According to the 2018 Hacker Report less than 5% of today’s ethical hackers learned their skills in a classroom. While the majority of ethical hackers do have some form of computer qualification, few have formal certification in the discipline itself. So why would an ethical hacker need anything as ‘establishment’ as formal ethical hacking certification?
Having evolved as a somewhat secretive, ‘backroom’ industry, the ethical hacker community has been built as much on the technical challenge of breaking systems and the ability to help companies identify weaknesses, as it has on making large amounts of money.
There is a genuine sense of community and a pride in how the community has evolved as a somewhat anti-establishment entity. But as the ethical hacking cohort grows and as big business begins to appreciate the benefits of embracing it, formalization of the ethical hacking industry is inevitable.
So here are seven reasons for taking your hacking skills to the next level and get your ethical hacking certification.
1. Businesses will increasingly require certification in cyber security and ethical hacking
As big business embraces the financial benefits of ethical hacking they will need ways to qualify individuals for roles in the company, or to gauge the quality of subcontracted work. Experience is important in any job interview but tangible qualifications from a reputable training center will rubber stamp your ability to take on the job.
2. You need to cover all the fundamentals
It’s only natural to consistently drive yourself based on what you already know. But, however passionate you are about a subject it can be very hard to force yourself to focus on areas within that subject that are of less interest, even if they are fundamentally important to your study. Worse than this, relying on being self-taught can mean that you miss important fundamentals altogether, just because you were unaware of them. Formal training and ethical hacker certification ensures that you cover all the bases.
3. You can speed up development of your hacking skills
Studies show that formal training in a discipline speeds up the development of skills. Having the structure of an organized class will help you develop their skills faster and more efficiently. We all know that there is nothing like a looming study deadline, or exam to give you focus.
4. You can ensure accuracy and currency of your techniques and tools
Formal training and certification will ensure that you have the latest information, techniques and tool-knowledge. As much as there is a cost to formal education, it does ensure training providers are teaching you about the latest developments in the Ethical Hacking industry
5. Certification gives you a benchmark for your hacking skills
The development and application of standard certifications gives you a benchmark to assess your skills and knowledge. As well as proving to future employers you have mastered the fundamental skills of Ethical Hacking it helps inform your next steps in developing your skills. Most quality certification providers have a tiered approach to their courses, enabling you to progress step by step from beginner to expert. Knowing where you are in that journey will help guide you to bigger, better things.
6. Industry growth will increase your opportunities to formalize your skills
The availability of ethical hacking courses and certifications is expanding along with the industry. This gives you more opportunity to develop your talents, and to formalize them.
7. Marketing yourself
One of the most important reasons to get certified as an ethical hacker is the ability to market yourself and your hacking skills with confidence. While the non-qualified hacker community continues to flourish, if you want to make a good living as the industry becomes more mainstream, you will find yourself competing with others who have taken the time to get certified. Fair or not, even with a lot of experience, winning that job interview will be that much easier if you have a formal training and certification.
The Evolution of Ethical Hacking
As the ethical hacker report shows, the ethical hacker community has evolved organically into a large, robust, skillful and important part of the technology industry. This organic growth, based off of years of community networking, born in-turn from something of an anti-establishment base, has baked into the community a maverick sensibility around the need for certification and formal training.
But at the same time the ethical hacking community has been openly seeking the positive recognition it deserves. Now that mainstream business is beginning to take notice and give the community that recognition it will inevitably lead to a codification of Ethical Hacking roles and qualifications.
So, if ethical hacking is your jam, and you want to make a good living from it, there are a lot of good reasons to formalize your skills. Investing in a program like the EC-Council Ethical Hacker Certification will ensure you fully understand the fundamentals of your industry and will put you ahead of many of your peers, at that all important job interview.