Ethical Hacking Certificate

Become the first line of defense against malicious hackers by identifying network security gaps and system vulnerabilities through penetration testing. Pursue the Ethical Hacking certificate to become a white hat hacker capable of penetration testing for cyber weaknesses, auditing the strength of your organization’s cyber infrastructure and protecting against security threats. 


Ethical Hacking Certificate Overview

The rate of global cybercrime is climbing, and companies need to implement proactive security measures to prevent data breaches, intrusions by malicious hackers, malware installation and more. With the Ethical Hacking certificate, you can provide the first line of defense against cyber security threats by learning hacking tools to identify vulnerabilities in networks, systems, web applications and databases.

Over the course of the 14-week, 100% online Ethical Hacking certificate program, you’ll learn to think like an adversary and act like a white hat, or ethical hacker, from wherever you are. Using Haiku Pro, a full network training lab environment, you will master hacking tools to perform penetration tests that audit the strengths and weaknesses of systems, networks, services and web applications, while identifying security measures to protect against cyber threats. 



100% Online

Estimated Time to Complete

14 Weeks*

*Students have up to one year to complete the certificate from the time of registration.

Tuition: $5,000 with a 10% discount if you pay in full


Eric Nielsen

Career Projections



Projected employment growth for information security analysts by 2030 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)



For ethical hackers in the U.S. (Payscale, 2022)



Projected number of unfilled cyber security jobs globally by 2025 (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2021)

Certificate Outcomes

Our 100% online ethical hacking courses offer the hands-on cyber security training you need to protect your organization’s infrastructure from malicious hackers. You will learn how to use various hacking tools to test networks and websites for vulnerabilities, perform password cracking and identify phishing attacks. Over the course of 14 weeks, the Ethical Hacking certificate program will prepare you to: 

  • Articulate the required planning and preparation for a penetration test.
  • Identify the difference between passive and active reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning.
  • Articulate how to research attack vectors and execute network attacks.
  • Articulate wireless attack methods, specific wireless attacks and their appropriate application.
  • Identify application attack vectors.
  • Articulate attacks against cloud technologies, specifically account takeover, credential harvesting and privilege escalation.
  • Complete various cyber range exercises.
  • Articulate components of written penetration test reports, including appropriate recommendations and post-delivery activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

The EC-Council’s C|EH credential is one of several ethical hacking certifications that validate professionals’ knowledge and experience in this cyber security specialty. SDSU’s Cyber Tech Academy Ethical Hacking certificate curriculum is mapped to the C|EH, Pentest+ and OSCP certifications and prepares students to take the relevant exams, but students schedule and pay for certification exams on their own.

A penetration tester, or pen tester, takes an offensive lens to cyber security by simulating a cyber attack to identify weaknesses in the security infrastructure. Penetration testers are considered white hats, or ethical hackers, because they perform authorized probes into a network, system or web application to flag vulnerabilities, whereas malicious hackers break into IT infrastructure with the goal of disabling systems or stealing information.

SDSU’s Cyber Tech Academy offers you the option to train as an ethical hacker from wherever you are, with fully remote instruction and academic support from active practitioners. You can complete hands-on ethical hacker training in as few as 14 weeks through the Ethical Hacking certificate.

If you are motivated to quickly learn the top ethical hacking tools and skills, SDSU offers an Ethical Hacking certificate program you can complete in as few as 14 weeks. Students interested in completing their ethical hacking coursework in 14 weeks should be prepared to commit approximately 20 hours per week to modules, assignments and assessments.

When you study ethical hacking online through the Cyber Tech Academy at SDSU, you can complete your certificate from wherever you are. Our Ethical Hacking certificate allows you to learn from active practitioners and master ethical hacking tools 100% online.

Practicing ethical hacking can be challenging, but there are many tools and test environments available to aspiring white hat hackers.

As a San Diego State University Cyber Tech Academy student, you will learn and refine your skills in Haiku Pro, an online lab environment similar to a flight simulator for hacking. Ethical Hacking students receive a six-month Haiku Pro license as part of their enrollment, which allows for continued practice after completing the Ethical Hacking certificate.

As you continue to develop your ethical hacking skills, Capture the Flag (CTF) tournaments and intentionally vulnerable websites offer ways to ethically practice white hat hacking in the wild.

Professionals who study ethical hacking hold titles such as penetration tester, security analyst, ethical hacker and application security architect. The jobs you qualify for after earning San Diego State University Cyber Tech Academy’s Ethical Hacking certificate will be determined by your academic background and career experience.

While programming skills are not required to complete penetration tests, many ethical hackers benefit from a strong foundation in languages like Python and SQL.

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Bachelor’s degree or work equivalent required.
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