The college that I'm currently attending (masters) offers a ethical hacking course, which I am currently enrolled in. I have been seriously considering dropping the course for several reasons.
1) The course until now has dealt with fluffier topics such as how to think like a hacker etc. and frameworks and specifications for the hacking process. It seems like it will get a little more hands on later on.
2) I feel like I can get equally good training (in this particular area) from an offensive-security type program rather than one from my university. It would also be cheaper to go that route.
I was hoping to get rigorous, hands on experience in the field and am assuming that this would be more beneficial than what I am currently getting. Instead of this course I would probably take a cryptology course a different semester. My main concentration is going to be Artificial Intelligence and this seems like it would be related. To be clear, my issue is not learning theoretical information, it's learning theoretical information in a course that I'm assuming is supposed to be hands on.
I guess my questions are:
1) How beneficial is it to know the fluffier aspects of hacking relative to the hands on aspects? Is this how the course should be structured?
2) How does it look in the field to get a "hacking" certificate from offensive-security (or something similar) as opposed to a real course in a legitimate university?
3) What areas should I be focusing on in my cybersecurity courses? Is cryptology useful in the field? Should I be trying to obtain practical skills or theoretical knowledge (rigorous or otherwise)?
If you have any other thoughts on the situation please let me know.