Become an Ethical Hacker & Cybersecurity Expert

No fluff. No outdated tutorials. No overpriced bootcamp. This Ethical Hacking + Cybersecurity Career Path is your step-by-step roadmap to go from beginner (at any age!) to getting hired as an Ethical Hacker or Cybersecurity Expert. You’ll be guided through our curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, and action items to build your skills, portfolio and experience to become an Ethical Hacker + Cybersecurity Expert.

Earn on average $99,292 per year

US salary data collected from Indeed,, and 2024.

6 Months

Average time students take to complete this career path.

Your career path

What You'll Learn

  • Cybersecurity Offense: learn Ethical Hacking from scratch including all 5 phases of Penetration Testing and much, much more
  • Cybersecurity Defense: learn the latest best practices, techniques, and tools used for network security to protect digital assets and prevent black hat hackers from penetrating your systems
  • How to set up your Hacking Lab: Kali Linux and Virtual Machines
  • Create trojans, viruses, and keyloggers for Ethical Hacking
  • Be able to develop effective end-point protection and network security systems
  • Understand how hackers track you online and be able to protect yourself using advanced anonymity and privacy techniques
  • The skills and practice to confidently apply for Cybersecurity jobs such as: Cybersecurity Engineer, Incident Response Analyst, Risk Analyst, Penetration Tester, and Forensic Analyst
  • You'll even learn Python fundamentals to combine programming knowledge and Ethical Hacking knowledge so you can mix techniques and adapt them to different situations

The Next 2 Courses

If you have the time, we recommend that you do both the Ethical Hacking and the Cybersecurity courses coming up. You can pick the order! You can choose Cybersecurity course first in case you are more into defensive side of security, or you can go with the Ethical Hacking course first if you are more interested in the offensive side. If you already know that you prefer one over the other, or your job requires you to just learn just one, pick that one. Again, our recommendation is that you do both courses since you will learn a lot from each (to be an expert in this field, you must learn both offence and defence).

See whole career path

What ZTM students are saying

Our courses and community have helped 1,000s of Zero To Mastery students go from zero to getting hired to levelling up their skills and advancing their careers to new heights.

Meet your instructors

Your Career Path instructors aren’t just experts with years of real-world professional experience. They have been in your shoes. They make learning fun. They make complex topics feel simple. They will motivate you. They will push you. And they go above and beyond to help you succeed.

Andrei Neagoie

Andrei Neagoie

Lead Instructor
Aleksa Tamburkovski

Aleksa Tamburkovski

Ethical Hacking & Cybersecurity Instructor
Andrei Dumitrescu

Andrei Dumitrescu

DevOps & LLMOps Instructor

Still have questions?

Who is this Ethical Hacker / Cybersecurity Career Path for?

Anyone who wants a clear step-by-step guide to become a Pen Tester / Ethical Hacker / Cybersecurity Expert from scratch and actually get hired. Oh ya, and you don't want to waste your money on overpriced bootcamps and degrees.

Also, let's be honest. Some of the topics can be a little dry. So, we're even going to have a bit of fun along the way. No way! Crazy right?!

This Ethical Hacker + Cybersecurity Career Path is perfect for you if:

  • You're a complete beginner (of any age!) and want a full bootcamp curriculum and experience without having to pay $1,000s
  • You don't want to waste your valuable time. You want to learn everything needed to become an Ethical Hacker & Cybersecurity Expert in one place
  • You don't want to learn and take this journey alone. You will learn alongside 100s of other students at your same level and 1,000s more that are just a few steps ahead of you
  • You can handle our amazing sense of humour (it's not spelled wrong, we're Canadian... well, some of us... see what we mean... you've been warned)

And it's definitely for you if you're sick of:

  • Outdated tutorials
  • Free courses and tutorials that don't go beyond the basics
  • Learning topics and concepts that are mostly irrelevant in the real-world
  • Courses with no community or support system
  • Tutorial hell
  • Feeling like you're going in circles with no clear path or end in sight

Let's be 100% clear. You aren't going to do 100 coding challenges or 50 projects or learn topics that aren't going to get you hired or even be used in the real-world. That's a waste of your time.

The sooner you get hired, the sooner you'll be learning more than you can from any course. That's our goal.

Why become an Ethical Hacker / Pen Tester / Cybersecurity Expert?

Everyone has their own reason(s) as to why they want to become an Ethical Hacker, Pen Tester, or Cybersecurity Expert. But here are a few of the best reasons:

  1. Lots of jobs available. As we're writing this, there are over 6,500 Penetration Tester jobs available on Glassdoor (not to mention Linkedin, Indeed or elsewhere). And it isn't going to slow down. Cybercrime is rising faster than a SpaceX rocket. More cybercrime means more demand for Ethical Hackers and Penetration Testers and Cybersecurity Experts to protect digital assets and systems.
  2. High demand = High salary. The average annual salary for an Ethical Hacker in the United States is over $119,000 and over $116,000 for a Penetration Tester, across all levels (entry-level to senior).
  3. No degree required. Is there even a degree?! No matter. The cybercrime and cybersecurity field moves lightning quick. Which is pretty much the opposite of the speed that Colleges and Universities operate at. So if you want to get hired in an exciting, rewarding job and don't want to waste 4 years and $100,000+, this could be a great option for you.
  4. It's fun. And rewarding. You get to have a real-world impact. The work you're doing on a daily basis can have a huge impact on hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. You could be saving people and companies millions of dollars. You basically get to be Sherlock Holmes of the 21st century. If that isn't cool, we don't know what is.

How long does it take to become an Ethical Hacker / Cybersecurity Expert (and complete this Career Path)?

Everyone is different. So it's hard to give a specific amount of time. The two biggest variables are the number of hours per week you're dedicating to completing the steps in the Career Path and your current experience level.

Don't hold us to it but here's a rough guideline based on feedback we've received from past ZTM students on how long it takes to become an Ethical Hacker & Cybersecurity Expert:

  1. 20-40 hours a week = 4-6 months. Students who have started from scratch as complete beginners (no matter their age!) and spend a few hours per day.
  2. 40-80 hours a week = 2-3 months. Students who are able to learn basically full-time and/or already have some experience.
  3. 0-10 hours a week = 7-12+ months. Students from all experience levels but are only able to dedicate a few hours a week.

What’s the ZTM Discord community and how can it help me?

The ZTM Discord is our exclusive online community for ZTM students, alumni, TAs and instructors.

How it helps you, short version: Increase the chances that ZTM students achieve their current goals and help them continue to grow throughout their career.

Longer version: Learning alone is hard. We've all been there. We've all tried to learn new skills and struggled. It can be frustrating, daunting, and just plain challenging, especially if you're trying to change careers.

We feel strongly that the Zero To Mastery Discord community is an essential part of the learning experience and greatly increases the chances for students to achieve their goals.

It's crazy to think that Colleges and Coding Bootcamps charge you tens of thousands of dollars to provide you with this type of experience. It doesn't have to be that way!

In fact, ~20% of ZTM students are also enrolled at a College or in-person Coding Bootcamp but feel like they just aren't getting all of the skills and support they need. But with ZTM, they do.

Within the Zero To Mastery Discord community, you can:

  • Connect with other Developers, Engineers, Data Scientists, Designers
  • Form study groups and complete ZTM Career Paths and Courses together
  • Ask questions and get advice from other people at your same level as well as more experienced professionals
  • Get feedback on projects
  • Meet other students around the world (and likely even someone from your hometown!)
  • Learn how to answer questions and help other students which will accelerate your own learning
  • Get help from others with questions and exercises
  • Work on coding challenges and real-world open-source projects with other students

It’s pretty awesome to see many ZTM alumni also active every single day, continuing to engage with the community, give back, and level up their own skills and career.

Are there any prerequisites for this Career Path?

A computer (Windows/Mac/Linux) and access to the internet. That's it! No previous experience is needed.

If you haven't already, take our tech career path quiz. We'll give you our recommendation for which path is the best fit for you.

How is a Career Path different from a course?

Career Paths are like a full College curriculum. Our Career Paths give you the exact courses, workshops, challenges, articles and actions to take to go from absolute beginner to getting hired.

Career Paths start with ensuring you know the foundations from scratch. But they go far beyond by teaching you advanced topics and non-technical skills that are essential for your career but aren't taught in Computer Science Degrees or Coding Bootcamps.

Courses are more focused. Different courses have different goals. Some courses are a great fit for experienced Developers, Engineers and Programmers who want to level-up their skills in a specific topic or framework. Other courses cover a wider range of topics teaching the foundations and fundamentals for beginners.

Can I change my Career Path?

Yes. You can change your Career Path anytime. As a member of Zero To Mastery, you have unlimited access to all ZTM courses, workshops, challenges, articles and other materials needed to complete any of the ZTM Career Paths.

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