First Major Cert - CSNA - Need a "Roadmap" to Success / Budget Meeting Help

RogueJDRogueJD Member Posts: 46 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey all.

I may be attending the Network Security 2015 SANS training in September (working out the budget now). I plan on attending the "AUD507" course, which opens the door for the CSNA exam.

To add a bit of context, I should state that I'm rather new to all of this. Though I have a Master's in IT, with a focus on InfoSec, I don't have much practical experience. I work as an Information Security Administrator performing IS / HIPAA Compliance audits at a relatively well-respected hospital. I'm new to the team, but have some great mentors over me.

So - I guess I'm asking how this all goes down. These courses are CRAZY expensive, and I need to know how to propose this at a budget meeting.

- The course itself lists its cost on the site. Though it does a very good job of breaking down the modules in the course, It doesn't say if it's a mandatory prerequesite for the CSNA certification. This won't be difficult to justify during the budget meeting. They'll either go for it, or not.

- The CSNA certification itself is an additional cost, but discounted if training is attended. This might be a bit more tricky to justify, but I think my organization reimburses for this sort of thing upon passing.

- There is also an additional optional cost for online "OnDemand" training material. Likely even more tricky to justify.

As I understand it, I'm looking at about $10k in training, certification, lodging, meals, and airfare.

So, my questions:
- Does the training event give me all of the material I need to use during the exam? I hear it's an open-book exam, and that several books are needed.
- Is the benefit of using "OnDemand" worth the investment, or can a sharp mind do without? (Given that they have all of the physical training materials.)


  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Apply for the Work Study program, it only costs $900 for the course if you're accepted and they also include the cert if you stay @ the event hotel
  • bryguybryguy Member Posts: 190
    If I'm not mistaken, you can take the exam without purchasing the course... assuming you are well versed in the topics of discussion and you're using the exam to validate your experience/knowledge. I'd say as a relative newcomer, you'd probably want the books that the exams are based upon. In addition, the GSNA is considered an "upper level" certification by SANS standards. Unless your job requires it, I'm not sure if I would choose this one at your first cert... not that it's particularly difficult if you have the books, but that it's a lot of money to spend on one certificate that doesn't have a lot of industry recognition.
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,731 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Alternatively, just take on demand or vlive, you will have eliminated the cost of travel/hotel. As another poster stated, there doesnt seem to be industry recognition of the cert, either apply the knowledge gained in the course to another relevant cert, or dont worry about it. Get your CISA and CISSP, and you are about set.
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