IT audit consultants evaluate the information systems at a variety of businesses and companies. They need a bachelor's degree in order to achieve entry-level employment in addition to certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts above average job growth in this field from 2014 through 2024.
IT audit consultants analyze and review the technological infrastructure of companies to ensure efficiency and regulatory compliance. They also propose and implement improvements. Individuals commonly complete a bachelor's degree program in a computer field and earn certification before pursuing employment.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||11% for accountants and auditors*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$64,163**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com
Job Description of an IT Audit Consultant
IT audit consultants may work for a consulting business or operate on a freelance basis. They evaluate the design and effectiveness of an organization's computer systems, which includes data systems, computer networks and security solutions. The assessment takes into account client needs, resources and efficiency of processes. After performing an audit, a consultant may propose the implementation of new technology components, such as new hardware or updated software solutions.
Duties of an IT Audit Consultant
The responsibilities of an IT audit consultant begin with developing an audit plan to evaluate the information systems and information assets of a business. Auditors must become familiar with a company's objectives and processes for their technology and determine compliance with legal regulations. They collect data by monitoring and inspecting computer systems and how personnel use them. They may also interview management and employees.
Consultants use data analysis techniques to prepare cost-benefit, return-on-investment and risk assessment reports. They then provide solutions to problems uncovered by the audit and may assist management with implementation of new technology or personnel training programs.
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Requirements to Become an IT Audit Consultant
Employers often prefer individuals who have completed a technology-related bachelor's degree program, such as computer science or management information systems. Relevant coursework includes system architecture, data modeling, electronic commerce and risk management. Graduate degree program in information systems may provide an advantage for job applicants and often include coursework specific to IT auditing, risk management and quantitative analysis.
Individuals who have a bachelor's or master's degree in a computer-related field or several years of experience in this field may also choose to enroll in a IT auditing graduate certificate programs, which includes several courses specific to working as an IT auditor. This coursework often includes topics in developing an audit plan and creating a protected information system.
Professional certification isn't a strict requirement for employment, but can validate an individual's knowledge and experience and increase employment opportunities. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and Global Information Assurance Certification are professional organizations that provide certification programs for IT audit consultants. The American Institute of CPAs and the Institute of Internal Auditors also provide certifications that can benefit IT auditors. Generally, professionals must satisfy education and experience requirements to be eligible to test for a certification.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the majority of IT auditors working earned between $47,194 and $95,170 a year as of January 2016. Although the BLS does not provide information specific to the field of IT audit consultants, the BLS did project that the employment of auditors and accountants will likely grow by about 11% between 2014 and 2024, a rate consistent with the average predicted for all occupations.
Those interested in becoming an IT audit consultant should plan to earn at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. They should also keep in mind that most employers expect IT audit consultants to be certified. IT audit consultants can earn certification through a large variety of organizations and can expect increased job outlook for their efforts.