Build a career in ethical hacking with these courses

Ethical hackers use their expertise to legally break into computers and devices to test an organisation's cyber defences.

By U2B Staff 

Read all stories

Problem-solving, communication, and IT security – are these some of your areas of interests? If so, ethical hacking could be the perfect career choice for you. 

Both cybersecurity and ethical hacking – both known as penetration testing fields – have the same goal. Each works toward the betterment of a company’s security system. There are, however, vastly different methods and objectives that separate the two. 


Ethical hacking involves identifying vulnerabilities in systems before hackers do; they use their expertise to legally break into computers and devices to test an organisation’s defences. Cybersecurity, on the other hand, involves mitigating security risks by using appropriate security controls. Ethical hackers identify vulnerabilities, and cybersecurity experts remediate them. 

Ethical hacking, or a white hat hacker, is among one the most exciting IT jobs any person can be involved in. Choosing this career path entails keeping up with the latest technologies and enjoying the thrill of breaking into computers legally. 

What qualifications will you need to become a white hat hacker?

Cyber-crime is on the rise — businesses, both small and big, across the world have been targets, regardless of their growth rate, structure, and reputation. 

As of November 2020, reported that ethical hackers earned a median income of 79,096 US dollars per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that information security analysts, which includes ethical hackers, can expect to see jobs increase by 31% from 2019 to 2029. This is significantly above the national average job growth rate for the same time period, which is 4%.

The right qualifications are essential for a career in this booming industry. These professionals usually have a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science or an advanced diploma in network security.

An ideal programme will emphasise both computing and business management skills. Future ethical hackers should look for programmes that include courses in technical writing and possibly even the legal issues surrounding technology and ethics.


All ethical hackers are required to have extensive programming experience and familiarity with a range of different programming languages. Additionally, it’s common for employers to require candidates to have Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification and other recognised certifications, such as CompTIA – both of which were designed to prepare them to work as experts in cybersecurity.

When it comes to skills, aspirants need to be strongly analytical, and equipped to review data. Their roles will revolve around consulting with their clients, identifying their problems, explaining their findings, and collaborating with other professionals involved with information security – these translate to excellent customer service skills and strong interpersonal skills. 

Exceptional problem-solving skills and attention to detail are also fundamental. Ethical hackers need to be thorough in their attempts to breach security systems. They must also develop fresh, innovative strategies that enable them to pinpoint the problems within the security systems they have been entrusted to protect.