Ethical hackers find flaws in a company’s software to prevent possible cyberattacks. They are analyzers, innovators and thrill-seekers who secure IT systems and expose vulnerabilities that can then be improved or patched up.
They attempt to hack security systems and determine what parts of the system are vulnerable to attack. They compile penetration test reports and make recommendations about how to improve the system’s security by upgrading computer hardware or software. Ethical hackers need to have advanced technical knowledge in networking systems and security software, as well as have good written and verbal communication skills.
The best ethical (or “white hat”) hackers are very sought after by companies with intense needs for secure systems and records. Salaries for paid interns start around $34,582 yearly, but the average salary for an ethical hacker is around $119,289. A bachelor’s in computer science or information technology plus a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is generally required. Jobs for ethical hackers are expected to grow 31% by 2029.