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

  1. #21
    Podunk FL HeavyChevy75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsbob View Post
    But to answer the OP..

    CompSci is the way to go.. The harder the major the better the payout (normally).

    You can work your tail off, get your CS degree, and then (if you want) go get all your security certifications, which you can do without a degree, In fact I'd bet if you got your degree in Cyber Security, it will not come with the needed certifications, and you'd still need to get all the training required to get your certifications before you become employable.

    A CS degree will open MANY more doors and many more opportunities than an IT, IS or Cyber Security degree will.. and you can always do CompSci with an emphasis or minor in Cyber Security.

    And yes, I have a CompSci degree.. I had NO inclination to do anything related to Cyber Security or IA.

    IF wanting to get into Cyber security the certifications will carry much more weight than a BS degree in it. I have toyed with going back and getting a 2nd MS in Cyber security BUT the cost of another MS degree far outweighs the benefits when I already have a MS. My company doesn't pay for more degrees BUT they will pay for any certification that I want to get. I am working on my CISSP prep right now for round 2 of the exam. After I get my CISSP I will get my Certified Auditor and Certified Ethical Hacker. I work in the Cyber security Industry and those certifications are what is needed. My MS degree meant more to the DoD than the VA. The VA wants certs over degrees.

  2. #22
    Registered User acommondisaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyChevy75 View Post
    IF wanting to get into Cyber security the certifications will carry much more weight than a BS degree in it. I have toyed with going back and getting a 2nd MS in Cyber security BUT the cost of another MS degree far outweighs the benefits when I already have a MS. My company doesn't pay for more degrees BUT they will pay for any certification that I want to get. I am working on my CISSP prep right now for round 2 of the exam. After I get my CISSP I will get my Certified Auditor and Certified Ethical Hacker. I work in the Cyber security Industry and those certifications are what is needed. My MS degree meant more to the DoD than the VA. The VA wants certs over degrees.
    Props for getting your CISSP before your CEH and Auditor.....CEH is a cakewalk you've passed Sec+

    As someone whose been in the Cyber Security field since before 2001, I can vouch for most of what you said, to a point. More and more, the govt is wanting a degree in either Computer Sciences or Cyber Security, but the certs carry a huge weight. Either degree will open a lot of doors; I'd go with where their interest truly lies. From my POV, cyber job requirements I see will take degrees in either/or.
    Chaos breathes life into routine.

  3. #23
    Podunk FL HeavyChevy75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acommondisaster View Post
    Props for getting your CISSP before your CEH and Auditor.....CEH is a cakewalk you've passed Sec+

    As someone whose been in the Cyber Security field since before 2001, I can vouch for most of what you said, to a point. More and more, the govt is wanting a degree in either Computer Sciences or Cyber Security, but the certs carry a huge weight. Either degree will open a lot of doors; I'd go with where their interest truly lies. From my POV, cyber job requirements I see will take degrees in either/or.
    The VA is backwards compared to the DoD for whatever reason. They push certs much harder than degrees. I had my security+ and let it lapse because I didn't need it and oops registering my CEU's. When I was at SPAWAR I had the Security+.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyChevy75 View Post
    The VA is backwards compared to the DoD for whatever reason. They push certs much harder than degrees. I had my security+ and let it lapse because I didn't need it and oops registering my CEU's. When I was at SPAWAR I had the Security+.
    Whether or not it's backwards really depends on the certs, but I tend to agree. Basically all the CompTIA certs are a joke in my opinion (but they will get you 8750 compliant). I took Security+, Network+, and A+ when they came out because the tests were paid for by our department, and passed them all without studying. The Cisco tests were considerably more difficult, and I opted to take the bootcamps for CISSP and CCNA. I think I would have passed the CCNA without the boot camp, the CISSP possibly not. And this is from a guy who did NOT work in the cyber/networking fields, just a degree in CS (well math/CS) that pre-dated even the concept of computer network security (hell TCP/IP wasn't even a thing and our college didn't have Ethernet networks yet, we were using some custom token ring solution). So my opinion will always be that a good education on the underlying theory, math, and algorithms will get you 80% of the way to being proficient in any IT related field, and you should be able to get the last 20% on your own.

  5. #25
    Registered User acommondisaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyChevy75 View Post
    The VA is backwards compared to the DoD for whatever reason. They push certs much harder than degrees. I had my security+ and let it lapse because I didn't need it and oops registering my CEU's. When I was at SPAWAR I had the Security+.
    I think it depends on the agency. The DoD facility I'm at now requires both - no "or equivalents" for degrees; another agency (non-DOD) would take equivalents but required certs before onboarding. Only thing I'd pass on to the OP - if they're thinking about going government or contracting for the government - tell your kid to keep his/her nose clean so they can pass the clearance process - that's as important as all the certs/degrees.
    Chaos breathes life into routine.

  6. #26
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    As you can see I don't usually post here, but I just recently learned a bit about Cyber Security Education. There are essentially two 'paths.' The NSA.gov site breaks it down into Cyber Defense and Cyber Operations. They have a list of 'Centers of Excellence in Cybersecurity.'
    Looking at the descriptions of what is required for a school to make the list may help you understand the difference (Cyber Defense is the path CSM will start you on, Cyber Operations requires more computer science and computer engineering.)

    Here is a link: https://www.nsa.gov/resources/educat...ce/index.shtml

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ladybeachbum View Post
    As you can see I don't usually post here, but I just recently learned a bit about Cyber Security Education. There are essentially two 'paths.' The NSA.gov site breaks it down into Cyber Defense and Cyber Operations. They have a list of 'Centers of Excellence in Cybersecurity.'
    Looking at the descriptions of what is required for a school to make the list may help you understand the difference (Cyber Defense is the path CSM will start you on, Cyber Operations requires more computer science and computer engineering.)

    Here is a link: https://www.nsa.gov/resources/educat...ce/index.shtml
    Great post.

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