UMUC or WGU for Masters in Cyber?

dragonsdendragonsden Posts: 220Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I have a dilemma (but a good one). I just started in a new role at a new company, and learned some great things about their training program. They will pay $6000/year towards a graduate degree. Luckily this is what WGU costs per year.
Also, for the first 100 days of my employment, I'm allowed to study for what ever certifications I want. I'm trying to finish of my MCSA, and then start studying for my CEH with a goal of July 1st to pass.
Before arriving here, I've had my heart set on WGU after much talk with them, and reading all the great reviews on this forum. Since it costs $6000/year to attend 2 semesters at WGU, my companies tuition assistance will pretty much cover my entire masters. Seems like an easy choice, but...
My company also has a specific partnership with UMUC for Cyber certificates. UMUC happens to be where I did my undergrad in Information Systems. They will fund a choice of 3 cyber certificates. Upon completion, I'd have the certificate, and also be 3 classes away from a Masters at UMUC. UMUC is very expensive otherwise, around $35k for their Master's in Cyber if paying myself.
WGU on the other hand offers the CEH / CHFI certs with the masters program. I'm thinking to work on CEH now though to shortcut my study time as well as save money on tuition.
I'm torn on which way to go though. Obviously I want to take advantage of free education, but I do want to get this done ASAP.
I feel that the WGU route will help get the Master's done in record time and be cheaper, but may not look as good as a Master's in Cyber security from UMUC. Apparently UMUC is leading the field in Cyber grads right now.
Anyone have comments either way on the cyber programs as offered by either WGU or UMUC? I need to figure this out soon so I can get enrolled.

Thanks :)
Dragonsden, MSISA:WGU
CISSP ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
Currently Studying: SecDevSecOps / PMI-AGP

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,150Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I need to work at company like this... Anyways, I'm personally thinking about going to DSU for the Master's in Information Assurance. Brick and mortar school with an online master's program. Just throwing another option out there. Of course WGU is pushed hard on here though. Best of luck to which ever you choose!
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • BurnsieBurnsie Posts: 84Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    You've hit all the points that I would have brought up on WGU vs UMUC. I am finishing up my BS with UMUC and after taking a short break I plan on continuing to the Masters Program. Out of the two, I would vote for UMUC purely on my opinion that most people in the wild have not heard of WGU and name recognition is important with Masters programs. The added cost is a personal choice you are going to have to make, as you are the only one with knowledge of your financial abilities.

    Either way, congrats on finding a job with great benefits. Good luck with the MS.

    B
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Posts: 366Member
    Are you only limiting yourself to WGU or UMUC? That's some good Tuition Reimbursement for a grad program.

    I personally like brick and motar's with an online option. There are quite a few schools out there that will meet your needs. There are quite a few cyber programs from schools in California alone, off the top of my head CSU San Bernardino, USC (expensive, but sounds awesome curriculum wise), UC Irvine, National University, etc.
  • ramrunner800ramrunner800 Posts: 238Member
    $35k at UMUC? I'm deciding between UMUC and doing the SANS degree right now, and I thought UMUC was only about $25k for one of their Cyber degrees. I like the look of UMUC over WGU. Something about WGU just makes me worry. I've brought it up with friends and coworkers and not gotten good reactions.
    Currently Studying For: GXPN
  • dragonsdendragonsden Posts: 220Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Id' like to do UMUC, just the cost....egh...but they do pickup a lot of it. Also, I heard somewhere that some companies frown upon undergrad and grad work done at the same university. My company has lots of cyber jobs if anyone wants an intro.
    Dragonsden, MSISA:WGU
    CISSP ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    Currently Studying: SecDevSecOps / PMI-AGP
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,150Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Khaos1911 wrote: »
    Are you only limiting yourself to WGU or UMUC? That's some good Tuition Reimbursement for a grad program.

    I personally like brick and motar's with an online option. There are quite a few schools out there that will meet your needs. There are quite a few cyber programs from schools in California alone, off the top of my head CSU San Bernardino, USC (expensive, but sounds awesome curriculum wise), UC Irvine, National University, etc.

    I would look at the one's above ^^ the only reason I said DSU (Dakota State University) in my post is because I know it is a brick and mortar school that is near me. I would look into one that is near if you can.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,691Mod Mod
    We've discussed the whole WGU vs. <insert top tier expensive school here>. Consensus is that in the vast majority of cases no one will care where/when/how you got your degree(s). Do companies actually get picky about this? Sure! Is it statistically significant and should it be a factor you need to consider? Maybe if you plan to end up in academia or see yourself in some company that uses degree sources as a filter to screen candidates. In my case if they don't like my degree sources, it's their loss.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,127Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I feel the need to say this. Too many people are going for their Masters merely for a check box and that is not the point of a Masters. A Masters is meant to further the research in your chosen field. Obviously, with management like degrees that's not the case or career changer degrees, but when you're looking at a Masters in Information Assurance your aim should be to further the field of information assurance. That's why I cringe when I see people say "I want to get this done as quickly as possible." If you're mastering the subject, quickly as possible should never be the goal.

    In regards to your question about getting your undergrad and graduate degrees from the same institution no one in the private sector cares. In academia it was an issue, more so when you get your BS, MS, and PhD from the same place, but honestly those days are just about gone. Lots of schools offer 4+1 programs (BS and MS in 5 years) and that has helped remove the stigma that was once associated with it. That all stemmed from the fear that your weren't getting a different perspective when you stayed at the same institution for all your degrees.
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  • guy9guy9 Posts: 59Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
    First, I will say that I've heard a lot of good things about WGU. Second, you will hear more about WGU on these forums than you will outside of these forums I will speak specifically for Northern Virginia, so to minimize the comments.. I asked some coworkers what did they think about WGU a week or so ago and the response was ....What is WGU.. If someone/HR has to google your degree I am not sure if that is good or bad. I am in the DC/Maryland/ Virgina (DMV) area, and can jump to either state in about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic or EZPass Direction. Everyone has a degree, you have people from all over the world and different countries with degrees. Matter of fact its hard to find someone without a degree. So when it boils down to two individuals being (equally) qualified and Bill graduated from UMUC and George graduated from WGU and I had to google the school to find out about it ..who you think gets the job? Like what was already mentioned people show favoritism towards degrees yes its not right blah blah blah but it happens. If I graduated from Georgetown University and see another Georgetown University resume guess which one is going to the top? Its the same as being in a Fraternity or Sorority or being a Mason. Being apart of certain Universities and Organizations has perks, if someone tells you different they are lying. It might be totally different in Cali, I can't speak for the Job market in that location. What I would do is, go to work tomorrow and if HR is in your building ask them what that think about WGU or ask your Supervisor and see the response they give you. That will tell you everything you need to know.icon_thumright.gif. We could say if they don't like WGU they can jump off a bridge, but most of the time you need the job more than they need you 9 times out of 10 you weren't the only "qualified" person that applied.. Its easy to turn down a job but when that mortgage is due and you don't know when the next phone call/email will be coming in offering you another job you will think twice about the if they don't like WGU they can jump off a bridge.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,750Mod Mod
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    A Masters is meant to further the research in your chosen field. Obviously, with management like degrees that's not the case or career changer degrees, but when you're looking at a Masters in Information Assurance your aim should be to further the field of information assurance.

    Everything I've ever read has pointed to the PhD and DSc as the research related degree that are meant to further the respective field you pursue those degrees in.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python)
  • kiki162kiki162 Posts: 635Member
    Although I dont have my employer backing my grad school dreams. I applied to both Hopkins and UMUC for their Cyber Sec Master programs. Problem I had with Hopkins was the amount of pre-reqs they wanted you to have before even starting your classes. I'd probably be $40K in the hole by the time I was done. I recently applied to UMUC, where I got several tuition "discounts", and I could complete the 6 courses or so in half the time. No brainer.

    The other thing that really bugs me about some of the online based colleges/universities is the title of the degrees that sound ridiculous and long winded. Now there are some that knock the whole online college experience all together, but I think it's becoming more and more accepted.

    If cost is your factor, then go with WGU. Personally, I'm going UMUC, and setting myself up for this fall.
  • aspiringsoulaspiringsoul Posts: 314Member
    I'm paying out of pocket for my Graduate degree, which is a major reason why I selected WGU. There is so much ROI for the cost.

    I was trying to decide between DSU and WGU when I finally decided on WGU. Another reason was that it included the CEH and CHFI.

    I don't think you could go wrong with either school for the cost in my opinion.
    Education: MS-Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, BS-Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University, AAS-Computer Network Systems - ITT Tech,
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,127Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    To a point, you are most definitely correct. But many Masters degree holders do contribute to research in their field. Many people with a Masters work in the field, teach about the field, and work on teams (with PhD's/DSc's) to help do research in the field.

    My main point is just that when you put a Masters on your resume there will be an expectation on the work you will produce.
    WIP:
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