Options for becoming a certified ethical hacker

The qualifications needed to be an ethical hacker

Ethical hacking is one of the fastest-growing options for people looking for a career in cyber security. These professionals are in high demand among enterprises looking to protect themselves from security threats. Therefore, individuals with the right skills and qualifications will find this a highly lucrative career path.

If you're looking for a career in ethical hacking, there are a few professional certifications you can explore. However, the most valuable and most widely recognised is the EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) qualification.

This course will teach you how to look for vulnerabilities in target systems, utilising the same techniques and tools as a malicious hacker. The purpose of the CEH qualification is to:

  • Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures.
  • Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards.
  • Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.

There are a range of other accredited and professional development courses that can help candidates looking for a career in ethical hacking, so if you have a particular specialism in mind, it may be worth exploring some of these routes.

One popular option is the Certified Security Testing Associate, which is offered by 7safe and is certified under the GCHQ Certified Training scheme.

The training routes to become a CEH

Choosing a CEH course needs careful thought. There are a range of training providers in the UK that can provide students with the skills needed to achieve this certification, including Global EduLink, IT Governance and QA.

Many CEH training courses are offered online, allowing you to progress through the materials at your own pace. However, there are also classroom learning options available for those who would prefer this environment. These are usually highly intensive and can be completed in around five days.

At the conclusion of a CEH course, attendees are required to sit a four-hour exam consisting of 125 multiple-choice questions. This can be taken at various test centres around the UK for those pursuing an online course.

Those who want to hone their skills further and become even more attractive to potential employers can then proceed to become a Master CEH. This requires them to take a six-hour CEH Practical exam that includes a number of challenges.

The next steps to a career in ethical hacking

A CEH qualification will open doors to a range of lucrative careers. You can work with some of the world's largest companies to test and protect their systems, while the certification is also recognised by organisations such as GCHQ.

As well as working directly as an ethical hacker, examining systems for weaknesses and thinking with the mindset of a hacker, some of the more common job roles for people with CEH qualifications include:

  • Information security analyst
  • SOC analyst
  • Penetration tester
  • Security consultant
  • Network security engineer

Find a CEH course today to kick-start your career in this exciting field.

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