Thank you so much. I appreciate your suggestions.
Don: Do you remember how much it cost for Shmoocon? I got a few friends in DC and I don't think I will need to pay hotel there.
Thank you for your offer on the social engineering class. I talked to my manager about it but he would rather me to learn how to use tools such as nmap, Nessus and etc. I will recommend the class to my coworkers. In the mean time, I need to catch up on the knowledge with the tools to be able to work with my teammates . I will definitely try your negotiation strategy and see if I can get some training class.
former33t: Maybe you should try to negotiate with your boss. I got the professional development budget and the time off in the offer package. I am very bad in negotiation, I preferred not negotiate. When they told me the base salary, I just said "OK". Then there was a long silence on the phone line. Only after that I realized they are expecting me to say something. But I don't know what to say. I think the salary is fair. When the HR called again about accepting the offer, I had my best friend (who works in HR) with me. She shushed me and tell me not to say anything. There was a long awkward silence on the phone and then my manager jumped in and offered the training money in addition to the standard HR education benefit. So I said I will need time to go to conferences and seminars, if I can get extra 5 days off in addition to the original offer, I would be very happy to accept the offer. That actually seals the deal.
Data_Raid: I am interested in finding out more ways to earn CPEs. Can you give me more ideas on getting CPEs? I know attending certain conference, group meeting, and e-seminar and write a book review on ISC2 will generate CPE points. What else I can do?