Which is more difficult?

dcooper24dcooper24 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
Which is more difficult to attain first, a masters in infosec or the CISSP? What is the best route to take first?

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    The degree is more difficult. In addition to studying all the information in the ten domains of the (ISC)2 Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) for both the cert and the degree, the InfoSec program will have in-depth coverage of subjects that are only touched upon lightly by the CISSP material, such as project management, risk management, as business management. Also, getting the degree will require you to write hundreds of pages for dozens of papers, take many quizzes and tests, give presentations, maybe an internship, etc. None of that is required when studying for the CISSP (but it helps).

    Difficultly also depends on how much you already know about the CBK when you start studying for the cert or the degree. You will find that both the CISSP and a Masters in InfoSec will be quite difficult if you can't already write or speak intelligently on the many topics covered by the CBK's domains. Time is also a factor in difficulty; it should not be difficult to complete an InfoSec degree in three years, but to pass the CISSP after studying for only six months would be very difficult for even an experienced InfoSec professional.

    Regardless of choosing cert or degree, the factors equating to "difficulty" are:
    * How much knowledge about the subject(s) you already possess
    * How much time you are giving yourself to complete your goal (i.e., degree or cert)
    * How efficient is your reasoning, intellect, and personal study habits
    * How sustained is your motivation to complete your goal

    As an InfoSec student who will (hopefully) be graduating this September, I would suggest getting the CISSP first (assuming you meet the prerequisites) and the InfoSec degree second. Most InfoSec programs will let you waive several required classes if you already have a CISSP. Doing this will save you big bucks on your education, but unfortunately will rob you of Masters-level learning in those subjects. Regardless of your decision, getting a CISSP first is a great way to prepare for getting a Masters degree in InfoSec later.
  • keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,208 ■■■■■■□□□□
    dcooper24 wrote:
    Which is more difficult to attain first, a masters in infosec or the CISSP? What is the best route to take first?

    I think a better question would be "which will best align me for my future goals in infosec". We're comparing a Master's Degree to a certification which in my opinion is always a difficult task. I have a Master's but it's not in infosec. Maybe JD or someone else who's actively and currently going after the Masters in Infosec can chime in and comment more on that.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    keatron wrote:
    Maybe JD or someone else who's actively and currently going after the Masters in Infosec can chime in and comment more on that.
    I should have waited three more minutes before clicking the "Submit" button. icon_lol.gif
  • dcooper24dcooper24 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you guys for your responses
  • drakhan2002drakhan2002 Member Posts: 111
    dcooper24 wrote:
    Which is more difficult to attain first, a masters in infosec or the CISSP? What is the best route to take first?

    Having the CISSP and being a Master's degree student, much like JD (we go to the same University and we are both in the same program), I think it is a matter of what YOU feel like doing.

    I wanted to get a Master's degree for a long time, so I sat down one day simply set a goal to obtain it. Just take action if you're going to do anything...that is the only way to get momentum. In 2004, I chose my school and program...at the time I was in IT, but not in Information Security...where I wanted to be. Without "knowing" anyone in IS, I determined getting my Master's would open the door to the job - it partially did. I eventually networked my way into Information Security by taking one of the IS managers to lunch and discussing job opporunties. By this time I had a year of school under my belt. It took me another year and half to sit for the CISSP; which put off and put off...mostly due to my own internal fears of failure. Once I overcame those fears, I sat for the CISSP and passed it on the first go. When I sat for the CISSP, I then had another year of school under my belt. I cannot say that the confidence I received from attending class had anything to do with my passing the CISSP, I cannot help but to think it did. I will now graduate in December...only having 3 more classes left. Although I could "test out" of these classes, I've chosen to sit for each and everyone - remember, the classes do a much deeper dive into the subjects than the CISSP does. The CISSP is not a hard test at all...it is that you have to know a TON of information covering many domains.

    My point is, they will compliment each other. The knowledge I gained by studying for the CISSP has certainly helped me better understand the concepts of my school work. My school work helped prepare me for certain aspects of the CISSP. My school work directly ties to the CISSP - in fact, my school and ISC(2) worked together to create the program.

    As JD said, the CISSP will help you "excellerate" your Master's program if you choose take that route...but you will only be robbing yourself if you do that. You may have the paper, but not the deep understanding and mastery of the subject. The dual combination of the Master's and CISSP is a wonderful way to become a true SME in Information Security. I wish you the best of luck in your educational pursuits - it is not easy and it won't be given to you...you'll have to go out and take it.
    It's not the moments of pleasure, it's the hours of pursuit...
  • unicsguruunicsguru Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am starting to research Infosec graduate programs. Which program are you guysenrolled in?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    drakhan2002 and myself are at Capella University (www.capella.edu) and we both graduate this year. Shoot us any questions when you have them. :)
  • lopezcolopezco Member Posts: 38 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray wrote:
    drakhan2002 and myself are at Capella University (www.capella.edu) and we both graduate this year. Shoot us any questions when you have them. :)
    Capella is for north Americans and Canadians only.
    Do you know a good program for international students?
    DAL
    "If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees." — Kahlil Gibran
  • drakhan2002drakhan2002 Member Posts: 111
    lopezco wrote:
    Do you know a good program for international students?

    Have you tried Capitol College? They have a pretty good Information Assurance program that is a Master's. A couple of the people in my organization are getting their degree from there. One guy is a manager, the other guy is a foresnic's specialist...
    It's not the moments of pleasure, it's the hours of pursuit...
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    lopezco wrote:
    Capella is for north Americans and Canadians only.
    Do you know a good program for international students?
    I did not realize this. Capella does have learners located in many different countries, but I guess they are all USA or Canadian citizens. I don't remember providing evidence of my USA citizenship with my admission application.

    I assume some distance learning universities do accept international students into their InfoSec program. Ask on the forums at degree.net. I'm sure they'll know.
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