Certifications can give IT professionals an edge

With 95,000 members in 160 countries, ISACA is a leading global provider of knowledge, certifications and education on information systems.

“As we are coming out of the recession, companies are evaluating IT budgets and assessing projects,” Thomas said.

The role of IT professionals is expanding beyond managing technology to understanding how information systems can help companies achieve their business goals. ISACA has identified three factors that are challenging IT departments in 2012: the need to manage big data; the dominance of mobile devices in the workplace; and the consumerization of information technology with a multitude of different devices.

Companies are finding it harder to assess and manage the risk of their data, and are looking to IT professionals for answers.

“When young professionals ask me for advice on navigating and succeeding in this changing market, I tell them they need to network with other professionals,” Thomas said. “They should join professional organizations to stay up on the latest trends, and they should differentiate themselves from the competition by learning new skills and earning professional certifications.”

One of the certifications in highest demand is the CRISC (Certified in Risk Management and Information Systems Control). More than 200 Atlanta professionals and 16,000 internationally have earned the certification since it was introduced 18 months ago by ISACA.

“CRISC is a highly desired certification because it is the only certification that positions IT professionals for future career growth by linking IT risk management to enterprise risk management,” said Allan Boardman, chair of ISACA’s credentialing board.

Thomas believes the certification is a plus for anyone working in security, information technology, compliance or audit operations.

“This certification tells employers that you have met a certain standard of knowledge about risk-management principles. It will set you apart from the competition and is a definite way to enhance your career,” Thomas said.

Most professionals spend up to six months studying before they sit for the national certification exam, which is offered twice a year (June 9 and Dec. 8 in 2012). A review course can help with preparation.

“Our chapter will be offering a boot camp course to address the key areas of the CRISC certification and help candidates review the material that will be covered,” Thomas said.

The course will be held on April 26-27. Participants will receive 14 CPE credits.

Other review courses available through ISACA-Atlanta this spring include CGEIT (April 20-21), CISA (April 21-22) and CISM (April 26-27). The cost for each course is $350 for members and $450 for nonmembers. Breakfast and lunch are included.

For registration information, go to www.isaca-atlanta.org.

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