WGU Cyber Security Degree worth it?

digitalcreepshowdigitalcreepshow Posts: 14Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I am new to this website! I was hoping someone could give me the rundown on their opinion (or hopefully experience) with the Cyber Security degree program offered by WGU. My main concern is how well a program like this allows me to be qualified for actual security positions once I graduate. I want to get into this field and am not sure if this program is even worth my time. I have heard some say it will be enough to get entry level offers, while others say it will not. Any thoughts on this matter and about the quality of the program itself? Please give as much information as possible! Too much information is always better than not enough! Thanks guys!


  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers The ceiling is glass. USAPosts: 877Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Are you talking about the undergrad or graduate degree?

    Either way, the chances of someone just giving you a job straight out of school or right after you get a certification is kind of low. Typically people start where they are able to, and then move up once they get relevant experience.

    So, if you need a degree to get that foot in the door then you need a degree. I will say that you will also get certifications through WGU too, and that can help.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Posts: 301Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It depends on the job market in your area, but it's doubtful. Think about it, what company would entrust their cybersecurity needs to someone who doesn't have a strong foundation of knowledge about how systems and networks work? I mean more than what you read in a book, actual hands-on knowledge.

    My interest is in becoming a red team penetration tester, but I cannot look you straight in the eye and tell you that my testing won't break something, nor can I tell you that I can fix what I broke if I screw something up. Why would anyone hire me like that?

    Unless you know all the right people who are willing to train you, I wouldn't bank on it.
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 892Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Have you looked at WGU's admission requirements? WGU appears to not let someone with zero experience/training/certifications in, which is a good thing. Many other schools accept just about anyone. You might need to get a cert or two first.

    I sort of feel like all these new cybersecurity degree programs are like the over hyped criminal justice programs from a few years back. For a person with no other IT or software work experience, training, or certifications at the least, I worry that these kinds of degrees might be skimping on some of the fundamental courses--there is so much to learn when it comes to IT.

    There is an alleged shortage in the workforce according to surveys, but then some surveys also say the average A+ holder makes $79,877 (they don't).
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • BlackBeretBlackBeret Posts: 684Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    A degree is just a piece of paper that says you've learned about X field. A degree from any school won't guarantee a job. Where WGU shines for many is that it's focused on working professionals who are trying to get a degree to learn a bit more or look better career wise. Experience is what gets you a job, and when the majority of your degree holders already have the experience, it's easy to say people with a degree from WGU get jobs. Same applies to any school.

    To answer your concern, " My main concern is how well a program like this allows me to be qualified for actual security positions once I graduate.", yes and no. Anyone who says one or the other is narrowly focused.

    Security is a LARGE field of study. You can get entry level positions in some companies with no degree. Other companies will require a Masters degree, 5 years of experience, and 15 certifications for their entry level positions. Some positions require a lot of knowledge and experience, some can be taught on the job to someone who can read and write well.

    The important take away from a degree program is what you learn. Look at the courses, decide if that's what you want to study, and go from there.
  • digitalcreepshowdigitalcreepshow Posts: 14Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    A little clarification on my end. I have been accepted into the program. I currently work in the IT industry as a Systems Analyst at the second largest school district in my state. I am also going to start doing on the job security training with our network admin when time allows. So I am not some random dude thinking this degree will magically fix my life. But at the same time, surely somewhere people are looking for entry level SOC Analysts or network security staff. I mean someone has to start at level 0 right? No one magically starts with experience under their belt. I just want some opinions on my current situation and if I couple my real job experience now as a Systems Analyst + this degree + certifications + some security training on the job will at least qualify me for some interviews for security positions. I know it is ultimately up to me to get a job, but I want to at least be qualified for something. Any thoughts?
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Posts: 438Member
    I have a buddy that was working with me at a small managed IT firm. He previously had a bachelors from a brick and mortar school not IT related. He started down the bachelors Security track at WGU. Got a few of the certs under his belt, and ended up getting a job with a local company that does security audits.

    He spent about 2 years traveling the country doing audits(not really any actual IT security) finished his degree at WGU and landed a high level management job with a large retailer for IT Security, and then a Director position at another large firm.

    So yes. There is value to the degree tract. However it's what YOU do with it that matters the most.
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Posts: 399Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Gives you better odds at landing a job. Plus you get some certs out of it. We all start somewhere.
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