Ethical hackers are in high demand by companies and organizations that need to protect their data and systems from malicious activity. As cybercrime continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, companies need people with the skills and knowledge to outsmart cyber criminals.
In 2023 and the upcoming years, the demand for ethical hackers will be higher, so now is the time to start preparing for a career in this exciting field. So, how to become one? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to become an ethical hacker. However, there are some key steps everyone interested in this field should take. You can start with a professional, Ethical Hacking course in the right direction. And if this career path starts intriguing you more, keep reading to know how to become an ethical hacker and every related aspect.
Who is an Ethical Hacker, and What Do They Do?
Before understanding how to become an ethical hacker, it is important to know who actual ethical hackers are. Ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers, use their hacking skills to find security vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. They then work with the owners of the systems to find ways to fix the vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious hackers.
So, what do they do? Many ethical hackers work as consultants, providing expertise to companies that need to shore up their cybersecurity. Other ethical hackers work for government agencies or in the private sector. Ethical hackers use the same techniques and tools as malicious hackers but do so with permission from the owners of the systems they are testing.
Ethical hacking aims to help organizations improve their security posture by identifying and addressing weaknesses before they can be exploited. Ethical hackers may also be hired to carry out social engineering tests, which assess an organization's ability to defend against phishing and other types of attacks that rely on human interaction.
How to Become an Ethical Hacker in 5 Simple Steps
Many people are confused about how to become ethical hacker. Wondering about the steps to become ethical hacker? As a little help, here are some skills needed to become one.
Step 1: Master Skills
Any individual who is looking to have a successful career as an ethical hacker should first and foremost master skills that are essential to the role. Here are some of them:
A) Top Skills Needed to Become an Ethical Hacker
From soft skills to hard skills, here are some essential qualities that every ethical hacker must possess.
Ethical hackers need to have strong, soft skills. This includes excellent communication and interpersonal skills and analytical and problem-solving abilities. Ethical hackers also need to be able to think outside the box and be creative in their approaches. As ethical hacking can be complex and challenging, hackers must stay calm under pressure and think logically to find the best solution.
- Hard Skills (Categorize the skills if required. E.g. Linux, SQL, Networking)
Regarding hard skills, ethical hackers need to have a good foundation in programming, networking, and security. They should also be familiar with operating systems like Linux, Windows, and macOS. In addition, ethical hackers should know how to use different tools and software programs, such as SQL databases and Wireshark.
They should know how to write reports detailing their findings and recommendations. Most importantly, computer networking skills, computer skills, Linux skills, Programming skills, Basic hardware knowledge, Reverse engineering, and Cryptography skills, Database skills.
Important competencies for ethical hackers include being detail-oriented and having a strong sense of ethics. Ethical hackers must be able to pay attention to small details to find vulnerabilities that others may overlook. They must also be committed to acting ethically and responsibly, as they will often have access to sensitive information.
B) Top Ethical Hacker Certifications / Degree
There is a growing demand for ethical hackers as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of cybersecurity. If you are interested in a career in ethical hacking, you must attend online courses and get the necessary certifications. The most popular certifications are offered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), which offers the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) programs.
These programs will train you in the latest hacking techniques and tools and teach you how to carry out ethical hacking assignments. With these credentials, you'll be in high demand from employers looking for ethical hackers.
Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Timeline
The next step of "how to become an ethical hacker" is determining your ideal timeline. This can be a difficult process, as it requires taking into account various factors, including your current skill level, experience, and availability. However, by breaking the process down into smaller steps, you can develop a plan that will help you achieve your goal in a realistic and achievable way.
A) Start Learning in a Format That Suits You
It's important to start learning in a format that suits you. That might mean taking an online course, watching YouTube videos, or reading books and articles about ethical hacking. However, you also need to make sure that you're gaining practical experience.
To do that, you can join an online hacking community, participate in Capture the Flag competitions, or set up your own lab environment to experiment with hacking tools and techniques. Additionally, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments in the ethical hacking field.
B) How Long Does It Take to Become an Ethical Hacker?
For experienced IT professionals, the path to becoming an ethical hacker may be shorter than those just starting out. Ethical hacking certifications can also help shorten the path to becoming an ethical hacker. The most important certification for aspiring ethical hackers is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential from EC-Council. CEH certification requires candidates to have at least two years of experience in IT security, although candidates with four or more years of experience are preferred.
Those starting out in the ethical hacking field can expect to spend 18 months to six years acquiring the necessary skills. In addition to experience and certifications, aspiring ethical hackers will need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. After completing a degree program, individuals can look into entry-level IT security positions. As they gain experience, they can begin to specialize in ethical hacking and pursue advanced positions within the field.
Step 3: Begin Building Your Portfolio / Resume
It is also helpful to have a portfolio of your work. This can include projects you have worked on, papers you have written, or even BUG bounties you have received. Start listing your skills and experience, as well as any relevant courses or certifications you've completed. Then, start adding more projects to your portfolio that showcase your hacking skills.
You can find open-source projects to contribute to, or you can create your own. If you have any Cyber Security training courses online, be sure to mention them as well. These courses help you build up your portfolio and attract you to employers. A well-rounded portfolio will show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to be an ethical hacker.
Portfolio Example or Resume Template for Download
A portfolio is a great way to showcase your work and accomplishments. However, creating a portfolio from scratch can be time-consuming and difficult. Thankfully, there are many portfolio templates and resume examples available for download online. These templates can save you a lot of time and effort, and they can help you create a professional-looking portfolio that will impress potential employers.
When selecting a template, be sure to choose one that is compatible with your word processor and that includes all of the features you need. Once you have found the perfect template, simply download it, open it in your word processor, and start customizing it to reflect your own qualifications and experience.
So, these are some suggestions for how to become ethical hacker step by step with careful strategies.
Step 4: Where and how to find a job
If you have got some idea on - how to become professional ethical hacker, the next thing to think about is the job scope. There are a few different ways to go about finding a job as an ethical hacker. One option is to search online job boards or freelancing websites. Another possibility is to reach out to companies directly and inquire about open positions. Some ethical hackers also choose to start their own consulting businesses.
A) Top Companies Hiring Ethical Hackers
Ethical hackers are hired by companies to test their security systems by trying to break into them. This helps to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that they can be fixed before a real hacker finds and exploits them. Here are some of the top companies that are hiring ethical hackers:
While these are big brands to work with, you can also get a chance to work with them. Just understand go for some online courses that teach how to become a certified ethical hacker and dive deeper into minute details. Keep working hard and building your resume so that you could catch their attention with your work.
B) Job Outlook for Ethical Hacker (Intent is to find the particular job)
The demand for ethical hacking services is growing as businesses increasingly rely on technology. According to a recent study, job growth for ethical hackers is expected to be 75%. This growth is driven by the increasing number of cyber attacks and the growing awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. As a result, job prospects for ethical hackers are strong. Those with experience and expertise in this field should have no problem finding employment.
Step 5: Ace the Interview
Brief overview of the interview process + Tips
The interview process for an ethical hacker can vary depending on the company, but there are some common elements. Most organizations will start with a phone screen to determine if the candidate has the basic skills and knowledge required for the job. From there, candidates will usually be invited to an in-person interview where they will be asked questions about their experience and hacking techniques. The final stage of the process is often a technical exam, where candidates must demonstrate their ability to solve real-world hacking challenges.
Who can Become an Ethical Hacker?
Ethical hacking is a growing field that requires a mix of technical skills and creativity. To be an ethical hacker, you need to have a strong foundation in computer science and be proficient in multiple programming languages. Additionally, you need to be familiar with basic hardware and network concepts. reverse engineering, cryptography, and database management. Let’s understand more in detail below:
Ethical Hacker Requirements
While there is no one-size-fits-all set of requirements for becoming an ethical hacker, there are some skills that are essential. The crucial skills required to become an ethical hacker is:
- Computer Skills
- Computer Networking Skills
- Programming Skills
- Linux Skills
- Reverse Engineering
- Basic Hardware Knowledge
- Database Skills
- Cryptography Skills
- Problem-solving Skills
Benefits of Becoming an Ethical Hacker
Here are six benefits of becoming an ethical hacker:
- Job security: As organizations become increasingly reliant on computer systems, they will need ethical hackers to help them identify and fix security vulnerabilities.
- High salaries: Ethical hackers are in high demand and command high salaries. The average salary for an ethical hacker in the United States is over $100,000 per year.
- Job satisfaction: Ethical hacking can be a very challenging and rewarding career. It combines technical skills with creativity and provides a sense of satisfaction from knowing that you are helping to keep people and organizations safe from cyber-attacks.
- Flexible work hours: Many ethical hackers work as freelancers, which means that they have the flexibility to set their work hours.
- Work from home: Many ethical hackers also have the option to work from home, providing great flexibility and convenience.
- Career growth: Ethical hacking is a rapidly growing field, which means many opportunities for career growth. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, becoming an ethical hacker is a great way to do it.
A) What’s the Demand for Ethical Hackers?
The demand for ethical hackers has grown in recent years as businesses have become more aware of the dangers of cyber-attacks. As a result, many colleges and universities now offer courses in ethical hacking.
There are also a number of professional certification programs available. Those who want to become ethical hackers need to have strong technical skills and be able to think like a criminal to identify potential security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, they need to be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical staff.
While the demand for ethical hackers is growing, the field is still relatively new, so there is currently a shortage of qualified professionals. This is likely to change in the coming years as more people enter the field and more organizations realize the importance of protecting their systems from attack.
B) Salary Details for Top 5 Countries
Surveys show that workers in different countries are paid widely varying salaries. The top five countries where workers earn the highest average salaries are:
1. Ethical Hacker salary in Australia
Average CEH Salary: AU$101K
2. Ethical Hacker Salary in the USA
Average CEH Salary: $90K
3. Ethical Hacker salary in Canada
Average CEH Salary: C$73K
4. Ethical Hacker Salary in Singapore
Average CEH Salary: S$67K
5. Ethical Hacker Salary in UAE
Average CEH Salary: AED 177K
Since the demand and salary of ethical hackers are evidently high; it is no wonder why millions of people search for “how to become a professional ethical hackers”. If you also want to enter into the ethical hacking world and want to polish your skills, you can go for KnowledgeHut’s Ethical Hacking course where you can learn thousands of hacking techniques and tricks along with the tools. Moreover, trainers that teach you are certified by EC Council, so you get intense training to prepare for the best.
It's clear that the demand for ethical hackers is only going to continue to grow in the coming years. With the right skills, you too can become a certified ethical hacker and a part of this in-demand field to keep data and systems safe from cybercrime. Also, it is important that you start preparing for the certification exams and gain experience in the field. The best way to do this is by joining a reputable hacking community and participating in online forums or attending meetups. Keep learning and practicing your skills, and stay up-to-date on the latest security threats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is it easy to become an ethical hacker?
Ethical hackers need to have a strong understanding of computer security. They also need to be up-to-date on the latest security threats and have the ability to adapt their methods as new threats emerge. But it is a lucrative career. Also, ethical hackers never break the law!
2. How to become an ethical hacker after 12th
There are a few things that will help you on the way. Firstly, it is important to have strong computer skills and a good understanding of how networks work. Secondly, it is helpful to have experience in programming and security. Finally, it is also important to be familiar with the latest hacking tools and techniques.
3. How to become an ethical hacker after 10th
Develop a strong foundation in computer science and programming to get the right skills and knowledge to understand how hacking works and how to effectively defend against it. Build up a network of contacts in the security industry. Be familiar with the law as it relates to hacking. This will ensure that you only use your skills for ethical purposes and do not inadvertently break any laws.
4. How long does it take to become an ethical hacker?
The development of your ethical hacking skills can take anywhere from 18 months to six years. It will take longer if you do not have any hacking or coding skills. Those who are already familiar with coding, however, can complete the CEH online course and test in five days.
5. What is the salary of the ethical hacker?
Ethical hacking is a growing field with good potential salaries. Many ethical hackers start out making around $80,000 per year. With experience, they can make upwards of $100,000 per year. The best ethical hackers can make over $200,000 per year. Salaries vary depending on experience, location, and employer. Generally, the more experience an ethical hacker has, the more they will be paid.
6. How to become an Ethical Hacker without a degree?
Many ethical hackers have a degree in computer science or information technology, but it is not required. There are many online resources that can teach you the skills you need to be an ethical hacker. The most important thing is to have strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.