Entry level positions counted as experience toward CISA certification?

1Sep19691Sep1969 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I passed the CISA exam back in June 2017 as a graduate. My goal was to simply show employers that I want to launch my career in IT audit. I thought it would help me stand out in the job search for a junior IT audit position. I have all the justifications in the world (not based on shallow reasons) to get in this field, but alas, it is too much of a niche. I've contacted firms, had a few interviews and searched for months with no luck.

I'm now ready to expand the job search. I'd like to look for entry level positions that would be counted as experience toward CISA certification. Would help task be one of those positions? I called ISACA and asked them this question, but I received a vague answer and was told me to find something that matches one of the task statements in one of the CISA domains. He refused to tell me if help desk would be acceptable as experience (for some reason).

Comments

  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    The guy was vague because every job and company is different.

    Honestly at help desk you probably won’t hit many tasks if any. Look into GRC, compliance, risk, information assurance type of titles. You don’t have to work at a “firm” to get that type of job so if anything it sounds like you need to expand the companies you are applying to not necessarily the job role.
  • 1Sep19691Sep1969 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    The guy was vague because every job and company is different.

    Honestly at help desk you probably won’t hit many tasks if any. Look into GRC, compliance, risk, information assurance type of titles. You don’t have to work at a “firm” to get that type of job so if anything it sounds like you need to expand the companies you are applying to not necessarily the job role.

    Those GRC roles tend to require more experience. So you're saying a position like help desk or say, system administrator would not be counted as experience. Are they really that picky?
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    All of the titles I mentioned can have entry or junior level positions...GRC itself does not imply experienced so be careful when dismissing those titles.

    Help desk in a lot of situations doesn’t encompass tasks in the domains...system administrator roles might though...you really just have to evaluate each position. Ideally a security role is best because in some fashion you can tie things back without question but at the end of the day, you have to get your foot in the door...the first job is arguably the hardest to get.
  • 1Sep19691Sep1969 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    All of the titles I mentioned can have entry or junior level positions...GRC itself does not imply experienced so be careful when dismissing those titles.

    What job titles am I supposed to look for? Junior IT security? Junior IT compliance? Entry level IT risk analyst? There are hardly any such positions posted online. Those junior GRC positions (less than 0-1 year experience) are more rare than IT audit ones. Can you show me examples (though I know there may be more opportunities in some cities)?

    I mention help desk and system administrator because there are tons of them.
  • za3bourza3bour Posts: 1,062Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would start in Help Desk then System Administrator. This is how I started my career and later on you can decide whether you want to focus on Risk, Compliance, Audit etc. There are many jobs for help desk/system admin but like you said very few would hire a junior risk analyst unless it's a big organization.
  • soccarplayer29soccarplayer29 CISSP, CISA, PMP Posts: 229Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Try searching for CISA in your area and look at the companies/job titles and go directly to those companies and look for entry positions. Since you've passed your CISA, you should be very qualified and attractive to employers for entry level IT audit positions.
    1. Check out the Big 4 accounting/auditing firms (KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, EY)
    2. Search CISA, IT Audit, Information Assurance, Cyber Risk, etc.
    If you can't find IT audit/CISA type positions then IT Help Desk and SysAdmin position duties will likely map to CISA Domains 4 & 5 but of course will vary based on company/position/duties.
    Certs: CISSP, CISA, PMP
  • 1Sep19691Sep1969 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Try searching for CISA in your area and look at the companies/job titles and go directly to those companies and look for entry positions. Since you've passed your CISA, you should be very qualified and attractive to employers for entry level IT audit positions.
    1. Check out the Big 4 accounting/auditing firms (KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, EY)
    2. Search CISA, IT Audit, Information Assurance, Cyber Risk, etc.
    If you can't find IT audit/CISA type positions then IT Help Desk and SysAdmin position duties will likely map to CISA Domains 4 & 5 but of course will vary based on company/position/duties.

    There are hardly any entry level positions when I search using those keywords (at least, in my area). I've contacted the big4 firms and had a few interviews. Still haven't been hired. Sometimes, I compete with auditors who have more experience (I'm thinking they use me as a backup candidate), or maybe I just don't do well in interviews, but I know I have the right justifications and qualifications to be in this field.

    If I choose the IT Help Desk and SysAdmin path, what am I supposed to look for to make sure I can link the tasks to the CISA domains?
  • soccarplayer29soccarplayer29 CISSP, CISA, PMP Posts: 229Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Your qualifications (passed CISA and Resume) are getting you the interviews for the entry level positions you're interested in but you're not advancing in the hiring process. I'd recommend still pursuing those roles but expand your search the other firms (BDO, RSM, Dixon Hughes, Grant Thornton, Clifton Larson Allen, and then regional firms).

    Sounds like you could use a mentor (attend networking events such as ISACA, ISSA, etc.) to help guide you an to practice your interview skills. Read some of the interview threads on here for some helpful hints.
    1. Be prepared (know the company and the position and be able to speak to both)
    2. Be eager & excited but not desperate
    3. Speak about the value you can add and how you are passionate about the field and providing independent IT assurance services and putting the knowledge you gained during your studies into real-world practice.
    4. Follow-up after the interview and get feedback
    5. Consider going through a recruiter and they can help guide and prepare you. They will also help with resume and interview prep and prepare you to put your best foot forward. This may open doors to something like temp-to-perm or 6 month contract positions to have a company give you a shot or boost your resume experience.
    6. Be persistence and consider getting creative by volunteering or offering to work on a probationary period or for free.


    Where are you located btw?
    Certs: CISSP, CISA, PMP
  • 1Sep19691Sep1969 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Your qualifications (passed CISA and Resume) are getting you the interviews for the entry level positions you're interested in but you're not advancing in the hiring process. I'd recommend still pursuing those roles but expand your search the other firms (BDO, RSM, Dixon Hughes, Grant Thornton, Clifton Larson Allen, and then regional firms).

    Sounds like you could use a mentor (attend networking events such as ISACA, ISSA, etc.) to help guide you an to practice your interview skills. Read some of the interview threads on here for some helpful hints.
    1. Be prepared (know the company and the position and be able to speak to both)
    2. Be eager & excited but not desperate
    3. Speak about the value you can add and how you are passionate about the field and providing independent IT assurance services and putting the knowledge you gained during your studies into real-world practice.
    4. Follow-up after the interview and get feedback
    5. Consider going through a recruiter and they can help guide and prepare you. They will also help with resume and interview prep and prepare you to put your best foot forward. This may open doors to something like temp-to-perm or 6 month contract positions to have a company give you a shot or boost your resume experience.
    6. Be persistence and consider getting creative by volunteering or offering to work on a probationary period or for free.


    Where are you located btw?

    Believe me, I've done almost everything you wrote above for quite awhile. It hasn't resulted in anything. It's not like searching for a help desk position. I only get one interview every 3 or sometimes 2 months. I've also been volunteering at my local ISACA chapter and networking, but it hasn't helped much. Job market not ideal in my city. I don't know what else it takes to demonstrate interest and motivation to employers. I'm located in Montreal, but I've also been looking in nearby cities as well.
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