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SANS security courses too expensive?

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pharmerjoe

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:38 pm

SANS security courses too expensive?

Obviously, there will be many people on this forum interested in buying the SANS courses, but a big limiting factor, is the price. Many of us don't have the luxury of having an employer fund the course, due to it not being in the budget, or being completely out of a job. Maybe we can get together and work out some plan to buy the course material without breaking our bank.  ;) Please feel free to contact me
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ziggy_567

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:47 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Or you could do it the ethical way and get a HUGE discount by participating in the work study program. I would argue they should charge extra to be in the work study program if it weren't for all the cheap labor they get out of you....but the networking opportunities are fantastic.

http://www.sans.org/security-training/volunteer.php
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Eleven

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

I don't think that's legal...  Anyway, I'm sure most if not all of the topics SANS covers can be obtained cheaper by other means.  For example The Malware Analyst's Cookbook has been considered as SANS GREM class in a $30 book.  There is also Practical Malware Analysis coming out next month that I'm expecting to compliment the cookbook very well.  You can even download REMNUX which is used in the class for free.  Malware samples from OffensiveComputing, etc.
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hayabusa

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

I'm trying to give him benefit of the doubt, and 'assume' he thought he was going to try to persuade SANS to swing some big group discount, or something...

At least, I HOPE that was his intent...  :-\

We shall see.
Last edited by hayabusa on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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knwminus

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:25 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

I agree. Especially for those people who are going to try to pay things by themselves. The offensive security course and the elearnsecurity courses seem to be a bit more down to earth. I would love to see the SANS courses come down to sub 1k prices but I don't think that is ever going to happen.
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rattis

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

hayabusa wrote:I'm trying to give him benefit of the doubt, and 'assume' he thought he was going to try to persuade SANS to swing some big group discount, or something...



I was thinking he was going for a study group. I'd be down for that, but not at the expense of SANS. I can't afford it either right now. But not on the table until next year anyway.
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Triban

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:14 am

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Actually that work study program looks pretty good.  Though if you have a full time job, it may not work out quite so well.  But $850 to work an event and get access to a course seems fair.  Looks like it also includes the exams.  If I didn't have a full time job I would consider it.  Though I suppose you can apply for local events that fit your schedule a bit better.

I wish they would allow for some form of financing plan.  When I took a bunch of MCSE courses way back in the day at a local training company, they allowed me to finance the almost $5K cost.  My last job they were more than happy to send me to training for SANS, mainly since I was able to do OnDemand and not take away time from work to do it.  My current job, I am a contractor and neither my client or recruiting company will pay for training.  So I am on my own, hence the main reason for taking eLearning.
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alucian

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:38 am

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

work study sounds like a good idea, but...
- what if there is not SANS training in your home town?
- what if the course you are interested in is not given?
- what if there is someone else who's waiting for two years for the same course, and he'll get the place?

I agree too, that the courses are very expensive, but if you cannot afford them (yet) there are plenty of alternatives: books, lot of documentation on the net, free testing environments.
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ziggy_567

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:54 am

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Even if the training isn't in your hometown, you still come out like gang busters.....

When I did the workstudy program, I stayed in the hotel b/c the conference was 3.5 hours from my home. But, I didn't have to deal with airfare, and while you have to stay in the hotel  that the conference is located and SANS doesn't necessarily go for the cheapest hotel in town, I'd still rather pay $850 plus somewhere around $1K for training than the full price plus $1K for the training.

In addition, as I pointed out in my original reply, you get all sorts of networking opportunities, not only with other participants but with the instructors and SANS staff running the conference.

Plus, on the bigger conferences that have 1 and 2 day courses included on the weekends, you typically get to attend at least one of those courses for no additional cost!

When I did the workstudy program, I attended the SEC 401 class with Dr. Cole, got access to the mp3's and the OnDemand course, got 1 certification attempt for the GSEC exam, and attended SEC 550 for $800 plus the cost of the hotel (which if I remember was around $1K for the week). I actually had the opportunity to sit in on another 2 day class had I been able to stay another couple of day, but I wasn't able to for work reasons. So for about half the total price of a live course, i got to attend 2 classes, get the GSEC certification, and get access to the onDemand bundle of the GSEC material. I'd say that's a pretty good bargain....
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pharmerjoe

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Doing the workstudy program is not possible due to not being in the US, time constraints,etc. What I'm interested in knowing though, is how would you compare these to other institutes, like EC,Offensive Security and Infosec? I find the EC stuff, just doesn't go into any really complicated stuff ( in my opinion), while Offensive Security is very much centred on the labs and the accompanying material will just be kind of, how to use the programs. Not to mention Infosec allegedly plagiarize from others, but we won't get into that here.
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hayabusa

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

pharmerjoe - could you clarify your original request, as well?  What were you trying to come up with / do?
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Post Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:45 am

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Don't forget you can challenge the exams for $900. My employer unfortunately doesn't provide any training assistance, so that's the route I've had to go. I've been able to do GSEC, GCIH, and GPEN without any of the materials. Just go to the course page for the day-by-day breakdown and study your ass off. You may even learn more than the course since you're trying to go above-and-beyond to cover all your bases. You also get two practice exams to help you identify any gaps.
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MaXe

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Post Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:24 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

Almost forgot that if you become a mentor and you're also able to find around 5 students yourself for a mentored class, then you can become a SANS mentor if you've passed a GIAC exam 85% or more. (And thereby, learn more too if you can find students yourself that is  ;) )
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SephStorm

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Post Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:30 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

IDT anyone is arguing the value of a SANS event, but it is a lot to sacrifice. I've constantly planned to go to a SANS event only to find that it is way too cost prohibitive.

The work study program is a nice opportunity. Does everyone who applies get accepted? I would hate to request the time off, buy tickets and a hotel and then not get in.

One option for reducing cost is to look for an event several months out and compare rates at different hotels around that time. you might find a local hotel on the strip (not one of the major chains) and get a major discount. (dont tell SANS).
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tturner

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Post Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:45 pm

Re: SANS security courses too expensive?

I have never been denied and will be doing SANS Orlando as workstudy for 4th year in March but I did have 2 GIAC certs and 2 SANS conferences under my belt before I applied so that may have factored in, I'm not sure. I have seen first timers get workstudy opportunities though. That being said, as more and more SANS STI Masters students sign up and start going for workstudy options the pickings get slimmer every conference. First time I got (network pen) 560 (which was hot at the time) without a problem, and then (webapp pen) 542 just as easily but this makes the 2nd time an STI student got 660 over me. (Doing 504 btw) Get in while the gettin's good unless you plan on signing up for STI.
Last edited by tturner on Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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