Learning Path For Beginner Hackers

Table of Contents

Want to learn how to hack? Of course, you do!

It’s a bit more involved than a single course or book. It’s a ‘whole life’ thing.

Professional hacking takes a lifetime to master and professionals don’t search ‘hacking’ when they learn. It’s really for us newbies who are trying to break into the Cyber Security field.

It’s important to know how hackers at the top of their field think. So I’ve put a list together of resources to get you there! I recommend jumping around from resource to resource to stay entertained while learning.

Since hacking can take years to get the hang of, here’s my list of courses, videos, books and games to get through in your journey. Have fun, fellow learner hacker.

*Disclaimer, this is an ongoing list I’ll update when I can. You’ll notice a rough time estimate and price tag for each course. Bookmark if it’s useful and check the newsletter for updates.

Computing Fundamentals

Don’t run before you can walk, meaning, learn the basics of computers.

To be proficient in the Cyber Secuirty your need a fundamental understanding of computing.

This involves 1) Virtualization 2) Operating Systems 3) Networking and 4) Programming.

Start with Roppers Academy – Introduction to Computing Fundamentals 100hr free.

It’s big but takes you through everything your need.

This introduces you to Code Academy and Automate The Boring Stuff with Python.

Get into Code Academy – Learn Python 2 25hr free/cert cost.

Then if you can, get the Automate with Python Udemy Course 10hr low cost.

Next, setup accounts on Hack The Box Academy and take their three fundamental modules:

  1. Linux Fundamentals Module 15hr free.
  2. Windows Fundamentals Module 15hr free.
  3. Networking Fundamentals Module 15hr free.

These double down on everything you’ve touched on from Roppers plus some.

Then start the TryHackMe – Complete Beginner Learning Path 50hr free/some costs.

It does require a premium plan, if that’s not possible, tackle most of the free available walkthroughs.

Next up, check out Cybrary, choose from some free courses to tackle there.

Lastly, take Introduction To Computer Science CS50x 100hr free/cert costs.

This is the pinnacle of your computing fundamental learning path, after this step, you’re ready to get into the Cyber Security game for real!

All up, theres about 500+ hours worth of content for you! But to learn it well, it can take double that time and more.

Capture The Flags

Cyber Secuirty experts all say to learn from CTF’s as the gamification make’s it enoyable and addictive. To start, go to Roppers Academy – Introduction To Capture The Flags free.

Roppers Computing Fundamental shared OverTheWire’s – Bandit free, here are my write-ups Bandit 0 – 4, Bandit 5 – 10 and Bandit 11 – 15 (coming soon).

Head back to TryHackMe and take on RootMe, see my write-up if needed. Then pick from their free CTF rooms avilable, keep working on them until the list runs dry!

Jump over to PicoCTF free for their gym CTF’s, here’s my General Skills write-up. Check out CTFLearn free for some more learning opportunities.

Then, to get your hands dirty, go to VulnHubs free and grab a beginner virtual machine.

More I’m yet to try out: 1) Hacker101 2) PentesterLab and 3) Beginner Network Penetration Testing (2019) 15hr free.


Here’s a wide list of other platforms, content and people to be aware of. I’ll make this more readable soon.

  1. Darknet Diaries.
  2. NetworkChuck.
  3. Discord/Slack Communities.
  4. People on Twitter.
  5. Practice Exams and Certificates
  6. Programming Projects.
  7. Output: Note-taking, write-ups and active recall (quizlet)

I agree, this is a rough list, but I’ll pad it out overtime.

If you have any feedback, please send me a message @mrashleyball.

This is Day 5 and 11 of #100DaysOfHacking, subscribe to my newsletter to follow the journey!

Happy Hacking.

About The Author
Ashley Ball

Ashley Ball

Hi, I'm Ash. I'm a teacher, web designer and content creator from Australia. I like making things simple, subscribe for insights via monthly newsletter.
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