It’s no surprise that with the rise of cybercrime has come the higher demand for ethical hackers which in turn, creates more online courses for people to accomplish.

One of the bigger problems with taking an online course is the reputation of the website offering the course itself. There’s times you have to question yourself as to whether the course you’re taking will even provide any value towards you getting the job that you want. 

This is where due diligence comes into play, a reputable company offering the course will be more credible to have a certificate from than a company that started out a week ago and is offering courses at dirt cheap prices.

For reference as to what skills you should acquire on your venture into Cyber Security, refer to our previous post about how to conduct penetration testing.

In this article we will document the best pen testing courses you can find on the internet today. This list is our personal recommendation for courses to take and this list is not exclusive. You can find plenty of others available online.

Let’s dive right in shall we?

penetration testing course free

Pen testing is a crucial aspect for most businesses due to it helping them to identify threats and loopsholes that exist in their present security protocols. Considering the much higher demand for cybersecurity experts within the industry, many people are now willing to learn pen testing as a better option for a future carreer.

A lot of people cannot afford to get a degree or to pay for more in-depth courses and with many organisations accepting demonstrable ability as a passing factor, it’s no surprise that people are taking to free pen testing courses to learn the tricks of the trade.

IBM penetration testing course is a free course that provides the foundation for acquiring Cybersecurity skills as part of the Cybersecurity Security Analyst Professional Certificate programme.

You will learn about the many stages of penetration testing, how to collect data for your penetration test, and prominent penetration testing tools. You will also learn the phases of an incident response, crucial paperwork to gather, and the components of an incident response policy and team. Finally, you’ll learn about critical milestones in the forensic process as well as critical data to gather.

Pen testing Qualifications

A qualification isn’t necessarily required in order to become a pen tester, though it will help if you already possess some sort of computer science/computer security-related degree; it’s not a requirement at all.

There are many pen testers working within the industry that found their roles through unconventional methods and some of them don’t even hold any degree. If you have the ability to self motivate yourself enough it is possible to learn everything you need to know online and then apply it practically.

If you can then demonstrate your ability to an employer, you may even find yourself to be a preferred applicant to someone who holds a degree as you have had practical experience within the field.

pen tester Certifications

Offensive Security Certifications

Cost: £320-£1500

Okay so this one is a bit of a cheat, in which it is not actually one specific course but more a certification provider. Offensive Security is widely renowned within the cybersecurity industry and almost every organization will recognise it.

These certification courses are not designed to be easy, nor are they for beginners and are set out to challenge pen testers in their craft to the extremest levels, with the reward being the ability to brag at having completed it.

The available pen-200 certification will set you back around $800 but this course will teach and test you on a numerous amount of skills and is considered to be the foundational course available at offensive security. 

The course itself is self-paced and introduces students to pen testing skills via hands-on experience, not only training skill but also the mindset needed to survive in this industry.


Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch – Udemy


Second on our list comes this ethical hacking course on popular course platform Udemy. This course has been noted by many professionals as being a solid foundation for beginners to learn to enhance their skills.

This course will teach you from absolute beginner to high/intermediate level of ethical hacking. You will learn the fundamentals, how to install a hacking lab and required software. You will gain an understanding of how websites work and how to exploit web applications. 

There are plenty of other things to learn from this course, with more advanced options being offered by the same user once you have completed these.

If the price is too much for you, don’t worry! Udemy usually has sales all the time, at the time of writing this, the course is on offer for only £19.99. So if you are on a budget, you can wait until a striking offer appears.

Introduction to Cyber Security – Codeacademy

Free – With Codeacademy pro

Finally on our list is the introduction to cyber security course offered by Codeacademy. Codeacademy have been around for a very long time now, starting off once as a simple platform for people to learn to code interactively, it has now span into more than that.

This course will teach you the basic concepts needed in order to identify and protect yourself against common cyber attacks, whilst also developing your understanding of the principles and policies typical within the industry. You’ll also learn about commonly used techniques and other security fundamentals. 

The course should only take 6 hours to complete, with a certification being given to any user of Codeacademy pro. A course worth taking for beginners to dip their toes into the water a little bit.

In conclusion

This article aimed to give beginners as well as slightly more experienced pen testers an idea of certifications and courses they can take to broaden their knowledge and horizons within the cyber security industry.

Connie Cole
Connie Cole

Connie has been working within the cyber security industry for almost 10 years now, specialising in penetration testing or more specifically web application pen testing. She believes that everyone online should have access to this information and strives to provide people with the knowledge they need to begin within the industry and for others to stay safe online.

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