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Difference in degrees prgms

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Fathercat

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:05 am

Difference in degrees prgms

I'm finishing my masters in Security Management was debating about going back and getting a bachelors. I was wondering whether there was a difference between a BS in Computer Science differ much from Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security or Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. 

Reason for this course is one to apply for a PhD program since my current bachelor is very non-technical in nature and most pre-requistive I've seen asks for a BS in Computer Science.  I'm hoping that one of the other programs could be a suitable substitute (waiting from admission program as well).  Also, for when I get out of the military, how those degrees would be viewed.

Any thoughts would be helpful. 


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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:01 am

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

I decided to pose this question to my network on Linked In.  So far the best answer, or at least the one that makes the most sense to me is as follows:

[quote=Doug Smith, Ph.D., MBA, MPM (Professor of IT at Ottowa Univ.)] I think ultimately the answer to your question depends on where your focus is. If you security perference is more towards the engineering side of IT then choosing the Computer Science route will serve you best. On the other hand, if managing the security is more to your likely then the BS in IT or ISS would be the way to go. Computer Science, in my experience, is more engineering based than either IT or ISS. [/quote]

I'm sure that there will be many more suggestions to follow, and I'll update you when any good ones come in.

Feel free to check on it yourself.
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don

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:28 am

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

Great help you offered, oneeyedcarmen. Kudos.

Don
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Fathercat

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Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:55 am

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

Thank-you very much oneeyedcarmen, even though I do like doing the techie stuff, being in the military hasn't afforded me many chances to do that, I have resided my fate to that of management and driving security policies.


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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:27 am

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

Another pretty good response:

[quote=Callum Finlayson]It's primarily going to depend on what he's specialising in.

If his PhD, and post-doctoral work, will have a more theoretical bent then the (usually) more theoretical "Computer Science"-type courses are probably right.

If he'll be quite practical -- addressing, say, security in real world application development -- then the (usually) very practical "Software Engineering"-type courses are a better bet.

If he's planning on something in a more commercial setting then an "Information Systems"-type degree is probably best bet.

Unfortunately the degree naming/content can vary from institution-to-institution, but in general CS is more theory and SE more coding.

In addition to where he's going, where he's coming from is the other factor. You mention his undergrad's non-technical, but his background will still be a factor -- there are 2 key things his chosen BS needs to do (i) enhance his strenghts, and (ii) fill-in his weaknesses.

Almost certainly what the PhD programmes are after is a demonstration that he's covered all the basics (any IT related course will do this), and demonstration that he's comfortable with highly numerical/logical work (any technical/science degree will do this). in having the masters he's demonstrated he can do academic work at a postgrad level.

Something to consider are the one-year "conversion" masters degrees (usually in IS) -- he should probably check with the departments whether that would be acceptable[/quote]

Social networking...whatta ya know?  It IS actually good for more than just stalking!  ;D
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g00d_4sh

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Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:15 pm

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

Wow, very good responses.  I guess what I would add, is just what I have been told on my own "Journey".  As long as you have your Masters... or degree, getting another isn't going to get your foot much easier.  What is going to matter, is A. Experience, B. Certs.  That is, since you already have your main degree.  After having the piece of paper showing you've got your Masters, I'd suggest going after certs and just first hand experience.  My opinion is not worth gold, but it is what I have been told from a friend of mine who owns his own software company (library database/gui programs), and taught computer science at the University of Washington for years.  So, he had a bit of experience in both the theoretical and practical.  Guy who actually got me into my current career.  Also, what I've been told from peers here in the gov for moving up.  So... half my opinion there is tainted in respect to its primary applicability being that of federal work, but I assume it would translate over fairly well corp side too.
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phn1x

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Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:57 pm

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

From my perspective CS if for developers, SE is for developers that want to go much further into development such as kernel/os development even embedded systems. Most of the people I work with have SE degree's and their focus was on embedded systems. IS is more of an Administration degree with a touch of business. This is just my personal opinion but the IS degree is good for someone who wants to do management in an IT environment. They will be able to speak the lingo, and have the business classes to go along with it.

My Bachelors is in CS and my Masters (in process) is in Information Assurance Engineering.

The IS degree programs I've seen have some programming mainly introductions but programming is left to CS/EE, and SE majors. But like everyone in Don's network has already stated it's entirely up to the direction your headed. One last comment I have is backing up what g00d... said about already having a Mastes. It's really not going to do you any good to go back and obtain a bachelors. You will really have to weight the return on investment both monetarily and in terms of time spent on obtaining it. You may put yourself into a position where your experience is entirely academic which sometimes works out, but can cause problems and lead to an uncomfortable feeling when you leave an interview.
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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:11 pm

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

[quote=phn1n]You will really have to weight the return on investment both monetarily and in terms of time spent on obtaining it. [/quote]

Agreed.  However, I'm not gonna knock anyone for having the drive and ambition to go for a doctorate.  But like you said, if you have to go back for a SECOND bachelor's, is it really worth it?  Maybe, if you only need a couple of courses to qualify.  Plus, I gotta imagine, though I'll never know, that if I had Ph.D. on my resume, I'd be feeling like I have some big balls walking into an interview.  ;D
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g00d_4sh

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Post Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:31 pm

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

:P  I'd prefer to have my CCIE, CISSP, 10 years on job experience... than a PH.D for an interview.  But that's me.  I think I"m just going to stick with my CCNA, and MABEY CCNP if I get an itch.
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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Difference in degrees prgms

Larry Moore, a security consultant, brought up a very good point, I think.

Brian, has your friend worked in a technical field? If the school will not accept working experience in lieu of a technical BS degree, perhaps your friend should go to a different school.

Your friend should not have to obtain another BS degree. Perhaps your friend should get a second opinion at the same school. The first advice he received may be incorrect.
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