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Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

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Mr. Roboto

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Post Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:55 pm

Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

I have been admitted to the Western Governors University.  They have an online degree program which fits my schedule.  They also have a major in IT Security which I am contemplating enrolling in.

From a career standpoint, would it be wise to major in Security?  IT Security is what I enjoy, but would a Security emphasis pigeon hole me to only jobs which deal with, well...Security?  Or should I look towards a standard IT degree which would leave the door wide open?

I don't want potential employers to look me over for someone else, thinking that I'll only be able to manage logs from an IDS.
Last edited by Mr. Roboto on Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dengar13

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:47 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

In my opinion, I don't think that it will limit you at all provided that you have a diverse enough background.  I wuold think that it would be a bonus that you have a degree in security as it isn't commonplace for a candidate to have that type of degree with that concentration. 
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Mr. Roboto

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

That was the answer that I was looking for Dengar13.  I've got some experience and I recently started chipping away at the MCSE.  I've got one test down and only a million more to go. 

Hopefully with a Security related degree, coupled with the MCSE and support experience, I'll be able to find a niche in almost any environment.
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venom77

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:35 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Let me know how you end up liking WGU. I came across them last year and thought that it seemed like the absolute best deal ever. I made a brief post about it in this thread too.

Edit: I had the wrong tuition in that post, last I heard/remember, it was only apx. $2,500/6-month term.

I also don't think that going with the security emphasis would hurt you either. You're still getting an IT degree, you just happen to have some specialization in security.
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Mr. Roboto

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Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Thanks for the advice.  I'll probably start sometime in June. My plan is to wait for the big President approved tax refund later this year so that I can pay in cash.

I'll let everyone know how smooth the process is until then.  I've already been assigned a mentor, filled out most of the paperwork and had all of my transcripts sent in.  Everything has worked fine so far.

The best part about the whole program is that you can apply many different certs as credits.  My A+ and Security+ cut me out of "assessments".  As part of the program I'll receive eight certs (which are included in the tuition) by the time I graduate.  It's an awesome deal.
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JayTee

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Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:27 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Any update on this? How do you like the program?  This looks like the best choice out there for online school and I am interested in taking the program.  I've done a lot of searching and it seems like all the other online schols have some kind of controversy attached to them.  This one is especially appealing because of the price and the fact that you will earn 9 certs while taking these classes.   
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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:01 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

I'm really curious about this program, too.  I spoke with a recruiter last year and it sounded really promising.  Unfortunately, I've got to wait a bit yet as my wife just started her second semester of her Master's degree.
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JayTee

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:08 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Right now I am torn between WGU and University of Advancing Technology.  At UAT their security program is recognized by the NSA.  The problem with UAT is it is real expensive.  WGU is affordable and the program also looks solid.   
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:06 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

I eventually (for now) opted not to go to WGU. The reason was that I continually received stupid emails from them containing generic "about our school" type information and the recruiter I was assigned to was horrible at replying to my emails. They have some system where other people can send emails out on behalf of your recruiter (those are the more generic ones). I would receive an email from 'Robert Berry' when that happened and 'rberry@wgu' when he actually replied. He would take days or up to a week to reply to my questions (and would ignore/not answer some of them) and it basically just pissed me off. I asked several times to have a new recruiter assigned with no luck. I also wrote an email to the recruiter and program director after making the decision to not pursue anything for now and never received any sort of reply. Sad... it really did look good. I think that there are other/better options though and that's where I plan to focus.

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Kev

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:50 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Usually schools hire 3rd party companies to hawk for them. I am not sure if you can judge the quality of the school by the quality of these recruiters.  For instance, the University of Phoenix has about the best reputation for an online degree program. I know of a number of businesses that hire their graduates without hesitation. But their recruiters were so bad and misleading in the past that there was actually a law suit filed against the University. Seems that these recruiters will promise and say anything to get you to sign up because they get a commission. Regardless of that, the school continues to have a good rep for their training and looks good on your resume.
Last edited by Kev on Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:55 am

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

Kev wrote:Seems that these recruiters will promise and say anything to get you to sign up because they get a commission.


Yeah, typically that's how it goes. Even that would have better than no response at all or ignoring some questions rather than others. It's too important of a decision to just jump into it.
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JayTee

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:55 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

I do know what you mean about the emails but I don't think you can judge them by the enrollment counselors.  All the schools I have contacted so far have bombarded me.  Devry wouldn't just email you they would harass you with phone calls.  For the most part this looks like the best choice for online education in security at least from my point of view.  I found this forum the other day and it is a great little community, check it out if you have questions about WGU.  WGU Student Hall
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Kev

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

For me the real question is if an institutions degree is going to have value in the real world. Is a potential employer going to look at as a plus or will they think its just a diploma mill. One nice thing about UAT is that is is recognized by the NSA. At least that's something you can mention in an interview.  If your research leads you to believe WGU will have the same credibility, well then save the money and go with them.  As far as who might have a slightly better program, well I wouldnt worry too much about it because in reality you are going to  have to teach yourself most of this stuff anyway. I mean if you want to take it to a deeper level.
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jason

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:28 pm

Re: Western Governors University - IT Security Emphasis Degree

I teach security for one of the online universities (that shall remain nameless) and have seen HUGE variability in instructor quality. One thing that can be used to weed out the really bad ones is achievement of the NSA Center of Excellence. Then again, there aren't that many schools that have it, so you would be seriously narrowing your choices.

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