Top 7 Penetration Testing Certification Courses

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penetration testing certification

You might have come across various advantages of digitalization. But have you thought of any disadvantages that it might have? One of the biggest threats to digitalization is hacking! As more and more companies are digitizing their business operations and processes, the threat of being exposed to hackers is increasing. To mitigate the risk of a security incident and avoid the cost of a cyberattack, it is essential to prevent, detect, respond and recover from such attacks. Penetration Testing or Pentesting is a form of security assessment that evaluates software applications, networks, or computer systems to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit. You can become a pentester by completing a penetration testing certification. Read this blog to find the best penetration testing certification courses!

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration Testing is similar to ethical hacking and includes examining gadgets, programming and wireless systems for small security defects. Penetration Testers work for various organizations and gauge any possible loophole in the cyber security of the company that may lead to an attack and hence, fix it. It is also known as pen testing in which testers are certified with ethical hacking rules to protect certain companies’ data. They are ethically trained to break into clients’ digital systems to find weaknesses before any random hacker does. Besides this, penetration testing certification courses are highly in demand as various multinational companies are moving ahead to protect their high-profile data breach that has happened in recent years.

Also Read: Build a Career in Ethical Hacking

Penetration Testing Certificate: Educational Requirements 

Now that you are aware of the insights of this field, let us have a look at what it takes to set up a career in this field. To become a Penetration Tester or a junior Penetration Tester, you need to have-

  • A bachelor’s degree in fields like Computer Science, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Ethical Hacking 
  • 3-4 years of work experience in the cyber industry
  • For higher-level jobs in Penetration Testing, you may need a master’s degree in the above-stated fields

Penetration Testing Certification Courses

Candidates interested in pursuing a career in  Penetration Testing can begin with a  certificate course and then attain a higher-level degree in the field. You may look for one of the best penetration testing certification courses as per your existing background so that you can enhance your skills and abilities in the same domain. Let us have a look at various certified courses in penetration testing-

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Certification

CEH is recognised as a standard parameter for ethical hackers all over the world. It expects you to understand the basics of malware tactics and the latest hacking process to help the clients prevent future breaches. Such certification courses require candidates to pass theoretical as well as practical examinations in order to earn their certification. 


GPEN Certification is a basic administered test with multiple-choice questions that takes more than three hours. The GPEN test not only covers ethical hacking and penetration testing questions but it also focuses on legal queries related to hacking.

Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)

CPT is an entry-level penetration testing certification course having a duration of 2 hours with 50 multiple-choice questions. It is a flexible exam proctored in various countries of the world. It tests your knowledge of Windows, Unix & Linux vulnerabilities, wireless security and web application exploits among other things.

Check out best PG Diploma in Cyber Security


Pentest+ is an intermediate level, 2.75 hours long with up to 85 practical and multiple-choice questions. It is offered by the CompTIA IT certification organisation. This test aims to evaluate your capacity to examine weaknesses in a framework and your capacity to recommend techniques to improve them. This will be done through practical as well as written tests.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certification

ECSA- EC Council Certified Security Analyst

It is one of the top-most penetration testing certifications.  The test consists of MCQs as well as a practical exam that lasts for 12 hours, hence it is known as one of the top certified penetration testing exams in the world. While attempting the test, do not forget to showcase your knowledge of network scans, vulnerability Analysis and other technicalities of Penetration. 

Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT)

The Certified Expert Penetration Tester is a propelled test from the IACRB. This test shows your capacity to control shellcode and abuse code, perform figuring out undertakings and other propelled entrance testing procedures. It is like the CPT test in that it is just substantial for a long time and is an MCQ-based test. This one has 50 questions directed for more than 2 hours.

Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

LPT is the advanced level penetration testing certification test which is conducted for 18 hours. The courses offered by the EC Security Council. Candidates having the certificate from LPT are considered an expert in the field. The test comprises nine questions, solving which test-takers must utilize methods like staggered turning, SSH burrowing and exhibit acceleration to avoid the detailed security and hostile zones.

Penetration Testing Courses Free

Listed below are Penetration Testing Certification courses that you can pursue for free- 

  • Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics by Coursera
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks by Coursera
  • Hacking and Patching by Coursera
  • IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate by Coursera
  • Fundamentals of Computer Network Security Specialization by Coursera
  • Penetration Testing – Post Exploitation by New York University
  • Penetration Testing – Exploitation by New York University
  • Penetration Testing – Discovering Vulnerabilities by New York University
  • Cybersecurity Basics by New York University
  • Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics by IBM by Coursera  
  • Website Hacking / Penetration Testing & Bug Bounty Hunting by Udemy
  • Hacking Web Applications and Penetration Testing: Fast Track by Udemy
  • Linux Privilege Escalation for OSCP & Beyond by Udemy
  • Penetration Testing Courses by Udemy
  • Penetration Testing 10-Day Boot Camp by InfoSec
  • Penetration Testing by Sans
  • Penetration Testing Training with Kali Linux by Kali

Penetration Testing Certification Online

Here are the online PTC courses-

  • Ethical Hacking — SQL Injection Attack by Udemy (Free)
  • Fundamentals of Computer Hacking by Udemy (Free)
  • Security Analyst Fundamentals by Coursera (Free)
  • Penetration Testing — Discovering Vulnerabilities by EdX course
  • Ethical Hacking Full Course — Learn Ethical Hacking in 10 Hours by Edureka
  • Foundations of Hacking and Pentesting Android Apps by Udemy (Free)
  • Ethical Hacking with Nmap and Metasploit Framework Part-1 by Udemy
  • Learn Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Online by Udemy
  • Ethical Hacking — Basics (Kali 2021) by Udemy (Free)
  • Ethical Hacking and Threat Hunting using Wireshark by Udemy 

Penetration Testing Certification for Beginners

 Listed below courses can be pursued by beginners for getting an idea about the field of Penetration Testing-

  • GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) by GIAC
  • GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN) by GIAC
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional by Offensive Security
  • Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE) by Offensive Security
  • Certified Penetration Tester (CPT) by IACRB
  • Certified Ethical Hacker by EC Council 
  • CompTIA PenTest+ by  PenTest+ 

Advanced Penetration Testing Certification

 For those who are looking for Advanced Penetration Certification courses below is a list for them-

  • Advanced Penetration Testing, Exploit Writing, and Ethical Hacking by SANS
  • Advanced Penetration Testing Online Training Course by INFOSECTRAIN
  • Advanced Penetration Testing by Cybrary
  • Website Hacking / Penetration Testing & Bug Bounty Hunting by Udemy
  • Python 3 For Offensive PenTest: A Complete Practical Course by Udemy
  • TOTAL: CompTIA PenTest+ (Ethical Hacking) + 2 FREE Tests by Udemy
  • Windows Privilege Escalation for OSCP & Beyond! by Udemy
  • The LPT (Master) Training Program: Advanced Penetration Testing Course by the Indian School of Ethical Hacking
  • Licensed Penetration Tester (Master) Certification by the Indian School of Ethical Hacking
  • Advanced Penetration Testing Course  by IMEDITA
  • Advanced Penetration Testing by EC Council

Mobile Penetration Testing Certification Courses

Following are the mobile Penetration Testing Certification courses-

  • Certified Mobile and Web App Penetration Tester (CMWAPT) by INFOSEC
  • Mobile Device Security and Ethical Hacking by SANS
  • Mobile Penetration Testing of Android Applications by Udemy
  • Advanced Mobile Application Penetration Testing by E-Hacking Academy
  • Mobile Application Security by the Institute of Information Security
  • Mobile Application Exploitation by Attify

Penetration Testing Job Profiles

After completing a certified course in Penetration testing, a variety of career options are available for the students. Ethical hacking is a vast field and expands the horizon of its undertakers by offering an array of job profiles to work as. Below are the various career options you can choose from after completing the Penetration testing certification.

Penetration Tester Salary

Penetration Testers’ salary tends to vary in India and abroad. If you go on to pursue a job under the same or related profiles overseas,  your estimated salary for a year would be around $57,000-$134,000 (INR 42,00,000- 99,00,000).  On the other hand,  if you wish to do the same in India you will be paid INR 5,00,000- 8,00,000 on a yearly basis. 


Q1: Which penetration testing certification should I choose?

The choice of certification depends on your career goals, existing knowledge, and the areas of penetration testing you wish to specialize in. Some widely recognized certifications include Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), and CompTIA PenTest+. Research each certification’s curriculum, hands-on labs, and industry recognition to determine the best fit for your aspirations.

Q2: What are the prerequisites for a penetration testing certification?

Prerequisites vary between certifications, but a strong understanding of networking, operating systems, and cybersecurity fundamentals is generally beneficial. Some certifications, like the OSCP, don’t have strict prerequisites but are better suited for individuals with prior experience in security. Others, like the CEH, might require a certain number of years working in the information security domain before you can sit for the exam. Review the certification provider’s guidelines to understand their specific prerequisites.

Q3: How do I prepare for a penetration testing certification exam?

Preparation usually involves a combination of studying relevant materials, hands-on practice, and possibly attending training courses. Common steps include:
Studying official study guides or recommended books.
Participating in online courses or workshops tailored to the certification.
Setting up a lab environment to practice penetration testing techniques.
Solving challenges or labs from platforms like Hack The Box or TryHackMe.
Reviewing real-world case studies and scenarios to understand practical applications.

We hope this blog has given an extensive and in-depth idea about the Penetration Testing Certification courses. Are you looking at enrolling at a renowned university in the world for a course in Penetration testing? Allow Leverage Edu experts to assist you.

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