A CIA – or Certified Internal Auditor – is a position that allows an individual to blend their interest in quality assurance, information technology, internal audit practice, financial management, risk management, and fraud risks to assisting both for-profit and non-profit organizations in the public sector. Those looking to enter the internal audit profession can find career opportunities related to internal controls, internal audit functions, or become an audit executive. One huge upside to this credential is that it’s globally recognized – meaning you can use this credential worldwide.

Internal auditing requires a combination of work experience and education, but education requirements to attain this credential greatly vary and influence the amount of work experience necessary for a CIA candidate. Certification candidates with an Associate’s degree need 60 months of work experience. Those holding a Bachelor’s degree need 24 months of internal auditing experience, where those with a Master’s degree need just 12 months of internal auditing work experience. Regardless of where you fall in terms of the necessary eligibility requirements, you’ll need to take a three-part certification exam to secure your CIA designation.

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Carolyn Rivera (0:04): Figuring out what credential you want to pursue is not an easy task because each credential has a bunch of different things involved. Whether it be experience with work or education – things like that.

(0:16) So, I was kind of just wondering about the CIA in particular. I know this sounds like a government agent job – a secret spy – but it’s not. So, I wanted to know exactly what it is and maybe the duties that one with a CIA credential would fulfill.

Ryan Hirsch (0:32): Sure, so a CIA is basically a Certified Internal Auditor. These individuals – within companies – they work to implement systems of internal controls, they look to prevent misconduct or misuse of funds, and they are the people who help – from an internal standpoint – prevent misconduct.

(0:51) So, it really helps protect the organization because before you get to the point of having some sort of external agency have to come in and expose wrongdoing – this person is someone who is already proactively working within the context of the organization to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Or – if it is going on at a low level – they catch it before it becomes a larger, widespread issue. So, it’s a job that’s really focused on accountability and integrity, and it’s really vital to the success of a lot of organizations.

CR (1:23): It sounds like there’s a lot of responsibility involved.

RH (1:25): Oh, absolutely.

CR (1:25): But it all boils down to the wellness of the company and how it operates.

RH (1:28): Mmhm, absolutely.

CR (1:30): So, what kind of industries would one with a CIA credential work in?

RH (1:35): You can work in a wide variety of industries, but – just to name a few – you can work in public accounting firms, commercial industries, as well as even things like non-profit organizations. So, it really – there’s a wide span of different industries you can work in.

CR (1:50): That’s what it sounds like. So in terms of education – I think there is a variety of combinations of work and school. So, could you walk us through what that looks like?

RH (2:02): Sure – and as you mentioned – so, it’s a combination of education and experience. And really the experience side of it – how much experience you need – depends on the education side.

(2:14) So, if you have an Associate’s degree – for example – you need 60 months of internal audit experience in order to sit for the exam. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, you need 24 months of experience. And then if you have a Master’s degree, you need 12 months of experience. So, it really just depends on what type of educational background you have – that determines how much experience that you’ll need.

CR (2:37): That’s interesting because I feel like the variety of combinations kind of gives you an opportunity to be able to either pursue more work or more school. And that flexibility is kind of good.

RH (2:50): Absolutely, it is.

CR (2:51): So, how about the exam. What does the exam look like for this?

RH (2:55): Sure. So, the exam is a three-part exam that’s approximately 4 and a half hours that it takes to complete after you have met those education and experience requirements.

CR (3:06): And, this credential – where can you bring it if you wanted to bring it anywhere? Is it a state thing? Is it a country thing?

RH (3:14): And that’s the best part. Where can’t you bring this credential? It’s a globally recognized credential and so you can work in any part of the world as a Certified Internal Auditor and have a great career.

CR (3:26): That’s awesome. You can take this credential anywhere. Thank you so much!

RH (3:29): My pleasure.

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