Masters in Computer Science @ DSU

the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
Got the news today I was accepted for the Masters in Computer Science!  I will be starting in Summer and will be taking my time.  They've changed the program a bit (such as now being Computer Science instead of Applied Computer Science) so I'll have about 7 pre-reqs to take before I can officially start.  End goal is to get the PhD in Cybersecurity, but due to my lack of a Computer Science background I would have had to complete the Masters anyway.  The rub is, if you were accepted directly into the PhD program (big if) and had to take the Masters courses you would not be awarded the Masters.  I figured if I'm paying I might as well get the degree.

Going to be a long road, but it will make a huge difference for my work.  I'll keep everyone up to date as I progress!
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Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Jealous here!  Good luck!  Was close to starting it before... but all the pre-reqs was kinda holding me up on actually starting it.   Definitely interested to hear how it goes.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah I was accepted a few years back and went for my Masters in Legal Studies.  Still happy with that investment, but ready to move on the technical journey.
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    First two courses are scheduled!  Assembly and Data Structures...ready to get rolling!
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  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,780Mod Mod
    Good luck!!! I've definitely had my eye on their program (and the DSc!) for a while.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, 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
  • sensitivestoicsensitivestoic A+; Network+; Security+; MCSA Windows 10 Illinois, USAPosts: 59Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Got the news today I was accepted for the Masters in Computer Science!  I will be starting in Summer and will be taking my time.  They've changed the program a bit (such as now being Computer Science instead of Applied Computer Science) so I'll have about 7 pre-reqs to take before I can officially start.  End goal is to get the PhD in Cybersecurity, but due to my lack of a Computer Science background I would have had to complete the Masters anyway.  The rub is, if you were accepted directly into the PhD program (big if) and had to take the Masters courses you would not be awarded the Masters.  I figured if I'm paying I might as well get the degree.

    Going to be a long road, but it will make a huge difference for my work.  I'll keep everyone up to date as I progress!
    Good luck on the higher ed journey! Maybe I'm not as familiar with some of the acronyms here. Which university is DSU?
    Certs Achieved: CompTIA A+ | Net+ | Sec+| MCSA Windows 10
    Currently Studying:
    CompTIA Project+
    Future Goals: 
    CompTIA Server+ | MCSA Server 2016 | PMP



  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Dakota State University.  The program is extremely good while being moderately priced compared to other schools.  They get a lot of students from three letter agencies which tells you a lot.
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  • sensitivestoicsensitivestoic A+; Network+; Security+; MCSA Windows 10 Illinois, USAPosts: 59Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Dakota State University.  The program is extremely good while being moderately priced compared to other schools.  They get a lot of students from three letter agencies which tells you a lot.
    Maybe I'll have to take a look at it myself ;) Good luck in your pursuits!
    Certs Achieved: CompTIA A+ | Net+ | Sec+| MCSA Windows 10
    Currently Studying:
    CompTIA Project+
    Future Goals: 
    CompTIA Server+ | MCSA Server 2016 | PMP



  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited April 30
    Finally bit the bullet and gonna start to go for this as well.  All registered up for a couple classes this summer!  Haven't done any real programming in a while (and my degree isn't Computer Science) so gonna start off taking some lower level ones this summer/fall semesters.  (CSC 150, CIS 275, CSC 250 and CSC 260, those make up the "Object-Oriented Programming Certificate" program there)  Then planning on going for the Assembly and Data Structures next Spring semester, and then the other pre-req courses

    Will be taking it fairly slow and only doing 2 classes a semester (maybe 1 class a few times, we'll see).  I'm not in a huge hurry.   Going to be doing more programming in my job coming up this year so figure I should get good at.  Should be fun!
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Awesome!  I have Data Structures and Assembly starting Monday.  Both professors got great reviews and the material (at least for Assembly) looks awesome.  In a couple weeks we jump right into buffer overflows and shellcode.
    WIP:
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'd recommend that you brush up on (or learn) C++.  Data Structures is all C++ and it seems like they might reference it a bit in the Assembly course.
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    So far I have been doing well, but man is this program difficult.  You will definitely need to put in the time to be successful, but you will definitely learn a ton.

    I am at a bit of a disadvantage by not knowing C++ fully.  I took it in high school, but that was 15 years ago so had to relearn it.  That being said, a few sleepless nights and I got a 100 on my first data structures project.  Assembly we've just started coding and boy do I have a new found respect for the old time programmers.  Worrying about how many registers you have in order to do simple math is pretty insane.

    I definitely highly recommend the program thus far.  Probably be about a year before I start my actual Master's classes, but if the pre-reqs are any indication I am going to be one hell of a Cyber Exploitation Expert!
    WIP:
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited May 31
    Nice!  One of the classes I'm taking right now is the introductory computer science course which so far we have only had couple very simple C programming assignments.  Then there is a second C programming course I'll be taking next semester before doing the Assembly course in the spring.  Hopefully they help a little bit with the C++ needed for that course!
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    C to C++ isn't a heavy lift so don't worry too much.  As far as I can tell, printf and scanf become cout and cin (with << and >>) and header file names change.  Are you taking CSC 200 and CSC 250?
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I’m taking CIS275 and CSC150 this semester and then CSC250 and 260 next semester (finishing the certificate in the link below). My previous college courses would cover these, but that was over a decade ago and was in JAVA so decided to take the long road and just go through the concepts again. 

    https://dsu.edu/assets/uploads/resources/Object_Oriented_Cert-MAP.pdf
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,985Mod Mod
    Good luck mate!

    Out of curiosity, you couldn't use your Legal studies MS to get into a cybersecurity PhD? there are many areas in cyber security that don't need a CS background (e.g. policy, management, culture/awareness, GRC, ...)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,985Mod Mod
    So far I have been doing well, but man is this program difficult.  You will definitely need to put in the time to be successful, but you will definitely learn a ton.

    I am at a bit of a disadvantage by not knowing C++ fully.  I took it in high school, but that was 15 years ago so had to relearn it.  That being said, a few sleepless nights and I got a 100 on my first data structures project.  Assembly we've just started coding and boy do I have a new found respect for the old time programmers.  Worrying about how many registers you have in order to do simple math is pretty insane.


    C++ was my game in undergrad, I remember learning it extremely well from a book by Deitel & Deitel

    (but that was in 2004)...

    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I’m taking CIS275 and CSC150 this semester and then CSC250 and 260 next semester (finishing the certificate in the link below). My previous college courses would cover these, but that was over a decade ago and was in JAVA so decided to take the long road and just go through the concepts again. 

    https://dsu.edu/assets/uploads/resources/Object_Oriented_Cert-MAP.pdf
    I wish I knew of this before I started!  I would have taken those courses prior to starting the Masters to get myself on a good foot.  Very smart move on your part!
    WIP:
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    UnixGuy said:
    Good luck mate!

    Out of curiosity, you couldn't use your Legal studies MS to get into a cybersecurity PhD? there are many areas in cyber security that don't need a CS background (e.g. policy, management, culture/awareness, GRC, ...)
    My aim has been to get into exploitation.  My MS could have definitely gotten me into a Cybersecurity PhD, but it more than likely would not have been built around programming.  DSU's program is really a PhD in Computer Science that they name Cyber Operations thus my Master's not really helping me.

    That said I will probably try to start teaching soon (on top of everything else) and the Masters will definitely allow me to do that.  With my undergraduate degree and background I could teach IT courses, while my Masters and job would let me teach Criminal Justice related courses.

    Thanks for the book recommendation!!
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Summer semester is over!  Won't lie, I haven't had to work this hard in school ever.  I was at a bit of a disadvantage since most of the people in my Data Structures class came from the last part of a C++ course.  Thus I had to learn C++ on top of doing the Data Structures work.  I only had a few issues in my Assembly course, but it was really good!

    Happy to report I received an A in Assembly and a B in Data Structures.  I should have worked a bit harder and I would have gotten an A in that as well, but now I know what to expect.  Next up if Intro to Discrete Math and Programming Languages.  Pretty interested in programming languages and just have to work hard in Discrete Math.
    WIP:
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Feels so good to be done with this semester!!   In my Web App course the instructor assigned a stupid amount of homework and was in a scramble to get things done the whole semester!    Lovin the few weeks off!  Comes at a perfect time as I got accepted to a SANS work study that starts next week too.  
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Nice man!  Yeah my old boss warned me about Summer semester and he wasn't wrong!  I was literally on two week long work trips (where each day was long) trying to get homework done and final projects in.  Definitely worth it though because I can already see a difference in my understanding and writing of code!
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,985Mod Mod
    ....Data Structures class ... C++ course.  Thus I had to learn C++ o... Assembly course..

    . Discrete Math and Programming Languages. 
    Oh man, you bring back memories of my best years during undergrad... can't believe it's been that long

    you're doing fantastic man, keep it up!! those are tough subjects
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks!  Definitely a lot of hard work, but in looking at it I should have majored in CS as an undergrad.  Interesting to think about where I might be if I had.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,985Mod Mod
    Thanks!  Definitely a lot of hard work, but in looking at it I should have majored in CS as an undergrad.  Interesting to think about where I might be if I had.
    Who knows..by the end of my 5 years computer engineering degree I was burnt out from all the programming I did in uni (I was really good at it, specially C# .NET, C++, even assembly, and everything in between). 

    My interview for my first job out of uni was for a .NET programmer role, I did the interview and I told the hiring manager that I'm more interested in doing 'networking/Cisco', he sent me to see another manager who was managing the Unix support division. The rest is history...started in Unix and never looked back. Hindsight is always a catch 22.

    It's really impressive that you have the aptitude to do this challenging degree after work. My interests changed over time, and I'm struggling with my part time MBA. It's easier than CS but just too demanding.


    Keep us posted with your progress, can't wait to see where your journey takes you
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Very fair point!  I had a buddy from high school who majored in Computer Science, but was able to minor in Systems and Networking (more IT based).  Now he's working for the Feds doing systems/networking work with no programming.

    Thanks!  It's funny because a lot of people say something similar "how do you do school and work full time", especially given the nature of my job.  When I look at it I see how much time I waste doing literally nothing.  Whether it's watching tv or just sitting on my phone, I could literally find hours of nothing.  I'm attempting to fill my time with as much learning or productive work as possible.  Mind you, I'll sacrifice the learning for time with family or friends, but otherwise I like to devote at least two hours a day to productive activities.

    I feel your pain, staying motivated is the hardest part for me (as I'm sure it's the same for your MBA).  I drift in and out during lectures or while coding and have to pull myself back in.  In the end, I keep in mind that doing the work should get me where I want to be in a few years.
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,261Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    the_Grinch said:When I look at it I see how much time I waste doing literally nothing.  Whether it's watching tv or just sitting on my phone, I could literally find hours of nothing.  I'm attempting to fill my time with as much learning or productive work as possible.  
    This +1,  reason why I'm doing the classes is for fun and is a lot more rewarding to me than watching TV late at night.  (hoping it might lead to better things down the road as well)  
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • devilbonesdevilbones Posts: 309Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was thinking about this today.  I am in a similar position.  What is your current degree in? 
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have a BS in Computing and Security Technology along with a Masters in Legal Studies
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  • devilbonesdevilbones Posts: 309Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited August 14
    I have a BS in Computing and Security Technology along with a Masters in Legal Studies
    I am applying for the PhD in Cyber Defense.  I am currently on the fence of applying to the program that you are currently enrolled in.  I am really trying to figure out what I want here as both options have very different outcomes to me.  I already have my dream job and this will not advance me further salary-wise.  I really want to know as much as I can about my craft and am always looking to learn more.  The CS area is really my weakest and I would love to learn more.  I can self study as well.  I have a BS in IT and a MS in Cybersecurity.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    My understanding of the PhD in Cyber Defense is very policy centric.  Definitely a place for that, but it has been said that it isn't as rigorous as their other programs.  I'm of the mind that if someone were aiming for a C-level position or perhaps consulting on policy that would be their best bet.

    In my case I want to get into exploitation and knowing Computer Science is basically required.  I'm in the same boat, getting a PhD isn't going to raise my salary (will get me some money every year due to having the degree) and position wise it won't change anything for me.  But for a side work and teaching I think it would be extremely useful.  I'm looking at retirement, if possible, really early, but if not when the time comes I'd like to be able to work for myself.
    WIP:
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