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Top 6 ISACA Certifications You Should Have in 2024

24th Apr, 2024
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    Top 6 ISACA Certifications You Should Have in 2024

    ISACA certifications stand out as some of the most sought-after and highly rewarding qualifications in the IT industry, as evident from the Global Knowledge 2024 IT Skills and Salary Report. Approximately 11% of IT professionals in the United States and Canada hold ISACA certificates, enjoying salaries that are 12% higher than the North American average.

    If you're considering pursuing an ISACA certification, here are the top five highest-paying ISACA certifications list that can significantly boost your earning potential.

    What is ISACA?

    ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) is a global professional association that focuses on information technology governance, risk management, cybersecurity, and assurance. It was founded in 1969 and has since become a leading organization in the IT industry, providing guidance, knowledge, certifications, and networking opportunities to IT professionals worldwide.

    ISACA has gained a reputation for three core attributes:

    • Advancing Diverse Careers: best ISACA certification offer significant career enhancement opportunities across various domains.
    • High Demand and Recognition: These certifications are highly sought-after, reflecting their value in the job market.
    • Lucrative Salaries: Professionals with ISACA certifications, especially in ISACA Cyber Security Certifications, earn top-tier salaries. In fact, Cybersecurity, Governance, Compliance, and Policy certifications are considered industry standards, with a global average salary of $96,308, surpassing the average by seven percent.

    There are ISACA free certifications which you can explore!

    What are ISACA Certifications?

    ISACA certifications are well regarded and widely recognized in the industry. Employees with these credentials often see increased career prospects, earning potential, and leadership role opportunities in IT, cybersecurity and risk management. The association also offers resources such as research journals, events and networking sessions to help its members stay up-to-date

    ISACA offers a range of certifications, including:

    1. CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor): Focuses on auditing, controlling, and assuring information systems and technology.
    2. CISM (Certified Information Security Manager): Concentrates on information security management and governance.
    3. CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control): Focuses on managing IT and cybersecurity risks within an organization.
    4. CGEIT (Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT): Concentrates on IT governance and its alignment with business objectives.

    Let’s now look at why these certifications are so highly regarded!

    Importance of ISACA Certifications in the Industry

    For professionals and employers, ISACA certification is very important in the IT and cybersecurity industry. Here are some of the key reasons why ISACA’s new certification is highly regarded:

    1. Professional recognition: ISACA is a globally recognized and respected professional association. Its credentials are well recognized and appreciated by employers around the world. Holding an ISACA certification demonstrates a professional’s commitment to excellence and compliance with high industry standards.

    2. Specializations: Each ISACA certification focuses on specific areas in IT, governance, risk management and cybersecurity. By earning these certifications, employees demonstrate their core knowledge and skills, making them more desirable for roles that require expertise in those areas.

    3. Career Development: ISACA certifications can greatly enhance career prospects. Doors are opened for new jobs, promotions and salary increases. Many organizations seek candidates for ISACA certification, especially in roles related to auditing, security management, risk assessment and governance.

    4. Trust and credibility: ISACA certifications establish credibility in the eyes of employers, clients and peers. Employers can be confident that certified employees have met rigorous standards and have the skills necessary to do their job well.

    5. Global reach: ISACA has a strong global presence, and its credentials are recognized and respected in many countries. This makes ISACA certified professionals attractive to multinational companies and creates opportunities for international employment.

    6. Continuing Professional Development: ISACA certification requires continuous professional education to maintain employability. This ensures that certified professionals are updated with the latest industry trends, technologies and best practices, keeping them relevant in a rapidly growing industry.

    7. Contribution to Organizational Success: ISACA accredited professionals can make a significant contribution to the success of an organization by effectively managing risks, ensuring compliance, and IT governance and security implementation of complex actions.

    The ISACA certification not only attests to professional skills and knowledge but also provides a competitive edge in the industry. They are evidence of an employee’s commitment to continuing education and dedication to maintaining the highest standards in their industry.

    ISACA Certification Pathways

    ISACA offers three major certification pathways that cater to various levels of expertise and experience.

    1. Foundation Certifications

    These certifications are made for individuals who are new to the field or have less experience in the relevant domains. ISACA entry-level certification provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skills and is suitable for entry-level professionals or those looking to transition into a new area within IT, governance, risk management, or cybersecurity.

    Foundation certifications offered by ISACA include:

    • CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals (CSX-F): Focuses on essential ISACA cybersecurity certificate concepts and terminology.

    2. Practitioner Certifications

    Practitioner certifications are intended for professionals with some experience in the respective areas. They validate practical knowledge and skills, allowing individuals to demonstrate their competence in specific roles or job functions.

    Practitioner certifications offered by ISACA include:

    • CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor): For professionals in the field of IT auditing, control, and assurance.
    • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager): For individuals involved in information security management and governance.
    • CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control): Designed for those managing IT and cybersecurity risks within an organization.
    • CGEIT (Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT): For professionals responsible for IT governance and alignment with business objectives.

    3. Expert-Level Certifications

    Expert-level certifications are the most advanced and prestigious offered by ISACA. They are designed for seasoned professionals with significant experience and expertise in the relevant domains. These certifications demonstrate a high level of proficiency and are well-regarded by employers seeking top-level talent.

    Expert-level certifications offered by ISACA include:

    • CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control): While CRISC is also a practitioner-level certification, it is considered an expert-level certification due to its comprehensive and advanced content.

    6 Best ISACA Certifications List

    1. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Certification

    • Website Link: CISA
    • Certification Overview: The CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification focuses on IT auditing, control, and assurance, validating professionals' ability to assess and manage information systems and technology risks.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites: IT auditors, security professionals, and risk management professionals can pursue CISA. Candidates must have at least five years of professional work experience in IS auditing, control, or security, with a maximum of three years substitutable with relevant education or other certifications.
    • Exam details: The CISA Certification exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, covering five domains: Information Systems Auditing Process, Governance and Management of IT, Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation, Information Systems Operations, Maintenance, and Service Management, and Protection of Information Assets.
    • Cost: The CISA exam registration fee is $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members.
    • Where would you use it?CISA certification is valuable for professionals working in IT auditing, security assessment, and risk management, in various industries handling critical information systems.
    • Advantages of CISA certification
      • Validates expertise in IT auditing, control, and assurance.
      • Enhances career opportunities in IT governance and security domains.
      • Adds credibility and trust among employers and clients.
      • Demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and professional development.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: CISA-certified professionals can pursue roles like IT Auditor, Compliance Auditor, Information Security Analyst, and Risk Manager, with average salaries around $140,653.57 (Skillsoft).

    2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Certification

    • Website Link: CISM
    • Overview: ISACA, a nonprofit, independent group that promotes for professionals interested in information security, assurance, risk management, and governance, offers CISM. The CISM certification is designed for information security managers, aspiring managers, and IT consultants that assist information security program management.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites?: The CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification is ideal for IT auditors, security professionals, and risk management professionals. It validates their ability to assess and manage information systems and technology risks. Out of the required five years of work experience, at least three years must be acquired while serving as an information security manager.
    • Exam details: The CISA exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering five domains: Information Systems Auditing Process, Governance and Management of IT, Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation, Information Systems Operations, Maintenance, and Service Management, and Protection of Information Assets.
    • Cost : The exam registration fee is approximately $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members, with additional expenses for study materials.
    • Where would you use it?: CISA certification is valuable in industries emphasizing information systems auditing, control, and risk management, such as finance, healthcare, government, and IT services.
    • Advantages of CISM certification
      • Validates information security management expertise.
      • Globally recognized and respected.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: CISA-certified professionals can pursue roles like IT Auditor, Compliance Auditor, Information Security Analyst, and Risk Manager, with average salaries around $117,000 in North America and $106,000 globally.

    3. Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)

    • Website Link: CDPSE
    • Certification Overview: The CDPSE certification focuses on data privacy solutions and is designed for professionals responsible for designing and implementing privacy programs via ISACA certification programs.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites: Data privacy professionals and those involved in privacy program management are eligible for CDPSE. Candidates should possess a minimum of two years of work experience in privacy or information security and adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics.
    • Exam details: The CDPSE exam comprises 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within four hours. It assesses candidates' knowledge of privacy governance, data protection implementation, privacy assurance, and compliance.
    • Cost : The CDPSE exam registration fee is $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members.
    • Where would you use it?: The CDPSE certification is beneficial for professionals working in organizations handling sensitive data and aiming to ensure compliance with privacy regulations and establish robust data privacy programs.
    • Advantages of CDPSE certification
      • Enhances career opportunities in the data privacy and compliance domains.
      • Adds credibility and trust among employers and clients.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: CDPSE-certified professionals can pursue roles such as Data Privacy Officer, Privacy Program Manager, Compliance Analyst, and Privacy Consultant to earn $144,004.11.

    4. Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) Certification

    • Website Link: CGEIT
    • Certification Overview: CGEIT is designed for professionals involved in IT governance and strategic alignment, validating their expertise in managing IT resources and ensuring value delivery.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites: IT governance professionals, IT managers, and business leaders are eligible for CGEIT. Candidates need at least five years of work experience in governance of IT or strategic alignment, with a minimum of one year of experience in managing IT resources.
    • Exam details: The CGEIT exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, to be completed within four hours. It assesses candidates' knowledge of IT governance framework, strategic alignment, risk management, resource management, and value delivery.
    • Cost: The CGEIT exam registration fee is $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members.
    • Where would you use it?: CGEIT certification is valuable for professionals involved in IT governance, risk management, and ensuring the alignment of IT with business goals. It is applicable in organizations where effective governance of IT resources is essential.
    • Advantages of CGEIT certification
      • Enables professionals to contribute effectively to an organization's success and resilience.
      • Supports organizations in achieving their business objectives through effective IT governance.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: As CGEIT is a recognized certification in IT governance, it can lead to career growth and competitive salaries like average salary $151,473.40 in IT management and governance domains, though specific salary data may vary based on factors like experience and industry.

    5. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) Certification

    • Website Link: CRISC
    • Certification Overview: CRISC is designed for IT risk management and information systems control professionals, validating their expertise in identifying and managing IT risks.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites: IT risk professionals, control professionals, and business analysts can pursue CRISC. Candidates need at least three years of relevant work experience in at least three of the four CRISC domains for certifications by ISACA.
    • Exam details: The CRISC exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, to be completed within four hours. It evaluates candidates' knowledge of IT risk identification, assessment, response, and control monitoring.
    • Cost: The CRISC exam registration fee is $575 for ISACA members and $760 for non-members.
    • Where would you use it?: CRISC certification is valuable for professionals involved in IT risk management, ensuring information systems' security and compliance in organizations with a focus on risk mitigation.
    • Advantages of CRISC certification
      • Equips professionals to safeguard information systems and critical assets.
      • Improves the organization's risk management practices and security posture.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: CRISC certification can open doors to career advancement and competitive salaries such as average salary $167,145.27 in the IT risk and security fields, though specific salary data may vary based on factors like experience and industry.

    6. CSX-P Certification

    • Website Link: CSX-P
    • Certification Overview: The CSX-P (Cybersecurity Nexus Practitioner) certification focuses on practical skills in cybersecurity and is designed for cybersecurity professionals.
    • Who can get it and prerequisites? Cybersecurity professionals seeking practical expertise can pursue CSX-P certifications offered by the ISACA. There are no specific prerequisites for this certification.
    • Exam details: The CSX-P exam assesses candidates' hands-on skills in cybersecurity through practical scenarios and challenges. The CSX-P test now lasts one hour instead of four, and applicants must pass at least three of the five performance assessments.
    • Cost: The Accelerated CSX-P Certification Suite costs $549 for ISACA members and $599  for nonmembers.
    • Where would you use it? CSX-P certification is valuable for professionals working in cybersecurity-related roles, protecting organizations from cyber threats and ensuring data security.
    • Advantages of CSX-P certification
      • Validates practical skills in cybersecurity through hands-on assessments.
      • Demonstrates expertise in tackling real-world cybersecurity challenges.
      • Enhances career opportunities in the cybersecurity domain.
      • Adds credibility and trust among employers and clients.
    • Career opportunities & Salary: CSX-P-certified professionals can pursue roles such as Cybersecurity Analyst, Incident Response Specialist, Cybersecurity Consultant, and Penetration Tester with Average Salary $165,979.

    Certification Comparison: Key Factors and Considerations


    Focus Area

    Target Audience

    Experience Level

    Industry Recognition

    Key Topics

    Renewal Period

    CPE Requirements


    IT Auditing, Control, and Assurance

    IT Auditors, Security Professionals, Risk Management Professionals

    Mid to Senior-Level

    Widely recognized and respected globally

    Auditing, Control, Governance, Risk Management, Information Systems Operations and Business Resilience

    Every 3 years

    120 CPE hours with a minimum of 20 hours annually


    Information Security Management and Governance

    Information Security Managers, IT Professionals involved in Security Management

    Mid to Senior-Level

    Highly valued in the industry

    Information Security Management, Risk Management, Incident Response, Governance

    Every 3 years

    120 CPE hours with a minimum of 20 hours annually


    IT Risk Management and Information Systems Control

    IT Risk Professionals, Control Professionals, Business Analysts

    Mid to Senior-Level

    Globally recognized for risk management expertise

    Risk Identification, Assessment, Response, Control Monitoring, Information Systems Control

    Every 3 years

    120 CPE hours with a minimum of 20 hours annually


    Governance of Enterprise IT

    IT Governance Professionals, IT Managers, Business Leaders

    Mid to Senior-Level

    Acknowledged for IT governance and strategic alignment

    IT Governance Framework, Strategic Alignment, Value Delivery, Risk Management, Resource Management

    Every 3 years

    120 CPE hours with a minimum of 20 hours annually


    Cybersecurity Fundamentals

    Entry-level cybersecurity professionals, IT Support Staff


    Provides foundational knowledge in cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity Concepts, Cybersecurity Architecture Principles, Security of Networks, Systems, Applications, Data, and Endpoints

    Not applicable

    No recertification required

    Factors To Consider When Choosing the Right ISACA Certification

    Thinking carefully and knowing important things are really crucial when you're deciding about these certifications. Here are some important things to remember:

    • Career Goals: Consider your long-term career objectives and the specific roles you aspire to in the IT, cybersecurity, or governance fields. Choose a certification that complements your career goals and enhances your skills in the relevant area.
    • Experience Level: Assess your current level of experience. Some certifications may require a certain level of experience or prerequisites before you can pursue them. You must make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the certification you are keen to pursue.
    • Relevant to your role: Look for credentials that are directly related to your current or desired career. For example, if you work in IT accounting, CISA certification would be a viable option.
    • Accredited services: Look for accredited services and reputation in certification. Widely recognized and respected certifications in the industry can boost your recognition and sales.
    • Content and focus: Review the content and focus of the certificate. Make sure it matches your areas of interest and the specific knowledge and skills you want to develop.
    • Demand in the job market: Consider the level of employer demand for the certification you are interested in. Certifications that are in high demand can open up more job opportunities and can lead to higher salaries.
    • Cost and Maintenance: Determine the costs associated with obtaining certification, including testing fees, course materials, and ongoing maintenance costs for recertification.
    • Time commitment: Determine the amount of time needed to prepare for the exam and study. Some certifications may have more extensive academic requirements than others.
    • Long-term value: Consider the long-term value of certification. Will it stay relevant in the industry, or will it become obsolete over time?
    • Personal Interests: Think about your personal interests and hobbies. Choosing a certification that matches your interests can make learning more enjoyable and satisfying.
    • Continuing Education: Check continuing education requirements for maintaining certification. Consider whether you are willing to commit to continuous professional development to keep the certification current.
    • Support and Resources: Lastly, ensure that the certification organization provides additional resources, such as study materials, practice tests, and networking opportunities to support your certification journey.

    Combining ISACA Certifications: Maximizing Career Potential

    When combining ISACA certifications, it is important to plan your certification journey carefully and consider your specific career goals. Get advice from experienced professionals, consultants, or career counselors to ensure your credential combination matches your desired career path. Remember, staying educated and staying abreast of industry trends is essential to making the most of your combined credentials and maintaining your career potential over the long term.

    Beyond Certification: Leveraging ISACA Membership

    ISACA membership goes beyond certification, providing networking, continuing education, career development and industry impact. Access to exclusive products, discounts and access to a world-class community drives business growth and confidence. ISACA’s new certification opens the door to new opportunities and peer support.

    Resources and Study Materials for ISACA Certifications

    Resources and study materials for ISACA certifications are critical for exam preparation and ensuring success. Here are few key resources you can leverage:

    1. Online Courses and Training Providers

    Many online platforms provide holistic courses and training for ISACA certifications. These courses are created to cover exam content and offer a deep understanding of key topics. Some popular training providers include Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and ISACA's official training partners.

    2. Practice Exams and Mock Tests

    Practicing with sample exams and mock tests is crucial for exam readiness. They help you become familiar with the exam format, assess your knowledge, and identify areas that need further improvement. ISACA often provides official practice exams for their certifications, and you can find additional mock tests from various online sources.

    3. Professional Networking and Study Groups

    ISACA offers official study guides, review manuals, and publications tailored to each certification. These resources were created by subject matter experts and align closely with the exam content. You can purchase them directly from ISACA's website.

    Maintaining and Renewing Certification

    To maintain and renew your ISACA certification:

    • Earn CPE credits by attending events, webinars, and training sessions.
    • Keep records of your activities and submit documentation before the renewal period ends.
    • Pay the renewal fee and stay informed about notifications from ISACA.
    • Continuous learning ensures your certification remains current and demonstrates your commitment to professional growth.

    The Benefits of Being an ISACA Member

    Being a member of ISACA has many benefits that can significantly enhance professional careers in IT, cybersecurity and governance. Here are some of the main benefits of being an ISACA member.

    1. Professional Development Opportunities: ISACA offers a wide range of resources including webinars, conferences, seminars and workshops, which provide opportunities for continuing education and skills development. Members receive valuable educational content and are exposed to the latest industry trends and best practices.
    2. Certification discounts: As a member, you can get discounts on ISACA certification exams and study materials. This can significantly reduce the financial burden of obtaining and maintaining prestigious certifications such as CISA, CISM, CRISC and CGEIT.
    3. Networking and community: ISACA offers a robust professional network where members can connect with peers, industry experts and thought leaders. Participation in these communities fosters entrepreneurship, knowledge sharing, and potential business opportunities.
    4. Open access to publications and research: Members have access to ISACA research reports, white papers and publications, which provide valuable insights and in-depth analysis on topics related to IT governance, cybersecurity, risk management and assurance.
    5. Career Center: ISACA’s Career Center provides a way for members to apply for job opportunities, post resumes and connect with potential employers. This service can help find new job opportunities for advancement within their current organization.
    6. Volunteer and Leadership Opportunities: ISACA encourages its members to actively participate in the organization through volunteer and leadership roles. This participation allows members to develop leadership skills, expand their professional networks, and contribute to the company’s growth.
    7. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits: Many ISACA activities, such as attending conferences and webinars, offer CPE credits. These credits are necessary to maintain ISACA certification and demonstrate a commitment to continuous professional development
    8. Advocacy and representation: ISACA advocates for the interests of its members in the IT industry, and influences policies and standards that affect the industry. As a member, you have the opportunity to be a part of this advocacy effort and contribute to positive change in the industry.

    To summarize, becoming an ISACA member provides access to a wealth of resources, networking opportunities and support that can advance a professional’s career and contribute to success in the IT, cybersecurity and governance industries. This is a valuable investment for those who want to excel in their field and stay at the forefront of industry trends.


    In conclusion, ISACA certification plays an important role in information technology, cybersecurity, and governance industries. Certifications such as CISA, CISM, CRISC, and CGEIT allow professionals to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to best practices in their respective fields. The entire ISACA certification list is recognized and highly regarded by employers worldwide for improved employment opportunities and capital gain potential Entrepreneurs who achieve ISACA certification can lead industry trends and demonstrate a commitment to they will continue to learn and excel in their field.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Are ISACA certifications worth it?

    Yes, ISACA certifications are highly regarded and relevant to IT professionals looking for productivity improvement, increased salaries, and recognition in the industry due to their global recognition and special focus in IT, in cybersecurity and governance industries.

    2Can I pursue more than one ISACA certification?

    Yes, you can pursue multiple ISACA certifications to build your skills and expertise in different domains within IT, cybersecurity, and governance.

    3What is the passing score for ISACA certification exams?

    The passing score for ISACA certification exams is generally 450 out of 800. But please note that the passing score may vary slightly for different exams, so it's suggested to check the specific passing score for the certification you are planning to pursue on the official ISACA website or the exam's official guidelines.

    4What is the average passing rate for ISACA exams?

    ISACA does not disclose the average passing rate for their certification exams. Passing rates vary depending on exam difficulty and candidate preparation. Official study materials, practice exams, and thorough preparation are essential to increasing your chances of passing.

    5How long is an ISACA certification valid?

    ISACA certifications are valid for three years from the date of issuance, after which they must be renewed through continuing professional education (CPE) credits or by retaking the exam.

    6How does KnowledgeHut assist in obtaining ISACA certifications?

    Knowledgehut's Cyber Security Certification Courses provide comprehensive training and support for professionals seeking ISACA certifications, offering exam preparation courses, workshops, and a variety of resources to aid in the certification process.


    Vitesh Sharma

    Blog Author

    Vitesh Sharma, a distinguished Cyber Security expert with a wealth of experience exceeding 6 years in the Telecom & Networking Industry. Armed with a CCIE and CISA certification, Vitesh possesses expertise in MPLS, Wi-Fi Planning & Designing, High Availability, QoS, IPv6, and IP KPIs. With a robust background in evaluating and optimizing MPLS security for telecom giants, Vitesh has been instrumental in driving large service provider engagements, emphasizing planning, designing, assessment, and optimization. His experience spans prestigious organizations like Barclays, Protiviti, EY, PwC India, Tata Consultancy Services, and more. With a unique blend of technical prowess and management acumen, Vitesh remains at the forefront of ensuring secure and efficient networking solutions, solidifying his position as a notable figure in the cybersecurity landscape.

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