WGU MS:ITM, MBA:ITM, other?

soccarplayer29soccarplayer29 CISSP, CISA, PMPPosts: 229Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hoping to get some advice/direction from the smart people here.

I'm interested in attending WGU (cost/schedule/etc.) and am currently torn on which master program to go after. Not seriously considering MSCIA as I feel the material overlaps with my past studies (CISSP) and professional experience and wouldn't provide as much learning/growth.

I'm in a security compliance role and would like to continue moving up. My attraction to the MS:ITM is that I could use the courses to satisfy CISSP CEU requirements while the MBA coursework will not count towards that but would provide a more strategic knowledge for a potential leadership position.

I know i'm leaving out a lot but any questions/thoughts that could help would be greatly appreciated!
Certs: CISSP, CISA, PMP

Comments

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    This question, and variations, has come up before.

    I'm actually in a similar position, although a different country, where I am deciding what next. I have a Master's degree already - similar to your situation of professional experience and CISSP - and have worked for a while. A Master's in Management would be an easier transition from a technical background for me, but I realised that I would likely end up wanting to do an MBA in any case. So for me it makes sense to just do the MBA.

    The Master's in Management (IT or otherwise) tends to be aimed at early career or new graduates wanting to move into junior leadership roles (Project Managers, Team Leaders). The MBA is aimed at later career people who already have leadership experience, and are looking at senior and c-level roles.

    So the MBA tends to deal a bit more with senior and C level concerns such as strategy and governance. MBAs also tend to attract people with real world experience, and tend to have more real world exercises. This can be good for peer learning, discussions, networking, interesting questions and meshing the academic with the practical.

    In a way, the MBA is similar for people in management roles to how the WGU BS's are for IT people: you can leverage your real world experience to make the course a lot easier.

    The MBAs tend to be a little bit more generalist in focus, which it needs to be to give adequate coverage of the Business components. So you spend less on the IT and more on the M(anagement). All that fun stuff like accounting and marketing, ethics, governance and Leadership.

    So some questions you might want to consider are: where do you want to go, how fast do you want to get there, what interests you now, how much time/money do you want to spend on Masters' degrees?
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • soccarplayer29soccarplayer29 CISSP, CISA, PMP Posts: 229Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the quick response and links to the other threads.

    I guess I'm kind of in between the two in my career right now. I can progress naturally based on my experience and credentials to small team leadership position within 1 year without any additional education. My focus is more long term as I think both the MS:ITM and MBA:ITM will be valuable but am trying to avoid doing both I guess. The MS:ITM is most relevant short term (<2 years) both MBA aligns more with long term goals.

    Trying to decide which one I should target to start in about 6 months which is difficult in my mind as I'll be functional managerial role but a few years away from C level/strategic level. MS:ITM seems like it would be more relevant now but my current skills already meets most of the requirements/gaps I'd need for those types of roles.

    Thanks again OctalDump!
    Certs: CISSP, CISA, PMP
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Posts: 182Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have thought about getting an MBA too for years I just always decided not to because of a lot of reasons. For one, at least what I hear from unlucky MBA graduates I know, that their MBA didn't really mean much to employers. I think the MS:ITM would be a better option IMO. The problem I hear from friends who got an MBA is they thought the curriculum was too general and not enough specialization. Actually years ago immediately after I got my CIS degree I started a postbachelorate certificate in accounting, just because I thought the accounting would carry more weight than the MBA and it also would be a hell lot cheaper too. I regret I got my master's in education instead of finishing that postbachelorate degree in accounting, but oh well. I got persuaded by friends to quit the accounting and do a masters in education instead. Best advice is to follow your gut sometimes rather than opinions of friends and relatives. If your gut says go for the MBA instead of the MS:ITM then do that.

    I will add: Very good MBA programs tend to be very tough to get into, they cost a lot more then other graduate degrees (35k+ for an MBA at Purdue-Calumet), they tend to be very rigorous, and the math tends to be very demanding. A relative of mine has an undergrad degree in Mathematics/Actuary Science. He later got his MBA from at top 20 MBA program. He said the MBA was a nightmare and even he found the math very rigorous and demanding. I have met so many MBA grads who thought their MBA's were worthless, even people who got MBA's from really good schools. So based on that evidence that is why I think the MS:ITM would be a better option.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
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