Is the CISA Worth It?

by Jack Leo

Corporate data breaches are becoming more commonplace at an alarming rate. Microsoft, Facebook, and Tik Tok have all recently experienced hacks. These three breaches—along with several others—were caused by improperly set security or lax security measures. In other words, they might have been avoided. In actuality, carelessness is at blame for up to 93% of hacks.

Given the prevalence of avoidable data breaches, it is not surprising that businesses are looking for skilled system auditors to thwart potential threats to their networks. But how can any business securely employ an IT auditor to stop catastrophes in their tracks?

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credential is useful in this situation. The CISA is a gold-standard certification for IT auditors, alongside the CISSP. The CISA certificate might not align with your short-term or long-term goals, despite the fact that it might be the gold standard for IT auditors. Let’s talk about what it means to be a CISA certified professional, what the exam entails, and who should take it.

What is CISA Certification?

The organisation in charge of overseeing the CISA certification test is called the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). The CISA certification’s goal is to make sure test takers comprehend all topics included on the CISA curriculum. There are five subjects included specifically in the syllabus:

  • S (Information Systems) Auditing Process
  • IT Governance
  • IS Acquisition Development and Implementation
  • IS Operations and Business Resilience
  • Protection of Information Assets

A CISA-certified worker should be capable of conducting complex IT audits on any company system after mastering these five areas of knowledge.

Since there are several categories, as you can see, the test has 150 questions and takes four hours to complete. The CISA costs $760 ($525 if you’re an ISACA member), has a lengthy exam period, and covers a wide range of topics. That could sound difficult, but if IT auditing is your primary focus, you should give it some serious thought. Although the test is a significant component of obtaining CISA certification, it is not the only component. Let’s examine the prerequisites and specifications for certification.

CISA Certification Prerequisites and Requirements

You may have noticed that more gatekeeping is required for certifications with more prestige. This is also true with the CISA certificate. First and foremost, applicants must have five years of work experience, following ISACA regulations. Any daily action that fits into at least one of the five areas covered in the test is what ISACA means when they use the phrase “on-the-job training” in their terminology. In light of that, this certification might not be ideal for you just now if you are fresh out of college or are just starting out in the IT field.

You don’t have to wait five years, though, if that sounds like a very long time. ISACA offers a number of exceptions that can delay meeting that criteria by up to two years. For instance, if the participant possesses an associate’s degree, the required work experience is reduced by one year. The five-year requirement can be shortened by two years with a bachelor’s degree and by three years with a master’s degree in an IT-related discipline. Attending college can help you save a tonne of time. The qualification in this case is that the candidate must have graduated within the last ten years.

Passing the CISA Exam

The next need for obtaining a CISA certification is an easy one to understand: passing the test. It should be emphasised that you can take the test even if you don’t have the necessary job experience. The certificate cannot be really claimed until the required amount of work experience has been gained by sprintzeal.

Complying with Information Systems Auditing Standards

The adage “great power comes great responsibility” is true. Once a candidate has mastered each of the five speciality areas, it is crucial that they use their knowledge ethically. Because of this, ISACA demands that all candidates adhere to their requirements. These requirements include conducting an audit while being impartial, independent, and comprehensive.

It’s critical to keep in mind that these are not only words. The ISACA board has the authority to take disciplinary action against any CISA holders who are found to be violating the criteria.

Why You need to Take the CISA Exam

The anticipated income boost is among the major benefits of earning a CISA certification. An average CISA will earn between $90,000 and $100,000 annually. For someone who may just be three or four years out of college, that is a terrific paycheck. If the price of the CISA test sends you into sticker shock, remember that it is well worth it and will eventually pay off.

The criteria of DOD Direction 8140 are satisfied by a CISA certification. People who achieve this qualification and are CISA certified have a significant advantage in the labour market for the federal government. Nothing compares to the employment stability provided by working for a federal agency like the DHS.


In conclusion, CISA certification is a valuable credential that can provide numerous benefits to individuals and organizations in the field of information technology audit and security. By earning this certification, you can demonstrate your expertise, open up new career opportunities, and contribute to improving information security and compliance practices.

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