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Considering a career as a penetration tester? With the rise of AI, there’s never been a better time to become penetration tester, especially if you’re interested in protecting digital assets and online spaces. Here’s our guide on what you need to become a penetration tester and how you can get there with online study. 

What is a Penetration Tester? 

A penetration tester, often called a pen tester, is someone who checks and evaluates the security of computer systems, networks, and apps. They use various methods to find weaknesses by simulating attacks that harmful hackers might use. Their main goal is to find these security gaps before they are exploited, helping to keep the system and its data safe.

Penetration Tester Vs Ethical Hacker 

  • Penetration testers have a more targeted approach, focusing on evaluating the security of specific components or areas of an information system. Their work is guided by a well-defined scope document that outlines the boundaries and objectives of the testing.
  • Ethical hackers take a more comprehensive and unrestricted approach. They simulate a wide range of cyberattacks on the entire system. Ethical hackers are not limited by a specific scope, allowing them to explore and uncover vulnerabilities across the entire IT infrastructure.

Day in the Life of a Penetration Tester 

For an penetration tester in Australia, a typical day might include:

  • Scanning and Testing: Running scans of networks and applications to spot vulnerabilities.
  • Research and Planning: Staying current with the latest security trends, threats, and tools.
  • Reporting: Writing reports on findings and recommending ways to make systems more secure.
  • Collaboration: Teaming up with cyber security teams to put security improvements in place.

Penetration Tester Skills 

A career as an penetration tester involves a blend of soft skills (skills you likely already have) and hard skills (skills you’d learn through an online course in cyber security). 

Penetration Tester Soft Skills

  • Analytical Thinking: Methodically think through problems and break down complex information to find vulnerabilities.
  • Communication: Clearly explain technical details and security risks to non-technical stakeholders.
  • Problem-Solving: Quickly find solutions to security issues that arise during testing.
  • Attention to Detail: Notice small anomalies that could indicate security weaknesses in systems.
  • Team Collaboration: Work effectively within cybersecurity teams and with other departments to ensure comprehensive security strategies.
  • Ethical Judgement: Make decisions that adhere to legal and ethical standards in security testing. 

Hard Skills for Penetration Tester

These are the types of skills you’d learn from undertaking a cyber security course.  

  • Deep understanding of networks, operating systems, and programming.
  • Proficient in tools and techniques for ethical hacking, such as Metasploit or Burp Suite.
  • Ability to perform and automate regular checks for vulnerabilities in systems and applications.
  • Familiar with frameworks such as OWASP for web applications and others for different types of systems.
  • Understanding of how encryption and hashing functions work to secure data.
  • Skills in securing networks against various types of attacks, including intrusion detection and prevention.
  • Ability to write scripts in languages like Python, Bash, or PowerShell to automate testing processes.

Penetration Tester Salary (2024) 

According to Australian Labour Market Insights, Software and Applications Programmers (the umbrella industry a penetration tester works in) can earn an annual salary of $114, 816.

Penetration Tester Employment Outlook

Jobs & Skills Australia shows the employment outlook for penetration testers is expected to grow strongly, with the number of workers likely to reach 198,400 by 2026. This means there’s never been a better time to upskill, or switch careers to become a penetration tester. 

How to Become a Penetration Tester  

If you're interested in becoming a penetration tester in Australia, there are several ways to get started, and online learning offers flexible options. 

Start Your Penetration Tester Course Today  

If you're passionate about making a positive impact in the world of cybersecurity, pursuing a career as a penetration tester could be a perfect fit. Here’s why choosing to study online with us is step in the right direction: 

Why Study Online with Us?

  • Flexibility: Tailor your learning schedule to fit around your life commitments, allowing you to study at your own pace.
  • Practical, Job-Ready Skills: Gain the hands-on skills that are essential for launching a successful career as a penetration tester.
  • Accessibility: Access your courses from anywhere, at any time, using any device. All you need is an internet connection!
  • Learn from Industry Experts: Receive guidance and insights from seasoned penetration testers, ensuring you learn the practical skills and techniques used in the industry today.

With the proper training and a proactive approach to your studies, you can begin a career that not only challenges you intellectually but also plays a vital role in safeguarding digital assets and privacy. Start your penetration tester journey today with our comprehensive cyber security online courses.

Cyber Security Fundamentals Info Pack Download

If you have additional questions about our AI, Cyber & Software courses or our full range of courses that cover more than 20 different professional industries: 

Related Courses & Roles 

If you have a genuine passion for the AI, Cyber & Software industry, here are some related courses to check out:

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