MS in Cyber Security for an old man

spurteespurtee Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm a database professional, 28 years in the industry. Worked for Oracle for 15 years.
I'm thinking about going back to school to get a Masters in Cyber Security.

I am 50 years old and wonder if it's worth it. I've made big money in the past and could again, but I'm doing fine financially.
Have looked at lots of schools. National University currently looks most interesting - curious about monthly classes.
Have considered getting certs, that will expire, but the Masters is probably better.

Given the advances in medicine, I expect the retirement age to be raised soon, which means I could likely have another 20 years of work ahead of me.

Found this board of seemingly reasonable participants and thought I'd pose a question.



  • Options
    stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Welcome to the forum, Steve. I think it would be worth it, to be honest. It never expires, which is nice. Which concentration would you go for?
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • Options
    636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 975 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you can afford it then go right ahead. To be honest, in my region a Masters won't really do much for you. Employers are sucking up anybody with any security skills as quickly as possible. Learn as much as you can about Topic X, apply for a job, get hired in a week. A masters will help you stand out from the crowd, but to be honest you'd get hired without a masters as long as you knew what you were doing. In terms of what? General security analyst (know a little bit about everything, leaning towards networking more than others), incident response/forensics.
  • Options
    spurteespurtee Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Haven't really decided on a concentration. The forensics sounds like fun. I am going to likely take a class at the local community college to see if I like the forensics. It's a good school, but only offers an Associates of Science.

    636, are you suggesting getting certifications or something else would have more immediate advantage ?
  • Options
    emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    certs hold an interesting place in the Cyber Sec world. You will be competing with folks who have not only masters degrees in info sec but more than likely relevant certs as well (CISSP, CEH, SANS certs). If you have been in the security game for a while then certs will be less important but looking for a transition, certs will help you get your foot in the door. Masters is more for higher level roles.
  • Options
    stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The Computer Forensics specialization does include a class about database forensics. That fits with your experience with databases. Might be an interesting leverage point for you. Considering your years of experience, you might gravitate toward the Information Assurance and Security Policy specialization, if you are looking for a higher level, managerial-type of job.

    As mentioned, you could look into certifications. When you pair them with an M.Sc. degree, they will likely be indispensable for someone looking for a higher-level position.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • Options
    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    This would be a good option:

    Master of Science in Applied Computer Science | Dakota State University

    Master of Science in Applied Computer Science with a specialization in Cyber Operations. 100% online, state school and regionally accredited.
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA 
    2021: GRID | GDSA | Pentest+ 
    2022: GMON | GDAT
    2023: GREM  | GSE | GCFA

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops SANS Grad Cert: Incident Response
  • Options
    scaredoftestsscaredoftests Mod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    Yes, it is worth it, no matter how 'young' you are. (See what I did there...?):D Yes, 20 years for me..not thinking of retirement.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • Options
    pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Find a program that has a course that prepares you for CISSP and take that course first. That cert alone should open things up very quickly for you.
  • Options
    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If your thinking about the CISSP be sure you actually fully qualify for the exam first. Its fairly easy for folks to "make something up" -most do, by the way. Which is why the certification is loosing its luster. Its practically required for security practitioners but abused to absurdity. Just ask any veteran recruiter about certification inflation.

    DBAs in security are rare and hotly sought after particularly in penetration testing as you already know the vulnerability structures, scripting, database architecture and a host of other needed knowledge not exactly found in GPEN and other pentesting certifications. Though a good start to decide if you want to pursue a full time career in InfoSec. Never been wild about the CEH for being more than the "tour of tools" but is reasonably cheap and accessible since there are hundreds of resources to pass the exam.

    I'd go through the CEH, a quick exam, and see if it interests you enough to want to sit through 2-4 years worth of classes, first.

    Security is a stranger beast than IT.

    - b/eads
Sign In or Register to comment.