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Thread: Cyber Security degree vs Computer Science degree. Help!!!

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    Cyber Security degree vs Computer Science degree. Help!!!

    Okay, college question for you.....our family has a college freshman this upcoming fall. Has been accepted and was planning to complete Cyber Security AA degree at College of Southern Maryland. Would like to continue and transfer to a 4 year state school for bachelors degree in Cyber Securities after CSM. Possibly UMUC? (I don't think any other Md state schools have just Cyber Bachelors besides UMUC?) Have been doing preliminary internet reading and research. There seems to be quite a few arguments about attaining a cyber bachelors degree. On one hand the cyber job market is exploding. However, many articles on the net, written by CS specialists, feel that a Cyber Securities bachelors in extremely limiting. They propose that a more general CS degree with some cyber internships and specialized cyber classes is much better suited for a young person just starting out. Help! Can anyone in the CS field shed any light on this please? Pros and Cons. Thoughts on Cyber AA degree at CSM, the quality of program, professors, etc? Any and all insight would be appreciated!!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User PeoplesElbow's Avatar
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    Computer Science degree will definitely be more flexible and it doesn't preclude someone from working in cyber security.

    Don't want to sound negative but let then get through their freshman year, most science type majors change direction after their first year or two.

    Freshman year is probably damn near identical btw so don't sweat it. It probably isn't even very different from say a Chemistry majors freshman year. Math, freshman chemistry, English comp, an elective, and a computer class most likely the first semester.
    Last edited by PeoplesElbow; 07-09-2017 at 07:12 PM.
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  3. #3
    Straight CS, hands down. Go to grad school for the cyborg thing after you land your first job.
    Cyber is a subset of CS, why pigeonhole yourself from the getgo. I also believe that 10 years from now it will be a dated term.

  4. #4
    Not too talkative Makavide's Avatar
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    Go for the computer science degree then graduate degree in cyber security. The government has a scholarship program for cyber security CyberCorps (R): Scholarship For Service (SFS)

    Basically it is a program to get students into an "ethical hacking" program. Trains them to defend systems networks and such.

    It is available at select schools around the country (UMBC is on the list), paying for either the last two years of an undergraduate program or for a Master's degree. Those students selected get tuition and books plus a stipend (amount based on which degree program). The government does ask for a minimum of two years government agency service as payback. I understand that down here in Pax River they are hiring any graduate, from this program, they can get their hands on (which isn't enough).
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  5. #5
    CyberSec degree will be easier to complete. It's something important to consider. The graduate will have little trouble finding a job with either degree but it's true there will be more options with CompSci.

  6. #6
    Awww, jeez Monello's Avatar
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    Go into the service and work in IT. Get paid while you learn then have a couple of years experience working on what you learned. Bonus is the GI bill to pay for any education later.
    You can't be a bully if you didn't throw the first punch

    Monello thinks he is king of the forum, now. Just keep that in mind.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Monello View Post
    Go into the service and work in IT. Get paid while you learn then have a couple of years experience working on what you learned. Bonus is the GI bill to pay for any education later.
    That's what i would suggest, The Army has some very good bonuses going on right now. I believe the cyber mos's are part of whats available now.
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  8. #8
    Registered User warneckutz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplesElbow View Post
    Computer Science degree will definitely be more flexible and it doesn't preclude someone from working in cyber security.

    Don't want to sound negative but let then get through their freshman year, most science type majors change direction after their first year or two.

    Freshman year is probably damn near identical btw so don't sweat it. It probably isn't even very different from say a Chemistry majors freshman year. Math, freshman chemistry, English comp, an elective, and a computer class most likely the first semester.
    Quote Originally Posted by officeguy View Post
    Straight CS, hands down. Go to grad school for the cyborg thing after you land your first job.
    Cyber is a subset of CS, why pigeonhole yourself from the getgo. I also believe that 10 years from now it will be a dated term.
    Definitely Computer Science. Everything they're saying is on point and I've only seen a handful of jobs that are extremely Cyber Security specific, in this area anyway. Get the Bachelor's in Comp. Science and then make the decision to take more college classes towards Cyber Security or do a few certification courses instead.
    Listen to me now, and believe me later: it doesn't matter how much you pump up those muscles, as long as you reach the full pumptential.

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  9. #9
    Main Streeter awpitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monello View Post
    Go into the service and work in IT. Get paid while you learn then have a couple of years experience working on what you learned. Bonus is the GI bill to pay for any education later.

    Nice! This is exactly what my oldest son is doing.
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  10. #10
    Podunk FL HeavyChevy75's Avatar
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    Stick with the Computer science degree and when they are done work on certifications. The Security+ certification is the foot into the door with many of the government contractor jobs even without any experience. Having just a degree in cyber security isn't enough because many of the people in the field of work have certifications which is what is desired on top of a college degree. IAT Levels in DoD are all about certifications and zilch to do with college degrees.

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