You absolutely could go to an information security training school, or a college with an IT or CS program. That’s a path a lot of fine people have taken.
If you’re reading this, that is probably not a path you ever took, or felt like you wanted to take. It’s highly likely that you’re doing something else entirely with your life, and you’re looking for a change. You’re probably someone who loves problem-solving, who enjoys making order out of chaos, and who has a fine disregard for showing your work. You probably were disassembling appliances when you were a toddler, and you’re probably really good at knowing where the holes are in arguments, processes, and procedures.
That means you’re ready to thrive in the real world of infosec.
Because you can learn what levers to pull or code to type anywhere, but in order to really understand why, it helps to have a mentor. If someone is right there with you, helping you to see the big picture, your learning increases, but more importantly, so does your expertise. And that’s sellable.
It’s not popular or fashionable to say so, but to be really excellent at being an infosec professional, you have got to have strong soft skills. You need to be able to really listen to people, empathize, understand their concerns, and then have the technical skills to bring into play what they need to keep their data safe. A mainstream cert can teach you how to do an excellent pentest, but it can’t teach you how to be an in-demand professional. We can.
Standards for consultants are higher than for employees. And so is pay. You can choose to just sit behind your computer and do the tests, but there’s a limitation there that we want to help our students grow beyond.
Mentorship takes time and energy, and hey, we still need to keep the lights on around here. So twelve a year it is.
Watch this video to get an in-depth look at Web App Penetration Testing.
Our lead instructor, Dennis Bailey, is a huge DIY guy, having contributed to security standards and bicycle repair lore in equal measure. He’s got three Masters degrees, two kids, and a birding reserve in Colombia. No partridges, no pear trees, just a lot of patience and perspective.