Going for SEC504 (and GCIH)

docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
Now that spring is here, I need another vacation and set an aggressive training schedule. SANS currently has a 25% OnDemand discount special which I couldn't resist so I just ordered the 504 course. Unlike ordering from them in the past, this time I got my OnDemand access within 15 minutes after ordering. Talk about fast...

After I passed the GCIA, I've been eyeing the 504 with some curiosity and decided I've got to do it. My original plan was to work on the CISSP and take the exam in the summer and maybe entertain the GCIH afterwards, but now I think I'll listen to the CISSP MP3s during my commute and then work on the 504 during evenings and weekends ("vacation time"). I didn't think I'd do another SANS course so soon, but I'm unusually motivated tonight and plus when I registered for a 504 demo, I was sold.

At work I can probably set some Q2 project objectives which involve some of the areas related to my various cert studies, so that should provide positive reinforcement. I'm hoping to also blend in some Cisco self-training in conjunction with an existing project to further augment my (burn-out). All without energy drinks.

If I can get through the course and pass the exam within the next month or so, that would make four GIAC certs within just a few days over a year's time. If I add a Gold paper or one more GIAC cert on top of that, I'd be a GSE candidate (although attempting such a feat would be wasted effort without a lot more work experience on my part). Even if I can qualify to sit for the GSE written without any Gold papers, I'd hate to be "that guy" who has only Silver-level GIAC status.

For those who have taken both 503 and 504, which did you think was more difficult and why? I'm sure that depends heavily on your existing prior experience in these areas, but I'm curious as to your impressions.
Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/

Comments

  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    I'll be taking the 504 class, which will be my first SANS class, so you can imagine my trepidation.
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I did the GCIH after I had completed the GSEC. Personally I found the GCIH a bit easier than the GSEC but I guess that has to do with already being familiar with the GIAC testing method.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are a machine dude!


    I think you are probably closer to the GSE than you think.
  • ipchainipchain Member Posts: 297
    docrice wrote: »
    For those who have taken both 503 and 504, which did you think was more difficult and why? I'm sure that depends heavily on your existing prior experience in these areas, but I'm curious as to your impressions.

    I didn't get a chance to congratulate you for passing 503, so congrats! I just took 503 last Saturday and passed with a 93%. I didn't get to review as much as I would have liked, but I am happy with the score.

    Having taken both, 503 and 504, I strongly believe 504 is a lot easier than 503. I felt the questions were pretty straight forward and very easy. Having passed 503 with flying colors, I don't see any reason why you'd have a problem completing 504 in a month.

    It looks like we're headed down the same path...GSE. I will be taking 502 (GCFW) soon as I already have the books + OnDemand Access. Haven't started studying for it yet as I was focusing on 503, but now that it's over with I can start studying for 502. We'll see how it goes as my classes started again, so I also gotta focus on my M.S degree and study for 502 in parallel.

    I am thinking GCFA is next for me, and then CISSP. If time allows, I should be getting a few gold papers completed at some point next year. I am aiming for a GSE attempt towards the end of 2012.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, and best of luck.
    Every day hurts, the last one kills.
  • ibcritnibcritn Member Posts: 340
    Just finished SEC504 and I am all signed up for the exam.

    I certainly enjoyed the course.
    CISSP | GCIH | CEH | CNDA | LPT | ECSA | CCENT | MCTS | A+ | Net+ | Sec+

    Next Up: Linux+/RHCSA, GCIA
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