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There are many IT related certifications and it becomes a challenge to pinpoint which certification will be best for your career. And it is also important to prioritize if you want to achieve both CISA and CISSP. In this article, I am going to specifically discuss CISA vs CISSP and which certification you should prefer.

Is CISA for You?

To begin with CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) is a certification for information systems auditing. It is the gold standard certification when it comes to the profession of auditing IT systems. It is administered by ISACA which is an independent non-profit organization.

It is ideally suitable for auditors who are either in the information systems auditing field or want to branch into IS auditing. The certification exam is quite rigorous and it also has five years experience requirement for certification.

The content on the CISA examination is a mix of auditing, IT operations, IT governance, and information security. In fact the biggest weightage in the CISA exam is given to the Protection of Information Assets domain which is actually another name for information security. So when your job is auditing in an IT system environment, then it is recommended that you go for CISA certification.

This is so because auditing community very clearly understands CISA designation and it places you in a position where the employers understand that you are someone who can be entrusted with auditing their systems. CISA is also quite well branded as a certification for IT professionals whose work relates to software development etc.

Is CISSP for You?

On the other hand, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is a certification which is focused on the information security field. This is administered by (ISC)² which is also a non-profit organization. It is different from CISA because it is targeted towards IT professionals whose work is associated with information security.

CISSP is a certification which is ideal for you if your work mainly involves technical system administration, security solutions designs, information security management, network security management etc. It is not laser focused towards certifying you as an information systems auditor.

But having said that CISSP is far more technical in its content that CISA. Though you can apply the knowledge learned in CISSP while auditing information systems but the certification itself does not cover the auditing domain. For CISSP certification, you also need to pass the exam and get 5 years experience in one of the 8 domains of CISSP.

CISA vs CISSP – Final Verdict

So briefly, when it comes to CISA vs CISSP, it all depends on your objective. If you are in the auditing field, then you should definitely go for CISA. But if you are working in core IT security management or IT security administration, then CISSP will be more beneficial for you.