7 Reasons You Should Study to Become a Hacker

The ethical hacking profession is a relatively new and very lucrative industry. It’s so fast-growing that there is a massive shortage of workforce to fill vacant job roles.

This is the best time for anyone to take advantage of the very many career opportunities available and begin studying to develop the essential skills to become a master hacker.

So I present you my top 7 reasons why you should consider a career in ethical hacking:

Before one can be great at hacking, a great deal of training must have gone in. And the skill set required to be a hacker cuts across many IT roles. This is why individuals with this specialist skillset and talent are in high demand. 

Companies around the world are looking to hire such hackers who can ensure their defenses can keep cyber criminals out of their businesses. And when they find one they tend to retain them with all alacrity.

The U.S. alone currently has 313,735 unfilled cybersecurity job openings. And this is expected to rise up to an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity job openings by the year 2021. That is about a 10 fold increase in just a very short period. 

Whereas in India, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) recently estimated that 1 million cybersecurity professionals will be needed by this year 2020 to meet the demands of its rapidly growing economy.

It may also interest you to know that there has been a zero percent cybersecurity unemployment rate from 2011 to date (2020).

So it’s about time you began your hacking training already! As you can see, cybersecurity experts are hotcakes and are must-hire candidates even right now.

Ethical hackers are in short supply. So employers make their job openings very attractive with high payout to net in the limited available professionals.

According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of cybersecurity job salaries across the United States currently range between $60,000 to $145,500 per annum, with a median salary of $85,500.

For more experienced and typically the highest-ranking cybersecurity employees, the salaries can go up as high as $304,500 every year.

This salary range does differ according to location, and ethical hackers in certain regions can get paid higher or lesser salaries.

To be more specific, the following are the payouts for hackers:

  • Penetration testers earn on average $109,961 (according to Indeed, 2018).
  • Ethical hackers earn on average $71,331 per year (according to InfoSec Institute in the US).
  • Bug bounty or freelance ethical hackers earn from $1,000 to $1,000,000 depending on the severity of the issue they find and the company involved (according to HackerOne, 2019).

One common theme to take away here is that anything security-related is expensive. To hire someone who is knowledgeable in the cybersecurity field the pay is always significantly high.

Ethical hacking as a profession guarantees permanent job security for the ethical hacker because cyber threats will never go away.

This is especially true because as technology expands and more widely used, so also will new security vulnerabilities be discovered.

And criminal hackers are not about to stop. They will either develop new tactics or methods to exploit new vulnerabilities or adapt old classic attacks.

So companies and organizations have to constantly be on their toes to combat this menace, and they heavily depend on ethical hackers, now and in the future.

Unlike a few other industries, there is no fear for the day when robots or artificial intelligence (AI) will take over a hacker’s job completely because cyber threats are constantly evolving and the human hacker is not dispensable.

Hacking is a lot of fun. If you’ve ever been a hacker, you will know how fun it is to go hunt for vulnerabilities, try exploiting them when you do find one, and when you gain access, you do the hackers’ victory dance. Yaay!!!

Imagine being able to do all of that without fear of the law catching up with you now or many many years later in the future.

You get to work with companies and government agencies who will hire you to hack their systems and then fix vulnerabilities found. Afterward, you are rewarded with good money for the job. All of this without the risk of breaking the law.

There is this joy of accomplishment that I derive, as an ethical hacker, from being able to fight off and win bad guys doing bad things to others with hacking!

I feel a great deal of satisfaction just to think that it’s because of my work:

  • Companies and organizations can secure their systems and protect millions of customer’s data.
  • My family and friends can stay secure and safe online.

Being able to genuinely help people like this gives ethical hackers the feeling that they are a part of something grand, which is actually true.

A lot of people who studied hacking through self-education are usually tempted to start off on the wrong foot by becoming black hats or criminal hackers.

(A good example is world’s famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, convicted in 1995 for criminal hacking, now turned cybersecurity consultant).

However, in recent years hacking has been rebranded more as a profession rather than used only for malicious purposes.

So black hats have an opportunity to cross carpets from doing evil with their hacking skills to helping humanity and still get paid good money for doing what they love.

The amazing thing is that the information security industry is ever ready and willing to accept cross-carpeting black hat hackers into the fold. 

Because not only do they have the propensity for being the best, they are also armed with invaluable experience from the black hat world to better stop their ex-comrades.

People are aware that hackers are a very intelligent and ingenious set of individuals. They have natural talent and/or have acquired the skills which enables them to be able to proffer solutions to technical problems less tech-savvy people have.

So when people ask you what you do for a living, and you say you are a hacker, you tend to get an interesting response. They immediately start to see you as a demi-god of some sort.

Your friends and family will be proud to be associated with you. They will be more than happy to bring technical or puzzle problems to you because they know you can solve them, and fast!

In conclusion, the future of the ethical hacking profession is very bright. It promises an interesting high paying career opportunity, with 100% job guarantee. It’s not too late now to jump on the bandwagon and begin studying to become an ethical hacker.

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