How to Become an IT Auditor Without a Degree? Your Path to Success

Pursuing a career as an IT auditor can be a great option for those interested in technology, business processes, and control systems. Many aspiring IT auditors wonder if they need a specialized degree to enter and advance in this field.

The good news is it’s possible to break into IT audit roles without having a bachelor’s degree through self-study, certifications, and gaining direct experience. In this article, I’ll share tips on how to launch and grow an IT audit career without a college degree.

How to Become an IT Auditor Without a Degree
IT Auditor

Learn Technical and Audit Skills

While a degree isn’t mandatory, you’ll need to build skills in areas like IT infrastructure, networks, cybersecurity, coding, data analytics, accounting principles, and auditing methodologies.

Self-study resources like online courses, training programs, books, and certification prep materials can teach both the tech and auditing knowledge required. Focus on gaining proficiency in skills like:

  • IT fundamentals – networks, servers, operating systems, database management
  • Cybersecurity practices – threats, controls, vulnerabilities, risk management
  • IT frameworks – COBIT, ISO 27001, NIST
  • Data analysis – SQL, Excel, data visualization, BI tools
  • Programming – Python, Perl, Bash, Java, JavaScript
  • Accounting – principles, standards, controls, processes
  • Auditing – standards, testing procedures, documentation, reporting

Look for affordable options like public libraries, MOOCs, and professional associations to access learning resources.

Earn Relevant Certifications

Certifications demonstrate your knowledge and boost credibility with recruiters and employers without needing a formal degree. Especially pursue certs aligned with IT audit roles like:

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Many certs only require you to pass an exam. Give yourself several months to thoroughly prepare through self-study programs.

Get Entry-Level Experience

While getting your foot in the door without a degree presents challenges, it’s not impossible. Look for related experience in areas like:

  • IT support or administration
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Quality assurance or software testing
  • Help desk or technical support
  • Data analyst
  • Financial or accounting clerk

Even working in adjacent roles like these allows you to build relevant hard and soft skills for IT audit, as well as professional experience. Highlight your technical knowledge and motivation to learn. Consider internships and volunteering to get experience as well.

Develop a Portfolio

Assemble a portfolio highlighting skills and knowledge critical for IT auditors. Include items like:

  • Code samples demonstrating programming abilities
  • Analyses showcasing data analytics capabilities
  • Cybersecurity reports or vulnerability assessments
  • Sample audit plans, tests, reports
  • Certifications and other credentials
  • Business writing samples like reports or proposals

This portfolio can demonstrate your capabilities even without a formal education. Share relevant work samples tailored to each job you apply for.

Network and Seek Mentors

Expand your professional network through informational interviews, conferences, local ISACA chapters, and outreach to auditors on LinkedIn. Follow leading IT auditors on social media.

Also connect with mentors who can coach you, review your resume, suggest development areas, and connect you to opportunities.

Leverage your network to uncover unposted openings and get referrals.

Highlight Transferable Skills

On your resume, cover letters, and in interviews emphasize transferable skills applicable to IT auditing like:

  • Attention to detail
  • Research and analytical thinking
  • Technical troubleshooting
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Time management and organization
  • Passion for continuous learning

Draw connections between your experience and audit job requirements.

Consider Intermediate Roles

You may need to take an intermediate position like an IT analyst, quality assurance tester, or junior IT auditor to break into the field, and then work your way up.

Entry-level roles allow you to demonstrate potential while developing on-the-job skills. From there, you can advance to IT auditor positions.

Pursue Continuing Education

Once in an IT audit role, take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits from your employer to complete a bachelor’s degree part-time.

Alternatively, consider affordable accredited programs like WGU’s online BS IT degree.

Knocking out a bachelor’s shows commitment and rounds out your education.

Demonstrate Dedication

Exhibit genuine interest, dedication, and aptitude to overcome the lack of a degree. Come prepared with thoughtful questions and ideas.

Bring a passion for technology, analysis, improving processes, and helping organizations manage IT risks.

With the right mindset and motivation, it’s possible to launch an IT auditing career without a university degree. Use this guide to gain the knowledge, experience, and skills needed to succeed.

Closing Thoughts

Although it presents challenges, with dedication it is possible to break into an IT auditing career without a formal degree through self-study, gaining direct experience, and pursuing respected certifications. Build a strong portfolio and focus on developing both the technical and soft skills required. Leverage networking and intermediate roles to open up opportunities. Continued learning and skill-building can allow you to advance in IT audit even without a bachelor’s degree.

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