Help! Information Systems underGrad
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Thread: Help! Information Systems underGrad

  1. #1
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    Help! Information Systems underGrad

    Hey all,

    I am currently majoring in Information Systems at a local University and plan to eventaully get a masters in Information Security. However, before I do that I need to finish undergrad.

    Currently, under the Information Systems major there are two tracks - a networking track and a computer programming track. I am about to declare my major and am not sure what track would be best for computer security. Which one would beneift me more? or does it even matter?

    Any input would be great.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. #2
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    IMO I think the networking track will suit a computer security professional much better. You will have a greater understanding of how and why attacks work. The programming side will just help you more in developing applications and possibly security tools. In order to make security tools, you are going to know networking inside and out.

    I am also taking a Computer Networking degree and it requires us to take several programming classes. At my school, there is only like a 4 class difference between the two programs. You may want to look at the differences in the programs and see if your programs are similar. If they are similar, you can always go back for the programming degree too.

    If you take the networking route, it will be much easier to get some other certs too. Some of the classes that are required for me will basically walk me through Ciscos's CCNA cert. All I'll have to do is go take the cert this summer.

    Whichever route you choose, good luck!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
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    Go with your gut. Pick the one you enjoy the best. But if you love them both then networking would be my pick as far as computer security.
    Its not software piracy. I’m just making multiple off site backups.

  4. #4
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    yes as everyone seems to say, networking is the way to go, there will always be steady demand for network orientated people, the dot.com crash was an example of programmers being left out of work, also encryption is a large part of many courses and is generally more applicable to networking than programming, least thats how it looks in the course im curerntly studying (computer networking)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    networking is very much a part of the door to info security, but remember, knowing how to program gives you a huge understanding in how the software on networks runs, id say go with both man, i am, im in college and im doing networking and next semester im taking programming=) i love college=)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    I am trying to do the same thing as you are and as everyone said networking is the way I am going I just recommend if you are doing that to do some studying an get your CISSP while you are at it. From what I understand it is supposed to be easier to get than something like a MCSE. I have been studying for it and from what my mentor is telling me, in the business world it shows a company you arent some script kiddie or something trying to hack their systems. Enjoy
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  7. #7
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    that reminds me, on AO i found something called a TICSA cert thing, you go to the website and you can take practice exams, i didnt know what it was but i was bored and took the practice exam, afetr i almost passed i found out what it was, youmight wanna look into the AO security certs and degrees.

  8. #8
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    id say networking. but i did a Bachelor of Science in programming, as well as getting my MSCSE and N+ cert's, so i can tell that the networking part, for me definately has more to do with security, but go with your gut man, nowadays, it doesn't really matter anymore, yeah right, altough the fields do tend to cross, if you want to get into security id suggest networking

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up programming



    If you are interested in both then, personally I would recommend programming. It’s best to get a good start off in programming at University. You can easily do networking (MCSE, CISCO ETC) courses after graduation.


    Paladin

  10. #10
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
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    It is a very difficult choice to make, but to me, it would be more of a choice of how instantly you want to be able to do things. If you jump into the networking track, you will probably pretty much jump into the networking world; however, you may find that you are missing many fundamentals that you may have to go back to learn (if you want to truly understand what you are doing, which can also effect how far you advance in your job and how quickly). Also, alot of network security revolves around coding or making adjustments to other peoples code or understanding how other people's coding errors led to a particular vulnerability, something you may or may not find difficult without university style training in programming. Furthermore, at least in my job, I am constantly writing programs that save me alot of time that I may not have been able to do had I not took a serious amount of CS classes.

    If you are patient, I would recommend going into programming first (for a solid grounding in fundamentals, not to mention, it will pay off in the long run as far as being better able to understand certain things in the security world) and then go for a CCNA or CCIP later.

    If you want to go for the gravy now though, I would recommend taking 'electives' in programming so that you at least get a good grounding in it.

    It really comes down to where your interests lay...

    /nebulus
    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

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