How does N2K compare to other training providers?

Infosec leaders historically have had three options for cybersecurity training: bootcamps, subscription platforms, or some combination of the two. But what exactly does your team get out of their training? Where’s the data to show improvement? That’s where N2K can help.

Gif of instructor Sam Meisenberg with lightboard

Why N2K?

The most well-known training is not necessarily the best.

There are certain names that come to mind as synonymous with information security training. They’ve been market leaders for a long time, but the oldest (or the most well-known) doesn’t necessarily equate to being the best for your team

N2K’s comprehensive training solution uses a diagnostics-first approach to help you invest resources more efficiently. Unlike expensive bootcamps or underutilized subscription platforms, we use data to provide better visibility into the state of your workforce and uncover key insights to help you make more strategic training decisions that have a lasting impact on your organization.

Driven by data.

Most training providers can’t answer this question from cybersecurity leaders, “Did this make us better at what we do?” We assess employee competencies first to define exact training needs and provide detailed insights to evaluate learning outcomes.

Designed for online.

Our 100% online solution makes it easy to scale training for your decentralized workforce. Choose Live Online for more controlled, instructor-led training, On-Demand for flexible learning, or customize instruction to fit the needs of your organization.

Efficient spend.

Be deliberate in how funds are allocated when determining training needs. Using a quantified approach to understanding your cybersecurity workforce helps inform you of where your training dollars are best suited for maximum return on investment.

Let’s Compare.

How does N2K stack up?

Listen, we’re not here to tell you that other cybersecurity training providers are terrible (they’re not). However, if you’ve ever felt like there’s no alternative to incumbent training offerings, or if you’ve ever wondered exactly what your investment has netted you, we created this comparison chart to help you evaluate your options.

Live Online

Live Online

Subscription Platform
Live Online

Certification preparation (ISC)2, ISACA, EC-Council,
CompTIA, and professional development
GIAC Certifications Certifications & professional development
Cost per course, per individual* $999 – $3,599 $7,700 – $8,800 Up to $1,000/year
Course format Self-paced
6, 7, or 8 weeks
1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 weeks
Access period 6 months with guarantee 4 months with paid extension Length of subscription
Highly qualified, certified instructors
DoDD 8140/8570 qualified Some
Full-featured learning management system
Initial diagnostic exam Some
Configurable based on performance
Team and individual reporting
Customizable integrated quizzes Some
Progress reporting and analysis
Interactive teaching with real-time classroom support Some
Live chat function
Practice labs
Full-length practice exams
Exam vouchers available
Allstate logo
BAH logo

Ready for training that generates real insights?

Let’s connect you with an account executive that can help align a training program that closes skills gaps (and fits within budget).

One of these things is not like the other.

Cybersecurity training shouldn’t be boring. It shouldn’t be a chore. And it most certainly shouldn’t be death by PowerPoint.

N2K’s online delivery is engaging and interactive, using our proprietary lightboard to avoid a slideshow with a talking head. We give you a chance to speak directly to your instructor (and your peers) via live chat, providing opportunities to network with other like-minded professionals.

SANS courses consist primarily of slides with voiceover explaining what’s on them. For every in-person experience with instructor Eric Cole, there’s another in-person or live online experience that doesn’t measure up.

“You get what you pay for.”  Sometimes you overpay!

When using bootcamps or online subscriptions is what you’ve always done, we understand that it can be a tough sell to try something new. These are the most common questions and objections we’ve heard from people who are now our customers.

  • Haven’t heard about us? We won’t pretend that we have the same brand recognition as other top providers. N2K is a cybersecurity workforce development and training company. We’re an official training partner for several certification bodies, with a history that goes back to when Kaplan was founded in 1938. We provide 100% online cybersecurity training for a fraction of the cost of bootcamps, with a platform that supports engagement and accountability in a way that subscription platforms don’t. The best part? We can show measurable improvement, in many of the same key subject areas.

  • We offer training that is geared toward in-demand industry certifications (CISSP, CISM, CEH, Security+), common roles in cybersecurity (SOC, IR), in addition to cyber-enabled courses (Cloud, IT, Executive Training). Our courses offer equal—or greater—value in the eyes of the federal government as popular bootcamp courses. Our broader course catalog offers hundreds of IT practice tests and hands-on labs.

  • They’re expensive because they’re expensive. And these costs can add up quickly, depending on whether the course is live online or in-person.
    $8,000 Course fee
    $500 Airfare
    $1,000 Lodging and meals
    $1,920 (40hr*$48/hr) Downtime
    $11,420 Total
    Without comparing two courses side-by-side, it’s easy to assume that the less expensive course is of lower quality. Demo one of our courses to see why that’s not the case.

  • Then reward more, and more often. We’ve heard from many mature organizations that they can only afford to send a handful of their personnel though bootcamp courses, so they have to frame it as a reward for senior analysts or top performers. N2K aims to make quality training affordable so you can train 3x as many people for the same cost.

  • We understand why blanket platform subscriptions are appealing. It’s fair. You’re giving everyone a chance for professional development. But how many of your cybersecurity and IT team members actually take advantage? In many cases, the lack of engagement and accountability leads to low adoption or interaction with the training.

  • But at what cost? If there’s one thing we’ve learned from COVID, it’s that the digital age is here to stay. There are benefits, of course, to attending industry conferences and events, but in-person bootcamps? N2K provides ample opportunity for cohorts to interact and stay connected, along with the chance to speak to your instructor 1:1 during virtual office hours. 

  • Unlike bootcamps, N2K courses don’t run for 8 hours each day for a week straight. Why not? People don’t retain information that way. Any parent who helped their kids through virtual learning can vouch for that. N2K’s live online courses are completed over the course of 6-8 weeks, with a time commitment of just a few hours each week. If the intention is to add meaningful skills to the workplace, make employees happier, and promote engagement with course content, our model nails it.

“N2K has been an excellent education partner. In this case, the term ‘partner’ is meaningful and not an alternative for ‘vendor.’”

Chris Bridge, Palo Alto Networks