If you've seen my resume you'll know I do not have a degree in computer science. My last post mentioned what I studied in "college" -- history and political science, along with minors in French and German -- including a heavy engineering core. In grad school I studied national security in a public policy program. I graduated from the master's program ten years ago.
Looking to the future, I've considered what my resume needs to look like if I want to keep certain doors open. One of the doors involves teaching at the college/university level. Another door involves being considered for leadership positions in government. A common factor I've seen in both roles is possession of a PhD in the appropriate field.
Through speaking with people like Christian Kreibich (author of NetDude) or reading the work of people like Ross Anderson (author of the incomparable Security Engineering), I've come to respect the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. The university offers a Diploma in Computer Science, a one year conversion course for students who have a first degree in another discipline. That sounds perfect for me. If that program goes well, I would be interested in their research-centric PhD program.
My family has always wanted to live overseas. Our daughter won't enter school until 2009, and attending kindergarten and first grade in the UK should be fun. Assuming we follow the rules, we can even bring our dog with us without worrying about quarantine.
Are any of you pursuing advanced degrees, while in your thirties? My goal is to finish the PhD before I turn 40, which is attainable if I start next year, take 1 year for the Diploma, and three years for the PhD. If this comes to fruition, I'll be at Cambridge when it celebrates its 800th anniversary in 2009.
I know others are doing it. Forensics god Brian Carrier is at CERIAS. I just learned FreeBSD guru Robert Watson started studying at Cambridge last fall. What do you think?