How to Become a Penetration Tester?

5 minute read

One of the basic truths of digital information systems is that disreputable and unauthorized actors try to attempt to seize opportunities to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the operating systems of businesses. It is here that the pen testers are required as they seek to investigate, uncover, and help businesses repair potential vulnerabilities in wired as well as wireless network systems and web-based applications. To know how to become a penetration tester, keep reading this blog!

Career Penetration Tester
Description Ethical hackers; uncover potential security threats to operating systems 
Eligibility 10+2 for Undergraduate; Bachelors in for Graduates; Minimum Scores in English Proficiency Tests 
Career Information Security Analyst; Security Architect; Security Software Developer
Average Salary ₹7,20,000/annum

Who is a Penetration Tester?

Penetration testers also known as ethical hackers can be called the private detectives of the universe of information security. Their task is to uncover threats to these systems before any potential invasive operator has a chance to implement his plans. 

Pen testers work on the strategy of offensive defence. They aim to provide the best possible information security system and they do this by offensively attacking computer systems as real-life hackers would. The result is the safeguarding of information and systems coming under attack.

Also Read: Cyber Security Courses: A Detailed Guide

What Does a Penetration Tester Do?

The following are the roles and responsibilities of a penetration tester:

  • They perform tests of various computer applications, devices and cloud infrastructure to ensure efficient functioning
  • The work also involves designing and conducting simulated social engineering attacks
  • Penetration testers research and conduct experiments with different types of attacks
  • They review the code for security and identify vulnerabilities
  • Work on documenting security and compliance issues
  • They also write technical and executive reports

How to Become a Penetration Tester?

As a penetration tester or ethical hacker, the aspirants can earn a stipend by legally hacking into security systems. This kind of job can be fast-paced and exciting. Below we provide step by step process to becoming a penetration tester

Develop Skills for Penetration Testing

Penetration testers need a very good understanding of information technology as well as security systems in order to test them for vulnerabilities. The skills the aspirants may find important for becoming a pen tester include

  • Network and application security
  • Linux, Windows, and macOS environments
  • Threat modelling
  • Programming languages, especially for scripting (Python, BASH, Java, Ruby, Perl)
  • Technical writing and documentation
  • Remote access technologies
  • Security assessment tools
  • Pentest management platforms
  • Cloud architecture
  • Cryptography

Also Read: Career in Cyber Law

Enrol in a Degree or Training Program

One of the best ways to start developing the skills the aspirants will need to become successful penetration testers is to enrol in a degree or training program for the same. With these kinds of programs, the aspirants can learn the skills in a more structured environment while also building on multiple skills at once.

Getting Certified

Certifications in Cybersecurity show the recruiters present in the industry that you, as an aspirant, have the skills required to succeed in the industry. The aspirants can also get certified particularly in penetration testing or ethical hacking. Reputable certifications to consider include the following:

  • GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)
  • GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT)

Earning these certifications generally requires the students to pass an exam. 

Practice in Real Environments

A lot of companies wish to hire penetration testers having previous experience. Hence it is helpful to gain experience outside of the workplace. It should be noted that many pen testing training programs have hands-on testing done in simulated environments.

Another way to gain experience is to participate in bug bounty programs where companies offer cash bonuses to independent pen testers who can find and report security flaws or bugs in the codes of their systems. This is also an excellent way to test personal skills to improve further and start networking with other security professionals. The aspirants can find a list of bounties on sites like HackerOne and Bugcrowd. 

Start at an Entry-Level IT position

A lot of penetration testers start in entry-level IT and cybersecurity roles before advancing into pen testing. In order to pursue a career in pen testing, the aspirants should consider starting out in roles like systems administrator or information security analyst.

When the aspirants are ready to begin applying for pen tester jobs, they should remember to extend their search beyond the usual job sites. While LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed are good resources, aspirants should also search at specialized cybersecurity job boards, like and Dice.

Careers for a Penetration Tester?

Career Required Education Average Salary
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer programming, computer science, cybersecurity, or information technology $103,590 (₹80,74,995)
Security Architect Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer engineering, computer science, or any specialized information systems discipline $116,780 (₹91,03,176)
Security Software Developer Bachelor’s degree or higher in software development, computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or mathematics $110,140 (₹85,85,578)

Also Read: Pursue Cyber Security in UK!

Why Pursue a Career in Penetration Testing?

Penetration testers are an integral part of any organization’s digital security team. A career as a pen tester gives the aspirants in this field an opportunity to apply their hacking skills for the greater good. This is because they help organisations to protect themselves from cyber crimes. Penetration testing is an in-demand and high-paying career path.

The hacking expertise of a penetration tester is necessary to prevent future cyberattacks that may cause serious legal, financial, and reputation loss for the company. According to a report by IBM, the average cost of data breaches in 2021 has been higher than ever before. This is why skilled penetration testers are some of the most sought-after professionals in the world today. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the information security sector is projected to grow up to 31% from 2019 to 2029.


How long does IT take to be a penetration tester?

The aspirants will need a bachelor’s degree to become a penetration tester. At most universities, this takes around 4 years to complete. 

What qualifications do I need to become a penetration tester?

A bachelor’s degree can serve as the minimum necessary requirement of schooling to pursue a career as a penetration tester. The aspirants then build skills needed to become a penetration tester by working in entry-level IT positions, including network security and administration roles.

Is penetration testing part of cyber security?

Penetration testing (also known as pen testing) can be described as a security exercise wherein a penetration tester attempts to find and take care of vulnerabilities in a computer system. The purpose is to identify any weak spot that attackers can take advantage of.

Delve into pursuing a career as a penetration tester if you want a bright future ahead in the music industry. We know choosing the right course and university that runs parallel to your interests is very important. For this, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to take the assistance of an AI-based tool at Leverage Edu that gives you personalised suggestions based on your skills, qualifications and interests. Contact our experts at Leverage Edu they will assist you in your study abroad endeavour. To get a free consultation from us call us at 1800 572 000 now!

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