Becoming an Ethical Hacker: What It Is & Where to Start
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Whether you've recently graduated from high school or are a seasoned professional, the job market can be an intimidating place. Trying to determine the best career path is a challenging and exciting process. If you've ever considered entering the world of IT and cybersecurity, now might be the time to consider a career as an ethical hacker.
What Is an Ethical Hacker?
The word "hacker" is usually associated with security breaches, distrust, and fear. Hackers invade computers, steal valuable information, then disappear without a trace.
However, an ethical hacker is different. This professional is responsible for protecting an organization's data and preventing attacks. As an ethical hacker, you'll build a database of knowledge surrounding network, application, and information security.
An ethical hacker isn't malicious. They're trained to outsmart and outmaneuver the bad guys.
Why Should I Choose Ethical Hacking as a Career?
There are many reasons to pursue a career in the world of ethical hacking. Here are just a few:
High Salary: Ethical hackers are well-paid. The average salary range starts at $69,000 and tops out at $120,000.
Job Outlook: Ethical hacking groups expect demand for IT security to increase by more than 30% over the next ten years.
Protect Privacy and Prevent Malicious Attacks: It's not just about great pay and job security. Ethical hacking is rewarding. You will play a role in protecting an organization's private data and financial records and preventing this information from falling into the wrong hands.
How Do I Become an Ethical Hacker?
To enter the world of cybersecurity, you'll need the proper tools and training. This isn’t a beginner-level program. To enroll, students must already have CompTIA Security+ or Network+ certifications (or equivalent experience) and three to four years’ worth of hands-on experience in the field.
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) program trains experienced students to work within the specific security discipline of ethical hacking. You'll learn how to find weaknesses and risks within an organization's network and invent creative ways to prevent attacks.
CEH programs cover nearly two dozen topics, including:
Viruses and worms
Hacking wireless networks
Web application vulnerabilities
Penetration testing methodologies
Hacking email accounts
To successfully pass the CEH exam, students must demonstrate the ability to utilize the tools and techniques that hackers use to steal valuable information while staying within legal limits. But remember, as an ethical hacker, your work will protect organizations and prevent attacks.
If you’ve already taken a MedCerts course, you can get a 40% discount. If you haven’t, now’s a great time to start with our IT Security and Network Technician program, which offers the prerequisites required for the Ethical Hacker program. MedCerts’ courses are all “stackable,” helping you earn certifications and build on your skills until you reach your goals.