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Is a master's degree in computer science enough for a career in IT or do I still need to pursue cert

Is a master?s degree in computer science enough for a career in IT or do I still need to pursue certifications?

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A wise man once told me that "the answer to any really good question always begins with the same two words - namely 'That depends…'" In your case, the best way to answer your question is to talk to your boss or the HR department and ask them for their take on the subject (assuming you want to stay where you are; if not you'll want to ask prospective employer representatives and recruiters the same kinds of questions). For most employers, certification and a relevant degree is most desirable, but with a pretty specialized and still relatively current master's in your case, those ordinary rules might not apply. That's why I encourage you to get feedback from those most likely to be judging your relative value and worth against that of others who may be competing for the same position or promotion. ISC-squared's CISSP credential. Given your background and experience, if you read one of the good study guides for the exam (Shon Harris, Roberta Bragg both have their own good books, and Mike Chapple, James Michael Stewart, and I just revised a pretty good book for Sybex for the CISSP exam), you should be able to earn the credential with relative ease. This way you can offer both the master's degree and a certification to your current or prospective employer, thereby maximizing your perceived value, and thus also the probability of attaining whatever career outcomes you're seeking to facilitate.

This was first published in June 2005

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