CISSP vs. CISA: Which One Is Right for You?


Those working in the IT sector may seek to further their careers by earning both the CISSP and CISA certifications. The two qualifications have more in common than you may think, but there are significant differences as well. While both are related to the field of Information Systems, the CISSP is more concerned with security while the CISA is more concerned with auditing.

Now that we have a better idea of the differences between the two, let’s discuss it in more detail.


The (ISC)2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium) offers the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification. It is intended especially for information and communication technology (ICT) professionals employed in the field of information security. Therefore, it is considered to be among the best data security certifications and essentially a part of the IT business.

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers the auditing certification known as CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor). Professionals can audit IS/IT functions with its help. In the field of IT system audits, this certification is regarded as the gold standard.

Technical detail:

While CISA is considered less technical than CISSP, it is generally accepted that CISSP is a difficult technical certification that can test even the most experienced IT experts.

Targeted Audience:

Among the many security professions served by the CISSP course certification are Chief Information Security Officers, Network Architects, Security Consultants, Security Managers, Security Architects, Security Analysts, and Security Systems Engineers.

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification is aimed at a wide range of IT specialists, including consultants, privacy officers, auditors, CISOs, CISSPs, CISSEs, network administrators, and security engineers.

Also Read: A Deep Dive into CISA Certification Skills, Benefits, and Opportunities


To earn your CISSP certification, you need to demonstrate five years of expertise in two or more of the eight domains included in the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge.

To become a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), you need to show that you have five years of experience in two or more of the eight areas covered by the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge.

Even those without the necessary experience are eligible to take the exam, and if they pass, they can earn an Associate of ISC2 designation. The candidate may then, rather than waiting the required five years, acquire the necessary experience within the next six years.

To earn the CISSP certification, candidates must demonstrate five years of expertise in two or more of the eight domains included in the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge.

A waiver may be granted if:

One year of information systems (IS) experience is the maximum amount needed to fulfill the one year requirement.


One year of experience in IS auditing is necessary, in addition to another year in a related field.

  • A degree of either two or four years’ duration is equivalent to one or two years of work experience.
  • One can use a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution that follows the model curricula authorized by ISACA as credit toward one year of experience.
  • A four-year degree is equal to two years of experience in the workforce, whereas a two-year degree is the equivalent of one year.
  • A student’s two years of work experience, while enrolled full-time in an associated field of study, may be applied against the one year of mandatory experience. This is generally considered to be an exception.

This means that a candidate can take the CISA exam without having the necessary experience, and within 10 years of applying for the exam or 5 years after passing it, they can obtain the necessary experience. Only after obtaining the necessary experience will the CISA designation be awarded.

Earnings After Completing a CISSP or CISA Certification

For both certificates, the average salary is rather substantial. However, CISSP frequently results in a lower compensation package than CISA.

According to PayScale, the average yearly compensation for a CISSP certification is $107,000, whereas the average yearly compensation for a CISA certification is $99,000.

From an overall perspective, there is no way to compare the benefits of CISSP with CISA. The decision to choose one is primarily based on the goal that the person wishes to achieve. You should get your CISSP certification if you work in either the IT Security Management or IT Security Administration core areas. You should get your CISA certification if auditing is your area of interest.

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