1-2 programming languages AND databases. I can say for a fact that I wasn't the only one in the program who was caught off guard with how technical and advanced some of the courses were. Even some people who code for a living were challenged in the program. Look up courses 682, 669, 546, 520.

    Your post said that you are looking to work in more of an administrative role once you complete the program. I'd imagine there is a less technical program that focuses more on management and planning that would suit you better.

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