Udacity Ethical Hacker Nanodegree Review
These days, companies need a way to stay safe while online. From collecting data to processing payments and more, they are doing more and more online. While it’s making things run more smoothly, it’s creating the need for more advanced security, one that can keep data safe. That’s why companies turn to ethical hackers, seeing if they can hack the system and let them in on improvements that they can make to their security to optimize safety. That’s where ethical hackers can come in and save the day, providing businesses with a look at their cyber safety and how they can make improvements.
If you’re looking for the skills needed to break into the field, Udacity’s Ethical Hacker Nanodegree promises to deliver. They do offer an in-depth curriculum along with extras that make them a good choice for scoring the skills but, is it worth it? In this review, we’ll take a look at the course and all it has to offer, helping you decide if it’s a good choice for you and your goals. Before we get to the specifics, let’s take a look at Udacity.
Udacity is an online academy that got its start from humble means. After realizing the opportunity and the information surrounding IT, two Stanford University professors got to work, creating their first online courses. It didn’t take long for students, educators, and IT companies to catch on, teaming up with the academy in the creation of certification courses. Nowadays, you can find courses on all kinds of topics and nanodegree programs to score more in-depth information. The academy has teamed up with several big names and has grown to one of the best places to learn IT online.
When you sign up for a nanodegree, you score several perks. These are perhaps the reason why Udacity is on the map, including extras you can put to use both during and after the course. Udacity’s nanodegree extras include:
One of the best things about Udacity is that you can choose when you learn. Log in anytime day or night, taking the course and finishing at your own pace. You will have to keep projects in mind but, the rest is totally up to you and your time.
Included in each course are hands-on projects meant to check for understanding. You’ll find these sprinkled throughout the course, some of them tacked on to the very end to test all of your knowledge with on a final project. If that weren’t enough, these projects are created in collaboration with some of the top companies in IT, giving learners a step above the competition.
Just in case anything goes wrong while you’re logged in and learning, you’ll have a technical mentor by your side. Ask them questions and clear up doubt any time day or night.
Connect with other learners that are interested in IT topics, making connections before you ever step into the field. This is a good place to share ideas, get help, and support one another, keeping on track and keeping motivated.
One of the most useful perks is the chance to score a session with a career professional. Clean up your resume, work on your portfolio, and even schedule a mock interview to shake away the nerves before your big day. After you’re done, you’ll have a competitive edge over all the other candidates, standing out and getting a call back for sure.
On top of all the great things that come along with a nanodegree, Udacity also searches far and wide for their instructors, looking for those with impressive academic and professional backgrounds. Not only will they share their knowledge but also some of their experience as advice that will help before you break into the field.
Speaking of instructors, we’d like to introduce you to those for the Ethical Hacker Nanodegree. Together, they have decades of experience and each of them has started their own company. The instructors for this course are:
Sagar has worked for years in the field of security, working alongside businesses to help them develop better strategies to keep their systems safe. He’s not only published works but also worked as a consultant, speaker, and instructor for the topic. From government workers to work in the field, he’s done it all.
Paul founded his own professional IT service, where he and his crew help spot and mitigate risks and vulnerabilities. His solutions are perfect for companies and government entities, strong enough to keep the most sensitive information safe. You’ll score a ton of great information from Paul, including the business side of things.
If you feel like you’ve got what it takes, you can sign up without an initial test. You can pick up the knowledge as you go, starting from the basics and foundations that you need to learn more complex topics. However, to make sure you can keep up with the curriculum and not have to spend too much time digging, Udacity recommends that students have the following under their belt:
- Experience with Linux commands
- The basics of networking
- The ideas of encryptions and hashing
- A good grasp on at least one programming language
- Knowledge of Windows OS
This course is all about the basics of ethical hacking. Included is an introduction of all of the major concepts you’ll need to understand followed by techniques used by professionals in the business today. This course includes two sections, both of which feature a small project to score hands-on experience while you learn. The sections include:
Intro to Ethical Hacking
This section is all about getting learners acquainted with the most up-to-date techniques and concepts of ethical hacking. Not only will you see what they do in their daily roles but also learn how they do it. By the end, you’ll have a well-rounded idea and get to test your new knowledge with help from a project.
Project: Audit ExampleCorp
Start off by auditing ExampleCorp, a company created for the purposes of this project. You’ll see how the concepts you learned in the first section apply to businesses and corporations today, taking a look at all of the key elements in ethical hacking.
Penetration Testing & Red Teaming Operations
One of the key parts of finding vulnerabilities in companies is penetration testing. See how these tests can help to reveal vulnerabilities in security and help you and your team develop strategies that can better protect your system.
Project: Red Teaming Operations
Using another example company, you’ll put your new skills to the test, looking at the overall security of a system. Once vulnerabilities are identified, you’ll document them and work toward developing strategies to mitigate them and stop them from happening, and permitting access to cyber attackers.
The course has two sections, both of which have projects attached to them. Udacity estimates that, at just 5 to 10 hours per week, learners can have this course done in two months. Two months is just Udacity’s estimate and you still have the option to take your time and take as long as you want. While you can take advantage of Udacity’s flexible learning perk, you might not want to take too long, especially learning about the price.
When it comes to the course cost, you have a few options to take care of it. Because the course comes with access to curriculum and perks, Udacity charges a per month price, letting learners choose their preferred way to pay. Udacity’s two ways to pay include:
Pay as you go
With this deal, you really can take as long as you like. You’ll get a change per month, where you’ll have access to curriculum and extras as long as you pay. If you take this option, it’s $359 per month, which can surely add up.
For a bit of a discount, Udacity also offers a deal where you can pay all at once. If you choose this option, you can enjoy a 15% discount plus get your payment out of the way.
Both are great deals and each one has its reason why it could be better for you. If you feel that you can get the course done in less than two months then paying as you go comes with a sweeter deal. If not, take the discount and enjoy a smoother ride.
This is a new course on the list of Udacity’s nanodegrees and doesn’t yet have a lot of reviews. We’ve included a look at other courses that are similar and some opinions about the course overall to help you get an idea of what you can expect.
“Courses are taught by leading researchers in each area (i.e., true experts). Method of teaching is effective as it “breaks down” complex topics in a manner that should be more understandable. Deadlines and the process of getting you there help put the pressure to keep you on track and help you meet your goals. Projects are interesting and quite challenging.” – Shubho G.
“I love its interface, it is simple and very easy to use, besides the platform itself is very well developed, I have never had any problem with the tools it makes available to me. The audio quality and video resolution offered by the classes are amazing, the quality is perfect.I also like that you find many free courses, that’s how I started and it was one of the best things that have happened to me.” Andrea D.
“The most helpful part in the overall learning experience is the Projects. Working on projects as well as the necessary documentation in the Jupyter notebook helps to understand the theoretical concepts, which you go through in the lectures, properly.” – Ranjit T.
Apart from learning, it’s also important to take a look at the job market. When it comes to ethically breach a system and measuring the risk a company could face, there will surely be a growing need for professionals that can help. According to an analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand is expected to rise, growing up to 31%. That means that there will be a lot more jobs to fill, leaving a great opportunity for those that have the skills. There are more companies turning to the world wide web to make things run more efficiently, creating a need for iron-clad security.
As far as salary, the average in the United States was recorded as $100,660. When you’re first starting out, you can expect a salary of around $80,000 and up depending on your expertise and job. Just like many other tech jobs, that as an ethical hacker gets higher as experience and expertise get higher. Climbing the ladder of a company and gaining trust, your paychecks will start looking really nice, increasing along with the need for a risk assessment.
After taking a look at Udacity and all that it has to offer, you’re only left to decide if it’s worth it. When you sign up for a course with Udacity, you can not only enjoy the curriculum but, take advantage of the extras which include:
- Flexible learning
- Career prep
- In-course real-world projects
- In-depth curriculum
- A-list instructors
Not only do you get a ton of extras but, you’re learning from instructors that have professional and academic experience. Add that to the fact that there is a sure demand in the field, and you’ve got an equation for success. Deciding to take the course, you’ll have the skills you need to break into the field and start working with a top company in IT. Plus, with an academy like Udacity, finding a job is not too difficult, as many companies know that they prep their learners for success.