November 29, 2022

Keeping Cyber Course Prices Equitable with Kenneth Ellington

by Hacker Valley Studio

November 29, 2022

Keeping Cyber Course Prices Equitable with Kenneth Ellington

by Hacker Valley Studio

Show Notes

Kenneth Ellington, the Senior Cybersecurity Consultant at EY and Founder of the Ellington Cyber Academy, achieves his goal of being on the Hacker Valley Studio this week. From working at Publix in college to becoming an online course instructor, Kenneth’s journey into the cyber industry has been heavily influenced by online educators like Chris and Ron. Kenneth covers barriers to entry for cyber, SOAR vs SIM, and how much further we need to go for representation in the industry. Be sure to subscribe to Hacker Valley Studio, the premiere cybersecurity podcast for cybersecurity professionals.


Timecode Guide:

[00:00] Starting a cyber career at the Publix deli counter

[05:16] Fighting through introversion to become an online instructor

[11:02] Setting equitable & understandable prices for cyber courses

[15:54] Looking into the future of SOAR vs SIM to see what’s next

[19:27] Taking the chance on content creation as a new cyber professional


Sponsor Links:

Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and NetSPI for bringing this security podcast to life!

Life is complex. But it’s not about avoiding challenges or fearing failure. Just ask Simone Biles — the greatest gymnast of all time. Want to learn more about how Simone controls complexity? Watch her video at

For more than 2 decades, NetSPI has helped companies discover and remediate critical security issues through its platform-driven, human-delivered security test. NetSPI is much more than a pentesting company, bringing you the most comprehensive offensive security solutions. Visit to learn more.


What areas do you feel confident in as a new teacher, and what do you still struggle to get your footing on? 

As someone newer to online teaching, having only done it for 2 years, Kenneth is confident in his communication skills, but still struggles with fully grasping new technology. On the bright side, Kenneth believes those technical skills come with time and practice, something he’s 100% willing to do. What helps him stand out as a strong teacher is something harder to learn— communication with others and de-escalating stressful situations for students. 

“I worked at Publix for four years in the deli, dealing with customers, and that forced me to develop those soft skills about how to talk to people and how to communicate and how to de-escalate situations. That's how I set myself apart.”


What are some of the things that you're thinking about when it comes to setting the pricing for your course content? 

No matter how his prices change or how skilled he becomes, Kenneth still believes in fair and equitable pricing for his course content. Considering his experience and expertise, Kenneth charges at least half of what I vendor might charge for similar content and knowledge. However, Kenneth doesn’t believe in thousands of dollars being spent on his courses, because he wants entry-level students like himself to be able to afford to learn.

“I'm very honest with myself, what my skill level is, and the value I bring towards it. Because I've been doing this for over two years, technically, I've gotten a pretty good gauge as to what people are willing to pay for and the value that I can bring.”


Do you have anything you’re looking to expand into with Ellington Academy? 

While SOAR and SIM are Ellington Academy's bread and butter, Kenneth is looking forward to continuing to expand his expertise and scale his content. A future upcoming goal Kenneth has is giving back to the country of Jamaica, where his family is originally from. Through providing courses or recruitment opportunities, he wants to bring cyber skills to everyone.

“From a legacy perspective, I want to leave a positive mark on this world, just to make it better than when I got here. One of my big goals, I don't know if it's gonna happen, but my family is from Jamaica, so I'm hoping I can maybe put ECA there someday.”


What advice would you give to a newbie in cybersecurity looking to start making content? 

Kenneth got his start at the Publix deli counter, and he understands that the beginning of someone’s cyber journey can look just like his— inexperienced but hungry for knowledge. For newcomers to the industry, Kenneth wants to reassure you that you’re never too young to teach or too old to learn. Take courses, expand your knowledge, and give back to people with less knowledge than you through accessible learning content of your own.  

“Take the opportunity to try to do something new because your knowledge is valuable, no matter how much or how little that you have. Everybody can learn something from everyone. I always try to help out however I can.”



Keep up with our guest Kenneth Ellington on LinkedIn

Check out the Ellington Cyber Academy

Learn more about EY on LinkedIn and the EY website

Connect with Ron Eddings on LinkedIn and Twitter

Connect with Chris Cochran on LinkedIn and Twitter

Purchase an HVS t-shirt at our shop

Continue the conversation by joining our Discord

Check out Hacker Valley Media and Hacker Valley Studio

Read more

Listen Now

Keeping Cyber Course Prices Equitable with Kenneth Ellington

November 29, 2022 Hacker Valley Studio


Recent Episodes

September 19, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

It’s a classic technologist conundrum: Should I build or buy the solution I need to solve a problem? The “Build vs. Buy” conundrum is faced by technology teams worldwide. To help approach this riddle, Chris Cochran speaks to two industry veterans, Sl...

September 12, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

Embrace the AI Revolution in Cybersecurity! Ron Eddings explores the dynamic world of AI, from cybersecurity automation to anomaly detection. Learn how AI is being used by practitioners and creators to stay one step ahead of the adversary and the com...

September 5, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

For this week's episode, we brought back a fan favorite Security Teams Can't Do It All. This episode features guest Rob Wood, CISO at CMS, who discusses the challenges of data silos in the workplace and the importance of supportive leadership.   Link...

August 29, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode, host Ron is joined by the CISO at Corvus Insurance, Jason Rebholz, to talk about the life of being a cybersecurity content creator. From his drive to create cyber content for technical and non-technical audiences to the sometimes har...

August 22, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode, hosts Ron and Chris are joined by special guest Eric Avigdor, VP of Product Management at Votiro. With humility as the focal point, Eric details his journey as a Product Manager — sharing his unique approach to leadership and custome...

August 15, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

Host Chris Cochran is joined by Marty Overman, Senior VP at Imperva, to discuss the importance of self-awareness and transparency in cybersecurity leadership. The two emphasize the need for leaders to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and unde...

August 1, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode, host Ron is joined by Jamie Blasco, co-founder and CTO at Nudge Security, to discuss the opportunities of SaaS as well as the security implications of AI. Jamie also considers the importance of striking a balance between productivity...

July 25, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

How do you effectively persuade team members and stakeholders to take action, convey the importance of new projects, or request additional resources? Communicating technical security information often leads to disconnection or worse, falls on deaf ea...

July 18, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode, Chris and Ron Eddings are joined by Jeff Man, a legend in cybersecurity. The conversation begins with Jeff sharing his experiences as a member of the first NSA red team and his involvement in groundbreaking projects. He discusses his...

July 11, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode, Chris and Ron interview Derek Wood from Duality Technologies, a leading privacy technology company to discuss the concept of homomorphic encryption and its significance in data security, privacy, and governance. Homomorphic encryptio...