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IT Auditor Certification and Certificate Program Summaries

Get information on certificate programs in IT auditing, and read about certification options in the field. See details about prerequisites, coursework and employment statistics.

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Essential Information

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.

Students in an IT auditing certificate program learn about various standards and regulations and their applications to security assessments and internal controls. Certificate 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).

Education Prerequisites

Many universities offer IT auditing certificate programs to undergraduates who are currently enrolled in an information technology or business technology administration degree program. Others offer such programs as graduate certificate programs through their departments of continuing education. Either way, applicants should have a background in accounting and information technology.

Program Coursework

A certificate program in IT auditing seeks to build upon an auditor's skills, allowing them to conduct an IT audit. The program trains students 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
  • Security auditing
  • Auditing new technology implementations
  • IT auditing for acquisition analysis

Continuing Education

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.

Employment and Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes accountants and auditors together and estimates that these workers will have 16% job growth for the years 2010 through 2020. The BLS also reported in 2012 that accountants and auditors earned $63,550 as a median annual wage.

Certification Options

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).

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