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In the future I am hoping to pursue an PhD in computer science, however I am still very early in my career and want to get a master's degree and work a while before I pursue a PhD. I am strongly considering cyber security for my master's.

The only issue I have with this is that cyber security is a professional degree, I should also mention that I have a BS in computer science so I do have some knowledge of the subject.

Would getting a professional master's degree (cyber security), rather than a research oriented degree (computer science) hinder my chances, or make me look less favorably to someone who has a MS in a research heavy field? Would doing a master's thesis as a part of a master's degree improve ones chances of being accepted into a PhD program by demonstrating some research?

Thanks.

closed as off-topic by David Richerby, scaaahu, user3209815, user2390246, gman Jun 2 '17 at 18:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – scaaahu, user2390246, gman
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    The way you word your question "hinder me from one day" makes it sound like you're going to apply later in the future. I have known people who have a BS in Theater and a MFA and was accepted to a PhD program in business. So it definitely is possible - just depends on your experience and the candidates that you're competing against. – Michael Jun 1 '17 at 15:51
  • I am planning to work for at least a few years after my masters before pursuing a PhD so when I apply it would be in the future. – CS2020 Jun 1 '17 at 16:07
  • I don't understand the question. Are you concerned that having a master's would prevent a department from accepting you into a doctoral degree program? (Answer: no.) Are you concerned that taking a break for a few years might hinder you? (Answer: it might, but it wouldn't necessarily.) – aparente001 Jun 2 '17 at 7:20
  • My concern is that cyber security is a professional degree- It isn't research oriented and is mostly to break into/move up the ladder in the cyber security field. Where a PhD is very much a research oriented field, especially for computer science. While I have a BS in computer science I am worried I would be looked at less favorably than other candidates who have a MS in computer science. – CS2020 Jun 2 '17 at 12:08
  • I don't know why this question is put on hold. It will definitely reduce your chances. I made this mistake and did a professional masters degree, then after applying for a PhD I was ranked lower in shortlisting because other applicants had research degrees. I had to spend an extra year researching and published a couple of papers before I got accepted. High ranked universities have a point based system for shortlisting candidates and having a master by research is a plus. In addition, you will have a better chance of publishing in a research degree as your time is spent on research. – dan Jun 6 '17 at 15:59
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The way you word your question "hinder me from one day" makes it sound like you're going to apply later in the future. I have known people who have a BS in Theater and a MFA and was accepted to a PhD program in business after spending years in the business world. So it definitely is possible - just depends on your experience and the candidates that you're competing against. There is no "yes" or "no" to your question unfortunately.

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