the hacker’s roadmap (how to get started in IT in 2023)
If you wanna get started in cybersecurity or just IT in general in 2023, here's how you do it. I'm gonna show you a path. A path that if you follow, could result in a six figure salary and faster than you might expect. This path has eight parts. The first five apply to everyone in it. I don't care what you want to do. The last three,
you'll get a bit more hacking cybersecurity specific. Now make sure you watch until the end. I'm gonna give you some quiz questions for each part to see if you can skip. Cuz you might already know the knowledge. Know the knowledge. That felt weird. We'll go with it. Now the first thing you need is coffee because you're gonna be studying a lot and everything in it requires coffee. It's just the rules.
Today I'm drinking the default route. Never Chuck Coffee, part one, foundations. Now I know you wanna become an ethical hacker, network engineer, cloud engineer, whatever it is right now, and you're tempted to jump right into that study material. Stop it. No, you're not ready for it yet. There's a lot to learn before you get to that point. So don't skip this,
especially if you're just starting an IT or you're transitioning from another job because just like building a house, you wanna layer a really solid foundation, a strong base of IT skills that you can build on. So again, if you're new to it, zero knowledge. Like if someone asks you to troubleshoot their network or fix their computer, you might hyperventilate and spill your coffee everywhere. If that's you,
you'll wanna start with acom, TIA A plus. Now this is a hotly debated topic, but I asked the IT masses and here's what they said on YouTube. 48,000 Votes, 58%. A plus Twitter, over 5,000 votes, 40% said comp TIA A plus LinkedIn, 4,000 votes, 50% said comp TIA A plus. Now again, disclaimer, you may not need the A plus, that's why I have a quiz at the end of the video.
So make sure you watch till the end. But on the other hand, you actually might need the A plus. Here's two reasons why. Number one, it starts you from zero, assuming no prior knowledge, which for many of you means this will be an amazing course for you even if you already have a bit of IT knowledge because it'll fill in those gaps. The things you don't even know that you don't know, right? And it'll show you things about it that maybe you weren't aware of. I've said this many times in the past, the A plus is like a sample platter for it. If you're just starting out, you may not know what you want to do. There's a lot of paths you can take.
Now when I say sample platter, I mean it. I mean look at all the stuff it covers. This is just one exam virtualization, cloud network troubleshooting and yeah, that means there's more than one exam. There's actually two. Here's the second one, covering things like OS security software troubleshooting. And this is important for a reason you may not realize because like right now you may wanna become a hacker because it looks really cool cuz let's, let's not lie like it looks awesome, right? But you may find that going through the a plus you've fall in love with networking or maybe cloud. Now, reason number two,
you might need the a plus is that it will help you land that first job because odds are your first job is not gonna be hacker or network engineer or cloud engineer. No, you're gonna be like technical support. You're gonna be on a help desk and it's this certification, the A plus that will prepare you for that role. It'll tell future employers, Hey this guy knows some things. This gal knows how to troubleshoot a computer. She knows troubleshooting methodology, she knows what a virtual machine is. So putting the A plus on your resume will definitely help. Now I know, let me just say this.
There are other entry level certifications like the a plus that could help you out. There's that Google one for example, the Google IT support something, whatever it is, I can't remember the name because it's not very marketable. People don't really look for that right now. The knowledge in it is pretty top notch. But the point of getting certifications, one of the main points is the market value they bring to your name.
Hiring managers, when they're trying to hire people for it, they say, Hey, give me an a plus certified person because I know what the a plus is. I know that if they have the A plus, they know how to do some things. I want that marketability is the name of the game here.
And also gaining the knowledge, you'll gain a ton of knowledge with the certification. Now allow me to switch gears a bit and try to dissuade you. Here's why you may not want the A plus certification. First you can study the material, go through a course and not take the exam because the exam is not cheap. And when I say exam I really mean exams. So there are two exams,
two parts each cost $249. Not cheap by any means. I remember when I got this exam, yes this was my first IT certification. It hurts that goodness I passed the first time. But you can absolutely skip sitting for the exam and just gain the knowledge that's the most important part for you.
So at the least find a great course for the compt A plus one of my favorites is IT pro tv? They have a fantastic a plus course. I'm actually forcing one of my employees to go through it and they cover literally everything. And they also include a practice test to test your knowledge. And actually here's what I would do if you're still a bit iffy about the A plus because yeah, committing to the A plus is a big thing. It's a big exam. I would check out IT Pro TV if you use my link below, it's 30% off forever and take one of their practice exams, see how you do, see if you already got the knowledge up there. If you do, great,
then move on IT. Pro TV literally has like every course out there and it's amazing. So I mean you should start there and yes, IT pro TV is sponsoring this video, but I actually use them for my studies. So if you wanna study it like me and the employee, I'm forcing you to do it in there. Check 'em out. Now part two or step two, I don't know what to call them, I'm gonna call 'em parts. This certification will probably be one of the more valuable ones you get.
This is the security plus from CompTIA. Now I don't care what area of it you aspire to be in, you need this one. This sucker's also from CompTIA and its resume Gold.
Not only will it give you a ton of foundational security knowledge that you need, it's also required by a ton of jobs, specifically government jobs. It's got that D O D 85 70 compliance. So a lot of jobs don't even hire you unless you have it or they'll make you get it when you get hired on. It's just like a required checkbox.
So really there's no debate here. This should be your first security cert for both knowledge and resume. Now it's not cheap. I know it's priced of $392. Thankfully it's only one exam,
but getting it is totally worth it. Now for training, I once again recommend it Pro tv, they do have a fantastic security plus course that won't put you to sleep like some others might do. Now after you've laid your IT foundation and you have some security skills, the next step is networking. My stink and favorite stuff.
Networking is a required skill, especially for cybersecurity. How are you gonna hack something you don't understand? How are you gonna defend something you don't understand? And just like the previous skills, I don't care where you're going in it, if you know networking, that's gonna make you better. It's gonna make you you awesome. So don't skip this, honestly, it's kind of a superpower. So just just learn it.
Now for networking certifications, there are two options. I recommend the Comp TIA Network Plus or the Cisco ccna. Now really you can't go wrong with either, but let me give you a bit of info on both and help you make that decision. If you go with Comp tia, which might be kind of cool to collect all three of these kinda like Pokemon cards, if you go with comp tea, it's gonna be vendor neutral, meaning they don't focus on any one vendor like the Cisco CCNA might.
Obviously they focus more on Cisco with that certification you are going to learn networking, you're gonna learn a ton of stuff and it will look pretty good on your resume. But, and you may have guessed from my sweater, I am partial to Cisco. The CCNA as far as networking certifications go is the gold standard. Where this one differs from the network Plus is that it's going to focus mainly on, I mean solely on using Cisco stuff, which really isn't a bad thing.
Cisco has led the networking industry. So if you learn Cisco, which is what you'll be doing with a certification, you're you're not only gonna learn like what's a network, you're gonna learn how to configure one, you're gonna learn how to make one work, which sounds awesome, right? But if you learn Cisco, you can pretty much jump to any other vendor with relative ease. Because let's be honest, everyone copied Cisco anyway. Now the other reason this is the gold standard is because dude putting the CCNA on your resume is crazy valuable. If you have it on there, people just like you, you're gonna get hired more often. In my opinion,
it does hold more weight than the network plus because it shows that not only do you understand networking concepts, but if you had to, you could get in there and configure a few things. You've got that practical knowledge. So really whatever you go with is up to you. But my personal recommendation,
if you really wanna learn networking inside and out, go ccna. Now as far as cost a CCNA actually wins out, a CCNA exam will cost you $300. Whereas the Network plus costs $359, sorry, three $58. But I will say I think the CCNA will be a more difficult exam. Now, again, for either of these, you can check out IT Pro TV for training. They have fantastic courses on both of these.
Or you could check out my free CCNA course, which is totally not finished yet. But if you wanna watch it on YouTube, go to the first like six or seven episodes. I think it's pretty fun. Beyond that, if you still need free options, my good friend Jeremy at Jeremy's it Labs lab. Is it labs or lab? Jeremy? I don't know. He has an entire CCNA course for free on YouTube, which is insane. Check it out. I got, I'll have a link below. You gotta check it out.
But let me put that little disclaimer is I'm going through this list. All this stuff, all this knowledge you could gain for free. No, yeah, if you paid for something, you're gonna have a better time, more structured, higher quality learning is always a better time.
But any one of these courses you can find the information for them online for free. You can learn all this stuff without spending Ascent part four, Lennox, everyone needs to learn Linux. I've made videos about it, I've made a course about it. Lennox is what you need to know in it.
Wherever you are, I don't care. Learn Linux. Now as far as how you learn Linux, you have a few options. You could go the certification route, go with the Linux Plus I got that certification it as a really fun exam. I learned a ton, but honestly you could probably skip getting this certification. Don't get me wrong, it'll look great on your resume. It will, but it isn't one of those certifications like the Network plus ccna A plus security plus that's gonna like really make your resume be sold to your recruiter. This one is more about the knowledge. So again,
pick a great course on Lennox plus you actually may not need to go as far as that because it goes pretty deep in the the weeds on how to actually manage and administer Lennox servers. You could probably get by right now as you're going through and getting started in your IT career with just like a Lenux getting started course. I've got a playlist here on YouTube, my Lennox for Hackers course, which is really just Lennox for everyone. But really the point of part four is to not become like a Lennox boss, genius expert. God, it's not that. It's to get your feet wet with Lennox to like learn enough to be dangerous so you can move on and do some things. Because I mean, I'm not kidding when I say literally everything in IT requires that networking, coding, obviously cloud and yes hacking. If you don't know a bit of Lennox,
you're gonna have a bad time. You're gonna struggle part five coding. The best thing you can do for yourself is pick up a programming language and start to play with it. Start to learn it. For starting out, I would recommend Python or goling. I think Python will be a bit easier to get started, but goling is the new faster up and comer. Now, honestly, I don't like where I put coding on this roadmap.
I'll put it at five because you'll probably have a better time with coding once you know all of this other stuff. But really coding should be, ooh, way up here. What's you're like, wait, what Chuck I, I want I should start coding like right now. Yeah, <laugh> right now. Coding is one of those things that you're going to use throughout your entire IT journey and the more you know, the better you are. So my recommendation is just at some point early in your journey, you could be right now just start to become familiar with some sort of coding language. I, again, I would recommend Python, just start playing with it. You really don't need any prerequisite knowledge to start playing with Python and you will not believe the amount of free resources you can find. In fact,
I've got a Python course right here on YouTube. It's not complete, but you can cut your teeth on that and you'll get pretty far in the basics. So I know it's kind of vague. Unlike when do you learn Python. So here, here's what I would do. If I could start over, if we're going with like kind of the road trip analogy, I'm gonna do a little car, I would start with a plus and just you know, start going. But whenever you gotta stop and use the bathroom, do a little bit of Python, just take a little break.
So practically what that might look like is maybe one to two days a week you spend some time with Python. Just learn a little bit, go through a video IT Pro TV has Python stuff. I've used Code Academy in the past, I love them. But I would just make it part of your study routine to add a little bit of Python or go Lang knowledge as you go. This is something I wish I would've done. I didn't learn Python until much later in my career after I learned all the basics that we've covered here. So at this point, this roadmap is for everybody.
It's for you. If you're an IT and you're just getting started, try this out Now. Sure you could probably skip any one of these if you already have the knowledge. And really I don't care about you getting the certification, I just wanna make sure that you have the knowledge because you can really shoot yourself on the foot in it. If you don't build a solid foundation, like trust me, you don't wanna be that person that doesn't understand what an IP address is. When you're like studying for an advanced certification or you're at a advanced job from here on, it's gonna be a bit more cybersecurity focused, a bit more So armed with all the prerequisite knowledge that will make you amazing. Part six, just start hacking. Just start doing it. Now again, this is another thing where I don't like where I put it cuz similar to coding, starting to hack, just to play around with hacking and the idea of it and doing beginner level things should start pretty early in your journey.
Now I'll put it at part six because all that knowledge you'll gain Linux networking, basic IT stuff. Programming will help you really be a boss at these CTF things. Now if you don't know what a CTF is, it stands for capture the flag. But it's basically a chance for you to practice hacking on real targets, real vulnerable targets. Like no joke, like you learn how to hack something and then you get to hack that thing.
But it's challenging. So similar to coding, I would get into your car as you're going down our little roadmap, our path here. Whenever you gotta take a bathroom break, get a snack or whatever, take a few days outta the week and try a few CTFs. Most of them are amazing and free. Like we have Pico ctf, try hack me. We have Hack the Box. They have really easy stuff that's very approachable for anyone and they have stuff that's crazy hard. But these are amazing for two reasons.
As you're learning to hack early on, it'll show you what hacking's actually like. It'll give you a taste to see if you even like it because it is a different thing. It sounds cool but you may not even like it and that's fine. And number two, it's gonna show you how valuable the skills that you're learning, like through a plus security plus network plus all that stuff.
It's gonna show you how valuable those skills are when you're talking about hacking. Cuz you're gonna need every one of those things as you're going through all the CTF stuff, it's gonna make it very clear where the holes are, where the gaps are in your knowledge and it will encourage you to go back to the basics and to really lay that foundation to really get that stuff. You gotta get it. Now if you do find out that you love hacking, like it's just the best thing ever and you wanna continue into cybersecurity, now we're talking about some more official knowledge, a certification that could help you actually land a job doing hacking things.
So part seven, hacking certifications. There are two that I recommend you starting with, you don't have to do both. One or the other will be fine.
And that's the Comp TIA pin test plus or the EJ p t from i n e. Now as far as knowledge and what they test you, I believe it's pretty much the same thing. They're gonna have their differences but their goal is the same. They want you to become a junior penetration tester, meaning you're like just you're brand new Now. I know probably at this point you're like wait, hold on Chuck, I've gained all this knowledge A plus security plus Network, plus ccna, Linux and Python and I'm still gonna be a junior at this role. Yeah,
because hacking is an advanced thing. Hacking is a combination of all the foundational skills you'll learn over a career or over a study plan. Now which one you choose is totally up to you. Now CompTIA pen test plus this one's cool because I mean it's comp to you at this point. You probably already are familiar with them, right? And finding training for the pen test plus will be a bit easier. For example, IT pro TV has an entire course on pen test. Plus again, check it out,
link below and even try hack me. One of the CTF things you can use to learn hacking, they have an entire lab pack for pen test. Plus the downside with pent test plus is the cost. It's gonna cost you about $392 for the exam voucher. Not cheap by any means, but it's gonna look pretty good on your resume and help you take that next step to a junior penetration tester. But don't get me wrong, EJ P t,
it'll do the same thing and it's actually cheaper. The EJ p t will cost you $249. The only downside is that the official training for the EJ p t is through i n e. Only. I n E is another training provider.
They actually recently acquired e-learning security, which is the one who created the EJ p t. So now I n e owns the EJ p t, but the official training curriculum is all through i n e. From what I understand, there's really no other place to find the training to go along with uh, EJ P T'S curriculum. So that's where we stand right now. So either of these will be fantastic if you're trying to get that first job in hacking. And then from there, I think you're ready. You're ready for part eight. Part eight is the O S C P. And actually I'm calling this part <laugh> stop here.
I'll explain why here in a second. The O S C P is hard. It's gonna kick your butt and when you actually complete it, it it'll be probably the first time you feel like a real hacker maybe. I don't know, I haven't done it yet. No, I wouldn't attempt the O S C P until you've tried the PIN test Plus or EJ P t cuz it gave you a similar feel for it. But once you're ready, go for the O S C P. But stop there. Now the O S C P,
which is the offensive security certified professional, it tells the world that you know a thing or two about hacking. Now it doesn't say you're an expert. Many people will say that this certification is just the beginning of your hacking journey. And man, I feel like it cuz you spent a long time getting there, but it is.
And once you're here, I would stop. I wouldn't try to get any more fancy certifications unless you absolutely need them. But at this point you have enough knowledge to be successful in most roles and getting any more certifications won't really do you any favors because after this it's all about getting experience. Your skills will build not through certifications but through on the job experience, which is the gold standard. Now here, this is the path that I would follow if I had to start over, but I know I know this path isn't for everyone. And keep in mind the point of this path is to get you a job and it doesn't matter where on the path you get that job as long as you get it.
And that job might actually change how you follow this path because ideally you start studying for the A plus. Like let's say you're just starting an it, you want to be a hacker, which I know is really cool. So you start with this, you start studying for your a plus at the same time you're starting to study a bit of coding, maybe doing a little pico CTF to see what hacking is like.
And midway through your A plus journey because you're applying for jobs and your resume looks awesome and you're doing projects that show people that you're learning, bam, you land a job on a help desk, you wanna get to that point as fast as possible. And it doesn't matter how many certifications you have, you could have nothing start applying right now. You could have coffee knowledge, which is powerful, but all you know how to do is froth the latte or whatever. That's okay. That will be enough knowledge to land you a job.
Most help desk jobs just want you to know how to talk to people and they know you can learn the rest. So this path is designed to get you a job and the sooner you can start gathering experience getting XP the better because that's stuff that's gold. All these certifications pale in comparison to real world experience. Now yes,
as you get that first technical support job, whatever, whatever it is, you'll probably wanna level up with security Plus to show your employers that you're learning and wanting to grow, you might wanna get your CCNA so you can jump into a networking role. The point of this path is not to lock you into a certain like path, it's just to show you the knowledge that will help you become successful in it. And you may learn things backwards, reverse, whatever. So if you take away anything from this video, it's that just start somewhere <laugh> like start with your A plus right now and pick up some Python and try some. Try hack me, Pico ctf, hack the box. Just start right now. Know that you will need foundational skills,
security skills and networking skills, coding skills, Linux skills, and build that slowly. Don't feel like you have to do it all at once. And the goal is to find a job that when you're actually working there, you can pick up some of these skills in real life. Lemme tell you a secret. A lot of the time I didn't need these certifications because I learned those skills while I was doing stuff for the job. And then I can put that on my resume.
I don't have the Linux plus I configured Linux servers for a a company, a real one that's more valuable. So now you made it to the end of the video and let's see if you can skip any one of these little parts. See if you got the knowledge. We'll start with a plus. Let's do five questions real quick.
I'm gonna use my favorite practice exam provider Boza and their XM Max product. It's the best thing ever. Like if you wanna make sure you're ready for an exam, you take their practice test number one, which of the following services are not typically provided by a pass provider or vendor? Select the best answer. So not pause the video, give us some thought on pause. So pass is platform as a service. I'm wanna say the answer is software applications. Let's see. Correct. And here's the explanation. It's just fricking fantastic. Question two,
which of the following is a characteristic of thermal printers? Now this is one aspect I hate about the a plus. Why do we have to learn printers? Pause the video. See what you got on pause. I believe they require special paper. Let's see if that's right. Yes. Which of the following is most likely to cause the condition known as swollen battery? Pause the video. See what you got on. Pause. I'm gonna say overcharging. Yep. Overcharging omega battery gets s sw. <laugh>,
if you overwork out, does the same thing. Which of the following best describes spatial multiplexing? Again, make sure you pause the video on pause. The answer is using separate antennas simultaneously. Yes, explanation. Drive by move on. And number five, an application on a user's workstation.
Attempts to retrieve data by connecting to TCV port 1433 on a local server and fails you verify that the other users of the application are not experiencing this problem. Which of the following areas should you check first? This is testing your troubleshooting methodology. See, for this, I would say, since everybody else is fine, it's gonna be isolated to the user and probably their workstation's firewall. Let's see if that's correct. Yes, there's the explanation. Bam,
that was five questions from the A plus. How'd you do? Can you skip the a plus? Now don't let this be like your for sure test. I'm just giving you a sample. Take a legit practice exam through Bozon, check them out, link below. They're amazing. And this video is already too long. In a bonus video,
I am gonna do Security plus Network, plus and CCC and A, let's see what you got. See you in the bonus.