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WGU MS:ISA Starts October 1st. Excited for this new journey!

roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
Well, after learning about WGU from this forum back in Feb, I'm finally "IN". It's been a lot of back and forth, and waiting for the right time to get started.
But thank you all for the information about WGU. I think a Master's in Information Security is the right next step for me and will open so many doors.

I have a new baby, new family, and limited resources right now, so I'm very excited for this program to be the edge I need to get a foothold in Cyber Security.

They were able to get me in based on my resume and previous IT experience, as well as from my transcripts. None of my certs transferred over, but when I finish the CEH (which should be soon), they'll remove that from my course requirements.

So now I'm just working through the orientation to get a feel for how everything will work and hope to be ready for my start date. It's going to be such a busy time in my life. I wish I had a magic "pill" like in the movie Limitless lol. So much new information to learn and retain.

I'm also beginning work on my CISSP. When I have my first mentor call, I'm hopefully going to be able to pick out courses that align best with CISSP so that the studies compliment each other and reinforce the materials.

Also, something pretty cool I just learned which all of us "MS cert takers" can benefit from:
Even when I was pending WGU enrollment, they had already given me a .edu email address. With that, I was able to register with Microsoft Dreamspark. https://www.dreamspark.com/


Here you can get free developer software, or OS’s for your virtual labs. I was able to get a licensed copy of Server 2012 Datacenter and Windows 2008 R2 for free. Pretty cool.


Also, when you link up your student account with your MCP certification account, you can get discounts on Microsoft exam vouchers. Instead of paying $150, I now get exams for $83. I think the amount depends on the school though, but with WGU, its $83 per cert. They also have a coupon with PluralSight for a free 90 days of access.

Anyhow, I'm very excited to finally be knocking out my Master's degree. I'm aiming for a 12 month finish, but we'll see how it all goes. I know life will get in the way. But Carpe Diem!
浪人 MSISA:WGU
ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP

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    cs8400cs8400 Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! Just a little over half way done with the MS:ISA. Great program! Wish you well in it.
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    TranceSoulBrotherTranceSoulBrother Member Posts: 215
    I just started as well two weeks ago. So far so good, though I'm learning the way their tasks are worded and have to really fight daily against my penchant for procrastination and letting work and life get in the way.
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    People here seem to love the program. To me it was one of the most mundane pieces of crap I've done in my life. Best of luck with VLT2.
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    Best of luck! I have 3 courses left.
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    TranceSoulBrotherTranceSoulBrother Member Posts: 215
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    People here seem to love the program. To me it was one of the most mundane pieces of crap I've done in my life. Best of luck with VLT2.
    It's not so much loving it as much as it is the utilitarian value of the degree and "some" of the information.
    I've already got some bad taste from the technical part of getting in, but so far the mentor has been supportive of me wanting and hoping to finish in one term, as well as trying to understand and complete the tasks.
    One thing that is frustrating me somewhat is the "old material" that is provided for course reading. I was hoping that with their corporate access to ProQuest or any other technical library, they would revamp the course and not have to read about something from 2001 or 2007 (dog years in the IT world...). But at the end of the day, it's only a piece of paper and you can't beat the price of it. One can round off the experience with certifications and work.
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    Something to consider: it seems that some of the Task Stream graders are not particularly technical; things that would be otherwise inferred need to be explicitly defined.
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    roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    How was the CHFI material in this program? I've heard the test is kind of a joke. Also, in regard to book materials, is it all "online reading". My previous employer had the Book24x7 which is absolutely horrible. Worst reading experience ever. I think WGU uses this too. I'll probably just buy a hard copy book w/ Kindle version. For IT/Tech related content, I like physical books. Otherwise I've gone completely digital.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
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    NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    It's not so much loving it as much as it is the utilitarian value of the degree and "some" of the information.

    Reason if I get my Master's I'm going somewhere else... (DSU)
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    dmoore44dmoore44 Member Posts: 646
    dragonsden wrote: »
    Also, something pretty cool I just learned which all of us "MS cert takers" can benefit from:
    Even when I was pending WGU enrollment, they had already given me a .edu email address. With that, I was able to register with Microsoft Dreamspark. https://www.dreamspark.com/


    Here you can get free developer software, or OS’s for your virtual labs. I was able to get a licensed copy of Server 2012 Datacenter and Windows 2008 R2 for free. Pretty cool.

    You also get free access to the Azure platform, and get to use it totally free (not like MSDN access free, which charges a few pennies per hour of uptime) which is pretty awesome! I've set up an Azure account, but haven't spawned any VMs yet. I've got an idea for a new service that needs to be fleshed out a bit before I start spinning up VMs and configuring stuff.

    Anyway, good luck in your program!
    Graduated Carnegie Mellon University MSIT: Information Security & Assurance Currently Reading Books on TensorFlow
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    TranceSoulBrotherTranceSoulBrother Member Posts: 215
    Reason if I get my Master's I'm going somewhere else... (DSU)

    I'm not knocking down WGU but I view most of the degrees available as utilitarian, just because of the way that HR and some companies are using them. You might have someone with a degree in history but who is somewhat computer savvy and writes well, next he gets a job thanks to certs or job experience not only because of his degree.
    American degrees are already a bit bloated (especially bachelor's) with unnecessary classes to "round off your education" blah!
    Like Will Hunting says, you could have the same education with a free library card and $150 in late book fees.
    I'm already spending a bunch of time on LYT2 solely because of work time constraints but mainly because of stupid class requirements that sap my morale. But I'm bootstrapping my studies again this week.
    Getting off my soap box now.
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    People here seem to love the program. To me it was one of the most mundane pieces of crap I've done in my life. Best of luck with VLT2.

    I hate to be harsh, and I will definitely have my own writeup of my experiences when I finish, but I agree with cyberguypr. This MSISA is the biggest piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to be a part of.

    A few tidbits of why I think so:
    1. Vague and confusing assignment instructions and rubric
    2. The absolute worst graders who haven't a clue of what they are doing
    3. Work turned back with little to no details of what is wrong
    4. Work turned back for things they claim you didn't do when in fact you did (in my case an appeal reversed the graders idiotic choice to say I didn't meed requirements)
    5. Work taking 4 days to be reviewed. This is the real gut puncher here.

    To add, the ONLY reason I'm even bothering at this point is that A) I'm time committed and close to the finish line, and B) The value proposition is too good to pass up. Basically, I'm absolutely going back to The University of Florida for my MBA and I didn't feel like paying $30k for a MSISA degree on top of the MBA cost. That is the ONLY reason I put up with this turd.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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    NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    I start also on oct 1. Small world! you are in california!
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    NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    I hate to be harsh, and I will definitely have my own writeup of my experiences when I finish, but I agree with cyberguypr. This MSISA is the biggest piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to be a part of.

    A few tidbits of why I think so:
    1. Vague and confusing assignment instructions and rubric
    2. The absolute worst graders who haven't a clue of what they are doing
    3. Work turned back with little to no details of what is wrong
    4. Work turned back for things they claim you didn't do when in fact you did (in my case an appeal reversed the graders idiotic choice to say I didn't meed requirements)
    5. Work taking 4 days to be reviewed. This is the real gut puncher here.

    To add, the ONLY reason I'm even bothering at this point is that A) I'm time committed and close to the finish line, and B) The value proposition is too good to pass up. Basically, I'm absolutely going back to The University of Florida for my MBA and I didn't feel like paying $30k for a MSISA degree on top of the MBA cost. That is the ONLY reason I put up with this turd.

    Will a brick and mortar accept WGU? Im thinking of going for another degree after this. What do u think about MBA in IT at WGU?
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    roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm starting tomorrow and choosing courses for term 1. I just had my mentor orientation call today. Here's my plan so far. Keep in mind, that I'm also working through CISSP studies in parallel with the goal of CISSP in 90 days from 10/01/15. I'm hoping my initial course selection will align nicely with CISSP and compliment the study load. Should I load more for term 1? I've been reading some people knocking out a class in 2-3 weeks. Seems fast, but hey I'm committed and have my family supporting this effort all the way!

    26 CUs to Graduation
    Completed (via CEH exam)
    C701 - Ethical Hacking (4 CU)


    Term 1 Courses (9 CU):
    LYT2 - Current & Emerging Technology (3 CU)
    JIT2 - Risk Management (2 CU)
    C702 - Forensics and Network Intrusion (4 CU)


    Term 2 Courses (17 CU):
    VLT2 - Security Policies and Standards - Best Practices (3 CU)
    FXT2 - Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention, and Response (2 CU)
    TFT2 - Cyberlaw, Regulations, and Compliance (3 CU)
    UVC2 - Cryptography (3 CU)
    VUT2 - Vulnerability Assessment (2 CU)
    LQT2 - Information Security & Assurance Capstone Project (4 CU)
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    Will a brick and mortar accept WGU? Im thinking of going for another degree after this. What do u think about MBA in IT at WGU?

    Yes, WGU is a regionally accredited, non-profit university and their degrees are accepted by other universities when looking to get a higher level degree.

    dragonsden wrote: »
    Should I load more for term 1?

    No, and especially not for your first term as you get adjusted to the style of "on your own" education, and the Taskstream system. Keep in mind, you can always add more classes to your term if you finish the initial ones, but you cannot remove classes if you overbook yourself.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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    Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    I hate to be harsh, and I will definitely have my own writeup of my experiences when I finish, but I agree with cyberguypr. This MSISA is the biggest piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to be a part of.

    A few tidbits of why I think so:
    1. Vague and confusing assignment instructions and rubric
    2. The absolute worst graders who haven't a clue of what they are doing
    3. Work turned back with little to no details of what is wrong
    4. Work turned back for things they claim you didn't do when in fact you did (in my case an appeal reversed the graders idiotic choice to say I didn't meed requirements)
    5. Work taking 4 days to be reviewed. This is the real gut puncher here.

    While they are all totally legitimate gripes, are all of your issues with the grading system? It seems like something WGU could actually fix, somehow.
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    Definitely start with just a few classes. If you finish them quickly you can take on others. I initially signed up for two and ended up completing 6 in the first term. If you are studying for CISSP I think you can easily kill the crypto exam closer to the end of your CISSP studies.
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    While they are all totally legitimate gripes, are all of your issues with the grading system? It seems like something WGU could actually fix, somehow.

    While I have specific issues with Taskstream/grading system, they are totally in WGU's realm of control and are things that they could fix. Bring grading in-house, or force Taskstream to increase staffing dedicated to their assignments via SLA.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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