PNPT VS OSCP: Which one to pursue in 2024?

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Are you a cybersecurity professional who wants to explore new career prospects in the IT industry? In this digital era, data security is becoming a big question. Many reputable companies are offering a range of certifications for penetration tests. OSCP and PNPT credentials are among them which offer a promising career to each individual. 

In this blog, we are making a deep-down comparison between PNPT and OSCP certification. We will share detailed information, exam details, prospects, costs, and much more. So let’s dive into the details.

Overview of PNPT Certification

The Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT) certification is for those professionals who want to pursue their career in performing network penetration testing for internal and external departments. This credential is offered by TCM security. It is well-known for its industry standards and renders advanced knowledge regarding web application security and open-source intelligence.  

Main Objective:

Following are the main objectives of PNPT:

  • Deployed open source intelligence (OSINT) resources to collect data about different techniques to secure organization networks from any malicious activities. 
  • Upgrade expertise regarding active directory exploitation to ensure smooth application of A/V testing, some network movements, and domain controller.
  • Students prepared professional detailed reports to brief senior testers.

Overview of OSCP Credential

The OffSec Certified Professional (OSCP) certification is also designed for those professionals who want to apply advanced penetration techniques and methods. Offsec ensures smooth demonstration of advanced technical skills. Students can boost their mastering expertise in planning attacks and hacking techniques on live machines. It delivers practical experience to new beginners. 

Main Objectives:

Some of the key objectives of OSCP exams:

  • Developed professional expertise in identifying and examining advanced errors.
  • One gets full knowledge of using different tools, including Nmap (scripting engine), Nikto, DirBuster, and Burp Free for dealing with target systems.

Exam details

Exam Name Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT) Credential
Time Duration Have 5 days to perform the test + 2 days for making reports + 15 minutes for live briefing experts
Passing Weightage 35.44%
Retake Option 1 Exam Attempt with 1 free retake
Expiration Date No expiry date
Test Contributor TCM Security
Exam Name OffSec Certified Professional (OSCP) Credential
Time Required 23 hours and 45 minutes for the exam + 24 hours for submitting documentation
Passing Marks 70 Points/ 100 Points
Reattempt Option Can valid for 120 days + offer 3 attempts:
Test Contributor Off Sec

Retake Policies for PNPT vs OSCP

PNPT provides one free retake with exam attempts. But OSCP certification offers three attempts for up to 120 days. Moreover, their retake attempts are divided into 4 categories:

Retake Attempt Validation Days OffSec Course & Cert Exam Bundle Learn Fundamentals Learn one Learn Limited
1st Retake Attempt  6 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 2 weeks
2nd Retake Attempt 8 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks 4 weeks
3rd Retake Attempt 12 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks —--------- 

Cost for PNPT

The basic cost incurred for PNPT certification is $499 (USD), which contains an exam voucher and training. Moreover, TCM provides 20% off coupons on the first attempt. But if you want to get some career advice with training and an exam voucher, you can avail of this credential for $1,099 (USD).

While the price offered for OSCP certification is categorized as follows:

OSCP Training course cost Price
Self-Guided Individual Course $1,499 (90-days lab access + 1 exam attempt)
Learn one  $2,499 (1-year lab access + 2 exams attempts)
Learn Unlimited Subscription $5,499 (1-year OffSec Training Library courses + Unlimited Exam Attempts)

Main Domains for PNPT and OSCP

For PNPT Exam

Major Domains Total Hours
Practical Ethical Hacking 25 hours
Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Fundamentals 9 hours
The External Pentest (Playbook) 3.5 hours
Linux Privilege Escalation for Beginners 6.5 hours
Windows Privilege Escalation for Beginners 7 hours

For OSCP Exam

Although the domain is not specified. But one can master the following mentioned skills while acquiring specific OSCP certification:

Penetration Testing: What You Should Know Getting Comfortable with Kali Linux
Command Line Fun Practical Tools
Bash Scripting  Passive Information Gathering
Active Information Gathering Vulnerability Scanning
Web Application Attacks Introduction to Buffer Overflows
Windows Buffer Overflows Linux Buffer Overflows
Client-Side Attacks Locating Public Exploits
Fixing Exploits File Transfers
Antivirus Evasion Privilege Escalation
Password Attacks Port Redirection and Tunneling
Active Directory Attacks The Metasploit Framework
PowerShell Empire Trying Harder: The Labs
Assembling the Pieces: Penetration Test Breakdown

Pre-requisite for PNPT

The basic requirement for acquiring PNPT certification; one should have foundational Informational technology knowledge and want to learn and update industry expertise. 

While for OSCP, students should have basic knowledge of TCP and IP networking and Python and Bash scripting. They should also have practice experience in Windows and Linux management.

Target Audience

The primary market for OSCP certification is those who want to have successful careers in penetration testing while those for PNPT are beginners who want to start their career in checking network vulnerabilities by executing penetration testing.

A learn more about OSCP Certification Guide 

Job outlook for PNPT

Following are the job opportunities, one can pursue after attaining this certification:

  • Ethical Hackers
  • Penetration Testers
  • Security Analysts
  • Cybersecurity Engineer.

Job outlook for OSCP

The OSCP certifier can hold the below-mentioned job opportunities:

  • Security Professionals
  • Computer Forensics Analyst
  • Network administrators
  • Malware & Lead Analysts
  • Other technology professionals

Salary Expectation For PNPT and OSCP Credentials:

The estimated average salary expectation per year for network penetration certification and OSCP is almost the same $119,895. Professionals will get more up to $168,500. But different locations offer different salary expectations:

For PNPT

Location Expected Average Salary Per Year
Berkeley, CA $146,774
New York City, NY $142,002
Renton, WA $141,220
Santa Monica, CA $140,236
Daly City, CA $138,901

For OSCP

Location Expected Average Salary Per Year
Santa Cruz, CA $151,365
Sunnyvale, CA $148,643
Livermore, CA $148,565
Arlington, VA $147,894
St. Helens, OR $144,419

Potential Outcomes for OSCP

Following are the possible benefits of OSCP credentials

  • Upgrade industry knowledge and expertise among beginners regarding penetration testing and advanced techniques to secure organization networks from threats.
  • Students can use Offsec services, including Knowledge AI, academy, and exam machines to get expert opinions.
  • Improved individual capability to predict hacker activities in advance.

Potential outcomes for PNPT

Below mentioned are some benefits a certifier can attain:

  • Creates effective supportive and learning spaces where professionals get advanced problem-solving techniques. 
  • It provides five domains to evaluate a practitioner’s ability to solve network problems using advanced techniques and methods. 
  • Get students familiar with other platforms, such as TryHackMe and HTB.
  • TCM organizes video training to offer extensive practical experience. 
  • This certification offers real-life experience to students for performing penetration tests.

Read more about OSCP Certification Salary Potential 

Preparation tips for PNPT Vs OSCP Certification:

Following are some of the preparation tips, students should follow before getting ready to take the PNPT and OSCP exams:

  • Choose which one you want to pursue:

Before getting enrolled in any one of them, one needs to know the objectives and purpose of each certification. 

  • Downloaded Exam Syllabus Outline: 

For PNPT, One can visit the TCM website, search out their offered five different modules, and start exploring the benefits they have in their career field. For the OSCP exam, one needs to go to the OffSec official page and become part of their most demanding expertise.

  • Getting enrolled in training courses: 

After examining all modules, one needs to join their training courses for practical implementation. So they get familiar with advanced tools and techniques that they need to use in real-life experience.

  • Online recommended material:

Most of the websites introduce relevant online materials and tailored learning plans for beginners to score A+ in both exams.

  • Mock Exams: 

One can check new advanced mock exams, practicing questions, and relevant dumps to evaluate exam preparation.

  • Online Social media forums: 

There are many forums and groups made on social media accounts where learners meet with experts to get some guidance, comprehensive note-making, and feedback from other fellows for PNPT and OSCP certification.

  • Learning Website and Video Tutorials:

There is a range of video tutorials on YouTube, where experts share detailed explanations, prospects, and experiences videos to clear each concept.

Learn more about GIAC Penetration Tester Certification (GPEN): A Complete Pathway

Conclusion

Wrapping up all the above, we have shared a detailed explanation of PNPT and OSCP certification for professionals who want to pursue their careers in the penetration and cybersecurity departments. But attaining any of them is dependent upon your main purpose and career choice. This proper analysis of the PNPT and OSCP exam can make your journey easy for you. So, we wish you good luck and hope that you will make a wise decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

The PNPT certification is for those who have relevant experience in the IT industry and the main purpose is to implement network penetration while OSCP is for those who want to implement advanced penetration techniques and help in exhibiting advanced technical expertise.

The PNPT exams are prepared to offer middle-level expertise to professionals and those who want to upgrade their skills in penetration testing.

One needs only 35.44% to pass the PNPT exam and needs 70/100 points for OSCP certification.

Although it’s dependent upon the expertise and prior experience of practitioners. However, the standard practice for a professional having intermediate-level testing expertise is to get the PNPT certification in just seven days. Five days are for completing the assessment and two days are dedicated to report preparation. 

PNPT is offering one free retake option while OSCP has three attempts for almost 120 days. Moreover, there are some specific charges associated with each new exam attempt.

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