Ethical Hacking Career Path [2023] Step-by-Step Guide

Before starting; Ethical Hacking Career Path and moving forward to learn how to become an ethical hacker. You need to know what is the exact and correct meaning of the word ‘Hacker’.

In general; a hacker is a person, who discovered the fault and deficiency in the products and solve that problem.

In the digital world; a hacker is referred to as a guy, who finds vulnerabilities (Weaknesses) in the network, programs, and computer system. After discovering the problem, hackers try to solve that issue.

I have to define a hacker word because, when someone says hacker, a negative thought comes to our mind automatically about the word ‘hacker’.

As a result, we made a perception regarding hackers, that hackers are supposed to be always a bad guy and always wreaking havoc in the world. But I want to tell you, this statement is half true or you can say half wrong.

There are many hackers Worldwide and trust me not all hackers are bad.

In the world, billions of people live on earth. Among them, some are bad and some are good people. Accordingly, the same rules apply to hackers. I hope now, that some of the misunderstandings have gone about the hackers.

Here’s how I am going to make it easy for you to decide; Is an Ethical Hacking career path the right choice for me…..or not? (Or) How do I become a hacker?

Do you Know? The word “Hacker” originated in 1960 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Types of Ethical Hacking & Hacker

In the digital world, hackers are categorized into three types based on their working activities

[1] White Hat Hacker –  Good Guy (Referred to as Ethical Hacker)

This is our Hero for the virtual world. White hat hackers stop the bad things happening to us in the digital world. In other words, our hero stops the villains aka Black Hat Hackers.

An Ethical hacker takes permission from the organization before doing any testing and launching an attack. An ethical hacker works for companies or any recognized organization.

[2] Grey Hat Hacker –   Neither Good nor Bad

They are the mischievous and notorious guys in the hacking world.

Grey hat hackers launch attacks without getting any permission from the authorities. But their intentions are not bad. However, this is illegal to do any testing without taking any permission.

Grey hat hackers sometimes violate the ethical rule but they do not launch any harmful and malicious attacks on anyone.

[3] Black Hat Hacker –  Bad Guy

Yeah! This is the guy, we hear all the time in the news. Because of this guy, we made a perception that all of the hackers are bad and even the hacker word refers as bad.

Those are the actual bad guys, whose only intention is to harm the people. That is obvious they do not need any permission from anyone before launching harmful attacks. Black Hat hackers are not working for any company or organization.

If they are working in such types of organizations, then the organization is not recognized by any government authorities. That means black hat hackers always live in the dark. There is not any scope for a bright future.

Note: If you are going to choose the ethical hacking career path then always become a white hat hacker (a good guy).

Basic Education required to become an Ethical Hacker

You are not required any degree or certification to become an ethical hacker. If you know how things work in the digital world and you have skills then you are a hacker.

Although, some organization requires a certification. You can do certification from the EC Council and become a Certified Ethical Hacker(CEH).

Read our article to know- Why do you need a CEH certification? & What is the CEH certification is all about and the benefits of getting it?

Go to the EC-Council website to check the examination syllabus and pricing of CEH Certification. EC-Council Link

Ethical Hacker Skills set 

The ethical hacking profession is among those career options where marks in academics (college/school) are not the whole thing. Skills are the most important factor in becoming an Ethical Hacker.

Therefore, if you want to become an ethical hacker and want to be an expert in this profession then don’t forget to get the skills set mentioned below in your portfolio.

Your skills play a vital role to become successful in the ethical hacking career path than the marks obtained in the exam. All the required skill sets are mentioned below:

  • The first thing, an aspirant hacker must-have is the curiosity to learn, how the digital world works?
  • Programming Languages:  C, C++, JavaScript, Java, Oracle, Python, Ruby, HTML, PHP, CSS, SQL, etc.

Note: You do not need to become an expert in programming languages. It is very hard for everyone to learn all the languages and master them. So just try to be good in the programming languages.

Programming knowledge is a necessary thing to know for an ethical hacker but not mandatory to become a hacker.

Though, a programmer has the potential to become an elite/master hacker, because they know the codes so they can analyze and change the used scripts and codes of a built-in system. And even they can build their own hacking tools to hack that built-in system.

Tips: You can choose one or two languages to learn initially and start a career in ethical hacking. Choose the easiest one first according to yours. I would suggest learning Python as a first programming language.

  • Operating Systems: Linux, Windows & Mac OS.
  • Knowledge of technologies: Networking, web, telecommunications, or any latest technologies.
  • Security: Firewalls, Cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, SSL, HTTP, HTTPS, IPsec, Private and Public Key Infrastructure, etc.
  • Logical Thinking: Think Like a Black Hat Hacker.
  • Practical Exposure: Practical knowledge is the key point to success in this career.

Most Used Ethical Hacking Tools

However, on the internet so many tools are available. In this list, we have only mentioned the name of the most popular tools used by hackers.

  • Wireshark
  • Metasploit
  • NMAP
  • Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner
  • Nessus
  • Hashcat
  • Social Engineer Toolkit
  • Maltego
  • John the Ripper
  • Netsparker

Tips: Use Kali Linux operating system. You can install Kali Linux as a primary operating system or run on a virtual machine. The best option to run Kali Linux is using Virtualization software.

>> Click Here to Download Kali Linux

Top 5 Best Ethical Hacking Courses Online

These are the 5 best Ethical Hacking courses available online that will help you to learn hacking with ease.

  1. Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch (Udemy)
  2. Become an Ethical Hacker (Linkedin)
  3. The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced (Udemy)
  4. Cybersecurity Specialization (Coursera)
  5. Cyber Security Basics: A Hands-on Approach (edX)

Best Ethical Hacking Books

These are the 5 best ethical hacking books, through which you will gain knowledge about hacking.

  1. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation
  2. Hands-On Ethical Hacking and Network Defense
  3. The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing
  4. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook
  5. Black Hat Python

Ethical Hacker Job Description 

  • Conduct penetration testing and intrusion testing for application and infrastructure.
  • Monitor the networks and take appropriate action based on security policy.
  • Make sure assets are not vulnerable.
  • Investigation of a security incident to find the root cause of policy violation.
  • Find the loophole and vulnerabilities in the various systems.
  • Analyse Network packets and log data
  • Perform root cause analysis.

Note: An Ethical Hacker also uses the same skills and tools as Blackhat. The only difference is that Ethical Hacker uses their skills in a legitimate manner to find the vulnerabilities and fix them without causing any trouble.

Career Scope in Ethical Hacking

As we all know, the internet is growing very fast. Almost every company in the world is on the internet and does their businesses online. Nowadays we all are using the internet like you are using the internet to read this blog.

If the internet is growing at a high speed consequently attacks will also increase. We cannot stop the growth of the internet because we need the internet to connect.

Therefore, we have only one option left, which is to stop the attacks done by Blackhat Hackers.

As can be seen, everybody needs internet security, no one wants to become a victim of an attack. Every day a new Vulnerability, hacks, and ransomware are created. That means Ethical hackers have lots of opportunities.

As per the statistics reports, the world needs lots of Ethical Hackers.

If you want to make a career in Hacking and going to continue the Ethical Hacking career path. Yes definitely! you can choose. Ethical hacking requirements will never be going to end. The world will always be in need of good Ethical Hackers.

Note: If you want to become a highly-skilled Ethical Hacker then you have to keep updating yourself with the very latest technology.

I hope this post gave you some basic knowledge to start your career in ethical hacking.

What do you think about Ethical Hacking Career Path?  Share your opinions and experiences in the comments below! 

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