I have ~10 years of IT experience, ~20+ years of being on computers. No other certifications, no official schooling, and practically no ‘on the job’ InfoSec experience.
I have a hard time with ‘book’ learning. I like to get my hands dirty. This has made it hard for other certifications where you need to read dry material (CISSP) and shovel a bunch of things you are not using everyday into your brain.
That is the beauty of this course - its all hands on. There is some course material, but you are not just reading, its all taking action. If you know the basics, you can skip the that part. I did dip into it for the Buffer Overflow information, but cast aside everything else.
I came out the other side considerably more well prepared to handle not only penetration testing, but that ‘other side’ information allows you to better secure your own environments. Dollar for dollar, you will get more out of this course than any other certificate.
The hardest part of starting the course was convincing my wife to manage the kids mostly alone for a few months. Make no mistake, as many other reviewers state, this course will take your time. Not only is it challenging, but it was some of the most fun I had, and I came back to it because I always wanted to do more. Get that next box, land the box I had been working on, figure out that injection….
There is an excellent resource I had been using for years while I
pretended I was going to take other certifications - Tech Exams. They
have a section dedicated to InfoSec certifications, and most posts
revolve around the OSCP.