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Learn Ethical Hacking: Top Courses and Resources

As more companies go online, they also have to face the growing threat of hackers. Business owners rely on cyber security professionals to help in safeguarding their data, systems, and applications from malicious logins. Below, we’ve listed a few courses and online resources to help you master white hat hacking. 

What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hackers are hired by businesses to try and hack their systems to test their security. Carrying out ethical hacking activities ensures that no unauthorized party can gain access to any systems, applications, or data. Ethical hackers use the same strategies and actions as malicious hackers to access an organization’s systems.

Ethical hackers are also referred to as white hat hackers. The main difference between malicious hacking and ethical hacking lies in their intent. Ethical hackers stay within legal boundaries and report potential vulnerabilities and data sensitivity to their employers. Black hat hackers, on the other hand, hack to steal information. 

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To be an ethical hacker or white hat hacker, you need a particular set of hacking skills. You need to learn scripting languages, operating systems, networking, and information security. These will give you what you need to be successful in the cyber security industry. 

Why Should I Learn White Hat Hacking?

You should learn white hat hacking because it is a very promising career. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 31 percent job growth for information security analysts between 2019 and 2029. Businesses need white hat hackers to help them protect the enormous amount of personal information they often store. 

Another reason why you should pursue a career in white hat hacking is to improve what you already know. Attending an ethical hacking bootcamp will train you in adopting the best measures to protect organizations from security breaches. You’ll learn new concepts for Windows, Linux, web application security, and mobile phone hacking. 

If you want to understand the mind of a black hat hacker, learning white hat hacking is the best way forward. The lessons will help you learn how to defend a corporate network and improve on already existing practices. It will teach you how to identify potential threats from wireless networks. 

What Are the Basic Requirements to Learn Ethical Hacking?

To land a job as an ethical hacker, you will need a bachelor’s degree or a certificate from a bootcamp. Most hiring companies require ethical hackers to have a degree in computer science or information technology. However, you can find bootcamp programs, vocational schools, and online courses that will teach you the same knowledge and skills.

Most bootcamp programs require the applicants to have basic knowledge of programming. However, even if you are a complete beginner, you can still get into the programs by attending the bootcamp prep courses. Another option to learn ethical hacking is by signing up for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Read more about this below. 

Top Ethical Hacking Courses

Below are some of the top courses in ethical hacking that will provide the training you need to launch your career. The course provider curated the training programs for beginners as well as experts in the field who may need a refresher course. 

Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch by Udemy

Price: $129.99

Length: 16 hours

Outcome: Certificate of completion

This course covers network hacking, gaining access, post-exploitation, and web application hacking. These techniques will help you detect, prevent, and secure systems from malicious hackers. You’ll also learn how to create a fake wireless network to secretly watch your clients and test their level of protection. There is no Linux or programming experience required.   

Become An Ethical Hacker by LinkedIn Learning

Price: $29.99 per month

Length: 28 hours

Outcome: Badge of Completion

This course takes you from a beginner to advanced level of hacking. You’ll learn about scanning networks, enumeration, vulnerability analysis, system hacking, and social engineering. The course is excellent for learning cryptography and cloud computing, which form the basis of a successful ethical hacking career.  

Ethical Hacking: Understanding Ethical Hacking by Pluralsight

Price: 10-day free trial, then $24.92 per month

Length: 7 hours

Outcome: N/A

In this course, you will learn more about becoming a certified ethical hacker. The instructor will teach you the role of ethical hackers. He will also teach you about using a virtual machine – how to install and operate it. 

The Complete Hacking Course: Beginner To Advanced! by Udemy

Price: $109.99

Length: 25 hours

Outcome: Certificate of completion

This course is an excellent beginner-friendly course featuring a step-by-step tutorial dealing with breaking passwords, hacking environments, and attacking networks. It will take you through tips to remain anonymous during penetration testing. The instructor will teach you how to install a virtual box and use virtual private networks. 

Cybersecurity Certification by the University of Maryland by Coursera

Price: 7-day free trial, then $39 per month

Length: 64 hours

Outcome: Certificate of completion

This Coursera course helps students master the basic concepts of securing systems as well as the use of cryptography. You can choose to only take one course, but if you want the certificate, you’ll have to complete them all. By the end of the program, you’ll have a better understanding of how to deal with cyber security issues and build systems to protect your clients. 

White Hat Hacking Resources: Websites, Blogs, and YouTube Channels

You don’t have to attend a bootcamp or sign up for an online course to become an ethical hacker. These top resources will ensure you get in-depth knowledge in cyber security, even with no experience. Read on to find out a list of the top blogs, websites, and YouTube channels for white hat hacking below.


Expert security professionals in the US run the YouTube channel Hak5 to help people around the world learn basic and advanced tricks of white hat hacking. The channel has been around since 2005 and features four videos each week. 


Hackady is another channel on YouTube that provides up-to-date content about security-related issues. The content creators provide new hacks every day for their subscribers. If you want to stay informed about local and global hacking issues, this channel will be reliable. 

SSTec Tutorials

Mehedi Hasan Shakeel has over 135,000 subscribers on YouTube learning about the ins and outs of white hat hacking. The channel features tutorials on computers, mobile operating systems, and reliable software to use. You will also learn about KaliLinux penetration testing and Github security techniques and tools. 

ForAllSecure Blog

The blog’s primary mission is to promote software security. It features numerous posts and products available to help professionals and companies to maintain the security of their businesses. It even makes products for the US Department of Defense to incorporate in their system for reliable security. 

Infosec Insights

The blog features top-rated content that helps professionals and companies alike learn how to protect their data from malicious hackers. In the blog, you will find articles covering different aspects of cyber attacks and learn about cyber security issues you may not have known existed.  

Recommended Books on Ethical Hacking

If you prefer self-paced learning, buying a book on ethical hacking will be the best way forward. These books contain in-depth knowledge in white hat hacking to help you launch your career in cyber security successfully.   

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Hacking The Art of Exploitation

Written by Jon Erickson, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation; 2nd Edition is a fantastic book for learning unconventional ways to solve cyber security problems. The book will help you learn to program using C and shell scripts. It’s a great resource to stay one step ahead of black hat hackers.

Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software

Practical Malware Analysis

If you want to keep tabs on malware, Andrew Honig and Michael Sikorski’s book will help you stay informed. This book will help you master how to retrieve network signatures, use tools such as IDA Pro and WinDbg, and overcome obfuscation and anti-debugging. You will also learn multiple ways to unpack and analyze malware with C++ and shellcode.  

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book

Simon Singh wrote The Code Book to help students learn more about the history of encryption. The book contains stories from the people who have broken the most difficult codes in history. It’s an excellent book to challenge your thinking about ethical hacking. 

The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

The Art of Deception book

Kevin D. Mitnick penned this book with the intent of giving cyber security professionals an inside look into cyber security. He shares insight into how black hat hackers think, what they do, and their future. You will hear from the hacker’s perspective as well as the victim in question.  

Nmap Network Scanning: The Official Nmap Project Guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning

NMAP Network Scanning

Nmap Network Scanning was written to help cyber security professionals master administration and security auditing. He details methods used by malicious attackers to gain entry into systems and applications. This book is excellent for beginners and experts who want to sharpen their skills. 

Ethical Hacking Careers

Learning ethical hacking can open many doors. Once you master the basics of white hat hacking, you can apply for jobs such as:

  • Penetration tester
  • Security analyst
  • Certified ethical hacker
  • Security engineer
  • Security consultant

Ethical Hacking Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, ethical hackers earn an average salary of  $119,289. The salary can go as high as $187,500, given the right level of experience, location, and skills. In the US, the highest-paid professional earns an average salary of $144,323. Some well-paying locations in the country are San Francisco, Fremont, and San Jose. 

Ethical Hacking Certification

If you want to take your ethical hacking career to the next level, you should consider getting certified. These top certifications will ensure you grab the attention of top-tier hiring companies in tech.

Certified Ethical Hacker CEH V11

This certification showcases your skills in using industry-standard hacking techniques, tools, and methodologies to legally hack an organization. It’s a pioneer in the global standard of ethical hacking. Going through the program you will also master important skills to curb attack vectors. 

The Certified Ethical Hacker exam will take you about four hours to complete. It has 125 multiple-choice questions. The EC-Council makes sure that the test questions are real-world problems. If you pass the exam, you will receive a professional certification. 

Offensive Security Certification

This is a highly recommended certification for people who want to pursue a career in penetration testing. The platform features multiple training sessions at different price points to help professionals refresh their memory before sitting for exams. If you want to validate your skills in penetration testing, bash scripting, or vulnerability scanning, this is the best certification. 

Should I Choose Ethical Hacking as a Career?

Yes, you should choose ethical hacking as a career. If you easily get bored with routine work, this career path was made for you. You’ll get to challenge yourself and come up with lasting solutions all the time. Often you will find professionals tackling multiple issues at once.

It is a gratifying career with great compensation. Ethical hackers are a vital part of organizations. Without their expertise, it would be more difficult for companies to keep our information safe. This is why they are well compensated and receive numerous benefits. Starting a career in ethical hacking is a fantastic career choice. 

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