Ethical Hacker

Job Description:

An ethical hacker identifies vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and software to help organisations improve their cybersecurity defenses.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

As an ethical hacker, you will be:

  • Identifying weaknesses in computer systems, networks, and applications that could be exploited by malicious hackers
  • Conducting controlled simulated attacks to assess the security of a system and discover potential vulnerabilities
  • Analysing security measures, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations
  • Assessing potential risks associated with cybersecurity breaches and providing recommendations to mitigate them
  • Collaborating with organisations to develop effective security strategies and best practices
  • Assisting in investigating and managing cybersecurity incidents to minimise damage and recover from breaches
  • Educating employees and users about security risks and best practices to prevent attacks
  • Testing and evaluating security tools and software to ensure their effectiveness
  • Staying updated with the latest hacking techniques, tools, and security trends
  • Providing detailed reports of vulnerabilities and recommended solutions to organisations


You will need:

  • knowledge of computer networks, operating systems, programming languages and cybersecurity concepts
  • knowledge of penetration testing, wireless security and security tools
  • knowledge of cryptography and web technologies
  • knowledge in malware analysis and social engineering
  • knowledge of ethical guidelines and legal considerations
  • knowledge in risk management

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an ethical hacker, a strong educational foundation is crucial. While specific requirements can vary, the following GCSE subjects are generally beneficial:

  1. Computer Science: Provides fundamental knowledge of programming, networking, and computer systems.
  2. Mathematics: Develops analytical and problem-solving skills, important for cryptography and data analysis.
  3. Information Technology: Offers insights into digital systems, security concepts, and hardware.
  4. Science Subjects (Physics, Chemistry): Enhances logical thinking and analytical abilities.
  5. English: Effective communication skills are essential for conveying technical concepts.

These subjects create a solid base, but remember that becoming an ethical hacker typically requires higher education, often in cybersecurity, computer science, or related fields. Universities or colleges might consider your GCSE subjects along with A-levels (or equivalent qualifications) when evaluating your application. It’s advisable to research specific requirements of institutions you’re interested in and seek guidance from academic advisors to tailor your educational path accordingly.

To become an ethical hacker, you need the following qualifications and requirements:


Start with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, information technology, or a related field.


Obtain certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or others relevant to your specialisation.

Practical Experience

Gain hands-on experience through internships, projects, or entry-level security roles.

Background Checks

Depending on the employer, background checks or security clearances might be required.

Working Hours and Environment:

The working hours of an ethical hacker can vary, with flexibility for standard office hours, remote work, occasional travel, and adapting to project demands in a dynamic cybersecurity environment.

Career Path & Progression:

The typical ethical hacker career path involves starting in entry-level security roles, gaining certifications, progressing to junior and senior penetration testing, considering specialisation, and potentially advancing to security consulting, incident response, management, or entrepreneurship roles.