a close up of a monitor with the word security above the cursor

Learn Ethical Hacking: The Best Courses and Resources

Do you want to defend organizations from threats against black hat hackers? Then, perhaps, you’d want to consider becoming a white hat hacker. Learn ethical hacking and defend computer systems through the numerous cyber security bootcamps and courses available online. All you need is an Internet connection.

Every day, hackers grow in quantity and continue to gain access to private files, bank accounts, and other vital data. Alongside the growth of illegal hacking comes the rising popularity of launching a career in ethical hacking. Ethical hackers help a company, government, or any other institution prevent future attacks and secure systems. 

Let’s find out how.

What Is Ethical Hacking?

A certified ethical hacker is a legal hacker that helps discover the weak points in a company’s system. They are experts in networking, databases, operating systems, and programming. Ethical hackers spend their days thinking like a hacker for the noble goal of protecting their organization’s information security. This has earned them the title, “white hat hackers.”

To become an ethical hacker, you will need to pass a certification exam, polygraph test, and a rigorous interview process. Fluency in coding languages, like HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Python, SQL, and C++, is of utmost importance.

Ethical hackers must have extensive knowledge of these programming languages to counter system threats effectively. Lastly, an ethical hacker should always be clued-up on new emerging threats, technologies, and security methods.

What Jobs Use Ethical Hacking Skills?

There are several jobs you can do with ethical hacking skills. They all involve security with concentrations on network security, penetration testing, and data security. One that is not on the list but you can check out here is becoming a cyber security engineer. Now, let’s take a look at what these jobs entail.

  • Ethical Hacker. To become an ethical hacker, you must specialize in pen testing (penetration testing) to assess a computer system’s overall security. You’ll start as a trainee ethical hacker where you’ll gain the relevant IT skills and CompTIA certifications.

  • Network Manager. A network manager is responsible for the installation and maintenance of a company’s computer networks. S/he also trains staff in technical ability, such as understanding how to avoid threats like social engineering cyber attacks. To become a network manager, you’ll need a strong IT and network background alongside leadership skills.

  • Penetration Tester. As a penetration tester, you will perform tests on computer systems to expose flaws that criminals could exploit. You’ll typically specialize in a particular system, such as networks, infrastructures, Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.

  • Web Security Manager. A web security manager protects a business’s websites and applications from web application attacks. S/he inspects incoming web traffic, block SQL injection, cross-site scripting, denial of service, and other attacks.

  • Data Security Analyst. This kind of data analyst works across departments to identify flaws and threats in the company’s security posture. A data security analyst also advises teams on specific measures to improve security and stop hackers from gaining private data access.

Steps to Learn Ethical Hacking

From beginner to pro, here are the steps to take to become a great ethical hacker. Start with learning the programming basics, cyber security fundamentals, and network security then get your certification.

1. Learn Programming Languages

The first step is to learn the Kali Linux operating system, which is used in digital forensics and penetration testing. Learn the commands and scripting for Linux, which employers prefer, through the numerous online resources and courses. 

To think like a hacker, you will need to learn other coding languages too. These include C++, HTML, JavaScript, Python, and PHP, among others. In-depth knowledge of programming languages will prepare you to get your certifications. Doing so will also allow you to understand the different entry methods that hackers use.

2. Learn the Fundamentals of Cyber Security

Learning the fundamentals of systems security is a significant step. There are four key aspects of cyber security, all of which can be learned through ethical hacking courses. First, learn to protect different devices from various threats. Second, learn about virtual private networks (VPNs). Third, protect emails. Lastly, do electronic document backups. 

3. Gain Network Security Skills

Networking is vital in IT in general, as like a tree’s roots, everything runs on a connected network. Learning how to navigate a network’s complexities will help you in various ethical hacking careers, especially that of a network manager.

4. Certifications

The next step is to take the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) course and exam, the entry-level certification. There is also the penetration tester course you can do with CompTIA Pentest+ or their other security certificates.

5. Advance Your Ethical Hacking Knowledge

The Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) exam is more of a high-level certification. It takes 24 hours—without breaks—to complete, making it a very rigorous exam. The exhaustion that comes with it may be well worth the price for the certificate is very distinguished.

The Best Courses to Learn Ethical Hacking

someone typing in HTML code
Learn ethical hacking to enter the mind of a hacker.

Learning ethical hacking will be a breeze with these fantastic courses. Whether you’re on the lookout for courses that will equip you with essential skills or train you for certifications, there’s available material here for you. If instead, you are looking for the best cyber security bootcamps, browse our website for the perfect bootcamp for you.

EC Council: The Ultimate Ethical Hacking Certification

The EC Council offers brilliant online training for those who want to become cyber security professionals. Students can choose from among their CEH courses to become a certified ethical hacker.

General Assembly: Hands-On Hacking Workshop

General Assembly provides immersive full-time and part-time programs in various tech skills. This workshop is a two-hour training on real-world techniques that can be used to compromise any system. You will experience simulations of a hacker attack and be able to download their Hands-on Hacking module. 

CompTIA: PenTest+

This CompTIA course is great for beginners who want to become ethical hackers. Students should start with the Linux+, Security+, and Network+ before going for the Pen Test course as you will need those skills to pass. This professional certification is a fantastic first step to an ethical hacking career.

LinkedIn Learning: Become An Ethical Hacker

This 27-hour LinkedIn Learning course is offered free for the first month. It will give you a guide to ethical hacking basics, from web applications, networks, cloud computing, cryptography, and more. 

CompTIA: Security+

This certification exam is a great beginner course. CompTIA offers instructor-led training and online training for security professionals to help you on your journey to ethical hacking. It covers risk assessment and management skills, forensics, incident response, enterprise networks, hybrid/cloud operations, and security controls.

CompTIA: Linux+

The new CompTIA Linux+ course is for IT pros who use Linux to manage everything from cars and smartphones to servers and even supercomputers. As many enterprises switch to Linux and cloud technology, this is a worthwhile course to take.

The Best Resources to Learn Ethical Hacking

Another way to learn ethical hacking is to use online resources and books to practice and learn the fundamentals. Here are some great examples of resources that will boost your knowledge and help you practice the core skills.

Hack The Box

Hack The Box is a great platform to practice penetration testing skills and exchange ideas with people in security. You have the opportunity to try out live machines or challenges, with courses on security and hacking coming soon.


This is a fantastic website for those who want to learn all about coding. FreeCodeCamp offers an Information Security certification course that totals 300 hours. A bonus: it’s entirely free. There are also tutorials on various programming languages if you need to learn a new one or brush up on your skills.

Khan Academy

Another wonderful free resource is from Khan Academy. You can find courses in computer science, programming, cryptography, and data security. These are great for beginners who want to learn the fundamentals absolutely free.

The Basics of Hacking & Penetration Testing by Patrick Engebretson

This is a fantastic book by Patrick Engebretson that walks you through the basics. Engebretson takes you through the steps to complete a penetration test or perform an ethical hack from start to finish.

Why Learn Ethical Hacking?

Learning white hat hacking lends to an exciting career where you can beat hackers at their own game. Work to protect businesses, individuals, or other organizations, including the government, from threats that could cause a crisis.

Not only will you be doing a good deed, but you’ll also be earning a comfortable amount in the process. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts earn a median salary of $99,730 per year. So, if you love coding, hacking, and providing security to systems, networks, and programs, you should consider learning ethical hacking.

Find the right bootcamp for you
By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.
By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.