5 Reasons to take an ISACA CISM Certification Course (and Tips to Pass the Exam)



If you’re an information security professional with management experience and you’d like to take your career to the next level, consider becoming a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) through our online certification course.

What is CISM certification?

The CISM certification is an advanced certification for existing information security professionals. It’s one of many cybersecurity certifications offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)².

The CISM exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and you need a score of 450 to pass. Scoring for this certification is based on a 200-800 scale. To learn more, check out this 9-minute overview published by Infosec.

There are four content areas covered in the exam:

  • Information security governance
  • Information risk management
  • Information security program development and management
  • Information security incident management

This certification requires 20 continuing professional education (CPE) hours each year to maintain, and you’ll need to uphold ISACA’s Code of Professional Ethics.

As a CISM, you’ll have opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise. Here are 5 reasons to acquire CISM certification:


1. You already meet the requirements

If you already meet the requirements to become a CISM, there’s no reason not to pursue this certification. To qualify, you’ll need at least five years of experience working in information security, with three of those years in management dealing with at least three of the aforementioned content areas.

Your experience in information security must have been acquired within the last ten years prior to taking your exam. However, you can also get certified first and then obtain the experience required within five years of passing the exam.

This is good news. Since you need five years of experience, you can take the exam with just a year of experience, provided you gain the additional four years within a five-year period.


2. You want to become a security leader

Nothing says expertise and prestige like advanced security certifications. Being certified means you know your profession well, and you have the expertise to get the job done.

People naturally look up to experts because they have taken the journey few others have. As an information security expert with a CISM certification, you’ll be the expert with solutions. When you land a job with an organization that needs help with cybersecurity, you’ll be the leader.

Being a leader in your industry comes with plenty of perks, including a higher salary. If you’re looking for ways to earn more money, stop negotiating with hiring managers for a few more bucks and get certified and raise your salary significantly. According to ISACA, the average CISM in the U.S. earns between $52,402 and $243,610 per year.

Obviously, the lower salary is the average for entry-level CISMs. Those who have been successful in handling complex projects in senior-level positions can expect to earn a salary on the higher end of that scale, sometimes reaching six figures.


3. You want to work in management

Do you have the desire to grow within your current organization, or perhaps you’d like to find a new job in management? CISM certification will help you move from being inundated with technical work into management, where you’ll oversee a team of information security professionals and help guide business decisions.

Your CISM certification will help you support your team to embody ISACAs standards for compliance, security, and integrity.


4. You want a job in high demand

Every area of cybersecurity is currently experiencing a shortage. Millions of cybersecurity professionals are wanted, and there aren’t enough certified experts to fill those roles.

With data breaches on the rise, many companies are waking up to the reality of just how threatening cyberattacks are to their business. Companies are losing millions of dollars to ransomware attacks and data breach fines, and they’re finally ready to do something about the problem.

It’s unfortunate that major incidents had to happen before companies started waking up, but that means you’ve got more job opportunities than ever before. The key is finding a company you want to work for that provides the right benefits and perks.


5. You want a high-level title

Is it your goal to have a specific title? With CISM certification, you’ll be able to obtain high-level positions that come with titles like Information Security Manager, IT Security Manager, and Chief Information Security Officer.

With a high-level title comes great responsibility, however. Be prepared to merge IT auditing with information security within your company. You can expect to create and manage security strategies and assess company policies and procedures, tailoring each to your organization’s specific needs.


Tips for passing your CISM certification exam

1. Take advice from those who have passed

There are a couple ways you can get advice from people who have passed the exam. The first way is to take on a CISM coach. The other way is to listen to people share how they passed the exam on YouTube.

For instance, AskJaiCom holds several certifications and discusses how he passed the CISM exam on his channel. You can learn a lot by listening to people share their experiences. For example, one of the things people recommend is taking a preparation course on Udemy.

2. Take full advantage of practice exams

Practice exams will help you prepare for your CISM exam, provided you understand that the questions will be completely different on the actual exam. The questions on the exam will be a little more difficult and more involved, but taking practice exams will get you into the right rhythm and flow.


Get CISM certified and advance your information security career

Are you ready to pursue CISM certification? If you meet all the requirements and you’re ready to start taking on more responsibilities, earn more respect, and move up to a management-level position, sign up for our CISM online certification course.

Courses run periodically through the year, so sign up for the course that works with your schedule. Your skills and expertise are in high demand, so don’t wait any longer to pursue this important certification.

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