Certifications vs. MSc (Security)

zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
I'm looking at doing an MSc in Banking and Finance, (although, I plan to do my CEH and CISSP, I think this may lead me into a security position in a Bank, hopefully). Which brings me to my main question, is it better to have an MSc in Information Security, or are certifications like the CISSP good enough? The reason I'm asking, is that I'm thinking it may be better to just get certified in security, and get a degree in banking if I want to secure a job as a security expert working in a financial institution. What thoughts do you guys have on the subject? Is anyone currently working in a similar position?
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Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I don't think it makes sense to get a degree in Banking and Finance when you want to do InfoSec. You just have to secure their information, not interpret it ;)

    Is there a reason you are only looking at financial institutions?
  • TryPingingTheServerTryPingingTheServer Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you're in a position where you qualify for a masters program in CS/InfoSec....TAKE IT!
    "His GPA is a solid 2.0. Right in that meaty part of the curve - not showing off, not falling behind."
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    dynamik wrote:
    I don't think it makes sense to get a degree in Banking and Finance when you want to do InfoSec. You just have to secure their information, not interpret it ;)

    Is there a reason you are only looking at financial institutions?

    Well, actually, I changed this topic up quite a bit, because it was really two questions in one. The truth is, I'm doing an MSc in Banking and Finance, because I want to give myself the option of getting out of the field entirely. I was thinking it would be helpful, even if I did decide to stay in IT, if I want to work in a bank environment, to have the MSc. Honestly, right now, it's a toss up between an info sec msc (which will cost me around 30 thousand US, which no guarantee of find a job after), and a banking and finance degree (which will cost me around 12 thousand US, and should give me a lot more options in the job market). I may sound like I've already made up my mind, but I really haven't, I have approximately two years left to make this decision, and so far, my opinion on this has changed about 3 or 4 times in the past 8 months. Right now, I'm in the "researching" phase.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    dynamik wrote:
    I don't think it makes sense to get a degree in Banking and Finance when you want to do InfoSec. You just have to secure their information, not interpret it ;)

    no no no no no.....quite the contrary my friend, any idea what kind of ridiculous income one could generate if you have a CA/CPA/CFA with CS/InfoSec knowledge? I kick myself in the toe everytime I think about the moment when I skip the box for accounting and finance electives!
    If you're in a position where you qualify for a masters program in CS/InfoSec....TAKE IT!

    ditto x 100000!
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dynamik wrote:
    I don't think it makes sense to get a degree in Banking and Finance when you want to do InfoSec. You just have to secure their information, not interpret it ;)

    no no no no no.....quite the contrary my friend, any idea what kind of ridiculous income one could generate if you have a CA/CPA/CFA with CS/InfoSec knowledge? I kick myself in the toe everytime I think about the moment when I skip the box for accounting and finance electives!
    If you're in a position where you qualify for a masters program in CS/InfoSec....TAKE IT!

    ditto x 100000!

    So are you disagreeing with me and telling him to go for a Finance degree, or are you agreeing with me and TPTS and telling him to go for InfoSec icon_scratch.gif

    I'm not saying that any complimentary knowledge won't be useful. I just think trying to master both domains will be spreading yourself too thin. Both fields change quickly, and I don't think you'd have much of a life if you had to keep up with both. I certainly don't have one, and I'm just trying to build up a foundation so I can move into InfoSec.

    Back to the OP, you need to figure out what you want to do. No jobs are guaranteed, and the amount you pay in tuition is probably going to be negligible in the grand scheme of things. I'm not trying to dissuade you from finance if that's what you want to do. I just don't want you to get stuck in a career you're not passionate about.
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    Oh, I'm very interested in and passionate about Finance, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't spend a year doing something that I wasn't very very interested in. The courses looked absolutely fascinating, and I like the idea of possibly being a major decision maker, and looked upon as critical to a company (unfortunately, it seems like we IT folk always have to be trying to prove our worth).

    "no no no no no.....quite the contrary my friend, any idea what kind of ridiculous income one could generate if you have a CA/CPA/CFA with CS/InfoSec knowledge? I kick myself in the toe everytime I think about the moment when I skip the box for accounting and finance electives!"
    and this is EXACTLY the line I was going down, because I've seen quite a few job opportunities popping up where a knowledge of both areas would be an asset. I think a BSc and advanced certs in IT and IT Security, plus an MSc in Finance and Banking would really set me up perfectly to fill one of those positions. But, it would be fantastic if I could hear from someone already working in one of those positions.

    Another major selling point is the ability to choose to focus on either field, depending on how things change in life. The point may come where I'm absolutely sick of computers, or sick of finance, and the flexibility of having the option to concentrate on one of the other is a plus for the Banking and Finance MSc. If I do an MSc in Info Sec. I'm pretty much limited to this field only.

    Btw, thanks for all the useful responses, I really appreciate the advice.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally, I think it is important to have a mix of business and IT skills. I have an Associates in IT, but when I decided to go back to school I picked a business program. Eventually I would like to get a Masters. I will have to wait and see where I am in my career to decide if it is in InfoSec or an MBA.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ajs1976 wrote:
    Personally, I think it is important to have a mix of business and IT skills. I have an Associates in IT, but when I decided to go back to school I picked a business program. Eventually I would like to get a Masters. I will have to wait and see where I am in my career to decide if it is in InfoSec or an MBA.

    I agree; hopefully that was clear (I'm not sure it was).

    I was just saying that it's not realistic to obtain and maintain an expert-level of expertise in two different fields.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    dynamik wrote:
    So are you disagreeing with me and telling him to go for a Finance degree, or are you agreeing with me and TPTS and telling him to go for InfoSec icon_scratch.gif

    I've never been a big fan of telling people on an Internet forum what to do, especially in dealing with big choices like this. I'm basically giving emotional support that I think InfoSec in a Finance context is a killer-combo and will deem career-success based on my own observation.
    dynamik wrote:
    I was just saying that it's not realistic to obtain and maintain an expert-level of expertise in two different fields.

    Absolutely not, and I don't think he intended to strive for expert-level in two fields, I think the OP is looking to find the best of both worlds.
    I think a BSc and advanced certs in IT and IT Security, plus an MSc in Finance and Banking would really set me up perfectly to fill one of those positions.

    Just another word of advice if I may, don't try and make yourself a "universal" candidate for jobs where you could pick a job in many things. There's always a learning curve and when all is said and done, you have to pick something you can focus on, hopefully that is something you both enjoy, can be successful in and make a good living out of.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,034 Admin
    Many CISSPs also have a CPA and/or MBA. They typically work in auditing or risk management or security policy development for finance or insurance companies. I think the B&F degree with some units in business administration would be an excellent thing for person working in those areas of InfoSec to have.
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    JDMurray wrote:
    Many CISSPs also have a CPA and/or MBA. They typically work in auditing or risk management or security policy development for finance or insurance companies. I think the B&F degree with some units in business administration would be an excellent thing for person working in those areas of InfoSec to have.

    Interesting, how many of them are there compared with those who just go straight Info Sec Msc? Who do you find a) do better, and b) are in higher demand - the guys that go straight IT, or the guys that go the certifications route for their Info Sec qualifications, and then go the MBA/MSc route for their knowledge of finance? I feel like doing an MSc in Information Security would limit me too much, and I generally see requests for CISSP's more so than someone with a masters in Info Sec. and I've had many people warn me about the lack of value of a Comp Sci MSc.
  • coffeekingcoffeeking Member Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I can very much relate to the topic since I work in Information security department of a well respected bank in this region, and I also want go down pretty much the same route, tech part in certs and banking part in MBA. I am not planning to get to MBA for another 4 years or so, mainly because I want to be able to get the big certs under my belt (CISA, CISSP, etc.) and then move on to MBA.

    My boss, who's title CISO, has a master degree in advance manufacturing systems, but the guy has extremely good knowledge of business and finance, he wouldn't be in the position if he didn't. I watch his daily day to day work and does require him to know a lot about the business, but I wouldn't say that this has given him an option to totally get out of the line if he wants to.

    Another scenario, a colleague of mine is going to the states to get his Msc in InfoSec, mainly because he is passionate about security and wants to do this for rest of his life. His friend is also in security but he is going for MBA. So it really comes down to the fact that what YOU want to do, or what you are passionate about.

    The reason of putting these 2 scenarios down is to make the point that it comes down to your personal preference or passion about what you want to do. Myself, I want to get an MBA for better management of finances; be it the personal or professional life. It gives you a good sense of business, and IMO doesn't restrict you to InfoSec only. BTW, I am working with a group of consultants right now and team leader is the CTO of the company and holds an MBA, but also has great knowledge of InfoSec.

    Best is the combination of both; give you variety.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,034 Admin
    I feel like doing an MSc in Information Security would limit me too much, and I generally see requests for CISSP's more so than someone with a masters in Info Sec. and I've had many people warn me about the lack of value of a Comp Sci MSc.
    This is because the CISSP certification has been around longer than an actual degree in InfoSec. Many employers don't know the degree exists to ask for it, or are concerned that asking for the degree would prevent other qualified people from applying. I consider the InfoSec degree something that may give me a leg-up on my competition for an InfoSec position.

    Realize that most InfoSec people did other things first, and were typically pushed into InfoSec by their job, or took it up as a specialty. There is no one, most optimal way to enter the InfoSec field. Just remember that you always need education, certification, and experience; no one of these can replace the other two.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    no no no no no.....quite the contrary my friend, any idea what kind of ridiculous income one could generate if you have a CA/CPA/CFA with CS/InfoSec knowledge?

    In most cases, a company that has the resources to hire someone with a CFA wants them focused on financial management activities, and can hire less expensive people (relative to a CFA) that are at the top of their game (qualifications and experience) to focus on information security.

    A CFA holder will be eligible to make the same amount regardless of their InfoSec qualifications, alot!

    I have seen the rare case where CPA's are IT auditors and/or IT Security Specialists, however, this is usually after they spent many years as a CPA and chose to go another route. In many states (Texas definitely), to become a CPA requires some period of time working under the guidance of another CPA. It's not a matter of get degree, take CPA test, become CPA...

    To the OP, my advice is to pick one direction, and don't worry about the other being some kind of "safety net" if you want to change fields. People change fields all the time without a specific degree in that field.

    There is no safety net...there is (are?) only the results you achieve....

    MS
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    eMeS wrote:
    no no no no no.....quite the contrary my friend, any idea what kind of ridiculous income one could generate if you have a CA/CPA/CFA with CS/InfoSec knowledge?

    In most cases, a company that has the resources to hire someone with a CFA wants them focused on financial management activities, and can hire less expensive people (relative to a CFA) that are at the top of their game (qualifications and experience) to focus on information security.

    A CFA holder will be eligible to make the same amount regardless of their InfoSec qualifications, alot!

    I have seen the rare case where CPA's are IT auditors and/or IT Security Specialists, however, this is usually after they spent many years as a CPA and chose to go another route. In many states (Texas definitely), to become a CPA requires some period of time working under the guidance of another CPA. It's not a matter of get degree, take CPA test, become CPA...

    To the OP, my advice is to pick one direction, and don't worry about the other being some kind of "safety net" if you want to change fields. People change fields all the time without a specific degree in that field.

    There is no safety net...there is (are?) only the results you achieve....

    MS

    So, what you're saying is that there are very few jobs that require you to be proficient and qualified in both areas?

    P.S.
    What's wrong with liking the idea of having more options, or a safety net if you will? It's not the deciding factor, but it's a pretty good benefit in the plus column in my opinion.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    So, what you're saying is that there are very few jobs that require you to be proficient and qualified in both areas?

    Not intending to be rude, but do you know what a CFA is? Are you familiar with what it takes to get a CPA? Read further below, but as far as I know a degree in finance generally isn't what is required of CPAs...

    I know of no job that would "require" both a CFA and/or a CPA and an information security certification. Just curious, do you know of jobs that require both/all of these?

    I have worked in financial services for ~20 years, at times involved with organizations with $1 trillion+ in assets under management (=many of the largest in the world). I've been around very few CFAs.

    In all of that time and while exposed to different financial services organizations I have met ~20 people that considered pursuing a CFA. None of them worked in IT.

    Of those 20, 10 looked into it and decided it wasn't for them.

    Of those 10, only 5 met all of the requirements and attempted one or more levels of the testing.

    Of those 5, only 2 ever passed and became a "CFA".

    1 of those retired at 43 and lives on a large boat somewhere.

    The other is now 33, and solely manages a portfolio for high net worth investors. He drives 2 very new Maseratis.

    http://www.cfainstitute.org/index.html

    Although CPAs are more common than CFAs, a CPA is not easy to achieve.

    My point is that, generally, the people who get CFAs and CPAs tend to focus on CFA and CPA work.
    P.S.
    What's wrong with liking the idea of having more options, or a safety net if you will? It's not the deciding factor, but it's a pretty good benefit in the plus column in my opinion.

    Nothing, it's a personal decision. If you saw my entire cv you might think that I chose the "safety-net" approach, when in fact the degrees and other things I have accomplished have been based more on what I was interested in at the time. My "safety-net" is the ability to achieve results.

    I understood you to be seeking advice about which path to take. Perhaps I need to clarify that advice:

    1) Decide what you want. I might have misunderstood, but as it is phrased it sounds like you are thinking about working in one field, but then perhaps doing a 180 and working in another. The two fields that you've mentioned don't seem that close to me. IMO, as it sounds now you are going to subject yourself to the risk of two entry-level career stints. As another poster indicated, you might spread yourself thin.

    2) This is directed at everyone. Although without a doubt there is crossover between the worlds of accounting and finance, these are two very distinct fields.

    In general, it can be said that accounting is the past, whereas finance is the future.

    Keeping this in mind, education and a career in finance is often very different than an education and a career in accounting. IMO, someone with an accounting background and/or CPA is is probably more likely to move into that security expert role, which is why I think (although they are rare), it is not unheard of to see a former CPA that is a CIA, CISA and/or a CISSP.

    If you get a job related to finance, you will likely be generating or assisting in generating revenues in some capacity. If you get a job related to accounting, you will likely be verifying activity against plans and/or rules.

    However, an education in finance might not cover the required education to be eligible for the CPA (depends on the state, etc..). Without added work experience being supervised by a CPA (again, depends on the state), you also won't become a CPA. A CPA is not really a certification like we think of on this site...it is a state license to practice.

    3) In my experience, an MBA from a top-notch school works well in financial services. Some of the other posts in this thread echo this (at least the MBA part). Focus more on the school name part than on any particular aspect of the classes required to get the MBA. Make sure it is a school in the top-20. Financial services is very competitive...you will compete against MBA's from Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Fuqua, Duke, Stanford....

    4) Although an MSc in Banking and Finance is a good degree if you want to work in, well, banking and finance, I would avoid that specialization if you are not sure that is what you want to do.

    5) I would also avoid that specialization if the school you are attending is not well-known for producing experts in Banking and Finance. I don't know what school you're attending. I also agree with others on here that the InfoSec graduate degree is newer. Therefore I think you are less limited by subjective evaluation of the school that awards a MSc in InfoSec vs. any business degree.

    6) If you go into financial services, at some point you are going to have to get sponsored and get one or more securities licenses (depending on your role). If you choose this route, find a way to get involved with an organization now in some manner so that you can start getting this work out of the way. At a minimum you are going to be looking at Series 7 and 63. 7 is federal, 63 depends on the state, and if I am not mistaken if you have 7 then you also have Series 6 covered....verify this. There are a whole list of these, and they're based on what your specific role is (e.g., do you broker futures or only mutual funds?, are you a manager, etc...)

    7) If point 6 is totally greek to you, then you might want to go the InfoSec route...

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I'm looking at doing an MSc in Banking and Finance, (although, I plan to do my CEH and CISSP, I think this may lead me into a security position in a Bank, hopefully). Which brings me to my main question, is it better to have an MSc in Information Security, or are certifications like the CISSP good enough? The reason I'm asking, is that I'm thinking it may be better to just get certified in security, and get a degree in banking if I want to secure a job as a security expert working in a financial institution. What thoughts do you guys have on the subject? Is anyone currently working in a similar position?

    Just curious how much real world experience do you have in banking and finance or for that matter security?
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    eMeS wrote:
    So, what you're saying is that there are very few jobs that require you to be proficient and qualified in both areas?

    Not intending to be rude, but do you know what a CFA is? Are you familiar with what it takes to get a CPA? Read further below, but as far as I know a degree in finance generally isn't what is required of CPAs...

    I know of no job that would "require" both a CFA and/or a CPA and an information security certification. Just curious, do you know of jobs that require both/all of these?

    I have worked in financial services for ~20 years, at times involved with organizations with $1 trillion+ in assets under management (=many of the largest in the world). I've been around very few CFAs.

    In all of that time and while exposed to different financial services organizations I have met ~20 people that considered pursuing a CFA. None of them worked in IT.

    Of those 20, 10 looked into it and decided it wasn't for them.

    Of those 10, only 5 met all of the requirements and attempted one or more levels of the testing.

    Of those 5, only 2 ever passed and became a "CFA".

    1 of those retired at 43 and lives on a large boat somewhere.

    The other is now 33, and solely manages a portfolio for high net worth investors. He drives 2 very new Maseratis.

    http://www.cfainstitute.org/index.html

    Although CPAs are more common than CFAs, a CPA is not easy to achieve.

    My point is that, generally, the people who get CFAs and CPAs tend to focus on CFA and CPA work.

    But, I'm not particularly interested in becoming a CFA, at least not right now. My question was merely about jobs requiring proficiency and qualifications in the fields of IT (specifically security) and Finance.
    P.S.
    What's wrong with liking the idea of having more options, or a safety net if you will? It's not the deciding factor, but it's a pretty good benefit in the plus column in my opinion.

    Nothing, it's a personal decision. If you saw my entire cv you might think that I chose the "safety-net" approach, when in fact the degrees and other things I have accomplished have been based more on what I was interested in at the time. My "safety-net" is the ability to achieve results.

    I understood you to be seeking advice about which path to take. Perhaps I need to clarify that advice:

    1) Decide what you want. I might have misunderstood, but as it is phrased it sounds like you are thinking about working in one field, but then perhaps doing a 180 and working in another. The two fields that you've mentioned don't seem that close to me. IMO, as it sounds now you are going to subject yourself to the risk of two entry-level career stints. As another poster indicated, you might spread yourself thin.

    2) This is directed at everyone. Although without a doubt there is crossover between the worlds of accounting and finance, these are two very distinct fields.

    In general, it can be said that accounting is the past, whereas finance is the future.

    Keeping this in mind, education and a career in finance is often very different than an education and a career in accounting. IMO, someone with an accounting background and/or CPA is is probably more likely to move into that security expert role, which is why I think (although they are rare), it is not unheard of to see a former CPA that is a CIA, CISA and/or a CISSP.

    If you get a job related to finance, you will likely be generating or assisting in generating revenues in some capacity. If you get a job related to accounting, you will likely be verifying activity against plans and/or rules.

    However, an education in finance might not cover the required education to be eligible for the CPA (depends on the state, etc..). Without added work experience being supervised by a CPA (again, depends on the state), you also won't become a CPA. A CPA is not really a certification like we think of on this site...it is a state license to practice.

    3) In my experience, an MBA from a top-notch school works well in financial services. Some of the other posts in this thread echo this (at least the MBA part). Focus more on the school name part than on any particular aspect of the classes required to get the MBA. Make sure it is a school in the top-20. Financial services is very competitive...you will compete against MBA's from Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Fuqua, Duke, Stanford....

    4) Although an MSc in Banking and Finance is a good degree if you want to work in, well, banking and finance, I would avoid that specialization if you are not sure that is what you want to do.

    5) I would also avoid that specialization if the school you are attending is not well-known for producing experts in Banking and Finance. I don't know what school you're attending. I also agree with others on here that the InfoSec graduate degree is newer. Therefore I think you are less limited by subjective evaluation of the school that awards a MSc in InfoSec vs. any business degree.

    6) If you go into financial services, at some point you are going to have to get sponsored and get one or more securities licenses (depending on your role). If you choose this route, find a way to get involved with an organization now in some manner so that you can start getting this work out of the way. At a minimum you are going to be looking at Series 7 and 63. 7 is federal, 63 depends on the state, and if I am not mistaken if you have 7 then you also have Series 6 covered....verify this. There are a whole list of these, and they're based on what your specific role is (e.g., do you broker futures or only mutual funds?, are you a manager, etc...)

    I don't live in the US.

    7) If point 6 is totally greek to you, then you might want to go the InfoSec route...

    MS

    By the way, I appreciate someone with your level of experience taking the time to type out such a lengthly reply.

    In response to Turgon, I have almost no experience in either area, but I'm only 25 years old, graduated 2 years ago and I'm only now figuring out what career path I want to choose so I have experience in very few things.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    I do wish you the best and don't want to discourage you from the path that you decide is the best. My responses probably got a bit jumbled last week. On Friday I started at 4am in Albany, NY trying to get back to Texas...I spent most of the day in either Albany airport or Newark, NJ airport and finally made it back home at around 10pm.

    My responses were intended more directly at all posters in the thread than specifically to you.

    Let me summarize some thoughts.

    In a general sense, you could break down the people aspect of financial services industry along the following scale:

    <-1----|
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |----10->

    One one end of the scale (#1 above) you have those that generate revenue.

    On the other end of the scale (#10 above) you have those that do not generate revenue.


    Finance people will tend to be more toward the revenue generation side of the scale. IT people will tend to be towards the do not generate revenue side of the scale.

    In financial services (like any business), generation of revenue is more highly valued than not generating revenue. Although IT often provides a competitive advantage in financial services, and a lack of proper InfoSec can definitely cost additional money, rare is the case that these activities generate money in a financial services organization.

    In financial services, the revenue generation side of this scale generally sees things like InfoSec and IT as cost components. Accounting and auditing is also a cost component. Thus, they do not spend a lot of time worrying about these things as it is an expense that can be predicted and budgeted, and purchased at a lower rate than they can do it themselves.

    In other words, financial people are focused on generating more revenues. Career success in these organizations is often determined by how close one gets to and how much of an impact one has on revenue generation.

    The closest I ever really got to the generating revenue side of financial services was about the 4th bar from the left on the scale. This was in a role where I helped sales teams by presenting internal technology to potential and existing customers. I had broad technical exposure and the ability to present to any audience, making me a rare commodity. Although the topic of InfoSec came up quite often, a CISSP or master's in InfoSec was not required, nor would it have helped in that role. It also would not have moved me closer to the revenue generating side of that scale. Being able to function in both worlds in terms of finding the right information from the IT world and summarizing this information in a way that made sense to customers in a sales presentation was the predictor of success.

    Thus, my opinion is that you are looking at two somewhat mutually exclusive career options. If you came to this forum and said I want to be an accountant and a CISSP, then I think that makes a little more sense. You still have a long path, but it makes more sense. As you have presented it, the risk that you are taking is that you might be headed towards two entry-level careers. Although you might land the perfect job somewhere in the middle of that scale that requires both, this type of job, as far as I know is about as common as a unicorn. I rate the chances of finding that job as somewhat less than me becoming the next American Idol.
    I don't live in the US.

    Do you live somewhere where banking and finance is not regulated? Unlikely.

    Again, if this is totally new to you I would advise that if you choose the banking and finance path that you focus your energy on learning what regulations apply to you, and what credentials you must achieve and how to achieve them in your specific area.

    You might start taking a look at Basel II. If you are in Europe perhaps the CESR ( http://www.cesr-eu.org/ ) might be a good place to look. The point is, depending on where you live, there is very likely some body or set of rules that governs securities, banking, and financial activities. Typically these bodies define what standards and requirements workers in these fields must meet in order to perform certain functions.

    MS
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    eMeS, I have no problem switching fields. I think I may have had my fill of IT to be quite honest. In fact, here's my first post on the subject. I'd love to stay, but I would prefer to be in a profession that is financially rewarding.
    So, right now, I'm considering an MSc in Banking and Finance. I think I may leave this field all together due to the poor pay and lack of opportunities. I have approximately two years to make up my mind, but as of right now, I think this is probably the path I will take. It's probably either this, or an MSc in Information Security but, like I said, I don't know if I can put in the effort required to earn an MSc and then have to worry if anyone will offer me a job. There just doesn't seem to be much of a chance for a good job and worthwhile salary in IT, and I'm putting in all this work, and not seeing any payoff. I think it's time to change fields. My grades are good enough to get me in to quite a few masters programs, so I think I'll put my Comp Sci degree to its best use, and get out of the field by doing a masters that will make me some money. Any suggestions? Am I being premature?

    That was posted on Saturday July 19th. (before I started this topic)

    http://techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=36246


    I was hoping that I would find a position in which my knowledge of both would be useful, but if not, so be it. I'm prepared to make the switch.


    This is the kind of job I was interested in doing. I've seen them advertise here (unfortunately since I applied the date has passed and the job is no longer on the website, I know I should have copied and pasted the requirements, but anyway). The job I was looking at required a BSc in computer science and a CFA, and it was listed as an IT vacancy.


    These are the kinds of jobs I was looking at going after:

    http://www.jobsite.co.uk/cgi-bin/vacdetails.pl?selection=929085168&src=search_channel_ACCO
    IT Security Manager, Banking, Finance, CISSP, London

    My client is one of the worlds largest and most successful financial institutions based in the city, an industry leader, who have not been affected by the recent downturn in the market. They are actively recruiting for an experienced IT Security Manager to provide leadership to a virtual team of IT Security professionals including mentoring and coaching. A good understanding of the financial markets including audits and regulatory frameworks are required along with proven commercial experience of working within a similar role. Knowledge of Agile development is preferred and some security certifications such as CISSP are essential. Excellent communication and written skills are needed along with the ability to multi-task, plan and meet deadlines within a challenging and fast paced environment. This is an excellent opportunity for the candidate who has proven technical and managerial capabilities and previous knowledge of the financial arena.


    http://jobs.technology.efinancialcareers.co.uk/job-4000000000426844.htm
    Manager/Senior Manager- Security & Process Controls SAP

    To be considered, you must possess:

    ? BSc./BEng./MSc. in information security, computer science, engineering, physics, mathematics or related field or
    ? understanding of and interest in information security and risk management
    ? Experience leading teams
    ? Account management experience
    ? New business development experience, including significant contribution towards proposal and client facing presentations
    ? Excellent communications skills including the ability to build rapport and credibility quickly with colleagues and clients
    ? Prior experience of overseeing the career development of others




    or like this guy

    James D. Grisham, CCNA/DA, Network /A , CFA, CISSP
    CEO of Secured Packet, Inc.
    Information Security Officer/Network Security Analyst
    Member of FBI Infragard since 2005
    Member of ISSA since 2000


    Those that recommended the MSc, have you changed your mind in light of what eMeS has said? Do you have anything else to add? I have two more years of research to do, so this isn't an overnight decision, let's hear some advice.
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    Let me provide a bit more background as well. The MSc in Information Security has to be done abroad, and will probably cost me a minimum of $40, 000 US, whereas I can do the MSc in Banking and Finance here for $12, 500 US. It's a massive difference, as in my local currency, one is $80 thousand, while the other is $25 thousand. I'm staring at a hell of a lot of debt if I do the MSc in Information Security, whereas the MSc in Banking and Finance, I can afford to pay for out of pocket. Maybe my hatred and fear of debt is factoring into my decision as well.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,034 Admin
    The MSc in Information Security has to be done abroad, and will probably cost me a minimum of $40, 000 US, whereas I can do the MSc in Banking and Finance here for $12, 500 US.
    With a degree like Banking and Finance, the school where you get the degree is important too. You should get into the best school you can for that degree, which means you could end up spending $40K for it as well. You are not only paying for the degree, but also for the business contacts you will be making at the school and the school's name on your resume.
    It's a massive difference, as in my local currency, one is $80 thousand, while the other is $25 thousand.
    With the depressed dollar, your local currency has greater value over here. So to save money and get a real bargain, I'd suggest getting your education in the USA before our economy rebounds in another two years or so (unless the wrong guy gets in as president).
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    JDMurray wrote:
    The MSc in Information Security has to be done abroad, and will probably cost me a minimum of $40, 000 US, whereas I can do the MSc in Banking and Finance here for $12, 500 US.
    With a degree like Banking and Finance, the school where you get the degree is important too. You should get into the best school you can for that degree, which means you could end up spending $40K for it as well. You are not only paying for the degree, but also for the business contacts you will be making at the school and the school's name on your resume.
    It's a massive difference, as in my local currency, one is $80 thousand, while the other is $25 thousand.
    With the depressed dollar, your local currency has greater value over here. So to save money and get a real bargain, I'd suggest getting your education in the USA before our economy rebounds in another two years or so (unless the wrong guy gets in as president).


    The thing is, the university I'm looking at is the premier University in the region, the reason the program is so cheap is that it's Government funded (yes, we have very socialist policies over here, free health care, and free University education up to BSc), it's not a case of it being a shoddy University. Actually, far from, the Prime Minister of my country got his degree here, as did most of parliament, so it's not shabby at all.

    In response to your second point, unfortunately, our dollar is tied to the US dollar. The programs that I'm looking at are in the UK (your dollar dropping actually hurt me). The exchange rate went from around 3 to 1, to 4 to 1, thanks to the weakening of the US dollar. I actually don't want to go the US because a) I don't want to do a 2 year program, and b) It's easier to get a scholarship for an English University because my country is a former colony.


    The other thing is, this program contains electives like, 'Information Technology Management', so I'm thinking there has to be some desire being expressed for individuals with a sound knowledge of both fields.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    Is there another credential that is known as "CFA"? I'm seriously asking here...I can't find one.

    I just can't see looking for a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in the same job description that is looking for a BSc in computer science. Unless this is a case of someone writing a job posting that has no idea what they're talking about (very possible).

    Another point commonly made here is that job postings often list many requirements and credentials. Often, no one person meets all of these requirements or has all of these credentials.

    Also, I looked up that guy's profile on LinkedIn. He doesn't have CFA listed there. Looking at what he does have, none of it seems to fit traditionally the experience and/or requirements of a CFA. It strikes me as odd that it's not listed...personally if I had a CFA I might consider tattooing it on my forehead.

    MS
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    I don't want to get too caught up focusing on the CFA certification, I just want to know if it would be useful for me to have a BSc in Computer Science, CISSP, and an MSc in Banking and Finance (possibly with other financial certifications). I have no problem switching gears, or relying solely on the banking degree, right now, my focus is on planning for the future, and making the decision that will lead to both a career I will enjoy and the standard of living that I want. It's hard to put this into words because they're so many variables involved here, but, I know that I've seen jobs that require a good knowledge of both fields, and those jobs do pay very well. If these jobs aren't available, I also know that I'm completely willing to walk away from this field if my MSc in Banking and Finance can take me where I want to go. I'm young, and I'm not afraid of making a career change, what I am afraid of, is being stuck in a field that isn't paying well and putting in lots of effort and not seeing the requisite payoff. I've seen too many brilliant people stuck in crappy support oriented jobs when they are smart enough to have been doctors, lawyers, bankers etc making huge salaries.
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    I haven't really spoken up much at this point because my knowledge in the finance industry isn't high. It really seems you'd rather be in the finance industry and I have to agree there isn't much of a relation as MS has pointed out. I wouldn't worry about the money I would just go for what you want to do the most. Pick the career you like the most and go from there best thing I can tell you.
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    Money is very important to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be doing something that I hate, but I'm not willing to enter a career for the love of it, there has to be a substantial economic payoff for my time and hard work.
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    I'm not saying money shouldn't be important but if finance or IT is something you are passionate about you shouldn't turn away from something solely on money I'm saying. I'm heading back to school for my masters and I applied for a degree I knew was more then I wanted to spend only because of the quality and how much I like working in IT. You can't just go into a career because of the money its that simple, you need to actually like what you're doing or you'll never end up enjoying the money you make. Both finance and IT are great fields to work in and have a lot of growing and money making potential. I think you should get into a career for the love of it not base it off of money, money needs to be a factor because we all need money to live obviously. From what I've read it seems you have more of an interest in finance rather then IT.
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    shednik wrote:
    I'm not saying money shouldn't be important but if finance or IT is something you are passionate about you shouldn't turn away from something solely on money I'm saying. I'm heading back to school for my masters and I applied for a degree I knew was more then I wanted to spend only because of the quality and how much I like working in IT. You can't just go into a career because of the money its that simple, you need to actually like what you're doing or you'll never end up enjoying the money you make. Both finance and IT are great fields to work in and have a lot of growing and money making potential. I think you should get into a career for the love of it not base it off of money, money needs to be a factor because we all need money to live obviously. From what I've read it seems you have more of an interest in finance rather then IT.

    I think I'm changing as I get older and more experience in the field. Growing up, I loved IT, but now the field is starting to seem saturated, and only full of 'support oriented' jobs which don't pay that well, and aren't viewed as terribly important by the companies. Honestly, this isn't what I expected to see when I graduated, and the field seems absolutely saturated where I live. I would still love to get into IT security and make a career of it, but I also love the kinds of opportunities that this MSc in Banking and Finance could present. A chance to really be a major decision maker, work with numbers and complex problems, and be a critical, important member of any organization I join. I would love to find a role in a bank that involved an in depth knowledge of the banking system and how it works as well as a sound knowledge of IT security. I think THAT would be what I consider my dream job, but I'm trying to figure out the best path to get there. I also want a "way out" in case the field really becomes over saturated, as seems to be happening, that's why I'm a bit wary of doing an MSc that would confine me to this field and this field only. That's why the MSc in Banking and Finance seemed like a good option, but now eMeS has me wondering if I'm seeing things as I would like them to be, and not as they are. But, like I said, I've still got a bit of time left to decide so I'll keep looking around for the best option I can find, and I'll continue to do some more research on this particular program.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    I would love to find a role in a bank that involved an in depth knowledge of the banking system and how it works as well as a sound knowledge of IT security.

    What role is that?

    No, seriously, what role is that? Find that role. Find out what qualifications the banks are looking for for that role. Even see if you can find out from someone in that role how they got there and what qualifications and skills they have. That could give you a general guide as to how to get what you want.

    As for the field being saturated with support roles, well that's how you start out. Support for a while and then you work your way to positions requiring more skills and more responsibility.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
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