Do you want to advance your IT career? Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) can lead you to a quick promotion. But which is best, and how are they different?

Both CISA and CISSP will give you the needed shot-in-the-arm to boost your income. It depends on what direction you want to take your career. When you wish to delve deeper into security, CISSP is best. If you want a holistic approach to IT, you should choose CISA.

That’s not all. In this white paper, you can see both certifications under a fair comparison. The objective of this comparison is to illuminate the best certificate for you.

CISA And CISSP: Which Is Which?

Since CISA and CISSP are two of the best IT certifications, it’s not easy to choose between them. The only way to make an intelligent decision is through an unbiased side-by-side comparison.

The comparison will cover things like prices, examination, and curriculum, and more.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide based on your situation, budget, and experience.

CISA vs. CISSP: About

What is CISA and what is CISSP? Know the difference.


The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) is the creator of the CISA certification.

CISA focus on teaching the fundamentals of IS/IT auditing, control, and security. When you’re CISA-certified, you can audit, control, monitor, and assess information technology and business systems for organizations of all sizes.


The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² is the creator of the CISSP certification.

By taking CISSP, you learn to professionally design, implement, and sustain an advanced IT program for all organizations. You can also unlock more certifications as an (ISC)² member and get more involved in earning high-level certifications.

CISA vs. CISSP: Prices

Whether it’s CISA, CISSP, or another certification, IT certifications are worth the investment.


The course, study material, and exam costs will vary based on whether you’re an ISACA member:

  • CISA Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Database: $299 for members and $399 for non-members.
  • CISA Online Review Course: $795 for members and $895 for non-members.
  • CISA Review Manual, 27th Edition: $109 for members and $139 for non-members.
  • CISA Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Manual, 12th Edition: $129 for members and $159 for non-members.
  • CISA Exam Prep: $995 for members and $1,195 for non-members.
  • CISA Exam Fee: $575 for members and $760 for non-members.

Total cost: $2,902 for members and $3,547 for non-members.

Remember, that’s a close estimation, not the actual price.


You can also join online classes, go to a training center, or learn on your own with the CISSP. The price for attending the online training is $499. You can also buy study material for $169.80 and learn on your own. The exam fee is $749.

CISA vs. CISSP: Curriculum

What’s inside CISA and CISSP in terms of educational content?


CISA has five main domains:

  1. The Process of Auditing Information Systems.
  2. Governance and Management of IT.
  3. Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation.
  4. Information Systems Operations, Maintenance and Service Management.
  5. Protection of Information Assets.

CISA goes deep into other topics and skills, including evaluating IT policies, operations, and best practices.


CISSP has eight main domains:

  1. Security and Risk Management
  2. Asset Security
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering
  4. Communication and Network Security
  5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  6. Security Assessment and Testing
  7. Security Operations
  8. Software Development Security

The topics covered include:

  • Evaluate and apply security governance principles
  • Manage data lifecycle
  • Select controls based upon systems security requirements
  • Apply security principles to site and facility design

CISA vs. CISSP: Examination

Know about CISA and CISSP examination process.


The CISA exam is available in eleven languages, including English, French, and German. It’s a 150 multiple-choice exam that you need to finish in four hours. The passing score of CISA is 450 out on a scale of 200-800.


The (ISC)² also provides a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) exam. It works by providing you personalized questions to the level of your understanding. So, you can cut the exam time from six to three hours.

There’s a catch, though. When you give the correct answer, questions will increase in difficulty and decrease in quantity.

If you give a wrong answer, you’ll have to answer more questions.

The passing score is 700 out of 1000.

CISA vs. CISSP: Prerequisites

What are some of the requirements of an IT certification?


You must have five or more years of experience in audit, control, assurance, or security to qualify for CISA.


Likewise, you’ll need five years of experience in two or more of the subject of CISSP.

CISSP provides a list of approved college degrees that count as one year of experience. If you have four years of experience and a degree from one of these colleges, you’ll qualify.

If not, you can take a lower degree like the Associate of (ISC)² certificate.

CISA vs. CISSP: What Now?

What to do with your newly acquired IT certification?


After you earn the CISA, you may want to consider collecting the rest of the ISACA certifications, including CRISC, CISM, or CGEIT.

In general, ISACA is a membership-based institution. So, if you take CISA, keep going until you collect all ISACA certifications.


CISSP has three branch certificates or Concentrations. They’re architecture, engineering, and management. If you want to become an IT or cybersecurity expert, that’s the path you may want to take.

Otherwise, you may want to branch out to SSCP, CCSP, or CSSLP.

CISA vs. CISSP: Final Verdict

CISSP is more comprehensive, but CISA is a vital certification that leads to higher certification.

Both CISSP and CISA will help you to get a competitive edge and push your career forward.

CISSP is less expensive, but CISA offers membership discounts.

Both curricula are excellent for IT training. CISSP is a bit more focused on the cybersecurity side of IT.

The CISSP exam is also more global-friendly than CISA.

CISA or CISSP, there’s still more to learn. So, let your decision be the tiebreaker.

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