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    #1

    Default PhD Information Security, Information Assurance

    Hello,

    Well, the topic of the thread seems self explanatory. I want to pursue a PhD program in future and it would be great if it's online cause, I am an asian, (Not THE asian) living in asia and we don't have a good enough college or university to enroll in. It would also help if the college doesn't milk its students and charge them a gazillion $$$ as tuition fee. Looking for cheap, reputable colleges. Something like coursera etc. Thanks.

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  3. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #2
    I don't know about a PhD in INFOSEC, but Dakota State University has a Doctor of Science: Doctor of Science in Information Systems - D.Sc.IS
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  4. Senior Member CyberfiSecurity's Avatar
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    #3
    Well, there are some colleges/universities offer Doctorate in Information Security/Assurance relates online or limited residency.

    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)
    - Capella University's Ph.D in Information Technology with Information Security
    Residency Requirements: 3 Colloquial for the entire program around the country

    - Northcentral University's Ph.D in Business Administration w/ Information Security
    Residency Requirements: None

    - Nova Southeastern University Ph.D in Information Assurance or Ph.D in Information Systems with Information Security
    Residency Requirements: 2 per semester during course works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Other Doctorates

    - Capitol College's Doctor of Science in Information Assurance
    Residency Requirement: None; however, the program is synchronous mode (you have to attend live lecture via online)

    - Colorado Technical University's Doctor of Computer Science w/ Information Assurance
    Residency Requirement: I think once per year in Colorado Springs, Colorado

    - Columbia University (Ivy League)'s Doctor of Engineering Science in Computer Science with Computer Security
    Residency Requirement: Only during the dissertation phase
    Notes: Highest tuition and also the most prestigious out of all other colleges/university flexible programs

    - Dakota State University's Doctor of Science in Information Systems w/ Information Assurance (as mentioned above)
    Residency Requirement: Not sure
    Notes: The program admission is very competitive due to low tuition and high number of applicants. (Lowest tuition)

    I am currently a Ph.D in Information Assurance student at Nova Southeastern University. Yes, I travel to the school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida twice per semester. If you have any question about the program, I can help you to answer as much as I can.
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    #4
    That particular specialization I believe Nova is the only option. A PhD program is going to be a gazillion $$$ regardless haha. One last note, since the PhD is a scholarly pursuit the overall value of your degree is defined more so by the level of scholarly work you contribute after your first real research piece in that of the dissertation. I opted for Phoenix for a few reasons, most notably 33% off and familiarity as an instructor there.

    Last thing, Indiana State University has a pretty good program as well.
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    #5
    CyberfiSecurity,

    What's your current take on Nova Southeastern University and its program? In what position, do you currently work (such as infosec professional or management, etc.)? Where do you see yourself going after Ph.D?
    I have been contemplating on Ph.D to see if I would have an ROI and your experience/take on it would help.
    Thanks.
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  7. Senior Member CyberfiSecurity's Avatar
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    #6
    shauncarter1,

    I don't consider myself smart, but I tried to avoid any universities/colleges that mainly online school without b&m campus. Therefore, I chose Nova Southeastern University...I started as Ph.D in Computer Information Systems w/ Information Security. However, at this point I have option to choose either CIS w/ InfoSec or IA.

    Indiana State University's Ph.D in Information Technology do not have concentration in Information Security/Information Assurance. It is a consortium program with other universities: North Carolina A&T University, East Carolina University, Bowling Green State University, and University of Central Missouri.

    Garudamin,

    I am still doing my courseworks at Nova Southeastern University, possible direct research courses next year. I have not learned anything new about information security/assurance in term of technical. The only thing I learn is turning the technical into research. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) is transforming a practitioner into a scholar. Professional Doctorate might concentrate into more technical works, but not Ph.D. My profession is Network Security and Cyber Security, and currently I am currently more into network security. I see myself being a independent consultant on Information Security/Cyber Security subject matter expertise (SME). I do not plan to teach with this Ph.D, but I want to be a technical instructor instead. I am not interested in full-time scholar; however, for my generation social security might not be there. Therefore, I could use this Doctorate degree to teach after retiring.

    I don't think this program is a good return on investment if I have to pay entire program out of my pocket. Since I am a Marine Veteran, I utilize the Post 9/11 GI Bill with Yellow Ribbon, so half of the program is paid by the VA and the school. I also receive monthly housing allowance about $2,000.00 per month with tax free. So far, it is a good ROI for me.
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    #7
    I am currently enrolled in Capitol College's D.SC IA program. CyberfiSecurity was wrong in his assessment of their residency requirements, you have to go down for a 3 day weekend at least once a year for residency. I chose Capitol over Nova for two reasons. 1. The price. Nova from what I saw had a price tag of approx $75,000 after its all said and done, Capitol is at around $42,000. 2. Dissertation support. From what I read, a lot of current students at Nova were complaining about having no support on the dissertation process, leading them to be ABDs. I do not know if this is actually the case, but Capitol advertises that they offer assistance throughout the entire dissertation process, I am not far enough along to know if its true but it seems that it is. My experience of the course content is the same as CyberfiSecurity's. They arent here to teach us new ideas, we were supposed to come into the program already as experts in the field, they are there to teach us how to transition from being a practitioner to a scholar.
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    #8
    CyberfiSecurity I hear you, I looked at Nova, but the cost was just too much for me to bear especially since my GI Bill was exhausted . I have many colleagues who graduated from the program there, it's good. Everyone that pursues this type of degree has their reasons for doing so. My endeavors involve state and government work, so the degree matters more than where it is from. I can say the same for the colleges that I teach at as well. Accreditation reigns supreme and it would also help your cause to continue with published work after your dissertation.
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    #9
    One of the issue I see for me going after phd is dissertation. I don't know if I still have it in me to write, I don't mind research. Aside from that I have no issues with other courses. Like you guys have mentioned, as practitioner, topics are not new and it's just about transitioning to scholar.
    Another issue is, since I would have to pay out of my pocket, I can't seem to find ROI. I wouldn't mind paying for it if it can land me into oversight/advisory position. I have reached the glass ceiling as infosec tech and I like to move on to management, but I prefer oversight/advisory/consultation role instead of managing others.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberfiSecurity View Post
    The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) is transforming a practitioner into a scholar. Professional Doctorate might concentrate into more technical works, but not Ph.D. My profession is Network Security and Cyber Security, and currently I am currently more into network security. I see myself being a independent consultant on Information Security/Cyber Security subject matter expertise (SME). I do not plan to teach with this Ph.D, but I want to be a technical instructor instead. I am not interested in full-time scholar; however, for my generation social security might not be there. Therefore, I could use this Doctorate degree to teach after retiring.
    How do people on this forum view professional doctorates and Ph.Ds? The way I see it, unless you intend to pursue academia later on, I do not see the advantage of going for a Ph.D over a "professional doctorate" like DBA, D.Sc., DIT, etc. I can see a doctorate in an engineering or lab type of work. Since many of you are out there professionally in the field, how do you see them viewed? Would earning a doctorate of some variety do better than certifications? I have also seen a lot of professionals that are quite successful with just an undergrad. Are those that are pursuing or have gained a graduate degree did so in order to past the ceiling in your field by moving onto management?
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberfiSecurity View Post
    Well, there are some colleges/universities offer Doctorate in Information Security/Assurance relates online or limited residency.
    Thank you for compiling a great list +rep The University of Fairfax also offers doctorates in Information Assurance as either a doctorate or a doctor of science.
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    #11
    WARNING! University of Fairfax is NOT regionally accredited! that is a HUGE distinction in many circles, schools that do not have regional accreditation are widely look down upon. I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding University of Fairfax!
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GarudaMin View Post
    Another issue is, since I would have to pay out of my pocket, I can't seem to find ROI. I wouldn't mind paying for it if it can land me into oversight/advisory position. I have reached the glass ceiling as infosec tech and I like to move on to management, but I prefer oversight/advisory/consultation role instead of managing others.
    I can tell you that unless you are a senior level executive already, this degree wont help you at all in your career path unless you are trying to enter academia. This is speaking from personal experience. I dont even put my doctorate on my resume as I have been told multiple times I was overqualified for the positions I was interviewing for, and I wasnt exactly interviewing for help desk positions if you know what I mean.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzg View Post
    WARNING! University of Fairfax is NOT regionally accredited! that is a HUGE distinction in many circles, schools that do not have regional accreditation are widely look down upon. I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding University of Fairfax!
    Good eye! I didn't even catch that. I was too involved in looking at their education building program to notice their accreditation. They are only nationally, and not regionally accredited.
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  15. Senior Member CyberfiSecurity's Avatar
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    #14
    Right, University of Fairfax is nationally accredited through Distance Education and Training Council. It is the most expensive program out there, include. If you ask most people who live in Fairfax or Fairfax County, Virginia; most of them do not know the school exists. And University of Fairfax is not recorgnized by NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions. The following schools are designated by NSA's Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Operations:
    "
    • Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Ohio
    • Auburn University, Alabama
    • Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania
    • Dakota State University, South Dakota
    • Mississippi State University, Mississippi
    • Naval Postgraduate School, California
    • Northeastern University, Massachusetts
    • University of Tulsa, Oklahoma" URL: List of Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Operations
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    #15
    I will be tapped out on my GI Bill in the very near future, but if I still had enough funds, I would pursue a PhD in InfoSec, or a closely-related field... is it overkill for the positions I will probably hold in my lifetime, but no one has mentioned the personal aspect/setting and reaching a goal... which would be the primary driver for me... to prove to myself that I could.

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberfiSecurity View Post
    Right, University of Fairfax is nationally accredited through Distance Education and Training Council. It is the most expensive program out there, include. If you ask most people who live in Fairfax or Fairfax County, Virginia; most of them do not know the school exists. And University of Fairfax is not recorgnized by NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions. The following schools are designated by NSA's Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Operations:
    "


    • Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Ohio
    • Auburn University, Alabama
    • Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania
    • Dakota State University, South Dakota
    • Mississippi State University, Mississippi
    • Naval Postgraduate School, California
    • Northeastern University, Massachusetts
    • University of Tulsa, Oklahoma" URL: List of Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Operations
    This is partially incorrect. The NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions has several categories. Cyber Operations which you listed, Information Assurance Research and Information Assurance education. The list for the latter two is much larger than the one posted above, however University of Fairfax is not on that list as well.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzg View Post
    I can tell you that unless you are a senior level executive already, this degree wont help you at all in your career path unless you are trying to enter academia. This is speaking from personal experience. I dont even put my doctorate on my resume as I have been told multiple times I was overqualified for the positions I was interviewing for, and I wasnt exactly interviewing for help desk positions if you know what I mean.
    Thanks, I will just stick to certs. I don't want to enter academia though I don't mind being a trainer but that doesn't really require doctorate.
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    #18
    Capella has a requirement that you attend three colloquium, which occur at different phases in your coursework. They are actually pretty cool, but usually require travel on your part.

    They don't slack when it comes to academia, either. The comps are no joke, and often require rewrites. It's not as technical as you might like, either. It focuses primarily on teaching you how to become a researcher, and understanding high-level holistic concepts to IT governance.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzg View Post
    This is partially incorrect. The NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions has several categories. Cyber Operations which you listed, Information Assurance Research and Information Assurance education. The list for the latter two is much larger than the one posted above, however University of Fairfax is not on that list as well.
    Here's a link to the broader list: Centers of Academic Excellence - Institutions - NSA/CSS
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  21. Senior Member CyberfiSecurity's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzg View Post
    This is partially incorrect. The NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions has several categories. Cyber Operations which you listed, Information Assurance Research and Information Assurance education. The list for the latter two is much larger than the one posted above, however University of Fairfax is not on that list as well.
    hahaha, I did not post any difference. The Cyber Operations is designated for research and security lab. The NSA Centers of Academic Excellence Institutions. is focusing on information security/assurance academic quality and assurance.
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    #21
    I am impressed with the motivation in this thread! Personally I have decided not to pursue a Ph.d, although I was tempted for a few years.
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  23. Senior Member CyberfiSecurity's Avatar
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    #22
    jfitzg is right about Doctorate and professional career. Unless you need a Doctorate for professional career for license such as Medical Doctor (MD), Juris Doctor (JD), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD); otherwise Doctorate is only for academia. There is no return on investment on Doctorate degree for IT professional. If you want to stay with Information Technology and transfer into the Executive level management, it is better with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) instead a Doctorate.

    As for me, it is part of my current return on investment by getting paid going to college. Also, a Ph.D is also part of personal enrichment, but not necessary career enhancement. Therefore, I keep balance out between professional experiences, certifications, and college degrees. But I'll be working on PMP, CCFP, GXPN, GREM, CCIE , and Ph.D (only if I complete, but not ABD) terminal credentials for the next 3 years.
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    #23
    I am finishing my two Masters in Info Sec and IS. Once these are done, I will do a dual Masters (MBA and either Finance, Marketing, or Strategy). Once that is done, I will re-evaluate and either pick up a Masters Level Certificate in Analytics, programming, or I a few Certs OSCE, CCNP, MCSE.

    Eventually, probably in my early 40's I will go for a Doctorate or a PHD. My goal is to be the CTO of a Fortune 500 company by the time I am in my mid-40's.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzg View Post
    I can tell you that unless you are a senior level executive already, this degree wont help you at all in your career path unless you are trying to enter academia. This is speaking from personal experience. I dont even put my doctorate on my resume as I have been told multiple times I was overqualified for the positions I was interviewing for, and I wasnt exactly interviewing for help desk positions if you know what I mean.
    Very true jfitzg if your goal is to perform implementation, troubleshooting, and support work then the doctorate will not provide you with much return on your investment. On the other hand tons of CIO jobs at colleges and within the government give preferences to candidates with a doctorate. For myself each of my online college gigs give you a nice bump in pay per class with a terminal degree. Smart move not putting it on your resume in certain situations because it can make you appear overqualified for certain jobs. Of course there is the pursuit as a lifelong goal as well.
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    #25
    i got mine from Capella, the residencies are ok but i was able to do mine locally thankfully.

    the comp's were not fun, i ended up passing on the 2nd try (you only get two tries)

    my dissertation took just over a year.

    it's mainly a talking point in interviews. no one really cares about it and it's prime purpose was to eventually teach when i reach full retirement age and i have 25 years for that.

    I have dual CCIE's, at this point those take precedence with regard to job hunting. once the recruiters see those, they typically do not care about the rest.
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