There are only minor differences between BA and BS computer science. The BS allows you to concentrate on certain scientific fields for a potential career, whereas the BA permits you to select other minor subjects or a double major. If you are in doubt about your future career path, BA is a good option for you. When you have a clear career vision to become a software engineer or developer, BS is likely the best option. The BS in Computer science is recognized as an accredited degree by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, while the BA degree is not.
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BA vs BS Computer Science
What is a Computer Science Degree?
A degree in Computer Science offers a series of technical courses, computational principles, data analysis, and scientific and practical applications. Computer science is the systematic study of logical processes for obtaining, representing, processing, storing, communicating, and accessing information.
There are two different types of degrees in Computer Science. Let us review the major differences between both degrees and choose the best program for you.
The BA in Computer Science is based on highly humanistic subjects and aims to develop highly qualified computer science specialists. After graduating, you will have a basic knowledge of computer science, advanced mathematics, and fundamentals of engineering. This will adapt you to the labor requirements in the job market.
The BS in Computer Science focuses on the scientific side of engineering and the scientific features of computer science. You can deeply study computations, physics, data structures, algorithm analysis, and advanced engineering under this degree.
BA vs. BS Computer Science Degrees
BA in Computer Science
BS in Computer Science
Fewer Science courses
More Science courses
Easy to double major
Harder to double major
More liberal courses
Rigid class schedules
Develop a creative person
Develop a technically specialized person.
Entry requirements usually include a good understanding of mathematics, and some universities also require a background in physics. Experience in psychology, sociology or another social science can also be an advantage, as you would have gained an understanding of how humans process information.
The top UK universities require the UCAS tariff with ranges from 64 points (DDE at A-Level) to 160 points (A*A*A at A-Level) to study a Computer Science degree course. Many universities will accept a BTEC qualification in Mathematics, Science or Computer Science.
Many universities now offer foundation courses to students who do not meet the entry requirements for their Computer Science degree programs. These introductory years give students the educational grounding they need to study at degree-level.
(with foundation year)
UCAS Tariff points
BTEC evel 3 National Extended Diploma
Universities that provide BA or BS Computer Science
Statistics - Probability and Descriptive Statistics
Software Quality Assurance
Agile Project Management
Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
Computer Science and Society
1 st Year
Developing Academic Skills
IT Systems in Organisations
Research Ethics in Action
Using Numeracy, Data & IT
Understanding the Business Environment
Research Skills and Using Information
Principles of Marketing
Quality Systems in IT
Values, Ethics & Working Collaboratively
People in Organisations
Strategic Information Systems
Structure of Business
Managing Across Cultures
Technology in Organisations
Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
In the table above, you can observe the major differences between the BA and BS computer science subjects. Mathematics, programming with Java or python, statistics, software engineering, and data protection are core subjects in BS, whereas BA covers more of the humanities and natural sciences instead of programming and engineering.
Potential Careers in BA or BS Computer Science
BA in Computer Science
BS in Computer Science
Information security analyst
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that the computer and IT sector is expected to grow by 13% from 2016-2026. By 2026, another 557,100 jobs are expected to be added to the sector. This means that talented, highly skilled people interested in computer science will be able to expand their careers into the novel digital economy.
Currently, both BA vs BS Computer Science graduates receive similar opportunities and most of the students are recruited as software engineers, developers, and programmers in well-reputed companies like Delphix, Facebook, Google, HomeAway, Indeed, Microsoft, PROS, Salesforce, Square, Tubular Labs, Two Sigma, and Uber. They earn an average salary of around $70,000 to $160,000 per year.
To summarize, you can choose either a BA or a BS in Computer Science, based on your own preferences and future career perspective. If you’re still in doubt about which of the two degrees you should choose, we suggest you take a close look at the syllabus or course units and make your decision based on that.
Christina Lyon is the author of this educational blog and she is involved with student’s life and education. She has a passion for writing articles related to education including Degrees, Diplomas, exams, students’ experience, and her prime objective is to support worldwide students by answering all their FAQs through this blog.