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Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Computer forensics training and education issues. If you are looking for topic suggestions for your project, thesis or dissertation please post here rather than the general discussion forum.
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Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:09 am

Hello everyone,

I am a junior professional in digital forensics industry, and I am eager to learn more to boost my career. Since there is no much support from my employer, I am looking for trainings and education by myself.

currently, I am facing two options: go for industrial certificates, e.g. GIAC, EC-Council; or go for a MSc program, or even a PhD program. In terms of my situation, I have a MSc degree in CS, GCFA and CFE certificate.

Personally, I prefer to go for a PhD, as I do want to go deep, but I cannot find a good PhD program along work in Europe.

Then, I thought the MSc program at UCD might be a good choice, as it is based on distance learning. I also noticed that many digital forensic professional from Law enforcement are alumnis of this program.

The other choice is to invest on industrial certificate. The biggest problem is the expense. The trainings are expensive and most of them covers only a small part of the whole picture.

I hope someone who has went through this struggling can give me some advice.

Thanks a lot!  

chienchat
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:33 am

If I am reading correctly you already have a Masters? If that is the case I would save the money that a PhD would cost you and put that towards certificates. While they are expensive, it has been my experience that higher level degrees are really only good for starting out with a higher position, ie Government pay scales, or more money in general. I personally used my military benefits to get my education and found out after the fact that they cover certificates. Had I known that, I most likely would have forgone the MS in Digital Forensic Science for certificates.

If you really want a Masters look at Champlain College in Burlington Vermont as they have an awesome online program. I did both a BS and a MS and they took a lot of my classes from previous schools as transfers. The program is theoretical in nature and the thesis at the end is manageable. The program is also accelerated which allows for one class every 8 weeks. The are on a semester system so three sessions a year with an A part and B part which will get 2 classes done every 16 weeks semester.

Hope that helps...

Mike  

bloodstripe75
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:53 am

I believe the UCD MSc is ONLY available to law enforcement. If you are Law Enforcement, you may be entitled to a bursary to cover some/all the cost of the degree if it is relevant to your area of work.  

AmNe5iA
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:52 pm

- chienchat

I am a junior professional in digital forensics industry, and I am eager to learn more to boost my career. Since there is no much support from my employer, I am looking for trainings and education by myself.

currently, I am facing two options: go for industrial certificates, e.g. GIAC, EC-Council; or go for a MSc program, or even a PhD program. In terms of my situation, I have a MSc degree in CS, GCFA and CFE certificate.


Why limit yourself to just those two options?

I think education is great, and powerful, but if you really want to learn about the DFIR industry, dive in. Do the work. Engage with others in the community.

Pick an aspect...malware RE, DF analysis of Mac systems, whatever...and do a deep dive. Strive to learn more and more about that topic. Engage with those you see as experts in those topics. Ask questions, learn. Then share what you learn, through a blog, presentations, a podcast, etc.  

keydet89
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:45 am

- bloodstripe75
If I am reading correctly you already have a Masters? If that is the case I would save the money that a PhD would cost you and put that towards certificates. While they are expensive, it has been my experience that higher level degrees are really only good for starting out with a higher position, ie Government pay scales, or more money in general. I personally used my military benefits to get my education and found out after the fact that they cover certificates. Had I known that, I most likely would have forgone the MS in Digital Forensic Science for certificates.

If you really want a Masters look at Champlain College in Burlington Vermont as they have an awesome online program. I did both a BS and a MS and they took a lot of my classes from previous schools as transfers. The program is theoretical in nature and the thesis at the end is manageable. The program is also accelerated which allows for one class every 8 weeks. The are on a semester system so three sessions a year with an A part and B part which will get 2 classes done every 16 weeks semester.

Hope that helps...

Mike


Thanks a lot Mike, I will have a look at the Champlain College programs.  

chienchat
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:48 am

- AmNe5iA
I believe the UCD MSc is ONLY available to law enforcement. If you are Law Enforcement, you may be entitled to a bursary to cover some/all the cost of the degree if it is relevant to your area of work.


I am working in law enforecement, and I also checked with UCD to make sure I am eligible for the program. The problem is that my employer will not sponsor my study so I want to ask someone who followed the program whether it is a good option to invest on.  

chienchat
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Which is better: Master / PhD or Industrial Certificate

Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:56 am

- keydet89
- chienchat

I am a junior professional in digital forensics industry, and I am eager to learn more to boost my career. Since there is no much support from my employer, I am looking for trainings and education by myself.

currently, I am facing two options: go for industrial certificates, e.g. GIAC, EC-Council; or go for a MSc program, or even a PhD program. In terms of my situation, I have a MSc degree in CS, GCFA and CFE certificate.


Why limit yourself to just those two options?

I think education is great, and powerful, but if you really want to learn about the DFIR industry, dive in. Do the work. Engage with others in the community.

Pick an aspect...malware RE, DF analysis of Mac systems, whatever...and do a deep dive. Strive to learn more and more about that topic. Engage with those you see as experts in those topics. Ask questions, learn. Then share what you learn, through a blog, presentations, a podcast, etc.


I agree with you, there are lots of resources online. Actually I have followed some of these resources, and I found they are quite useful. I should have mentioned that my question is posed on top of following blogs, absorbing new skills and techniques. I will definitely continue doing so, and meanwhile, in the scope of my question, do you have any advice.  

chienchat
Newbie
 
 

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