IT Auditor Career Path

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IT Auditor Career Path

An IT auditor is a professional who examines records of an organization’s computer system or a complex electronic system within a business or government agency to assess what controls are in place and if they work effectively. An effective control environment helps ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. The main focus for an IT auditor is when there isn’t an owner for risk, as well as the assessment of high-risk applications and IT activities. In addition to this, they make suggestions as to how risks can be mitigated or reduced.

An important aspect to consider is that there are two types of auditors: internal and external. The main difference between these two lies in who they report to. An internal auditor reports directly to the highest authority in an organization, i.e., the CEO or board members. Their primary objective is to ensure that companies are following their set policies and procedures as well as combating fraud within the company. On the other hand, external auditors or “independent” auditors are hired by management teams to provide an objective opinion on the financial statements presented to outside parties, mainly shareholders.

1. What Are the Responsibilities of an IT Auditor?

Following are some of the responsibilities of an IT auditor include:

  • Assessing the IT department and its controls and giving advice on how to improve them
  • Assist management in mitigating or reducing risks that may affect the business
  • Evaluating software code for security vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflow attacks and parameter tampering, among other things
  • Assessing authorization controls of applications
  • Identifying security flaws of web applications, including cross-site scripting attacks, among other things
  • Providing advice on how to prevent unauthorized access and data loss
  • Assessing the risk of a particular function or system, such as authentication systems

2. What Skills Are Needed to be an IT Auditor?

To succeed in this role, you need above average competencies with regards to the following three key areas :

1. Leadership Skills – Highly effective IT auditors have excellent leadership skills. They are able to influence others on the topic of information security, as well as guide them on what needs to be improved upon.

2. Technical Skills – IT auditors also need to have a solid technical background so they can understand technical issues easily. An ideal candidate will have knowledge of programming languages, operating systems, networking, security concepts, and of course, the business they are auditing.

3. Business skills – IT auditors must have knowledge about the industry being audited, as well as its processes, in order to understand how information is managed by the company. This way, it will be easier for them to find any weaknesses that need fixing or risks that could impact the business.

3. How to Become an IT Auditor?

Now that you know what being an IT auditor entails, it’s time to learn how to become one! Here are four steps you need to take to get there:

1. Acquire the necessary skills – Read up on security concepts and work on your technical skills. Taking certification courses will also help you understand the field better.

2. Gain education and experience – There is no specific degree required for IT auditing (although it certainly doesn’t hurt to have one). Experience in the field is often more valued than formal education. Some employers will require that you do an internship or apprenticeship during college.

3. Stay updated on the latest happenings – In order to stay relevant as an IT auditor, you need to keep your skills up-to-date. In addition, know about the latest security vulnerabilities and learn how to identify them.

4. Start applying for jobs – Now that you have the necessary skills, it’s time to find a job! Search online for available openings and apply. Bear in mind that it may take a while before you find one, so be patient. In the meantime, you can also try attending job fairs and reaching out to recruiters in your industry.

4. How Much Does an IT Auditor Make?

There is not a standard figure for an IT auditor’s salary. It depends on what industry you work in, where the company is located, and of course, your experience level. Entry-level salaries can be around $50k, while senior IT auditors can earn up to six figures.

Making money as an IT auditor is possible if you are willing to travel. If you want to stay local, then your salary will probably be closer to the lower end of the spectrum. However, if you are willing to move around and work abroad, then your earnings could be significantly higher.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for an IT auditor is $77,540 per year or $37.22 per hour.

5. What Are the Working Conditions for an IT Auditor?

This job can be quite demanding, involving extensive travel to different locations. For this reason, it is important that you have the necessary temperament to handle lots of pressure and tight deadlines. As for work-life balance, you need to expect long hours as many companies work on a 9-5 schedule.

Networking is also key as it can help you gain exposure and improve your chances of finding a job, so join professional groups.

6. How Long Does It Take to Become an IT Auditor?

An individual can become an IT auditor in as little as three years. However, this is only possible if the person has prior experience or education in the field. Otherwise, it could take much longer since they will have to start from the bottom and gradually work their way up. It’s important to bear in mind that many companies like to hire newly-graduated IT auditors because they are willing to work for less.

7. What Are the Different Types of IT Auditors?

There are two main types of IT auditors – internal and external. Internal auditors work for the same company they are reviewing, while external ones work on behalf of organizations like regulatory bodies or law enforcement agencies.

Internal auditors usually audit more specific areas like HR or financials, while external ones monitor the entire company. External IT auditors focus more on information security and compliance regulations.

8. What Is the Job Outlook for IT Auditors?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this field to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. There will always be a need for IT auditors to look into security and prevent any type of breach from happening in companies of all sizes.

9. What Courses Can I Take to Become an IT Auditor?

There are not many schools that offer degrees in this field. Most people get entry-level auditor jobs by joining professional associations or working for smaller companies while still in school. You can then build up your resume and eventually apply for a full-time position at a larger corporation.

That being said, there are some colleges that offer courses in IT auditions. For example, you can enroll in a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to gain an introduction into this field while majoring in accounting or finance.

Further study is not necessary, but having a degree will be an advantage when it comes to applying for jobs and advancing your career.

The following courses are relevant to IT auditors:

  1. Data processing
  2. Computer forensics
  3. Telecommunications management
  4. Database administration
  5. Business information systems
  6. Operations research

10. What Kind of Companies Do IT Auditors Work for?

Many IT auditors work for consulting firms or law enforcement agencies, but some of the most common employers include:

  1. Computer systems design and related services
  2. Management of companies and enterprises
  3. Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
  4. Financial transactions processing, clearing, and settlement
  5. Computer and internet service providers
  6. Depository credit intermediation
  7. Insurance carriers
  8. Air transportation
  9. Warehousing and storage (except self-storage)

11. Best Colleges to Study IT Auditing

There are a number of colleges that offer excellent programs in IT auditing. Some of the best colleges include:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University

12. Online Courses to Study Auditing

If you’re looking to study auditing, there are a number of great online courses that can help you do just that. One such course is offered by many resources with a multitude of course material, including videos and tests.

Many online courses teach about the basics of auditing as well as how to perform different types of audits. Following are some of the popular ones:

Auditing I: Conceptual Foundations of Auditing by Coursera-This course covers the basics and principles of auditing. It includes a study of various types of auditing, including operational audits and fraud audits. It also functions as a deeper look into the responsibilities of auditors.

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Auditing II: The Practice of Auditing by Coursera-This course teaches about the auditing environment and how to handle working under pressure. It also covers professional standards and ethics as well as communication skills for auditors.

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Basics of Auditing A Complete Study by Udemy-This course covers the basics of auditing as well as details about various types of audits. It also touches on many aspects of auditing, such as designing an audit plan and performing internal controls testing.

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Certified Quality Auditor Training by Udemy-This course provides a look into the quality auditing world where students learn to analyze, assess and report quality management system failures. It covers auditing fundamentals and applications as well as project management, quality system audits, and process improvement.

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Audit and Due Diligence Foundations by Linkedin Learning-This course provides an in-depth look into the world of auditing. It includes details on audit standards, risk assessment, and financial statement audits, as well as explaining what is expected from a CPA when it comes to auditing.

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An auditor career path is a great option for individuals who want to make a difference in the world and work with numbers. It can be challenging, but it is also very rewarding. If you are interested in becoming an auditor, be sure to research the different types of auditing so that you can find the best fit for your skills and interests. And don’t forget to get experience through internships and volunteer opportunities. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming an auditor!

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