SANS Material Delivery Methoods

packetmonpacketmon Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I am trying to decide which course delivery option would be best for me.
On one hand I really like the idea of going away and hearing someone teach the material and then relaxing in a hotel room over night thinking about the material.

But I also like the idea of a self-study where I can review the book or video and rewind and repeat it.

Also being that the exams are generally open published book; do all the delivery options give you the same material that you can take with you to the exam?

What method did you use for getting the course material? What worked and what didn't?


  • stephens316stephens316 Senior Member Posts: 203Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I guess if this is your first course you take with SANS I would take SEC-401 through the OnDemand option a couple of reasons why I say this I normally get to watch the video's one time through then take the assessment test its like 50 questions. Then I watch the videos a second time and take a practice test which is just like a real test. Then I create a index for a real test watch the video for a third time to improve my practice score and then register for the real test. You have about 4 months to watch the videos.
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  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    To my knowledge, all the delivery options provide the same physical courseware books and DVD media for the labs (if any are involved in the course itself which is typically the case). I've done both OnDemand as well as in-person instruction at a SANS conference. SelfStudy I believe is pretty much the same as OnDemand except you don't get the OnDemand slide presentation which you can follow-along, although you still get the MP3 files like OnDemand which are a recording from a previous but recent live instruction class. I've never done Simulcast or vLive.

    OnDemand reduces your training costs as there's no travel required and you can review the material as often as you'd like within the four months of access. You also get a virtual mentor who you can ask questions which isn't real-time but they're usually good at responding within a few hours, so in that sense you're not stranded alone if you're completely lost on something or need clarification.

    Live instruction at a SANS conference has the benefit of networking with peers, asking the instructor or class assistant questions, and most of all the final day challenge (if there is one) where you get to work in a team to solve a problem. The larger SANS conferences also have the benefit of free evening talks and panel presentations in addition to NetWars. As a whole, the conferences tend to be pretty immersive. However, you do have to arrange for travel (which can add a lot to the overal training) and time off work.

    The WorkStudy program offers a significant discount on the course itself but you also devote considerable time in helping the SANS staff keep the event running smoothly for your course. I think you get access to the course's latest OnDemand though. You may not get your first pick of the course you want though. I don't have experience with WorkStudy myself.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written:
  • jeman022004jeman022004 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    My only SANS training was delivered through the vLive option. I thought it was great because you still had live access to the instructor during the scheduled classes. We could ask questions before, during, and after each class. It was also easy to follow along on your own VM. It was a small class size as well. There were less than 20 students so the class flowed nice. I will probably take a vLive course again unless there is some compelling reason to take the course at a SANS event. My .02
    "It is always better to be pissed off than pissed on..."
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,799Mod Mod
    docrice wrote: »
    I don't have experience with WorkStudy myself.

    icon_surprised.gif Just curious, are all your GIAC certs out of pocket? Either way that's a hell of an investment in oneself and I'd love to know if you've seen the ROI on those certs?
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