Finished WGU's MS:IS&A. I had a lot of questions when I started, so AMA.

Finished the program last month. Was working full time, so took all 4 terms to complete it.

Didn't have much of a security background before starting the program, except for Sec+. At this point in my career I am kind of a jack of all trades and did the program in hopes of specializing into security. Once I get out of the military we will see if I can take my TS clearance and make that happen!

If you are thinking about the program, be prepared for a lot of writing and you better be an excellent self motivator! I think the programmed has changed a bit since I started, because the version I did included CCENT.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the program if you are looking for a good, low cost, graduate degree.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.
Never stop learning.

Comments

  • evarneyevarney Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey, I am thinking of getting into this degree program.

    I work full time as well as a network admin/engineer doing mainly switching and routing. I need to figure out if this is the degree for me. My plan would be to ram this through in about two sessions. Is that feasible? I don't have a family and all I do outside of work is exercise really so I can devote quite a bit of time to this. What was the reading like?
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    evarney wrote: »
    Hey, I am thinking of getting into this degree program.

    I work full time as well as a network admin/engineer doing mainly switching and routing. I need to figure out if this is the degree for me. My plan would be to ram this through in about two sessions. Is that feasible? I don't have a family and all I do outside of work is exercise really so I can devote quite a bit of time to this. What was the reading like?

    Well you will not get much networking in this degree, but a lot of security planning, disaster recovery, system hardening, etc... And it is definitely feasible if you are motivated. Sometimes its hard to come home from work and then do school work for 4 hours... The reading was pretty good, all the books are provided free online or you can order them.
    Never stop learning.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,647 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats! So, I would say, with your TS and this degree, start studying for the CISSP and get 'er done. Even if you cannot verify the experience (I have to think you can come up with 4 years since you have the lower requirement), the Associate of (ISC)2 is still good enough for DoD. That is your ticket, right there.
    AZ-203 [ ] AZ-400 [ ]
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  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I was just wondering about the online material. Is it something that can be read on a kindle?

    I can't really read off my computer very well so I would have to order real copies of the book if I could not get them to work on something like the Kindle paper white. I have been thinking of picking one up just because of the size and cost of most technical books.

    One other question that I am sure has been answered but while I'm here what the hell. At the start of the term do you get all of your material and work on them simultaneously? Some subjects just work easier if you spread them out. If it does not hold you attention it would be hard to work on it every day.

    Congrats on your degree.
    Jon
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,887 Mod
    A Kindle is awful for WGU. See: http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/98374-wgu-ereader-tablet.html

    You'll get access to all the courses upfront, so in theory you could work in whatever you want. The caveat is that you are "officially" enrolled in only a few courses at a time. That means you can only submit work for grading for those classes. As you demonstrate competency and complete classes your mentor will allow you to add more courses. A good example is CEH and CHFI. You can start reading for those ahead of time while officially enrolled in other classes. The only issue is that for these two particular classes you don't get access to the videos and labs until you officially enroll. Works well for other paper writing classes though.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »

    Thank you. I have a windows laptop that works as a tablet so I can probably use that if something new does not come along before I enroll. I'm looking at possibly starting next year and just gathering important information right now. I currently prefer real books simply because I sit at a computer 12+ hours a day between school and work. Any break from a computer screen is a blessing lol.
  • evarneyevarney Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well my question would be, can you feasibly ram this through if you were to prepare in advance by going through the entire list of books before hand if you happen to have access to them? Doing it during the holidays when things are slow sounds like an optimum way of doing things.
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    powerfool wrote: »
    Congrats! So, I would say, with your TS and this degree, start studying for the CISSP and get 'er done. Even if you cannot verify the experience (I have to think you can come up with 4 years since you have the lower requirement), the Associate of (ISC)2 is still good enough for DoD. That is your ticket, right there.

    Thanks for the tip, I was thinking that would be a good one to go for! I think I can swing my Information Assurance additional duty as the experience requirement ;)
    Never stop learning.
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    I was just wondering about the online material. Is it something that can be read on a kindle?

    I can't really read off my computer very well so I would have to order real copies of the book if I could not get them to work on something like the Kindle paper white. I have been thinking of picking one up just because of the size and cost of most technical books.

    One other question that I am sure has been answered but while I'm here what the hell. At the start of the term do you get all of your material and work on them simultaneously? Some subjects just work easier if you spread them out. If it does not hold you attention it would be hard to work on it every day.

    Congrats on your degree.
    Jon

    Very few would work on your kindle paper white. A lot of them can be downloaded as a PDF and then read in adobe or something if you have another type of tablet. Also can just read online without downloading if you have an internet connection.

    All of the material for the current class you are in is available to you when you begin that class. Your mentor will usually make the next classes material available before you finish your current class so it is a smooth transition.

    Thanks!
    Never stop learning.
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    evarney wrote: »
    Well my question would be, can you feasibly ram this through if you were to prepare in advance by going through the entire list of books before hand if you happen to have access to them? Doing it during the holidays when things are slow sounds like an optimum way of doing things.

    Yes you could do the reading before hand which would help, but odds are you would be going back to look through them as you work on tasks. The reading wasn't the time consuming part for me, it was the writing. Wrote hundreds of pages throughout the program. Also studying for CEH and CHFI, didn't want to rush those as they we're pretty fun.
    Never stop learning.
  • aspiringsoulaspiringsoul Member Posts: 314
    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your feedback! Hopefully I'll have this finished in two years.
    Education: MS-Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, BS-Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University, AAS-Computer Network Systems - ITT Tech,
  • evarneyevarney Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    When you say hundreds of pages, would you say that each assignment was like a 20-page report?
  • haydezhaydez Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've applied for the program and was hoping to start in October but that got pushed back thanks to the EC Council. I took the CEH before applying since I figured I'd get a nice head start and my work was paying for it. It took the EC Council over a month to send my transcript after I asked them to ... and of course it was after the 15th deadline. Argh.

    Do you have any suggestions/advice on what I can do to get a jump start on it? I pre-ordered the new CHFI book and that should be here sometime this week. Any other things I can work on and knock out quickly? I'd like to possibly finish the program in a year since I have a lot of down time at work.
  • daviddwsdaviddws MCSA x2, MCITP, CIOS, CSIS, CNIP, CSSS, CLNP MCTS, MTA, MCP,  ITILv3, LPIC-1, VCA-WM, SCLA, CTS,  Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Whiteout wrote: »
    Sometimes its hard to come home from work and then do school work for 4 hours.

    understatement of the day! Graduate school feels like your getting hit with a hammer everyday, and you go back for more.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    evarney wrote: »
    When you say hundreds of pages, would you say that each assignment was like a 20-page report?

    Well not all of them, but their is a lot of writing. My thesis was around 80 pages if I remember. It's usually not your basic essay either, you could be creating a security plan, hardening a specific system or researching the best software to use for forensics. Lots of scenario based assignments. WGU lays it out very well what they are looking for in the assignment as well.
    Never stop learning.
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    haydez wrote: »
    I've applied for the program and was hoping to start in October but that got pushed back thanks to the EC Council. I took the CEH before applying since I figured I'd get a nice head start and my work was paying for it. It took the EC Council over a month to send my transcript after I asked them to ... and of course it was after the 15th deadline. Argh.

    Do you have any suggestions/advice on what I can do to get a jump start on it? I pre-ordered the new CHFI book and that should be here sometime this week. Any other things I can work on and knock out quickly? I'd like to possibly finish the program in a year since I have a lot of down time at work.

    Always fun waiting on somebody else's time... If you have downtime at work and CEH already done, definitely can do it in a year if you are focused. The only thing that might hold you back at the end is your thesis. Took me a while to settle on a topic and then narrow down the scope. In preparation I would say just read through that CHFI book you have. Your allowed to take classes in any order you want, so you could take CHFI first if the information is going to be fresh in your head.

    Good luck.
    Never stop learning.
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    daviddws wrote: »
    understatement of the day! Graduate school feels like your getting hit with a hammer everyday, and you go back for more.

    Ha ha, true that. I am so happy to be done, trying to figure out what to do with all these free time! Where are you at in Washington? I just moved to Tampa after living there for the first 25 years of my life.
    Never stop learning.
  • evarneyevarney Member Posts: 68 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So you are allowed to do the CEH stuff first?
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    evarney wrote: »
    So you are allowed to do the CEH stuff first?
    You can choose what order you do the classes, although their is a recommned order. The class before CEH goes over alot of the concepts covered in the exam.
    Never stop learning.
  • daviddwsdaviddws MCSA x2, MCITP, CIOS, CSIS, CNIP, CSSS, CLNP MCTS, MTA, MCP,  ITILv3, LPIC-1, VCA-WM, SCLA, CTS,  Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Whiteout wrote: »
    Ha ha, true that. I am so happy to be done, trying to figure out what to do with all these free time! Where are you at in Washington? I just moved to Tampa after living there for the first 25 years of my life.

    I'm living in Gig Harbor. Previously from bay area in California.
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • WhiteoutWhiteout Member Posts: 248
    daviddws wrote: »
    I'm living in Gig Harbor. Previously from bay area in California.

    Ha ha, no way. I just moved from Gig Harbor, the family still lives there. Have a beer at 7 Seas for me!
    Never stop learning.
  • 5502george5502george Member Posts: 264
    Does WGU give credits for certifications and experience in INFOSEC?
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    They do not give credit for experience directly, although that experience can help you power the courses quickly, since the courses are completed at your leisure, not a predefined structure... there used to be several certs in the course (CCENT, CEH, CHFI, GIAC 2700) that would be credited if you already had them, but I believe they are phasing them out.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
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