I am considering investing $20,000 for a master's degree in information assurance through Norwich University, one of the few universities endorsed by the NSA as a leader in information assurance education. What is your opinion of certifications versus degrees in the area of information security? Also, would a master's degree in information security from a lesser known school carry as much weight when it comes time to job hunt? Great...
questions, all of them, and they touch on a key aspect involved in any job search: a candidate's ability to represent him- or herself well, and to position what he or she knows in a positive, relevant and compelling way. It's still very much the case that an advanced degree like a master's in IA, CS, MIS, etc. is perceived to have greater value than even a fairly prestigious security certification such as the CISSP or CPP -- as long as the candidate who holds the degree can meet or exceed the experience requirements that come with these credentials.
You will want to address not only what you studied and what you know, but also what you've seen and done, and what kinds of security situations you've encountered and problems you've solved, when you get to the interview stage. All that said, your plan makes pretty good sense to me. As a sanity check, however, it's entirely reasonable for you to ask Norwich University the following questions:
- What kinds of job placement assistance does your program include?
- What placement rates have prior graduates enjoyed?
- What kinds of starting salaries are typical for graduates?
- What kinds of organizations have hired graduates? ...and so forth (hopefully, you get the drift by now, I hope).
HTH, and good luck with your security education activities.
Dig deeper on IT Career Development and Training
Related Q&A from Ed Tittel, Networking Career, Certification Expert
The cyber security skills shortage comes from an aging workforce and lack of interest in security among students. Emphasis must be put on education ...continue reading
Career expert Ed Tittel discusses which Microsoft certifications he considers most important for those pursuing a career in .NET.continue reading
Career expert Ed Tittel helps guide a reader toward the correct certs for meeting his goal of working in the network administration field.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.