How to Become an IT Auditor: Education and Career Roadmap

Mar 10, 2020

Research the requirements to become an information technology (IT) auditor. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in IT auditing.

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Should I Become an IT Auditor?

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Information technology, computer science, or a related field
Certification Voluntary professional certification often preferred/required
Experience 2-5 years of experience in a related area, such as public accounting or internal auditing
Key Skills Communication, management, and analytical skills; ability to navigate a company's IT system, such as the network infrastructure
Salary (2020)* $66,658 including salary, bonuses, and profit sharing

Sources: sample job listing (November 2012), (February 2020)*

An information technology, or IT audit, involves the analysis of an organization's information technology structure, operations, and software programs. An IT auditor may identify ways in which an organization's computer systems can better meet its needs, configure hardware and software programs to design new systems, and test systems to ensure that they are working properly.

The majority of IT auditors work in an office setting, primarily with computer systems. Depending on the employer, some auditors may be required to travel in order to evaluate the systems of clients. Auditors work independently most of the time, though larger projects may require some collaboration.

Key Career Information

Desirable skills and talents among IT auditors include communication, management, and analytical skills; plus the ability to navigate a company's IT system. The pay range of those in the 10th to 90th percentile range, was $66,658 including salary, bonuses, and profit sharing among IT auditors surveyed by in February 2020.

Steps to Becoming an IT Auditor

Becoming an IT auditor requires a combination of education, work experience, and professional certification.

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program

Programs like the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems or B.S. in Information Technology can prepare students for a career in IT auditing. Classes in these 4-year programs may include enterprise process analysis and design, business information systems development, business database concepts, networks and distributed systems, database design, and project management. Students can develop related skills, including how to manage data and design workflow. Programs in related fields, such as accounting or auditing, can also be beneficial.

Success Tip:

Complete an internship. Some bachelor's degree programs allow students to complete an internship. In addition to networking opportunities, these internships can help students learn more about the field.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

IT auditors usually work in offices located in cities and business parks. They may be employed by government agencies, private and public businesses, consulting firms, and accounting agencies. Employers may prefer to hire IT auditors who have completed internships because they provide extensive training and experience in an actual work environment. Some employers may also choose to hire individuals with two to five years of relevant work experience. Individuals with specialized skills in auditing information systems or public accounting may have an advantage when it comes to certain auditing jobs.

Step 3: Obtain Certification

Employers typically require or prefer prospective IT auditors with professional certification, such as the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credentials from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). The certification options from ISACA have varying requirements, but generally require a degree and related professional experience. Also, the Institute of Internal Auditors offers the Certified Internal Auditor credential, which requires a bachelor's degree and experience.

Success Tip:

Continue on the path to success and complete continuing education. As technology advances, it can be necessary to stay current with trends in the field. Continuing education can also help professionals keep their certification current, which may be required every few years.

IT auditors typically possess a bachelor's degree in computer information systems or information technology and strong communication and analytical skills, as well as two to five years work experience and voluntary professional certification such as Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), or Certified Internal Auditor.

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