15+ Best Ethical Hacking Courses & Certifications in 2023

ethical hacking courses

Can you become an ethical hacker without a college degree?

As an ethical hacker, the most important part of your job is being prepared to handle ever-changing hacking attacks and techniques. Doing that entails massive amounts of research to stay on top of the latest hacking tools and methodologies, as new malware continually makes an entry every day.

The best ethical hacking courses and certifications online are a great place to start if you’d like to become an ethical hacker and launch a successful career in this field.

With proven knowledge and techniques covering emerging trends in cyber security, these courses are an excellent option to increase your hacking versatility and bolster your resume as well, preparing you for the best ethical hacker jobs today.

They are also ideal if you’d simply like to secure your PC and personal networks but not necessarily become a certified ethical hacker.

In this article, I’ll be taking you through the best ethical hacking courses and certifications for complete beginners online to make you an exception white hat hacker. 

Let’s get started. 

1. How to Become an Ethical Hacker | Zero To Mastery
2. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate | Coursera 
3. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics | Coursera 
4. Learning Ethical Hacking From Scratch Training Course | Udemy 
5. The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced | Udemy 
6. Website Hacking / Penetration Testing & Bug Bounty Hunting | Udemy 
7. Complete Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Masterclass | Udemy  
8. Penetration Testing – Discovering Vulnerabilities | edX 
9. The Future of Network Security and Defence | FutureLearn  
10. Hacking Web Servers and Web Applications | LinkedIn Learning 
11. Ethical Hacking: Hacking Databases | Tutorialspoint 
12. Preventing SQL Injection, XSS, & CSRF Attacks | Codecademy 
13. Learn How To Secure Java Web Applications | Pluralsight 
14. Ethical Hacking Course & Training | Udacity 
15. Ethical Hacking Certification Training Online | Edureka 

1. Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch [Udemy] 

If you’re intrigued by ethical hacking on Kali Linux and would like to start right from the prologue, this is the best ethical hacking course on Udemy for you.

By taking this course, you’ll learn ethical hacking on a huge variety of tools including SQL map, Aircrack-ng, and Metasploit among 30 other platforms, ensuring you’ll be familiar with many industry-standard tools.

Since this ethical hacking course was recently updated, it covers new technologies used by black hat hackers, so you can adapt to finding undetectable malware. So you’ll acquire the very skills you need to launch a career as a white hat hacker.

In addition to that, help is readily available when you need it, making this the best way to learn ethical hacking online for support. The instructor is active in the comment sections and typically replies within a day.

You may need to purchase an additional web hosting plan for the lesson on learning how to send spoof emails. However, such a plan is only $5 and this topic spans just two of over 140 lecturers.

2. Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks [Coursera]

Do your priorities lie with cyber security? 

For basic system concepts, tools, and terminologies in cyber security, this class has all you need to get started with the fundamentals of ethical hacking

In this ethical hacker training, you’ll learn a vast number of cyber security topics, from its history to the future, which is all built on practical knowledge paired with excellent exercises throughout. 

Penetration testing and what tools to use to better identify vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit in your systems is part of what you’ll learn in this course on how to become an ethical hacker without a college degree.

IT governance and best practices, among other key security concepts, to ensure better incident response policies.  

Unfortunately, the video and audio quality isn’t consistent throughout. Nonetheless, the occasional drop isn’t enough to deter this hacking course on Coursera from still being a great way to learn cyber security introduction. 

3. Ethical Hacking: Introduction to Ethical Hacking [LinkedIn Learning] 

How do you launch a career in ethical hacking?

In this LinkedIn Learning training for hackers, you’ll get to learn all about what ethical hacking entails and how to get started with it as a full-time career. 

It is one of the best ethical hacking courses online if you’d like to get certified. That’s because it is part of the EC-Council CEH exam specialization. Moreover, you also get continuing education units for the CompTIA security+ for cyber security certification. 

Besides, it is a well-updated course outline that has removed old technologies. These have since been replaced with newer versions to ensure you tap into the latest ethical hacking trends so that you can attract a certified ethical hacking salary.

Unfortunately, this class builds on basic knowledge of networking concepts and terms. It is still an amazing way to learn ethical hacking online because the instructor support is great. You can have all your questions answered by the instructor in good time.

4. The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced! [Udemy]

This course offers penetration testing on Kali Linux, and also covers how you can transition from a beginner into a successful ethical hacker career, without needing a college degree.

In this online training, you’ll learn about the opportunities available to you after the course, including freelance jobs and corporate positions, beating out many of the best ethical hacking courses on Udemy in terms of support.

It offers a complete guide on using various penetration testing tools and building a virtual hacking environment on Virtual Box, while also sharing anonymity tips to safeguard your identity from adversaries.

The course also offers instructions for Mac as well. It is therefore the best ethical hacking course online in terms of diversity as most others concentrate exclusively on Linux OS.

However, the instructor often does the troubleshooting live which can be a little time-consuming. Nonetheless, this makes for effective teaching on common penetration testing errors you’ll deal with in a non-ideal environment.

5. Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities [Coursera] 

For a focus on securing enterprise databases, this ethical hacking class is a good choice for learning database security from the standpoint of a white hat ethical hacker. 

In this course, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of LAN, ethernet, and TCP/IP Framework. This way you’ll better understand the essential components of network security for a hacking career.

This is one of the best ethical hacking courses online due to plenty of useful links to additional study material.  

Along the course, you’ll also learn database management best practices for better data security. This is further reinforced by a review of a real-life use case featuring IBM Security Guardium.

However, the audio quality isn’t great, especially in the database topics. The good news is that you can comfortably get by in these sections with subtitles and successfully learn how to become an ethical hacker from scratch.

6. Ethical Hacking: System Hacking [LinkedIn Learning]

Is system hacking your field of preference? 

If so, you’ll find that this is a wonderful tutorial on how hackers break into individual network computers. 

By taking this ethical hacking course on LinkedIn Learning, you’ll learn the primary techniques of system hacking such as keylogging, privilege escalation, and password cracking. As a result, you’ll be able to draft appropriate countermeasures. 

You’ll also be able to generate rainbow tables and detect steganography so you can identify malicious payloads often smuggled past firewalls by hackers. 

So after completing the course, you’ll know how to identify and deal with spyware concealed within a cell phone. This can be a challenging topic, but the excellent instructor support makes it easy to learn and is another reason this is the best ethical hacking course online. 

Being only one aspect of the larger ethical hacking series, you may feel that this course builds on earlier concepts. Luckily, you can get right into this class as you can have any concerns answered by the instructor promptly in the Q&A.

7. Website Hacking/ Penetration Testing & Bug Bounty Hunting [Udemy]

If you’d like to generate an income off bug bounty hunting, this is the best ethical hacking course for beginners to equip you with the right knowledge to track down an assortment of web app vulnerabilities.

In this online training, you’ll acquire an overview of SQL injection attacks, among other OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities like XSS, including how to get around them for better PII protection.

You’ll also get to set up your hacking lab and accompanying software across three platforms namely, Linux, OS X, and Windows, therefore increasing your penetrating testing versatility, which is key if you are looking for how to become a professional hacker today.

Lastly, you’ll also learn how to use the BeEF framework for more browser-based vulnerability analysis.

The audio quality isn’t the best in a few of the videos but the captions and transcripts are a big help. So you won’t miss any bit of information when the audio dips, which isn’t too often anyway.

8. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics [Coursera]

How can you become a certified ethical hacker?

If you’d like a professional certification in ethical hacking, then this is the best ethical hacking course online to take. In this Coursera certification, you’ll learn ethical hacking while also working toward the professional cyber security analyst certificate by IBM.

Along this training program, you’ll learn penetration testing and digital forensics taught by different instructors, who approach these topics from unique angles and experience points. As a result, the teaching style is interactive and engaging.

You’ll also be exposed to an excellent depth of additional resources around what hacking tools to use and articles to read up on. These reference materials make this a great way to learn ethical hacking online, even if you are a complete beginner. 

Lasty, you’ll do an analysis of the best ethical hacking programming languages and more specifically, Python scripting. This way you’ll better understand how malware is made so you defend against it.

This class could do with more graded hands-on labs for more effective learning. That said, it still offers additional resources to test your practical knowledge so it’s a nice compromise for hands-on assignments. 

9. Ethical Hacking: Wireless Networks [LinkedIn Learning]

What threats are you exposed to on public Wi-Fi? 

This is the perfect hacking class online to get answers on Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, and how you can use the latest techniques and tools to counter and even prevent attacks on these networks.

During this LinkedIn Learning course, you’ll learn how to use Wireshark, Ekahau, and Acrylic tools on Linux and Windows to scan for vulnerabilities. 

There are also a lot of testing exercises on Wi-Fi sniffing and heat mapping, making this the best ethical hacking course online if you are looking for how to get into ethical hacking. 

In addition to that, you’ll also discover how to harvest connections with an evil twin, so you’ll be able to better protect personally identifiable information. 

The latest version of Reaver comes with a few bugs, so you may have a hard time running some of the exercises for this tool. On the plus side, you can easily clone an older version from Github to avoid these bugs. 

10. Complete Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Masterclass Course [Udemy]

This is among the best ethical hacking courses on Udemy for both ethical hacking and cyber security as a whole, on windows 7 through 10.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to write your own ethical hacking tools using C, Java, and Python programming, which is really great because many other courses only demonstrate how to use existing tools.

You’ll also gain a deeper insight into passive footprint techniques, i.e. where you often leave your digital trail behind without knowing it. This helps you keep your guard up as a penetration tester. Configure and use Burp Suite, which is popular for its cross-platform versatility. Consequently, you’ll become the ultimate bug-bounty hunter.

Some of the techniques, particularly around Windows 7 attackers, are outdated. Fortunately, it is still among the best ethical hacking courses online as the course makes up for it by also featuring the latest versions of the OS.

11. Hacking and Patching [Coursera]

For an excellent patching tutorial on how to fix loopholes often exploited by hackers in various software, you’ll find that this Coursera course covers all the essentials. 

In this white-hat hacker training online, you’ll learn how to patch web apps using SQL parameter binding and input validation. This makes it the best ethical hacking course on Coursera for handling SQL injection attacks. 

You’ll also use Metasploit Framework to hack into Windows OS, which helps in countering common hacking methodologies. 

This hacker training is taught by an experienced professor with great working knowledge to bring to the table. He has two US patents to his name and offers a simple teaching style for complex internet security concepts. 

The instructor’s accent can be a little challenging to comprehend at first but it gets better over time. Overall, the audio clarity is great so you should have no trouble keeping up. 

12. Ethical Hacking: Cryptography [LinkedIn Learning]

Would you like to learn about cryptography? 

This modern course on cryptography is best placed to show you how top organizations protect data and how you can do the same. It is The best ethical hacking course online for breaking down a complex topic into approachable segments on cryptography principles. 

Along this online hacking class, you’ll learn about public key infrastructure and digital certificates which are used to send data securely over the internet. 

You’ll also get to understand common types of cryptographic attacks and the different types of ciphers that help identify and even prevent such attacks. 

In the sixth chapter quiz and the second question on transport layer security, there are multiple correct answers applicable although the course only accepts asymmetric algorithms. Other than that, it is still one of the best ways to learn ethical hacking from scratch online as most of the course exercises are coherent. 

13. Hacking in Practice: Intensive Ethical Hacking MEGA Course [Udemy]

What are the steps to becoming an ethical hacker?

If you’d like a comprehensive course on ethical hacking that concentrates on advanced hacking techniques, this is among the best ethical hacking courses on Udemy for you.

In this Udemy ethical hacking course, you’ll uncover IT cyber security trends and myths dominating ethical hacking in 2023. So you can rest assured you’re learning some of the latest security mechanisms.

So you’ll make progress on your ISA CISS certification examination, with a complimentary voucher available after completion. It is therefore a great ethical hacking certification course online for complete beginners.

Finally, you’ll learn how to make the most of Wireshark in terms of scrutinizing every discrepancy in network security to pick out suspicious transactions before they cause harm.

With over 27 hours of course content to go through, spanning multiple topics, this is a top certification for ethical hacking training for comprehensiveness, but it can be overwhelming if you’re a beginner. That said, it packs powerful information from the most effective ethical hacking techniques thereby offering great value.

14. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate [Coursera]

This IMB specialization will get you ready for the cyber security job market so that you can earn a great white hat hacker salary that most wannabe hackers dream of.

By taking this course, you’ll get to analyze real-world cybersecurity case studies. This makes it a great online training especially if you are a security analyst who’d like to learn about practical digital forensics.

It is an 8-course specialization that features tools like IBM Security QRadar, IBM MaasS360, and other top ethical hacking tools used by leading companies today. You also get excellent explanations on managing secure enterprise environments, with regard to GDPR and SOX compliance. 

In the section on cyber security compliance framework, you may find that there are few demonstrations. On the other hand, the theoretical background is expounded on with labs in other courses in the specialization.

I recommend this hacking training program online if are preparing for the professional IBM analyst certification. 

15. Ethical Hacking: Hacking Web Servers and Web Applications [LinkedIn Learning]

If securing websites and web applications is your top priority, this is one of the few ethical hacking training programs online that’ll give you the knowledge you seek. 

In this course, you’ll get an introduction to OWASP. This offers an excellent developer forum for support on tools, emerging malware, and essential documentation. This is among the best ethical hacking courses online for detecting and fixing SQL injections.  

Besides, you’ll also cover web testing with Burp Suite and WebGoat. Consequently, you’ll be able to test Java-based applications for vulnerabilities. 

Some of the download sites used don’t have an SSL certificate so you may wonder if it is the best ethical hacking course on LinkedIn Learning as far as safety goes. However, there’s nothing to worry about as the sample websites have been tested by the instructor beforehand and are safe for use. 


Are you wondering how to get into ethical hacking? 

In the fight against black hat hackers, the best way to ensure safety is by staying informed about rapidly evolving hacking threats. To do that, you may need to tap into some of the best ethical hacking courses for complete beginners online. 

If you’d like to cast your net wide and learn multiple ethical hacking technologies at once, you may want to try the Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch [Udemy] starter course. It features up to 30 ethical hacking tools from Metasploit to SQL map. 

Conversely, if you’d prefer to concentrate on a smaller range of tools first, the Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks [Coursera] is an excellent choice. 

Here, you’ll master a few of the best ethical hacking tools in use today, and a couple of key security concepts. 

Lerma Gray

Lerma is our expert in online education with over a decade of experience. Specializing in e-learning and e-courses. She has reviewed several online training courses and enjoys reviewing e-learning platforms for individuals and organizations.

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