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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.

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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. 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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