EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification first launched in 2003. Since then, it has been continuously updated and is now in its 10th edition. The certification is designed to test your ability to use the knowledge and skills of malicious hackers to help organizations lawfully identify vulnerabilities within their systems before cyber-criminals can exploit them. CEH is considered a great starting point for IT technicians looking to develop computer forensic and penetration testing careers. Training for CEH takes time and effort, so is CEH certification worth it?
Once you have successfully passed the CEH exam, you'll demonstrate to your employer and any prospective employers that you have the skill set required to assist in cybersecurity operations. This certification is an internationally recognized accreditation and can open doors throughout the IT industry across the globe.
Benefits of the EC-Councils Certified Ethical Hacker Certification
EC-Council is a globally-recognized association that is well-respected throughout the IT industry. Successfully passing any of the certifications offered by the EC-Council empowers you with many benefits. These are a handful of benefits CEH certification can afford you:
- Fulfillment of job application requirements – When it comes to cybersecurity based roles, employers often use CEH or equivalent certifications as a baseline in applications. Having CEH under your belt can help get your foot in the door.
- Establishes your cybersecurity credentials – CEH is recognized within the cybersecurity community as a way to formalize self-taught hacking skills and a great way to take your hacking hobby into a professional environment. It is also the most popular and well known ethical hacking certification.
- It is a stepping stone to more advanced opportunities – If your ultimate goal is to advance into penetration testing or cyber-forensics, CEH is a fantastic place to start. EC-Council, for instance, offers Certified Hacker Forensic Investigation (CHFI) certification, which would be the next step after CEH if you're excited about law enforcement and investigative roles.
Although CEH is considered an entry-level certification in cybersecurity circles, individuals looking to succeed in the exam should have some computer experience before starting classes. Most people who take CEH training successfully have some basic experience with computers. We would typically recommend that a complete beginner starts with CompTIA A+ and Network+ before pursuing CEH accreditation.
EC-Council CEH Certification Job Outlook in Maryland
The US is currently suffering from a considerable skills gap in the cybersecurity space. There are not enough qualified IT professionals to fill all the available positions. Consequently, there has never been a better time for individuals to jump into a cybersecurity career.
Armed with CEH certification, you are well-positioned to apply for entry-level IT security roles, including roles within the US military since CEH is part of the DoD 5870 information assurance requirements. DoD 8570 compliance is particularly relevant in Maryland and around the Washington DC region, given the large numbers of military establishments and related contract companies. A quick internet search for ethical hacking roles where CEH is required will result in thousands of available jobs statewide.
The CEH certification will help get you through the application process, but as with all job searches, experience plays an important part too. If you're considering CEH, it is more than likely that you have experience working with computers and networks. If not, you should seek opportunities to expand your practical IT skills working part-time or for a volunteer organization while you study for the exam.
Once you have your CEH certification here are some roles you should consider applying for. Average annual salaries are shown for Maryland and the US as a whole (data from Glassdoor):
- Information Security Analyst: $79,152 MD / $76,410 US
- Cyber Security Analyst: $79,152 MD / $76,410 US
- Security Engineer: $103,346 MD / $99,834 US
- Penetration Tester: $79,075 MD / $69,123 US
- Information Security Manager: $51,896 MD / $51,881 US
- Cyber Security Engineer: $104,346 MD / $99,834 US
These are a handful of IT positions that the EC-Council CEH certification will help you attain. The cybersecurity field is continuously expanding, and each organization has its unique requirements to keep its systems safe. Variations of the job titles are available throughout Maryland and the US.
Certified Ethical Hacking is a potentially exciting and well-paid job. If you are looking for a cybersecurity career, and are interested in both the technical and human side of the tech industry, the answer to the question 'is CEH certification worth it?' is a solid yes!
Getting your CEH certification is easy with TrainACE live-online, instructor-led classes.
TrainACE EC-Council Certifications in Maryland
Remember when considering if CEH certification is worth it, CEH is just one of the first steps in your long-term cybersecurity career. As you gain experience, you will want to expand your knowledge and skills in more specialized fields such as penetration testing or cyber forensics. When you are ready for that next step TrainACE can help prepare you for more advanced certification exams like EC-Councils CHFI (Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator) or CompTIA's Pentest+