April 29, 2021

Online Master’s degree in CS with irrelevant bachelor’s?

Hi, I need some input from people in the industry. I work in border management/state security for EU. My BA is just a generic poli sci degree.

I have time right now for a master’s but would like to do it while continuing to work full time and via distance learning. I don’t have any formal experience but I am the IT-person for my team and have a basic understanding, and have been absolutely fascinated by crypto/blockchain lately.

My goal is – stay in this field of work and specialise in the niche of cybersecurity. A few examples in practice where cybersecurity is relevant I’ve thought about are:

– governments using blockchain encryption for covid passes (border guards scan and just see yes/no, without knowing whether the traveller is vaccinated, has a negative test, recovered from covid or is medically exempt. BGs should not really be privy to your medical info so this is a workaround). If successful this could revolutionize the privacy game at borders – imagine if BGs could not see your citizenship or visa/refugee status, just the yes/no status?? would be much harder for them to discriminate.. and I’m sure many other applications could arise in many scenarios…

– States embracing cryptocurrency as a way of avoiding sanctions from other actors (ex: Russia embracing Ethereum to avoid US sanctions)

– States banning crypto

– Databases like INTERPOL surely need a lot of security, I am interested in the AFRIPOL system that is being developed

– Plus every agency/org/government is going to need security managers for their data

– GDPR

But yeah, are these topics things I would not get to pursue in a typical MSc in CyberSecurity? or would it just be how I use it in my career after that?

And finally – I would like to do a 1 year online course in/around Europe, not too expensive (10k eur or so, there’s a few floating around out there). Will my application be accepted without a background in it? Can it really be self taught? I don’t know code or programming. I’m not great at math (but decent excel user???). My bachelor was obviously not technical at all. But all that said I am ready to learn and my job is supportive of my pursuing it. Would I be biting off more than I can chew?

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