Western Governors: Masters Edition (MSITM)

jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
Wow, its been a while since I have been here, and so much has changed.

I knocked out my Bachelors (BSITSec) at WGU in 2017, over a single session. That story is here: https://community.infosecinstitute.com/discussion/126437/my-version-of-the-wgu-story/p1

I planned to start my MS in 2018, but took on a new role at my job, and didn't want to negatively impact either. Now, it has been two years, work is going incredibly well, and I am ready for the next step.

As such, I wanted to document the process again, similar to the first round. My application is in, my admission is approved. I am trying to sneak into the 5/1/2020 session, but will likely start with the 6/1 group. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. I found that documenting my progress here was instrumental in my success in accelerating, so I am ready to do it again.

Go Night Owls!

Comments

  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update 4/29/2020:

    As expected, I was unable to sneak into the 5/1 session, but I will be starting on 6/1. I called my enrollment counselor in order to schedule the intake interview. He asked if I had 15 minutes now, and we went ahead and knocked it out. At this point, I am just waiting for finance to process my admission and publish the bill. Once they do, tuition will be paid, and I will be official.

    For those who are curious, this is what the course breakdown looks like:

    Still to do:
    C948 - Technical Communications
    C954 - Information Technology Management
    LZT2 - Power, Influence and Leadership
    C928 - Financial Management for IT Professionals
    C927 - IT Sourcing and Development in a Global Economy
    MBT2 - Managing Technology Operations and Innovation
    C929 - Technological Globalization
    C962 - Project Management (Associated with the CAPM certification)
    C783 - Current and Emerging Technology
    C498 - Information Technology Management Capstone
  • november24november24 Member Posts: 75 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck in your upcoming journey, can I ask you why you chose to go for MSITM over MBA ITM?
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I weighed both options fairly seriously, as well as the MSCSIA, but finally settled on the MSITM. This is what it boiled down to for me:

    My background is all over the map in IT for the last 24 years. However, my BS is IT Security. I wanted to avoid the possibility of pigeonholing myself, so I chose not to pursue the MSCSIA. 

    My eventual goal is to get back into management, but I will likely stay on more of the technical side, rather than administrative. From that perspective, I don’t feel there is anything that I will gain from the MBA that I won’t also gain from the MS, but there is always the possibility that my skill set can be judged as being less technical, based on the MBA. It isn’t right, and it probably won’t happen, but that was a big part of the final call for me.

    This is heavily based on my experiences, and is in no way meant to be dismissive of the MBA program. Just for me, I felt the MSITM was the preferable route.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The Finance team at WGU finally got around to assigning the bill to my account. Total bill for the first term of the MSITM, including fees, is $3,835.

    I am fortunate that my company will pay upfront, rather than reimbursement. I field the appropriate paperwork and should have everything approved this week to pay the tuition. Now, it is just a matter of waiting.
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc Senior Member King City, CAMember Posts: 646 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The MSCSIA changed a little from when I took the MSISA, but it pretty much maps to the CISSP objectives.  With the MSITM it focuses on business as a whole (you take Accounting, Economics, and Ethics for example), but you also have some high-level IT (IT Project Management and Data-Driven Decision Making [which in itself is more towards business anyway]).  I found the MSISA heavily technical, with a few Management courses, but I'm very glad I took the MSITM to get the rest of them.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update 5/19/2020:

    Payment for the first term was made last week, and I was officially assigned a mentor about an hour ago. I have scheduled the 30 minute intro meeting for this evening, and can 't want to get started.

    This month is really dragging.....
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,947 Admin
    As a continuing WGU student, you know that your mentor will let you start your first course before your official start date, so you'll be plowing into the material tonight.  :)
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    As a continuing WGU student, you know that your mentor will let you start your first course before your official start date, so you'll be plowing into the material tonight.  :)
    If only that were true. As I understand it, the "dashboard" doesnt load for graduate in the same way it does for undergraduate, at least not for those of us who continued from a Bachelors. The degree plan (and the courses) all get manually loaded right before the session starts.

    That is my understanding, but I will be asking some questions here in about 12 minutes!
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,947 Admin
    My start date for the WGU MBA IT program was March 1, 2019, but I was able to start the first course about a week before.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 1
    Checked in all weekend, but it looks like courses were made available around 4:30 am. I just reached out to my mentor, to get the first course approved.

    Wish me luck!

    Edit: Right after I sent that, my mentor responded that she had approved them. Just got registered, so its time to dig in.

    Current courses:
    Power, Influence and Leadership – LZT2
    Technical Communication – C948
    Information Technology Management – C954

    Remaining:
    Financial Management for IT Professionals – C928
    IT Sourcing and Development in a Global Economy – C929
    Managing Technology Operations and Innovation – C927
    Technological Globalization – MBT2
    Project Management – C783
    Current and Emerging Technology – C962
    MS, Information Technology Management Capstone – C498
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update on where we are 10 days into the term.

    It took me a little time to get my head right for working on these classes. Maybe its the isolation from COVID, maybe its the unrest, or maybe its because I haven't been in school for two years. Whatever the reason, it took me some time to get into the groove.

    LZT2 - Power, Influence and Leadership
    This class boils down to two tasks, both of which are scenario responses in the form of APA formatted papers. I went over both tasks. I thought about the scenarios. I outlined what points I wanted to make. 

    Then, I continued to do the same thing for several days. I couldn't get started on the actual writing. Every time I hit a road block.

    On Tuesday, my boss reached out and asked me to write a response to our Director's blog post, to be published across the department. 250-500 words. It took a while, but I got it knocked out. That seemed to be enough to kick me into gear.

    So, last night I finished Task 1. I submitted it this morning, got it back and passed.

    Tonight, I finished Task 2 and got it submitted. No word yet on how I did.

    Long story short.... I am finally moving in the right direction!
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Day 18 of my journey to my masters degree:

    The next class is C948 - Technical Communications.
    This is again based on a scenario. You are given a presentation developed by a previous manager, and you get to critique why it is unprofessional, inappropriate, unethical, etc. You then get to create three different deliverables, each targeting a different audience. Finally, you get to write another paper, justifying the choices you made in creating each of the deliverables. All of these are turned in as a single task.

    For whatever reason, last night was the night for the creative juices. I was finally able to button up the deliverables and write straight through on the justification. I submitted last night around 2:44 am, and I am paying for it today.

    While those all sit in the queue, its time for me to move on to C954 - Information Technology Management. I have heard horrible things about this class, and I have to admit it has me a bit anxious. But, I will be diving in head first tonight, so wish me luck!
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Quick update: I passed C948 - Technical Communications. I am now digging into the chapters for C954. Section 1 is complete, including the quiz. I have also finished 2.1 and I am working my way through 2.2.

    How I missed you, uCertify.
  • xagreusxagreus ITIL Foundation, A+, Network+, CCNA Member Posts: 88 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck, jibtech! Looking forward to your next post.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good to know someone is reading along!  ;)

    My goal is to get through the reading by the end of the weekend. It will take some effort, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. This is one of two classes that is an objective assessment (final exam), rather than a performance assessment (papers). The reading for this one is brutal. About 40 chapters, each with 3-7 sections. Then three are another approximately 10 chapters of supplemental materials.

    I can do it. I just have to convince myself that I WANT to do it.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,947 Admin
    jibtech said:
    Good to know someone is reading along!  ;)
    I'm reading! I'm reading! :smile:

    jibtech said:
    I can do it. I just have to convince myself that I WANT to do it.
    This my problem in finishing the capstone course in my WGU MBA. After 15 months of courses, my motivation is just about completely gone to complete this final course in the program. I just need to pull myself through it.


  • dragonsagedragonsage Member Posts: 1 ■■□□□□□□□□
    jibtech,

    How's it going with the classes? I'm looking at starting the MSITM here in 2 months or so. I just finished my BS this week at TESU.

    Do you know how much writing is required for the classes and how many test etc? I keep getting mised information on the web, and would like someone currently in the program to clarify. I like to know what I'm getting into before I jump in.

    Thanks and awesome work!
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jibtech,

    How's it going with the classes? I'm looking at starting the MSITM here in 2 months or so. I just finished my BS this week at TESU.

    Do you know how much writing is required for the classes and how many test etc? I keep getting mised information on the web, and would like someone currently in the program to clarify. I like to know what I'm getting into before I jump in.

    Thanks and awesome work!
    Just started 6/1, so I can’t speak to the entire thing yet. Overall, only two of the classes are OAs (exams). The rest are PAs, so you will be turning something in that will be evaluated. LZT2 was two papers. TechComm was two papers, plus some deliverables. Each of my papers have been 5-7 pages in length, so far.

    IT Management (the course) is an exam based on about 50 chapters of reading, and everything I have seen says it is the worst course to get through. Hope that helps.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    This my problem in finishing the capstone course in my WGU MBA. After 15 months of courses, my motivation is just about completely gone to complete this final course in the program. I just need to pull myself through it.


    Honestly, the word “final” would be all the motivation I would need. Congrats on being so close. Now go finish!!
  • scooby2020scooby2020 Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited July 14
    Hi guys,
    I'm going through the enrollment process currently for the BS-IT program at WGU.  I've sent in my transcripts from previous college and Sophia along with my Cisco CCNA and AWS Cloud Practitioner certificate.  I'm hoping that a lot of my credits will transfer.  The college transcript was sent via mail from across the country so they haven't received it yet, but hopefully tomorrow.  After that I have to wait to find out if i have credits that can transfer. I guess base on what transfers and what doesn't will determine if I try to go back to Sophia and get more classes (while it is still free) or straighterline.  I'm hoping for a Sept 1st start date though.  

    I have a question about how WGU does things.  When you are assigned a term of classes do you get to work the classes in parallel or do they open one class at a time for you and you must complete it before you can start on the next class?  Also my A+ certification is from 1998 so even though it is good for life it really not usable for credit.  Also the same with my Linux+ from 2002.  However I'm using my time now to study for the A+ and security+ materials.  On the first day of class can i ask for the exam vouchers and take the test immediately or do you have to go through some type of course material to get the vouchers?  Would it be like a quiz or something and if you pass it then you get the voucher?  I'm trying to determine if I should pay for the tests before the program start and get them out of the way or if i can prepare for the test prior to the start be get vouchers for the tests in the first few days and then move onto new material.

    I will have other questions, but for now that should do.  
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wow. 2020 has been a bit rough for everyone. Sorry I haven't been keeping everything up to date as well, but again...... 2020.

    scooby2020 said:
    Hi guys,
    I'm going through the enrollment process currently for the BS-IT program at WGU.  I've sent in my transcripts from previous college and Sophia along with my Cisco CCNA and AWS Cloud Practitioner certificate.  I'm hoping that a lot of my credits will transfer.  The college transcript was sent via mail from across the country so they haven't received it yet, but hopefully tomorrow.  After that I have to wait to find out if i have credits that can transfer. I guess base on what transfers and what doesn't will determine if I try to go back to Sophia and get more classes (while it is still free) or straighterline.  I'm hoping for a Sept 1st start date though.  

    I have a question about how WGU does things.  When you are assigned a term of classes do you get to work the classes in parallel or do they open one class at a time for you and you must complete it before you can start on the next class?  Also my A+ certification is from 1998 so even though it is good for life it really not usable for credit.  Also the same with my Linux+ from 2002.  However I'm using my time now to study for the A+ and security+ materials.  On the first day of class can i ask for the exam vouchers and take the test immediately or do you have to go through some type of course material to get the vouchers?  Would it be like a quiz or something and if you pass it then you get the voucher?  I'm trying to determine if I should pay for the tests before the program start and get them out of the way or if i can prepare for the test prior to the start be get vouchers for the tests in the first few days and then move onto new material.

    I will have other questions, but for now that should do.  

    I know this is probably too late to help you, but wanted to answer for anyone else who may come along. First, you typically have 1-3 classes open at a time. You are required to take full time credits, so it will start with that. If accelerating, have 2-3 courses open, so you always have something to work on when that 3am inspiration comes. Otherwise, I wouldn't stress it as much. I have not had issues with getting my mentor to open the next class at any point, so I didn't feel pressured to get them opened early.

    On the other subject, classes all follow a similar process:
    1. Open/register/enroll the class
    2. Take pre-assessment
    3. Study (if necessary)
    4. Take exam

    If you know the content well, the PAs are pretty straightforward. Knock 'em out, then get the voucher. For internally tested classes, it is even easier. My fastest class was during my BS. 45 from opening the class to exam finished.

    As to whether to stay with Sophia, Straighterline, etc, check out my thread from my BS. It may help guide you, as I weighed similar thoughts: 

    https://community.infosecinstitute.com/discussion/126437/my-version-of-the-wgu-story/p1
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Oh.... update...

    I pushed through the first two classes fairly quickly. LZT2 and C948 were both just under 2 weeks. The third class is C954 (Information Technology Management). The content is not hard, but it really boils down to pure memorization of 40 chapters, which is mind numbing to me. I honestly debated dropping out several times, but finally pulled it together. I have gotten through the studying, I have taken the diagnostic quiz several times, and have now passed the PA twice.

    I scheduled the OA for 6pm tomorrow, so wish me luck! I cannot wait to get this behind me.
  • scooby2020scooby2020 Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi Jibtech!

    I started on 9/1 with 16 classes transferred in and only needed to take 20 classes!  I have completed 11 classes so far.  I've studied for the A+ and Security+ in advance so I was able to get that knocked out already.  I'm really hoping for a 1 term completion, but will definitely be able to do it in 2 terms.  I read through your WGU story prior to applying to WGU and learned a lot from you about Straighterline and Sophia.  I think you may have been a big reason why I decided to take the leap.

    I went with Sophia for courses since they were giving away free courses because of Covid.  They accepted more than i thought they would, but also I took a lot more courses than i needed to with Sophia because they were free and I like free!  

    The Journey has been fun so far, but stressful as well.  There is relief once the test is over and the class is done, but then starting the next classes I get stressed all over again!  Although it only been two months it seems like it has been forever!  I have a great program mentor that adds 2 courses at a time.  I was looking forward to being able to start my work on 8/15 prior to the start of the term, but now they don't let you see the material until the start of the term and only for courses that you're actually enrolled in and have started.  

    Congrats also on your Master's program!  It seems a lot more challenging, but I'm definitely looking forward to read how you progress as well.  After this I would need at least 6 months to destress and relax!

  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Passed the PA for C954 yesterday. That was a miserable, horrible, no good class. Fortunately, it’s behind me.

    On to C929 now!
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 405 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ahhh... still full from Thanksgiving.

    Monday is the last day of my first term at WGU for my Masters. Between COVID, reconnecting with an old girlfriend, an election, and everything else that 2020 has given, its been a pretty crazy 6 months. I was down to finishing the paper for C929, which was planned for the weekend. Write all day Saturday and Sunday. Do a last minute review on Monday, then submit.

    Nope.

    My advisor texted me at 11 pm Friday night to clarify. The paper needs to be submitted AND GRADED by the end of Monday. That gave me a moment of panic. I went ahead and got some sleep,  because I was exhausted. Once I woke up this morning, I started writing and stayed at it all day. I finished around 7 pm and submitted. I wanted to give myself a little time to make adjustments, in case it came back. Once it was in the queue, I had to wait.

    I hate waiting.

    Long story short, I got notification around 10:15 pm that the evaluation was completed, and I had passed. Finally, the term is over!

    Completed:
    LZT2 - Power, Influence and Leadership
    C948 - Technical Communication
    C954 - Information Technology Management
    C929 - IT Sourcing and Development in a Global Economy

    Remaining:
    MBT2 - Technological Globalization
    C928 - Financial Management for IT Professionals
    C927 - Managing Technology Operations and Innovation
    C783 - Project Management
    C962 - Current and Emerging Technology
    C498 - MSITM Capstone

    Side note: The tuition assistance person at the office has been out for several months. As a result, my paperwork and assistance will not be ready in time to start the next term on Tuesday. Additionally, there is difficulty splitting the term between calendar/fiscal years. To solve all of this, I am taking a one month term break, and starting back up in January.

    Stay tuned!
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