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Learn OpenSSL with online courses and programs

OpenSSL is a cryptographic library that enables secure communications between computers. Explore courses delivered through edX to learn how to use this powerful toolkit.

What is OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a widely used open-source library that offers an open-source implementation of Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and other cryptographic functions.Footnote 1 With OpenSSL, software developers can secure their application’s communication over the internet and local networks.

OpenSSL provides a wide variety of cryptographic functions, such as encryption, decryption, digital signatures, root certificates, and key exchange.Footnote 2 This makes it useful for secure communication protocols, which are commonly implemented in applications such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), messaging, and HTTPS websites.

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OpenSSL tutorial curriculum

A learner new to the library may want to start with an OpenSSL course that answers the fundamental question: What is OpenSSL? In addition to learning how to download and install OpenSSL, you can also start to learn about OpenSSL command line tools. After mastering the basics, you may move on to more complex OpenSSL concepts, exploring how to:

  • Create cryptographic keys and certificates 

  • Use OpenSSL to send certificate signing requests to a certificate authority

  • Use different types of key algorithms

  • Use the OpenSSL s_client 

  • Encrypt data with OpenSSL self-signed certificate 

If you’re interested in using OpenSSL in an application, you may need more advanced instruction on how to:

  • Implement SSL/TLS protocols 

  • Configure SSL/TLS settings in OpenSSL 

  • Create SSL/TLS server and client applications 

  • Implement mutual authentication using OpenSSL 

Are you interested in propelling your professional development forward? Start building the knowledge you need with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs that use OpenSSL

Strong expertise in OpenSSL can be beneficial if you choose to pursue careers in the fields of network security, cryptography, compliance, and more. Examples of jobs that may use OpenSSL include:

  • Information security analyst: Assesses network vulnerabilities, implements security measures, and enhances the overall security of an organization.Footnote 3

  • SOC (Security Operations Center) analyst: Detects and mitigates any security threats that may occur in an organization’s IT infrastructure.Footnote 4

  • System developer: Designs, develops, and implements software applications or systems.Footnote 5

  • Web developer: Creates visually appealing, functional, secure, and responsive websites or web applications that meet the needs of clients or organizations.Footnote 6

  • System administrator: Manages and maintains computer systems, networks, servers, and related infrastructure within an organization.Footnote 7

Some of these specialized roles generally require a good understanding of networking concepts, system administration, and popular cybersecurity tools. edX offers cybersecurity boot camps to help you develop specialized knowledge in these areas. You can also enroll in coding boot camps to learn relevant programming skills. Some roles may also require higher level degrees, depending on the employer. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research potential roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.

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