ISACA CISA certification has been among the top-paying IT certifications for many years. It is administered by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), which also offers other certifications like CISM and CRISC. But CISA is the gold standard certification for the information systems auditing profession.
But you need to invest a lot of effort and some money, too, before you get CISA certified. So, what is the CISA certification cost?
There is a little difference between the CISA exam fee and the CISA certification cost. While exam is only a part of CISA certification process, being a certified auditor also means having the requisite 5 years of experience and applying for CISA certification.
What is the CISA Certification cost?
CISA certification cost includes two costs: CISA Exam fee and CISA application fee. As a CISA candidate, you must be aware of these costs. The third cost is CISA certification maintenance fee, which we will explain at the end. But here is a brief summary of CISA certification cost:
Exam fee: Members = $575 and Non-Members = $760
CISA application processing fee (after passing the exam) = $50
Now we look at more detail on the breakup and see how you can save money as well for the certified information system auditor exam.
CISA exam cost
CISA exam fee is currently $575, if you also buy ISACA membership, which costs $135. If you do not get ISACA membership, then CISA exam fee is $760 because then you be charged ISACA non-member exam fee.
Moreover, if you register by the early deadline, you get a $50 off on the CISA exam fee. When you get ISACA membership, you also have to pay your local ISACA chapter dues, which are nominal (about $20) in most cases.
Therefore, assuming that you appear in CISA exam being an ISACA member and you register for exam before the early registration deadline, then your total CISA exam cost comes to around $689 (525+135+20). Please remember that this calculation does not include any CISA training you might opt for. These trainings can cost quite much.
CISA certification Application Cost
For you to be able to use CISA designation, there is another step: applying for the Certification after qualifying the exam.
You can apply for CISA certification only after you pass CISA exam with a minimum passing score of 450 at the CISA certification exam. Read our informative post on the CISA pass rate. You will download the CISA certification application, fill it, pay $50 CISA application processing fee and submit it to ISACA. Once your application is approved, you will get your CISA certificate.
So, your total CISA certification cost will be around $740 ($689 cisa examination and ISACA membership fee + $50 CISA application processing fee). This is with the assumption that you will pass CISA exam on your first attempt.
How do I get CISA certified?
Briefly, here are the requirements for CISA certification:
- Pass the CISA Exam
- Meet the experience requirement of 5 years in CISA Job Practice Areas (information systems auditing, control, and information security.) Experience waivers are available for counting toward CISA certification eligibility.
- Pay CISA Certification fee and apply for Certification.
What is the cost of maintaining CISA certification?
And after that, you will continue to adhere to CISA application CPE policy and Code of Ethics and pay a CISA certification maintenance fee of $85 every year to remain a CISA-certified information systems auditor.
ISACA membership is optional, but because of all the resources it provides, you might also want to continue with it. Without the membership, CISA exam cost is at a minimum $740. This is without the cost you will incur on buying CISA study material and learning about cisa exam questions.
Is a CISA Certification worth it?
Yes, CISA certification is completely worth going for if you want to establish yourself as an information systems auditor. The certification is well respected by employers and is the gold standard for those looking to advance their career in information systems auditing, implementing IT controls, and information security. Speaking from personal experience, it can push your career to new horizons. You will be respected in the organization, and it will most likely lead to greater visibility and progress in your career.
Is CISA certification difficult?
CISA is a reasonably difficult certification if you try to attempt it without preparation. This also explains the CISA pass rate. You will have to work harder to earn this certification if you come from a pure audit background without a good IT background. But if someone has a bachelor’s or masters in IT, it is not that difficult. You only need to practice developing an auditor’s mindset and reading about the auditing process deeply.
How long does IT take to get CISA certification?
It may take a few months and up to a year to get CISA certification. The time spent getting CISA certified depends on your starting point. As I explained earlier, those with an IT background will find it easier and may pass the exam with only a few months of preparation. Those without IT background may need up to a year to confidently sit for the CISA exam.
And to get the certification, you need to demonstrate experience. So if you already have experience, you can apply for certification right after clearing the exam. For others, additional time will be needed to get experience, which may be up to 5 years after the exam.
Can I avoid CISA certification cost?
No. It is not possible to altogether avoid CISA certification costs. However, you can reduce your cost using the tips we shared above. For example, it is always recommended to purchase ISACA membership because it gives you access to a lot of free material and immediate savings on exam registration. But apart from these discounts, it is impossible to avoid altogether paying for CISA certification.