MBA vs MSc

NavyITNavyIT Member Posts: 171
So I am at a crossroads now where I am trying to decide whether I should go for an MBA or an MSc in Information Security and Assurance. I already have my B.S. in a computer-related field and also have the certs to the left <----.

I was hoping to get some advice from those of you who have Masters degrees. I'm not 100% sure if I want to move into project management and then an ISO type role in the near future, but I know I do later in my career.

My question is, where can an MSc take me that an MBA can't? I'm having a hard time answering that. Most jobs only require a B.S. and some certs. I know I'll be more interested in the MSc, but there will be a need for me to know the business as it relates to INFOSEC eventually, which is why I'm looking into an MBA.

Any thoughts or advice on this?

A.S. - Computer Networking: Cisco
B.S. - Computer & Network Security


  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I recently found myself in the same position as I finished up my B.S. in IT. I ended up choosing to pursue the MBA route for many of the reasons you mentioned above. Most jobs don't ask for a IT degree beyond a B.S. and also going the MBA route would diversify me in a sense. Give me insight into the business aspect side of things and hopefully eventually allow me more potential for climbing the ladder so to speak. This was just my choice based off of input from co-workers and others in the IT field I spoke to. I guess time will tell whether it ends up paying off or not.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    In infosec specifically, I think the M.S. really helps solidify you as a specialist in security. The MBA really doesn't. It's nice for getting into management, of course, which sometimes means security management and staying technical. Still, I wouldn't go that route if you want to remain primarily technical. That being said, I will admit I'm not 100% that the RoI is really there for M.S. degrees in info sec/assurance. Would need to see a really well-done study or stronger job requirements evidence.

    In the more in-depth research I've done for Computer Science, I was finding the same thing until I started looking at Amazon. Based on its job postings, it actually looks for graduate CS degrees quite a bit. Enough to make one worth getting, even. The salary averages were similarly compelling in my research. I haven't (and won't, unless my plans change) done the same level of research for infosec, however, and it wouldn't be bad for you to do some. Look at salary averages and job postings with either "prefer/a plus" or "require" for graduate infosec degrees, and certainly talk to people with these degrees. We must have a couple here on TE, though none come to mind.
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  • ArabianKnightArabianKnight Member Posts: 278 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am also looking at both paths. I wonder if an MBA in IT management and a Grad cert in Info Sec would kill 2 birds with 1 stone?

    ....Actually, North Central U has an MBA in InfoSec.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,834 Mod
    I too had the same dilemma, as I've posted here in the past about it. I had started the Masters of Engineering in Information Assurance at Iowa State and honestly I hate it. It just does not seem like a well put together program and the classes suffer from long time tenured professors collecting a six figure check for doing much of nothing during the class.

    I had always wanted and kept going back to wanting to get my MBA from my alma mater UF and as of late, I've decided 100% that's what I want, although not for another three years or so. In the meantime, I've been thinking about just knocking out the WGU MSISA in two terms that way I have something for now. I figure having my MSISA at only a $6000 cost isn't bad and I could still get the MBA.

    But my ultimate goal is management so getting the MBA makes sense. And the University of Florida has a top 30's ranked MBA (among both private and public) so I'm happy with the ROI on their MBA.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
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  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    JoJo that does sound like an awesome MBA program to get into. That coupled with the MSISA, BS in Business Admin, CISSP and experience you'll be in great shape!
  • NavyITNavyIT Member Posts: 171
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I found a dual degree program form UMUC for a MSc in Cybersecurity paired with an MBA. Both can be completed in 3 years (2 for the MSc and 1 additional year for the MBA). What do you think about this?
    A.S. - Computer Networking: Cisco
    B.S. - Computer & Network Security
  • NavyITNavyIT Member Posts: 171
    Additionally, is there anyone here who got their Masters while working and received a raise from their employer based on completing the degree? How much was it?
    A.S. - Computer Networking: Cisco
    B.S. - Computer & Network Security
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The only place I've seen a raise come out of obtaining a Masters has been in public education. Most of the school districts here in New Jersey will put a teacher on a different set of steps based off of the number of graduate credits they have. Basically you have BS/BA, BS/BA + 15, and then MA/MS. In the private sector, I've seen employers pay for the education, but it didn't always translate into an instant raise or anything like that. Might help you get promoted though.
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