Why I Chose a Dual Degree in MBA and Master of Information Technology Over a Single Degree in CS or Cybersecurity

As I’ve been finishing up my Cyber Ops degree, I decided I do want to pursue graduate school. At first, my goal was to not be gatekept by not attending or being 40+ and having to go back to school to keep a job since everyone gets a masters nowadays, even in tech! However, I faced a dilemma when trying to choose a program. I noticed that many of the cybersecurity master programs were more in their infancy and included many classes that you’d normally take in your undergrad like Intro to Networking. I spent weeks agonizing over the decision of a program but none of them really stuck out to me.              


I then had a talk with my mentor and he suggested to take a look at what these programs in cybersecurity can do for me that I can’t learn on the job or with a certification. I realized the reason none of them WOWed me was because he was right. Most skills you learn for cybersecurity are learned on the job and not in a traditional classroom.

             It inspired me to look at what I was lacking or missing and I realized it was more of the business side than the technical. I started looking at dozens of MBA programs with at least concentrations in IT but they were mostly underwhelming or so expensive I wouldn’t be able to do it.


I ended up going on Reddit and asking others who may be in the same situation as me and they mentioned how as long as the school is AACSB accredited, it doesn’t really matter where you go if you intend to stay in IT and lean more on that technical side. That narrowed my choices down by a lot but I still wanted a degree in some form of IT too, so maybe one day I could teach and also not lose sight of the technical world.


After about 2 weeks I finally found two programs that matched what I was looking for that didn’t cost as much as a house. They were both dual degrees though, which was a bit daunting at first, but I thought more about why it’d be a great idea to go for it.


My thought process shifted from just job security/gatekept and more about what both degrees could do for me professionally and personally.


 A dual degree would allow me to combine my interests and skills in both business and technology. I have always been fascinated by technology. At the same time, I also enjoy learning about the strategic, financial, and managerial aspects of running a successful business. A dual degree in MBA and IT would enable me to integrate these two domains and apply them to various scenarios and challenges.


 It would give me a competitive edge in the job market. A dual degree in MBA and IT would set me apart from other candidates who only have a single degree in either field. It would also demonstrate my ability to handle complex and multidisciplinary projects, communicate effectively with different stakeholders, and adapt to changing environments.


It would open up more career opportunities and pathways for me. With a single degree in computer science or cybersecurity, I would be limited to roles that are primarily technical. With a dual degree in MBA and IT, I would have more options and flexibility in choosing my career path. I could pursue roles that are more business-oriented, such as product manager, consultant, or entrepreneur. Or I could leverage my technical skills and knowledge to become a leader or an expert in the IT industry, such as CTO, IT director, or chief information security officer.


Of course, pursuing this is not without its challenges. It requires more time, effort, and resources than completing a single degree. It also involves balancing multiple courses, projects, and assignments from different disciplines and domains. 


However, I believe that the benefits outweigh the costs, and that this decision will pay off in the long run.

I reached out to alumni and current students of both schools and decided to apply to one of them after hearing about their experiences. I will be honest in saying the 2nd choice school didn’t really have many friendly alumni willing to chat about their experience which made the choice to apply to school 1 much easier.


After applying and sending my transcripts, it took about two weeks to get accepted into the program and I start next summer! I do have to take some business module courses from IVY software before my start date. I also did have to take a Python course on Coursera since I only have C/C++/JavaScript/HTML/CSS knowledge, but it was really easy to get through since I had previous experience in other languages.


I am truly excited to embark on this journey of learning and heavy growth, not only in education but in life, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and insights with you along the way!

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