Nobody likes the word "audit." That is unless you are, or are thinking about becoming, an IT auditor, which is one of the fastest growing career areas in IT. Since the passage of information legislation, like Sarbanes-Oxley, IT audits have increased, and so has the need for people to do them.
An IT audit is basically the process of collecting and evaluating evidence of an organization's information systems, practices, and operations. IT auditors look not only at physical controls as a security auditor would, but they also look at business and financial controls within an organization.
IT auditor’s help organizations comply with legislation, making sure they keeping data and records secure. These auditors don't actually implement any fixes; they just offer an independent review of the situation.
Becoming an IT auditor requires a combination of education, work experience, and professional certification.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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