May 31, 2021

Same question, different circumstances

Hey folks,

I’m finishing my, well I don’t know if it’s a bachelors since it’s a 3 year university, but you get the idea, software engineering studies.

I’ve managed to land an internship in a fortune 5 tech company in my country in a SOC.

Fun ride so far, had a few incidents, been watching the IR team’s thought process and logic, also saw the SOC analyst side, watching those logs and just endlessly reporting, but I guess people got to start somewhere.

So far I’ve learnt that the main deal is leaning towards the business side of everything, scaling it up, and how different everything is compared to the home version of anything you could possibly do that’s security related, having your own server, securing it, etc.

 

Anyways, the question. You already know it, masters vs certs.

Here’s the deal, masters isn’t really expensive in my country, I’d be paying around $2000 per year, since my degree only has 3 years, I’d have to do 2 years of Master studies to get the actual masters degree. My university has some sort of cyber-security program, with a bunch of security related classes. Although I think I am 200% sure that those classes, will NOT, in any case be more useful than doing actual certs and working, and I feel that they might burn me out in some way, since we all know theory is far less interesting than practice.

But here’s the second deal, if I continue working, in other words the company I’m at now invites me to become a full time employee, which I got a hunch they will, I can get discounts on both certs and masters, up to 70% but it depends from case to case. Also the worktime is pretty much flexible and they fully support the masters idea.

 

I haven’t mentioned that I would actually like to bridge the gap between software engineering and security. A role that is definitely empty in the mentioned company, since the security team has just started developing itself. For example making security oriented software (reporting, malware analysis, etc.) I’m also interested in IR, but also implementing the solutions to prevent intrusions in the first place. Am I going too wide here? Should I be narrowing my young ambitious mind? I’m kind of at the stage where I think anything is possible, but I always forget the business side of things, that not everyone is motivated as me, projects take time, time is money, etc.

 

Long term, I’m thinking a masters degree wouldn’t hurt, especially if I can get a discount and get it while I’m working. I just want to optimize my journey as I’m aware most of you do, so I’m just trying to get some input from you knowledgeable folks, what should I be aiming at in this particular scenario?

Thanks, and I wish you all a nice day.

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