Top 5 Reasons To Become an Ethical Hacker (and How To Become One!)
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, and with the increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives, the need for skilled professionals to protect against cyber threats is greater than ever before.
One of the "cooler" roles within the cybersecurity industry is that of a penetration tester, also known as a "ethical hacker." Sensationalized by the media, these professionals are actually helping companies defend their systems and data by breaking in the same way the baddies would to understand where the weaknesses exist (and where to invest in controls).
But I love lists, so here are 5 reasons to hyper-focus on becoming an ethical hacker today.
Straight Cash Homey! (High earning potential) Penetration testers, are in high demand and can command high salaries. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for information security analysts, which includes penetration testers, is over $92,600 per year. It's not unrealistic to be making 6 figures within a few years of being in industry.
Mentally Stimulating (Never gets boring) Cybersecurity is a constant game of cat and mouse with the bad guys (threat actors) and the cybersecurity professionals. You have to stay up to date on trends, attacks, defenses, motivations, and regulations. If you like being mentally engaged, understanding how to bypass the next new defense is very rewarding.
Meaningful Impact (Your work matters) While all the jobs in cybersecurity have meaningful impact, pentesting work can help shore up an unknown weakness and protect an organization from being victimized. This can have downstream impact to stop a business from going bankrupt and having to layoff staff. I do want to put a caveat here. Its not uncommon though for organizations to hire penetration testers simply to check a box that they had a pen test and then disregard your findings. It happens and that sucks.
Super Affordable Education (Free to Low Cost) Variety of job opportunities: Ethical hackers are needed in a wide range of industries, including finance, healthcare, and government. This provides a great deal of job flexibility and allows you to choose a field that aligns with your interests and skills.
Cool Community The cybersecurity community is inclusive and awesome already, but the penetration tester (Red Team) side has been around a long time and has developed its own communities and conferences. There are a lot of smart people, sharing their best practices, that are fun to engage with. You'll be happy with your 'co-workers'.
"Can I be a pentester??" You find yourself asking??
To become a penetration tester, you will need to have a strong understanding of computer networks, operating systems, and programming languages.
There's no shortcuts here, but there are paths to get there.
TCM Academy with a Juggernaut of an Ethical Hacking Course
If you're interested in starting a career in penetration testing, consider enrolling in the Practical Ethical Hacking (PEH) course at TCM Academy. This comprehensive penetration testing course is their flagship course and provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to launch a successful career. I've taken the PEH its fantastic!
Visit TCM Academy and take the Practical Ethical Hacking Course to learn from one of the best. (Click graphic to visit the course)
Practical Ethical Hacking - The Complete Course
If you're feeling really frisky and want to go all out, they offer the Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT) certification which certifies you understand how to successfully execute a penetration testing engagement to include hacking systems, reporting findings, and completing a client engagement.
TCM Academy actually offers all 5 courses that the PNPT is based off of so its a one stop shop.
ITProTV as an Educational Path
If you're looking for a different option to get educated consider ITProTV (now ITPro by ACI Learning).
ITPro has an extensive library of various IT and Information Security educational content. If you need to get more experience on the IT side before digging into the hacking side of cybersecurity they can help you.
ITPro has courses, and full labs, and full practice tests for in-demand certifications. Its a one-stop shop. I'm personally taking the "IoT Penetration Testing" course right now, a niche area within pentesting space.
Get 30% off first month or year with code SIMPLYCYBER30 at https://go.itpro.tv/simplycyber
Seen in the graphic they have plenty of options for learning and getting certified in the ethical hacking space.
I won't ever be a penetration tester, but learning from these resources gives me great value in appreciating how threat actors think allowing me to better defend my organizations.
The following content is related to Simply Cyber affiliates. If you buy a product featured here, we may earn an affiliate commission.