Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Waste of Time

I just finished a training class on Cisco MARS (Monitoring, Analysis and Response System). It was a Cisco authorized course put on by a major training company. It was two days and cost $2300 (luckily I used Cisco Training Credits so it wasn't "real" money). But between travel and the actual class time it cost me 4 days of work. I can't believe how useless the class was. When I say useless I don't mean that I didn't learn anything but I didn't learn anything that I couldn't have learned on my own for a whole lot less money.

It just wrong when a company like Cisco charges an outrageous amount of money for a class that doesn't do anything. I've been to other classes that were either free or less than $200 for 2 days that I gained much more from. After the class was finished we filled out a class evaluation and I made sure to let it be know that I was unhappy. I was nice and constructive with my criticism. One of the questions was "Based on your experience in this class would you take another Cisco Authorized Training Class?" My answer was a resounding "NO!". This is my first CAT class and I'm sure that many of them are very well done, but his isn't one of them.


planetheidi said...

Took the 4 day version of the class (included NAC) last year. Agreed - a total and complete waste of time. Half of the class was spent RTFM in a very basic install manual. The other half was spent dinking with their malfunctioning virtual labs. And since a good chunk of MARS is custom configuring scripts and alerts - it would have been nice to do some of that. But sadly, we didn't.

And on the other side of things - I've seen three MARS / NAC installs fail because of complexity. And yet, the Cisco installers had been to training.

So this is a failure all around for Cisco.

Anonymous said...

Can i ask which training company you used?

Allen Baranov, CISSP said...


I don't think I've ever been to a class where I couldn't have learned everything on my own. Sometimes it is just nice to be able to get out of the office and dedicate a chunk of time to learning.

A good teacher doesn't teach everything.. they show you what is important to know and they even elaborate on the important stuff.

Andy, ITGuy said...

Anonymous, I signed up for the class with Global Knowledge but it was actually done by Skyline. My understanding is that the curriculum is the same, because it all comes from Cisco.

Andy, ITGuy said...

Allen, You are mostly correct in your statement but when you spend $2300 you expect more than what I received.

agent0x0 said...

Not only is the Cisco training worthless but CSA is not "friendly" either. One company I worked for spent two years trying to put CSA in on critical servers and ended up scraping the project because of all the configuration issues.

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