What do ethical hackers do?
Ethical hackers are a specific breed of information security professionals who primarily use a technique called penetration testing. And while "penetration testing" sounds like how an MIT grad would phrase a game of "just the tip," it's really a way to check for flaws in a computer system's cyber security. We won't get into too much more of the technical mumbo-jumbo, but just know that even a basic understanding of hacking will better prepare you to protect yourself. You can learn the fundamentals with online resources like this Certified White-Hat Hacker & Penetration Testing Course, and then laugh at the suckers who try to jack your info.
"Not today, SatanLoLz420YOLO. Not today."
What kind of salary can you expect?
If you choose to make internet security your career, it can be extremely lucrative. Ethical hackers can expect to make between $60K and $100K annually, with more experienced professionals making nearly $130K. You can buy a lot of Joe's Discount Pizza with that kind of money. And pet meds, too.
Can you have this career without a degree?
Absolutely! Although there are university degree programs available, getting into ethical hacking only requires proper training and experience. Even former criminal hackers can un-Grinch and help return all the stolen presents. (We expect TNT to pick up this premise any day now.) All you need are the following certifications: