Numbers suggest that in terms of job availability and stability, information technology is a field with good prospects, especially the cybersecurity segment. At the moment of writing this blog post, there are over 700,000 cyber security job openings in the United States alone, and the demand for workers in this field is only expected to grow.
CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) credential holders are among the most sought-after professionals in the information security job market. The CEH certification is designed by the EC-Council to give its holder an edge in applying for ethical hacking jobs (as well as other computer and network security positions), as it validates their skills and knowledge in this field.
So, by embarking on the CEH journey, what sorts of jobs can you hope to land? And how can you increase your chances of being hired for one of these positions?
Let’s take a closer look.
Types of CEH Jobs
One of the most common misconceptions is that by passing the CEH exam, you can only become an ethical hacker. However, the reality is that this certification can help you qualify for a wide variety of cyber security positions.
While we will dive deeper into the day-to-day responsibilities of an ethical hacker, let’s first take a look at some of the most common CEH jobs out there:
The duties of a security administrator include regular maintenance and management of an organization’s security infrastructure. Some of the tasks you might be responsible for as a security administrator include:
- Installing security software
- Ensuring that all security systems are up to date and functioning properly
- Conducting regular audits of the network
- Coordinating with other departments to ensure that everyone is following security protocols
- Maintaining security records
- Monitoring the network for any suspicious activity and similar
A security administrator can be in charge of managing network security, information security, system security, or any other type of security for an organization.
While the role of a security administrator is an entry-level one, that of a security analyst is usually a bit more senior. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for ensuring the safety of an organization’s computer systems and networks by identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities.
An analyst’s task is to gather, organize, and analyze vast amounts of data so that they can present it to the decision-makers in an organization and help them make informed decisions about the organization’s security posture.
A cyber security analyst might also be responsible for developing and implementing security policies, conducting risk assessments, and training employees on cybersecurity best practices.
If we compare the roles of a security analyst and a security engineer, the latter is usually more technical and hands-on. A security engineer is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining an organization’s security infrastructure.
This includes tasks such as developing new security solutions, testing them before deployment, overseeing the implementation of these solutions, and monitoring their performance once they are up and running.
Coding, or software programming, is one of the core skills a security engineer needs to possess.
The role of a security consultant is somewhat similar to that of a security analyst in that consultants are also responsible for identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities within an organization’s systems.
However, consultants usually work with multiple clients, as opposed to being employed by a single organization. In addition, consultants are often brought in to provide their expert opinion on a particular issue or challenge an organization faces.
For example, a consultant might be hired to conduct a security audit of an organization’s systems, help them develop and implement new security policies, or train their employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Other job roles
The jobs listed above are only the most common ones CEH credential holders can get. In reality, there are many other roles out there that you might be qualified for, such as a security researcher, penetration tester, security architect, forensics analyst, and similar.
The best way to figure out what job is the right fit for you is to assess what type of work you feel most passionate about. Do you enjoy working with code and developing new security solutions? If so, a role in engineering might be a good fit for you.
Are you interested in analyzing data and identifying potential security threats? Then a job as an analyst or consultant might be the right choice. And if you enjoy finding vulnerabilities in systems and testing their limits, a position in penetration testing might be up your alley.
Regardless of what job you ultimately decide to go for, remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the work you do. Cybersecurity is a vast and ever-changing field, which makes it an exciting and rewarding place to work in.
The role of an ethical hacker
That being said, it’s time to take a closer look at one of the most popular job roles in the cybersecurity field – ethical hacking. Ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers, are security experts who use their skills to help organizations improve their cybersecurity posture.
In other words, they hack into systems and networks with the permission of their owners in order to find vulnerabilities and help them fix these issues before they can be exploited by malicious hackers.
Ethical hacking is key to an organization’s defense against cyber attacks. It is often used with other security measures, such as penetration testing to provide a more comprehensive view of an organization’s cybersecurity posture.
Where do ethical hackers work?
The truth is that ethical hackers can work in various places, from small businesses to large enterprises and in many industries.
For example, according to Statista, the top three industries with the most data breaches in the last ten years are:
- Medical and healthcare
- Financial, banking, and credit
Ethical hackers are in high demand in these industries, as they can help organizations mitigate the risks associated with data breaches.
In addition, ethical hackers can also work in the public sector, for government agencies and organizations, or in the academic world, conducting research and teaching others about cybersecurity.
Daily tasks of an ethical hacker
While the basic job description of an ethical hacker might sound relatively simple, it doesn’t necessarily convey the exact work that these professionals do on a daily basis.
So, what exactly do ethical hackers do? Here are some of the most common tasks they perform day in and day out:
- Conducting security audits
Ethical hackers are often tasked with conducting security audits of an organization’s systems and networks. This is done to identify potential vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could exploit. Ethical hackers use various tools and techniques when performing a security audit, such as network scanning, vulnerability assessment, and social engineering.
- Penetration testing
Attempting to break into an organization’s systems and networks is another common task of ethical hackers. This type of activity is known as penetration testing.
When conducting a penetration test, ethical hackers try to exploit known vulnerabilities in an attempt to gain access to sensitive data or systems. Of course, every pen test they perform is not only authorized by the organization beforehand but also closely monitored. This is to ensure that no actual damage is done during the test.
- Attending meetings
Another common task that ethical hackers perform is attending meetings. This is usually done in order to keep stakeholders up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and trends, as well as to provide recommendations on how to improve an organization’s security posture.
If the ethical hacker works as part of a team, they will also need to attend team meetings in order to discuss ongoing projects and share information about new vulnerabilities and attacks.
- Writing reports
Ethical hackers are often required to write reports documenting their findings from security audits and penetration tests. These reports usually include detailed information about the vulnerabilities that were found, as well as recommendations on how to fix them.
In some cases, ethical hackers may also be required to present their findings to a company’s executive team or board of directors.
- Researching new threats
As part of their job, ethical hackers need to keep up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and trends. This allows them to better understand the risks that their clients or employers face and to develop more effective mitigation strategies.
There are a number of different ways to stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats, such as reading industry news publications, attending conferences and webinars, and following thought leaders on social media.
Does a CEH certification guarantee employment?
Now that we’ve explored, in detail, the types of jobs that ethical hackers can get, as well as the daily tasks they perform in an ethical hacking position, it’s time to answer the question: does a CEH certification guarantee employment?
The short answer is no. While having a CEH certification will certainly make you more attractive to potential employers, it is not a guarantee of employment. In order to increase your chances of getting hired as an ethical hacker, you’ll need to have other skills and qualifications that are relevant to the position.
Some of the skills and qualifications that will make you more attractive to potential employers include:
- Experience in network and system administration
- Experience in programming or scripting languages
- Experience in using ethical hacking tools and techniques
- A comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity threats and trends
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- The ability to work independently or as part of a team
You can work on all of these skills and qualifications by taking more online courses, attending training workshops, or reading books and articles about ethical hacking.
Bottom line, the CEH certification represents an excellent way to start your career in ethical hacking. However, it’s important to remember that the certification alone is not enough to guarantee employment.
The right CEH job opportunity
Finally, let’s talk about how to find the right CEH job opportunity. We’ve already mentioned that there is plenty – and we mean plenty – to choose from when it comes to job titles, company sizes, and locations.
So how do you know which job is right for you?
The answer, of course, depends on your individual skills, qualifications, and preferences. But there are a few general tips that can help you narrow down your options and find the best CEH job for you.
What do you want?
Just because you’re a beginner cybersecurity professional doesn’t mean you have to settle for any job that comes your way. It’s important to take the time to think about what you want from your career and to make sure that any job you’re considering meets your needs.
Some of the things you might want to consider include:
- The size of the company
- The location
- The type of work
- The salary
- The benefits
If you’re not sure what you want, that’s okay. You can always talk to a career counselor or coach to help you figure it out. Try answering questions such as:
- What are your long-term career goals?
- What type of work do you find most interesting or enjoyable?
- What kind of company culture do you want to be a part of?
- Do you want to work remotely, or do you prefer to work in an office?
- Do you want to work for a large corporation or a small business?
Once you have a better idea of what you want from your career, you can start to narrow down your job options.
Find job opportunities
The next step is to actually start looking for CEH job opportunities.
- Check out job boards: Job boards are a great way to find ethical hacking job postings in one place. Try searching for “ethical hacking jobs” on Indeed, Monster, or Glassdoor.
- Look at company websites: Many companies post their job openings on their own websites, so it’s always worth taking a look. You can also use LinkedIn to find job postings from companies you’re interested in.
- Network with people in the industry: One of the best ways to find a job is to network with people who already work in the field. Attend industry events, or join relevant online communities and forums. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you find your dream job.
Apply for jobs
Once you’ve found a few job postings that interest you, it’s time to start applying! Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to each individual job and highlight the skills and qualifications that make you the best candidate for the role. The most important thing is to keep it concise – hiring managers don’t have time to read through long, rambling applications. They need to screen for candidates quickly and efficiently, so make it easy for them to see why you’re the right person for the job.
Try to sound enthusiastic and positive in your application, and be sure to follow up after you’ve submitted it.
Nail the interview
If you’re lucky enough to get an interview, congratulations! This is your chance to really sell yourself and show the hiring manager why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Come prepared with examples of your work, and be ready to talk about your skills and qualifications in detail. Practice answering common interview questions beforehand so you don’t get caught off guard.
And finally, don’t forget to follow up after the interview to thank the hiring manager for their time and to express your continued interest in the role.
Negotiate your salary
At the end of a long and successful job hunt, the only thing left to do is negotiate your salary. This can be a tricky process, but it’s important to remember that you’re worth more than you think.
Do your research beforehand to find out what the average salary is for the position you’re applying for in the location where you’ll be working. This will give you a good starting point for negotiations.
When it comes to salary, it’s also important to think about the long-term. What kind of salary do you want to be making five years from now? Ten years from now? It’s okay to ask for more than you think you’re worth – remember, you can always negotiate down, but you can’t negotiate up.
The most important thing is to be confident in yourself and your abilities. If you believe you’re worth a certain salary, the hiring manager will too.
The bottom line is that with a CEH credential, the job market is your oyster. From large corporations to small businesses, there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications. The key is to know what you want from your career and to be confident in your ability to find the perfect job opportunity.