Hi all,

So aside from a degree in Management Information System (which only had about three classes I have found truly useful so far in my career, but so it goes) I have zero formal training in information security work and am completely self taught. I have been through every how to, tutorial, etc that I can get my hands on. I have worked through some of the practice systems (De-ice, meta, etc) and been through Unleashed hundreds of times (exaggerating slightly, but you get the point). I consider myself at least slightly competent or at least enough to start diving into formal training and not be completely lost. My current job (system security engineer, whatever that means) allocates a fixed sum for training in the next fiscal year and I am looking for suggestions on what courses people have found helpful. Obviously the first course will be the "Pentesting with Backtrack". I have been dying to take that one for years but now have the (companies) money to do so. After the pentesting class I have around a $1,700 budget so any classes taught on the International Space Station about how to audit the alien mothership's security are sadly off the table.

So what have others found to be good classes/seminars/conferences that have found useful?