TL;DR- The best courses to gain essential and specialist skills in cybersecurity in order to land jobs and become skilled in bug-hunting.

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Introduction

Ethical hacking is a crucial skill for IT security professionals, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve completed at least the basics. Here are some of the best courses for hackers, pen-testers, bug-bounty hunters, and IT enthusiasts alike.

A bunch of these courses are from popular sites such as Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, EDX, and Codecademy. If you’ve already completed a bunch of these, feel free to reach out to me here and I’ll recommend a tailored course for your skillset.

Courses from Udemy →

Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch on Udemy:

16 hours of content, 4.6 / 5 stars.

The course is for absolute beginners, but it’s very helpful as a refresher on the basic topics for just about anyone. You’ll deconstruct penetration testing fields, and obtain the necessary software(for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X) to begin hacking. Personally, this helped me learn to do things such as analyzing and exploiting systems and their networks, servers, clients, websites, and more.

Each section of the course focuses on a specific penetration testing field. You’ll learn how to analyze all sorts of target systems, and the weaknesses you’ll need to exploit for control.

After, you’ll have a solid grounding in a large portion of hacking and penetration testing fields with skills like detecting vulnerabilities, preventing exploits, and securing systems.

Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2023: Zero to Mastery on Udemy:

28.5 hours, 4.7 / 5 stars.

This course helps teach you Python programming from scratch, if you’re looking to stray away from being a ‘script kiddie’ (someone who only uses hacking tools and scripts written by other people).

You’ll learn the following:

  • Writing your own tools in Python
  • How to create trojans, viruses, and keyloggers
  • Bypassing firewalls, and wireless access points
  • Bug-hunting tips and tricks
  • The fundamentals of Linux
  • Vulnerability scanners
  • Creating custom backdoors
  • Wireless pen-testing

It’s got a ton more past that, but those are the main aspects that the course covers. Here’s a neat post on programming-

Courses from Coursera →

Ethical Hacking Essentials on Coursera:

32 hours, roughly 5K enrolled.

This course contains topics such as threats and vulnerabilities, web application attacks, cloud computing, the fundamentals of pen-testing, and a bunch more.

A couple of things I took away-

  • Fundamentals of IT and ethical hacking
  • Malware types and vulnerability assessments
  • Countermeasures to network-level attacks
  • Information on app-level attacks, like server exploits and the OWASP Top 10

More info on what OSINTs are and how they’re relevant to hacking-

Penetration Testing, Incident Response, and Forensics on Coursera:

17 hours, 4.6 / 5 stars.

How to gather data for penetration tests, conduct penetration tests, common pen-testing tools. You’ll be able to better understand how incidents are handled, which documentation should be collected, and what constitutes an incident response policy.

You’ll go over things such as —

  • Penetration Testing
  • Incident Response
  • Digital Forensics
  • Introduction to Scripting

Courses from LinkedIn Learning →

Ethical Hacking: Introduction to Ethical Hacking on LinkedIn Learning:

2 hours, 4.6 / 5 stars

This course helps you get started with securing your own network and becoming an ethical hacker. This course examines the most common attack vectors, and motives behind these attacks. It also goes into detail about policies that help enforce security, and various ways to secure an organization.

Topics include-

  • Ethical Hacking Overview
  • Information Security Controls
  • Data Protection in a Digital World
  • Supporting Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking: Wireless Networks on LinkedIn Learning:

1.5 hours, 4.6 / 5 stars.

This course goes further into configuring basic security, and how hackers access networks using Bluetooth devices and extract passwords. It introduces several sophisticated tools for scanning for vulnerabilities, including Wireshark, Nmap, and more.

You’ll learn about things like the composition of Wi-Fi, rogue access points, bluetooth, and IoT.

Afterward, you’ll be able to better secure networks and have confidence in your knowledge of network topology, security implementations, and best practices.

Misc courses →

Penetration Testing — Discovering Vulnerabilities on EDX:

Five self-paced weeks of coursework, roughly 18k enrolled

This course is divided into two stages-

This first stage: Identifying the pen-test’s logistics, expectations, legal implications, objectives, and goals.

The second stage: Reconnaissance or Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). The pen-tester is responsible for gathering as much intelligence as possible about a target organization and possible targets for exploitation, and this course teaches you how to do just that.

Some things you’ll learn-

  • How to abide by the scope a penetration test
  • Collect useful information about a target
  • Identify and test potentially vulnerable systems
  • Identify the possible entry points into a tested system
  • Configure vulnerability scanners
  • Analyze the results of vulnerability scans

Introduction To Ethical Hacking on Codecademy:

6 hours, roughly 4k enrolled.

You’ll learn how to hack ethically in this course, practice hacking in an ethical way (to avoid police suddenly banging on your door), and discover the methods of becoming an efficient hacker by practicing certain techniques and tools.

Topics —

  • Let’s Be Ethical
  • Getting Started with Ethical Hacking
  • Evading & Computing
  • Unethical Hacking

Skills —

  • Hacking ethically
  • Analyzing and exploiting vulnerabilities on a website
  • Scanning networks with Nmap
  • Capturing network packets with PCAP