Winner: SANS Institute
SANS' 80 courses teach students practical, real-world knowledge that they can apply automatically to the office, as opposed to most information security classes which simply teach only theory-based instruction. SANS courses are developed by administrators, security managers and information security professionals who are actually out in the field applying these best-case practices everyday in their work.
To find the best faculty in the world, SANS runs a continuous competition for instructors. Last year, more than 90 people tried out for the SANS faculty, but only five new instructors were selected. SANS training courses prepare students for the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), which has over 23,000 security professionals. GIAC is unique in the field of information security certifications because it not only tests a candidate's knowledge, but also the candidate's ability to put that knowledge into practice in the real world.
Since it is teaching hands-on sessions and instruction from the best practitioners in the field, SANS can go way beyond theory-based courses to the practical steps necessary for defending systems and networks against the most dangerous threats – the ones that are being actively exploited.
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