Are you aspiring to become an ethical hacker? Not sure what path you should follow to achieve so? Well, good thing you are here, then! I will answer all your questions related to how to become an ethical hacker from scratch in this article.
Before I begin, here is a quick explanation of who an “ethical hacker” is, in case anyone is unaware – An ethical hacker is one who hacks into systems with the sole purpose of testing how secure it is. The term “hacker” is popularly associated with crime, but an ethical hacker’s work is totally legal.
Becoming an ethical hacker is a ludicrous prospect for many IT professionals because of several benefits that come with it. Here are some of these:
- You will find lots of new job prospects open up to you.
- Skills you learn will come in handy in other IT fields as well.
- You can expect better pay.
- Recognition is another thing that will find its way to you.
- And many more.
While it may sound enticing, it’s not easy to get into the field without a proper strategy.
The next few topics will help you forge a strategy and remove any doubts that you may have regarding how to become an ethical hacker.
What Skills Do You Need to be an Ethical Hacker?
When you are learning how to become an ethical hacker from scratch, you can’t leave out the list of skills that you will require. So, here it is:
If you are going to self-learn the programming languages, my advice would be to start coding from day one so that you can gain enough practical coding experience. The best way to get started is by enrolling in online courses to learn to program.
An ethical hacker’s entire job is related to testing network security. You can’t obviously do it if you haven’t mastered your networking skills. Make sure to put the most effort into this skill as it will be your most important one. One can get started by learning to manage network security.
Reverse engineering is pretty useful when testing network systems for security. Reverse engineering a system can reveal any flaws or vulnerabilities present in it so that you can remove them.
Database systems are pretty much used in every company to store important information so it’s necessary to make sure that the system is secure. An ethical hacker would need to have extensive database systems-related knowledge in order to protect them.
It goes without saying that an ethical hacker must be good at problem-solving. Well, how do you improve your problem-solving skills? Simple, just solve a lot of problems. You will develop the required thinking eventually.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Ethical Hacker?
First of all, is the big question of how long is it going to take you before you become an ethical hacker? Well, hacking as a field is vast and deep. It usually takes not months, but years to learn properly.
Nonetheless, if you are truly dedicated, you can shorten the time it takes you to learn it. A couple of years becomes a realistic enough timeline if you are ready to spend hours a day on it.
However, this is only true if you already have a basic understanding of computer science concepts including programming. Beginning from scratch, as it might be your goal, may take 3 to 5 years.
It sounds like a lot of time, but it’s worth it in the end as the knowledge and the skills will pay off through your entire life. However, if you have most of the skillset, this course from Udacity will take two months to complete the Ethical Hacker course.
How to Become an Ethical Hacker Without a Degree?
Trying to become an ethical hacker without a degree may sound pretty hard at first, but it’s actually not. Anyone can very well become a great hacker without earning any formal degree.
Here are a few things you can do:
You can take courses on ethical hacking. There are a lot of free ones as well as paid ones available on the internet. Many of them offer certifications that look good on your resume.
I recommend taking online courses if you are unsure about structuring your study path. These courses will help you accumulate knowledge gradually and increase your level step by step.
Books, guides, and video tutorials
As I said before, you need vast knowledge related to computer science concepts and programming so it’s a good idea to build a base in IT first. Books and online guides are a great way to build up your knowledge.
Another fantastic method of studying is by using video tutorials. There is a huge amount of these resources available on the internet. And best of all? Most of them are free!
One thing you should keep in mind while going through study resources is that you should always take things at your own pace. Never rush things as it will only result in a poor understanding of concepts.
Online forums and social media
You can connect to ethical hacker communities on forums and social media. You can ask all sorts of questions related to your study that you may encounter there.
It will also help you stay up-to-date on the newest ethical hacking practices so that your skills don’t become obsolete by the time you finish learning and start looking for jobs.
Summary: How to Become a Ethical Hacker for Beginners
In this article about how to become an ethical hacker from scratch, I have told you about all the skills you will need, and what you can do to achieve your goal without needing any degrees.
Now, the rest is up to you. If you can be diligent enough about learning to become an ethical hacker, then you will surely find success. Just be sure to keep my tips in mind.
* We sometimes use affiliate links in our content, meaning we’ll receive a commission when you buy something via links. This won’t cost you anything but it helps us to offset the costs of our editorial team and keeps this website alive.