Penetration testing is an extremely rewarding career path for cybersecurity professionals, offering fulfilling salaries and outstanding job security. Demand for penetration testers has remained high as multiple high-profile cybersecurity incidents have made their way into headlines in recent years—for example, when Russian hackers breached the software company SolarWinds and when the Chinese hacking group Hafnium breached Microsoft Exchange (Korolov, 2021). These incidents have emphasized the value that penetration testers can provide to businesses in all industries.
While the specific responsibilities of penetration testers may vary, their overall goal is to protect an organization’s private data and assets against attackers. Whether you’re just starting out in cybersecurity or are an experienced professional looking to advance to a higher position, EC-Council’s Certified Penetration Testing Professional (C|PENT) program can ensure that your career transition is a smooth one.
Why Choose a Career in Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing is a dynamic and growing field. Here are five of the top reasons to pursue a career in penetration testing.
1. Zero-Percent Unemployment Rate
Thanks to the high demand for cybersecurity expertise, seeking a career in this field is a smart choice. In 2016, the cybersecurity unemployment rate dropped to 0% (Morgan, 2016).
2. High Number of Job Vacancies
According to recent employment data, there were 435,067 unfilled job positions seeking cybersecurity skills in the United States alone at the start of 2022 (CyberSeek, 2021).
3. Impressive Growth
The cybersecurity field offers virtually unlimited educational and professional opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) predicts that employment of information security analysts—a category that includes penetration testers—will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, representing an average of approximately 16,300 new job openings per year.
4. Variety in Your Career
As a penetration tester, you’ll never be bored. A career in penetration testing allows you to explore a variety of cybersecurity domains, including information security, application security, network security, database security, and more.
5. Challenging and Rewarding Work
The cybersecurity industry challenges professionals to solve tough real-world problems and, in exchange, offers competitive compensation and perks. According to the Dice Tech Salary Report 2022, the average annual salaries for cybersecurity engineers and cybersecurity analysts were $135,059 and $102,253, respectively.
EC-Council Certified Penetration Tester: An
If you’re interested in becoming a penetration tester, EC-Council’s C|PENT certification is the perfect next step. Read on to learn how obtaining the C|PENT can advance your career.
There are many subfields within cybersecurity. The C|PENT curriculum is designed to give you the breadth of knowledge you need to advance your career in penetration testing. In the C|PENT program, you’ll learn a range of specialized penetration testing skills, including how to execute advanced Windows attacks, bypass filtered networks, evade defense mechanisms, and more. EC-Council also offers the industry-recognized Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) Master course for those who want to excel at hacking tools, techniques, and methodologies.
Broad Range of Methodologies
The C|PENT provides advanced cybersecurity training that focuses on different penetration testing methodologies from an information and network security perspective. The techniques taught in the C|PENT curriculum cover areas such as web application, network, and wireless penetration testing, providing students with a solid foundation for obtaining more advanced certifications or transitioning into other cybersecurity roles where knowledge of penetration testing is essential.
The C|PENT program provides students with access to the C|PENT range, where they can practice on entire network segments that replicate an enterprise network to analyze the outcomes of applying various penetration testing methodologies and techniques. The C|PENT curriculum also examines and improves on various methodologies, including the International Organization for Standardization/International Electronic Commission (ISO/IEC) 27001, the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) frameworks.
- Dedicated modules on database, social engineering, and cloud penetration testing (and more!)
- Mapped to the NICE Framework’s Analyze and Collect-and-Operate specialty areas
- Modules dedicated to report writing and post-testing actions
- Hands-on labs to give you a taste of real-world challenges
- Variety of standard templates that you can use in your future penetration testing career
A penetration testing certification from EC-Council can help you grow in your cybersecurity career. Start your penetration testing career with EC-Council’s C|PENT certification program, where you’ll learn a comprehensive range of penetration testing methodologies and gain the skills you need to enter a high-demand industry. After you attain the C|PENT, you can easily transition into other EC-Council certification programs, such as Web Application Hacking and Security (W|AHS) or Certified Cloud Security Engineer (C|CSE), to acquire a truly comprehensive set of cybersecurity skills.
CyberSeek. (2021). Hack the gap. https://www.cyberseek.org/index.html
Dice. (2022). Dice tech salary report, 2022 edition. https://www.dice.com/technologists/ebooks/tech-salary-report/cover/
Korolov, M. (2021, March 10). Microsoft Exchange hack could be worse than SolarWinds. Data Center Knowledge. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/security/microsoft-exchange-hack-could-be-worse-solarwinds
Morgan, S. (2016, September 19). Cybersecurity unemployment rate drops to zero percent. Cybercrime Magazine. https://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-unemployment-rate/
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Information security analysts. In Occupational outlook handbook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm