Embarking on a career in ethical hacking involves choosing the right certification to validate your skills. Two prominent options, Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) and CompTIA PenTest+, often vie for the attention of aspiring ethical hackers. Let’s decode the differences to help you determine the best path for your cybersecurity journey.
Decide between CEH and PenTest+ based on your preference for a holistic approach (CEH) or a hands-on, penetration testing focus (PenTest+), considering factors like global recognition, industry alignment, and your specific career goals.
1. Focus and Scope:
- Focus: CEH emphasizes a broad understanding of ethical hacking methodologies, covering various aspects such as system hacking, network scanning, and social engineering.
- Scope: It provides a comprehensive view of the entire ethical hacking landscape, making it suitable for those seeking a holistic approach.
- Focus: PenTest+ is more focused on hands-on penetration testing skills, placing a strong emphasis on practical application and real-world scenarios.
- Scope: It’s geared towards professionals who want to specialize in penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.
2. Recognition and Industry Standards:
- Recognition: Widely recognized globally, CEH is often a requirement for many cybersecurity roles and is favored by government agencies and large corporations.
- Industry Standards: Aligned with industry standards, CEH provides a robust foundation for professionals entering the field.
- Recognition: While gaining recognition, PenTest+ may not have the same level of industry recognition as CEH but is gaining traction, especially among those seeking a more hands-on focus.
- Industry Standards: Aligned with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, PenTest+ is designed to meet industry standards for penetration testing roles.
3. Prerequisites and Skill Levels:
- Prerequisites: CEH generally requires candidates to have some experience in the information security domain before attempting the exam.
- Skill Levels: Suited for both intermediate and advanced skill levels, CEH caters to a broader range of professionals.
- Prerequisites: While it doesn’t have strict prerequisites, PenTest+ is considered suitable for intermediate-level professionals.
- Skill Levels: Geared towards individuals with practical experience in penetration testing, making it ideal for those looking to specialize in this area.
4. Exam Structure:
- Exam Format: CEH includes a multiple-choice exam that tests theoretical knowledge and a practical exam where candidates demonstrate hands-on skills.
- Passing Criteria: A combination of theory and practical skills is necessary to pass the CEH exam.
- Exam Format: PenTest+ is a performance-based exam, focusing on practical skills and scenarios relevant to penetration testing.
- Passing Criteria: Candidates must demonstrate their ability to perform tasks related to penetration testing effectively.
In choosing between CEH and PenTest+, consider your career goals, the depth of practical experience you seek, and industry recognition. CEH offers a broad foundation, while PenTest+ hones in on practical skills. Both certifications are valuable, so tailor your choice to align with your career aspirations and the specific skills you wish to master in the dynamic field of ethical hacking.