As online degrees is getting recognised and accepted by the employers, many students prefer to take online courses. If you are from IT background and considering to take an online master degree in IT security, this post may help you determine whether taking online master degree help you achieve your goal. If you put yourself in an employer’s shoes and think about recruiting an information security profession. Whom would you give more preference: a candidate with a normal IT degree or a candidate with a master degree in information security.
Ask yourself the following questions
- Why do you want to do the master degree?
- How will it add value to your career?
- Will you plan to study further after completion of the master degree
If you are interested to do online master degree to develop expertise on a highly specialized area such as penetration testing or in forensic investigation, then you can also think about the alternative of master degree such as professional courses and certification exams. When your goal is very focused on a particular subject, you may find that a master degree may not server your purpose or it may appear to you as too lengthy.
For those who are already working in IT security, and want to improve career prospects or earning potential, can find doing a master degree more appropriate than doing some certification courses. Remember that many HR (human resource manager) prefer candidates with professional degree than those with no professional degrees. Another reason to do a master course is that it shows that you have the passion to learn the subject matter. How employers will know that you know are a master of the subject matter that you are claiming to be unless you show relevant work experiences or your degrees certificates.
If you have a plan to become an IT security researchers and want to contribute to IT security industry by publishing in-depth analysis and papers, then opting for a master degree in IT will certainly help you because it gives a holistic view of the information security. While doing the course you will have the option to explore and concentrate on new avenues of security.
Pros and cons of doing master degree online
First of all, you are planning to do a master degree, which means you have a plan to become specialized in a subject. People love things that they have passion for. The main advantage of doing master degree online is that you do not have to travel to the classroom, at least not regularly. Thus you will save lots of your time, which you can invest in your study.Besides, it will give you the opportuntity to tailor your course to meet your interests, which may not be possible in classroom based degrees. Anothe advanage is the flexibilty of time. You can start your course while working full time because you do not have to be present in the class room at a specific time.
Some of the disadvantes are lack of physical interesaction with other studetns and procrastination. No matte how much social you are in your soical network, you can never know and get close to a person as long as you do not interact with him or her in real life.Since there is no one to remind you about yhour assignment submissin, you may fail to meet the assignment submission deadline. So, unless you have enough self-controlled and self-movitation, y0u may struggle to cope with the pace of the online courses.
How to choose the best collage?
Remember to follow your passion. So, when choosing a college, you need to pay attention to the course materials that matches to your interest. Doing a course full of interesting and relevant topic help you motivate more to explore the subject matter are you interested in.
Never forget to verity the degree you are going to pursue . Always make sure the degree is accredited by the proper authority. Most of the online degree websites will tell you that their courses are accredited. But do your math before joining the course. Try to contact your education ministry or council for higher education or whatever is responsible for accreditation of higher education courses in your place. Employers want to see that your degree is from a trusted and accredited source. Obviously, a candidate with a degree from Stanford (let it be online or classroom based courses) than a candidate from a little known or unknown university will have better a chance of getting hired.
Therefore, remember two things: whether the course materials meet your requirements and whether the online course is accredited by the proper authority.
How to choose the major subjects:
In general there are a number of tracks you can major such as:
- Computer forensic analysis
- Network security
- Designing security software
- Penetration testing or ethical hacking
- Technical, business and management aspect of IT security
Depending on your interests, you may choose your program. Remember that not all the program will give the same value to your career. Before registering your courses discuss with your course co-ordinator to check if the core course modules can be tailored to fit your needs. In some cases, you will get some credit for having professional certification in IT security such as CISA or CISSP. Make sure if it is possible to receive credit for your certification in order to minimize the course duration and to save cost.
Finally, remember than if you lack self-motivation and struggle to get your job done by on your own, give a second thought before starting your online degree. Self-motivated students are more likely to succeed in online education. So, ask yourself before registration whether you are committed for the course of not. No matter what your decision is, keep in mind that when you learn something with passion you are bound to thrive in your field of interests.