IT Auditor Certification and Certificate Program Summaries

Information technology auditors (IT auditors), also called information systems auditors (IS auditors), investigate the effectiveness and security of a company's IT systems. The goals of an IT audit are to determine if the company's IT system is operating in a manner that advances the company's objectives and goals, maintains the integrity of stored data and safeguards assets.

Essential Information

Students in an IT auditing certificate program learn about various standards and regulations and their applications to security assessments and internal controls. These programs are usually offered as complements to degree programs at the undergraduate level; graduate programs are also available. Multiple professional certifications are available to qualified individuals, including the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor).

  • Program Levels in IT Auditing: Certificate programs
  • Prerequisites: Background in accounting and information technology
  • Other Requirements: Professional certification

Certificate Programs in IT Auditing

These programs seek to build upon an auditor's skills, allowing them to conduct an IT audit. Students are trained to develop their skills in planning and executing an IT audit. Possible courses include:

  • Information systems management
  • IT systems and security
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: compliance
  • IT auditing principles
  • Auditing new technology implementations
  • IT auditing for acquisition analysis

Employment and Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes accountants and auditors together and estimates that these workers will have 13% job growth for the years 2012 through 2022. The BLS also reported in 2014 that accountants and auditors earned $73,670 as a mean annual wage.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

IT auditors may earn various certifications. Two popular certifications are CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) administered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) and GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) Certified System and Network Auditor. GIAC certification is aimed towards technical personnel who want to certify their technical knowledge of the various systems they audit.

Other certifications that may be beneficial include CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and CPA (Certified Public Accountant). (ISC)2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc.) administers the CAP (Certified Authorization Professional) credential, which is geared towards personnel who maintain and authorize information systems (www.isc2.org/default.aspx).

Aspiring IT auditors should earn at least a baccalaureate degree before seeking employment in the field. Possible degree choices include a bachelor's degree in accounting or information technology, a master's degree in accounting or a MBA in accounting. It is dependent upon the employer and the position whether a degree in information systems versus a degree in accounting is the preferred requirement.

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