Ethical Hacking Course: Subjects and Syllabus

With the world increasingly foraying into the digital realm, cybersecurity has become a priority for all, from businesses, organisations, and governments to individuals. Among the many arenas within cybersecurity, ethical hacking has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors in the IT industry, thus making it one of the most sought-after careers. At such a juncture, ethical hacking courses give you the boost needed to start your career as an ethical hacker. 

Ethical hacking students delve into identifying vulnerabilities, curating defences, and apprehending potential breaches. With the help of hands-on practice, ethical hacking courses foster a new generation of experts adept at countering cyber security threats. 

If you, too, want to pursue ethical hacking courses and kickstart your career but are unsure where to start, you are at the right place. This blog offers a roadmap into the what and how of ethical hacking courses perfect for beginners. 

What Does Ethical Hacking Mean?

Ethical hacking is a technology-focused course that educates students about systematically probing computer systems with authorisation. It delves into exploiting system vulnerabilities for constructive purposes. Esteemed firms often seek ethical hackers to enhance security and access sensitive data. 

Aspiring ethical hackers can pursue B.Tech., M.Tech, B.Sc., and M.Sc. degrees. Both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are available. Bachelor’s entry usually requires a 10+2 qualification, with admission depending upon the entrance exam performance. Postgraduate studies require a prior bachelor’s degree. 

Key Features of Ethical Hacking Courses

Here are the key features of an ethical hacking course:

Degrees conferred B.Sc., B.Tech., M.Sc., M.Tech.
Eligibility Undergraduate, 10+2

Postgraduation, Undergraduate degree

Admission procedure Undergraduate, Entrance Exam/ Cut-off

Postgraduation, Entrance Exam/ Cut-off

Noteworthy exams to take Undergraduate:



  • GATE
Career prospects  Ethical Hacker, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Manager, Security Consultant
Average annual salary INR 7.29 LPA

Courses with Specialised Focus

Numerous programmes provide comprehensive training in ethical hacking, assuring students a promising future with ample opportunities. Prospective applicants should carefully assess the ethical hacking eligibility criteria. Some specialised courses include:

  • B.Tech in Cybersecurity
  • B.Sc. in Networking
  • B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)
  • B.Sc. in Cybersecurity
  • M.Sc. in Cybersecurity
  • M.Tech in Network & Information Security
  • M.Tech in Information Security
  • M.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)

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Duration and Fees of Ethical Hacking Courses

The duration of different ethical hacking courses varies across universities, platforms, and enrollment modes. Courses can range from as short as a few weeks to as long as two to four years. These courses are offered at various levels by different platforms. The ethical hacking course fees also depend on the universities, modes, platforms and areas covered. 

Here’s a breakdown of the average ethical hacking course duration across different levels:

Course Duration
Certificate in Ethical Hacking Up to a few weeks
Online Ethical Hacking Courses A few weeks – 1 year
Ethical Hacking Diploma 1 – 2 years
Undergraduate Courses 3 – 4 years
Postgraduate Courses 2 years

These durations and fees provide a flexible range of options for individuals pursuing ethical hacking education, catering to both short-term skill acquisition and comprehensive academic pathways.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Eligibility Criteria for Ethical Hacking Programmes

Universities adhere to diverse admission criteria when admitting students. Below are the eligibility criteria for undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) ethical hacking degree programmes.

Eligibility Criteria for Undergraduate Courses

To pursue an undergraduate (UG) cyber ethical hacking course, candidates must hold a 10+2 qualification from a recognised board. However, entrance examinations are taken for UG-level ethical hacking programmes. 

Top Entrance Exams for Undergraduate Courses

Here is a list of some notable entrance exams for undergraduate courses:

  • KIITEE (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Entrance Examination): 

KIITEE is the entrance exam organised by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology. The comprehensive test facilitates admission to various science and technology programs such as M.Sc, B.Tech, M.Tech, B.Arch,  computer applications (BCA), and Mass Communication. The exam evaluates candidates’ knowledge and aptitude in different fields, enabling them to access multiple educational avenues.

  • HITSEEE (Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science Engineering Entrance Examination)

HITSEEE is the annual entrance exam organised by the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science. It is tailored for engineering aspirants aiming to secure a seat in the institute’s various engineering courses. 

The test assesses candidates’ knowledge in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. HITSEEE allows students to become part of the Hindustan Institute’s academic community and embark on their engineering journey.

  • VITEEE (VIT Engineering Entrance Exam) conducted by the Vellore Institute of Technology): 

VITEEE is a prominent university-level entrance exam. It offers admission to diverse engineering programmes at the Vellore Institute of Technology. The exam covers subjects like physics, chemistry, mathematics, and English. VITEEE is a platform for students to compete for seats in one of India’s most prestigious technical institutions. 

Eligibility Criteria for Postgraduate Courses

Prospective candidates aspiring to secure admission to a postgraduate ethical hacking course must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university. This requirement is a fundamental prerequisite. Additionally, candidates must participate in common entrance examinations essential to the admission process.

Check Out upGrad’s Software Development Courses to upskill yourself.

Top Entrance Exams for Postgraduate Courses

Here are three noteworthy postgraduate (PG) entrance exams, along with their associated details:

  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)

Conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, GATE is a national-level examination held annually. It provides a pathway for students interested in pursuing engineering courses at the postgraduate level. 

Candidates can apply for the GATE examination as early as the third year of their bachelor’s degree. This enables students to plan their academic trajectories well, aligning their aspirations with this prestigious examination.

  • VITMEE (VIT Master’s Entrance Examination)

Conducted by the Vellore Institute of Technology, VITMEE is an exclusive entrance test for those eyeing postgraduate courses. Conducted once a year, this examination unlocks entry to programs such as M.Tech (Master of Technology), MCA (Master of Computer Applications), and Integrated PhD. The diverse courses offered through VITMEE empowers students to specialise in technical domains and contribute meaningfully to the industry.

  • IPUCET (Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test)

IPUCET is a university-level examination conducted by Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. This exam provides admission opportunities to various undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses. 

Candidates must check the examination’s eligibility criteria before registering. IPUCET is a gateway for students to access many programs, enhancing their educational and career prospects.

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Ethical Hacking Subjects

Due to a growing concern for internet security, ethical hacking has emerged as a sought-after field of study. An ethical hacking full course delves into the tools and methods hackers employ to identify vulnerabilities within defensive systems.

The curriculum for ethical hacking is diverse across various courses. Here are some prevalent ethical hacking subjects typically incorporated in ethical hacking course syllabus:

  • Introduction to Hacking and Cyber-Ethics
  • Information Gathering Techniques
  • Scanning and Network Reconnaissance
  • Exploring the Google Hacking Database
  • Analysis of Viruses and Worms
  • Understanding Trojans and Backdoors
  • Sniffers and Keyloggers: Functions and Prevention
  • Unveiling Social Engineering Tactics
  • Addressing Email, DNS, and IP Spoofing
  • Enhancing System Security and Countermeasures
  • Exploration of HoneyPots for Threat Detection

Future Prospects of Ethical Hacking

Upon completing any of the abovementioned courses, a wide spectrum of job opportunities opens up, catering to undergraduates and postgraduate students. The type of job one can secure hinges upon an individual’s skills and expertise. Here are some promising career avenues:

Ethical Hacker

Ethical hackers play a crucial role in strengthening cybersecurity. They are often called white hat hackers. They apply their knowledge of hacking techniques to assess and identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and applications. 

Simulating real-world attacks helps organisations identify weak points and develop robust defence strategies. Ethical hackers often work for government agencies, financial institutions, tech companies, and cybersecurity firms, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure and safeguarded against potential threats.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are at the forefront of safeguarding an organisation’s digital assets. They analyse an organisation’s IT infrastructure, identify vulnerabilities, and implement security measures to mitigate risks. They monitor network traffic, conduct security audits, and respond to incidents promptly. 

They proactively protect against cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorised access by staying updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and solutions. Information security analysts are pivotal in maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information.

Information Security Manager

Information security managers oversee an organisation’s entire cybersecurity strategy. They formulate and implement security policies, educate employees on best practices, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. 

Information security managers collaborate with various departments to establish a comprehensive security framework, manage security budgets, and lead incident response teams in the event of a breach. Their role is crucial in adapting to evolving cyber threats.

Security Consultant

Security consultants provide expert guidance to organisations seeking to enhance their security position. They assess existing security systems, conduct risk assessments, and recommend tailored solutions to address vulnerabilities. 

Security consultants work with clients to design and implement security measures, from access controls to encryption protocols. Their expertise helps organisations stay ahead of potential threats, minimise risks, and build resilient defence mechanisms against cyberattacks.

In-Demand Software Development Skills


The digital landscape of today’s time has boosted the importance of ethical hackers. As technology continues to advance, its potential risks and vulnerabilities, too, continue to evolve and rise. The field of information security analysts is set to experience a substantial growth of 35% by 2031.

Ethical hackers, thus, play a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive information, digital infrastructure, and privacy by proactively identifying and rectifying security loopholes. Thus, the market for ethical hackers will only broaden in the future. 

Looking for the best hacking course for beginners? If you want to choose ethical hacking as your career, consider pursuing an ethical hacking course online or offline, depending on what suits you the best.  

Is an ethical hacking course free?

Although the best ethical hacking course will come with a price tag, many online ethical hacking courses are free.

Can I learn ethical hacking in 6 months?

It is difficult to say how long it will take to learn ethical hacking as the learning process differs from individual to individual. However, one can take up to a few months to two years to learn ethical hacking, depending upon one’s proficiency.

Is math required for ethical hacking?

Maths is a part of the ethical hacking syllabus. Since ethical hackers create complex encryptions and algorithms, they need an advanced understanding of maths.

Which subject is best for hackers?

A bachelor’s degree in science, computer science, or engineering is recommended for ethical hackers.

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