Posted January 16, 2015 by

Bedroom Hacker? You Can Get a Career From That

Professional hacker working on laptop

Professional hacker working on laptop. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Hacking has long been considered the “black magic” of the Internet and tech communities. There are strict laws in place that are meant to prevent hackers from breaking into websites, databases and other prime online targets for malicious reasons.

Hackers who’ve been in the game for years often seek employment in other sectors. Their hacking skills are kept secret because anonymity can mean the difference between freedom and time behind bars, and frankly, just because being anonymous is “the thing to do” among hackers. Development in recent years, however, have led many would be criminal hackers on the path to success as gainful employees in the information security industry.

Becoming an Ethical Hacker

While you may not know it yet, there is such a thing as an ethical hacker. The federal government and organizations around the world make it widely publicized that they believe the best individuals to protect them from cyber attackers is to hire hackers themselves.

Many of the jobs currently available to hackers include positions in the government, military, financial institutions and a number of private companies. While many require some type of formal education to receive an employment offer, others will hire you simply based on your programming and hacking skills, and your ability to identify and solve complicated problems.

Make a Strong Case: Offer to Hack Into Their System

One of the best ways to get a job as a professional, ethical hacker is to hack into their system. Also known as penetration testing, this method involves performing an actual hack for the sole purposes of identifying weaknesses in a system’s security protocols and closing the holes.

Many hackers use this method as a step in the door. As an enthusiast, you might have taught yourself how to hack into a system without attending a single class, leaving the education marked clear on your resume. Subsidize this part with a simple report on your test hack against their system and what they can do to close any security holes. Doing so might impress them enough to actually give you a job.

The Best Jobs for the Best Hackers

With the recent attacks on the United States computer infrastructure from foreign intelligence hackers overseas comes a renewed vow from local and federal leaders to hire more professional hackers.

Many hackers who work for a government agency find the job to be just as, if not more, intriguing than their previous hacking experiences. The job comes with a significant amount of secrecy and employees aren’t allowed to tell anyone what they do for a living. Federal jobs are competitive, however, and are normally reserved for only the best of the best.

If you think you have what it takes to become a professional hacker, the next best step is to take some programming, IT and network security courses at your local college. These classes will teach you the ins and outs of working with all types of languages and systems, and, with the right skills, can be completed without breaking a sweat.

Bedroom Hackers: The Future is In Gainful Employment

If you’re a bedroom hacker and not sure what direction to follow in life, write up a resume and begin to search for jobs. When you’re ready to enter the market, it helps to check out the career pages of firms you’d like to work for, like this one. Salaries range from anywhere between $50,000 per year all the way up to $150,000 per year or more for some of the best hackers in the world.

Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.

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