Why is YouTube not a good place for learning cybersecurity and ethical hacking?

Reasons why learning from YouTube is terrible:

YouTube is a site that people go to for their entertainment needs. However, as of late, there has been a rise in the YouTube “gurus” or educators providing “quality” education to the masses for free. One can find tutorials and lessons on almost any and every subject on the website, including lessons about Cybersecurity and ethical hacking. No matter how hard the attempt is, YouTube will never replace the experience of a proper digital course in any subject. Moreover, these free courses provide little to no practical knowledge or certification. Hence, people who have passionately spent hours of their time and effort in these courses are still ineligible for an actual job.

People who are passionate about learning cybersecurity should primarily go for a legitimate cybersecurity certification course online. The major reason is that such courses provide students with lectures, in-depth mentoring, and certificates that prepare learners for jobs and real-life applications.

While we can agree that YouTube education is free, the quality is still in question. Employers want quality candidates, and they don’t want people who can only claim that they can get the job done, but they want people who have something to show for it. They want people with degrees, projects and some level of practical experience. A person may “complete” his postgraduate on YouTube, but he will have nothing to show for it, and as such, he will remain unemployable. On the other hand, people who manage to finish their post-graduate in cybersecurity from an actual online institute have the degree, experience and knowledge to back it up. YouTube is what one would say, a parody of online institutions. Anyone who wishes to learn anything from there has to go through hundreds of hours of disorganised content, many of which may or may not be misleading, factually incorrect and just useless when it comes to real-life implications.

YouTube also widely suffers from the disease of misinformation. The same can be said for the vast majority of the internet and the “free” content. With this in mind, the credibility of lectures available on YouTube is questionable. On YouTube, the doubts of learners are rarely solved, queries remain unanswered, and most of the tutors aren’t even professionals or people who have completed their studies. On the other hand, when an individual enrols for a legitimate online university course, they are mentored by actual professionals with experience in the field. 

They say “half-knowledge is dangerous”, which is precisely the life one gets when they complete their “education” off YouTube. YouTube also has abundant resources for distraction, so if a learner manages to organise all the lecture videos of their course, the ads, the YouTube recommendations, etc., prove to be quite distracting and may take learning off course. YouTube’s attempt at “edutainment”, a structure where education mixes with entertainment, has done more harm than good, time and again. Some YouTube “gurus” have turned out to be a scam, providing incorrect education to the masses, and YouTube has been sluggish in taking actions against such culprits.

Students can’t learn cybersecurity, ethical hacking, etc., in some odd hours or minutes, but YouTube has a variety of “Learn XYZ in so many hours/minutes”, and people who want to take shortcuts have often ended up falling for such videos ultimately not gaining anything. On the other hand, the courses provided by online institutions are appropriately organised, well informed, tested, relevant to the industry needs, backed by actual data and experience and are guaranteed to provide benefits to students who enrol in them. In today’s highly competitive market, it is way safer to trust the legitimacy of a paid service/product than free ones, and the same is the case with education. YouTube is a “free” educational institution that doesn’t provide the same legitimacy and credibility as its paid counterparts.

It is essential to keep these things in mind because fields like cybersecurity and ethical hacking require the very best of the best candidates for the job. Major organisations need cybersecurity and ethical hacking personnel to safeguard their information assets and prevent them from any loss that they might have to incur in connection to any damage or breach done to the data that collect, process, and store in huge numbers. The field of cybersecurity is one filled with many challenges and hurdles, and only those who are updated with the latest technology and security protocols can get the job done. If courses of such detail are done from YouTube, the quality of candidates and, by extension, the level of security provided to the organisation will be disappointingly low.

Some plus points:

While we can agree that YouTube is the wrong place for education, YouTube can help learners with specific problems or some fundamental issues that learners seldom have difficulty solving. Many day-to-day tasks that don’t need full-fledged education or courses can be learned with ease on YouTube. Many people learn skills that, though not employable, help them in their daily lives. YouTube has helped many people by providing tutorials on skills that can help in enhancing a person’s way of life. So to summarise, the things that you can learn pretty well from YouTube are:

  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Play an instrument, beginner to intermediate levels

And all those things that don’t require some sort of professionalism.


After everything we have discussed so far, it is safe to say that the bad outweighs the good when it comes to YouTube’s edutainment model of education. People willing to take the first step towards their education might use YouTube, but that’s the best YouTube should be utilised for. Other than that, the best thing you can use YouTube for is your daily entertainment. People who are serious about their education should refrain from going to the YouTube institute for the same and instead spend their time on actual university courses available online with many benefits.


Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

  1. What is Cybersecurity?

               Cybersecurity consists of protecting internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyber threats and cyber-attacks. It refers to the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to provide security to networks, devices, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access. The course of cybersecurity is of great importance as the organisations face the risk of cyber threats and wish to overcome and counter those risks.

  1. Why is cybersecurity critical?

              It is important because a vast amount of data is collected, processed, and stored by various military, medical, corporate and non-corporate, financial and non-financial, government and non-government organisations. The data so stored may be sensitive, personal and economical. If unauthorised access were given to such data, it could damage the individuals and the organisations associated with the data.

  1. Are YouTube lectures completely useless?

No, a person can use YouTube as a starting point for their course or deal with some specific problem. Outside academics, YouTube can be used for some basic life skill tutorials that can help an individual in their day to day lives.

  1. If not YouTube, then where should one study these courses from?

There are many online courses by legitimate and credible universities that provide actual degrees and certificates to their students. Such courses are taught by true professionals of the industry, using existing projects that help learners gain some practical knowledge, which is quite helpful in real life.

  1. How does YouTube affect my job selection chances?

         Employers want people with proper degrees, skill-set, practical knowledge and some real-life experience. When one studies something only from YouTube, they don’t get those things except for some entry-level skills. Consequently, they are unable to land their dream jobs even after having dedicated so many hours of effort to their education. With actual university courses, learners can astonishingly increase their chances of selection as they have all that an employer needs and much more to present themselves as an eligible candidate.

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