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  1. In Topic: BA in Computer Science vs BS in Computer Science

    Posted 11 Jun 2012

    View Postjames_blocker, on 11 June 2012 - 02:15 AM, said:

    I don’t think it really matters whether you've a BS or a BA, as long as the degree reads computer science! BS degrees are more popular because most colleges offer a BS in computer science as opposed to a BA. But if the course content is not much different, it really shouldn’t matter much. You just need to make sure the college is accredited by a reputed organization that’s recognized by the US Dept of Education. I had looked at some computer science programs CollegeAmerica offers, and even checked out their credentials. CollegeAmerica accreditation tells me that the college is accredited by the ACCSC, which is a well-established body. I'm sure as long as your college is accredited, your degree will certainly hold value in the job market.

    You are correct in stating that accreditation is the key factor, but for a Computer Science degree, you should be looking for an accreditation from ABET for your program. General accreditation for a college does not carry over into your program accreditation. In other words, just because your University or individual college is accredited does not mean that your program/degree is accredited.

    If a University or a college itself has accreditation, but the degree program is not accredited, then the degree is "worthless". You can view it in this terminology: "Yes, [XX] University is recognized as an institution of education that exists somewhere in North America. They have been accredited with their existence. However, since ABET does not agree with the manner in which this University teaches the 'Bachelor of Science in Computer Science' degree program, even if [XX] University offers the degree, no other University or place of employment will validate the degree. As far as everyone outside of the University is concerned, [XX] University may have allowed students to take a few classes about basket weaving and bowling and then given them a degree in Computer Science for it. Since ABET did not verify the courses, curriculum, facility and teachers, no one outside of the University knows if it is a legitimate degree program, even if the University itself is accredited."

    Accreditation for a University/college is not the same thing as accreditation for a degree program.
  2. In Topic: BA in Computer Science vs BS in Computer Science

    Posted 28 May 2012

    View PostNecroWinter, on 28 May 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

    Ive asked this question before and ended up more confused than before I asked it...

    Ive been told in the USA BA vs BS is meaningless

    not to mention, in my school, theres REALLY no difference between the two. BS just means you took two lab sciences. All the CS and Math is the same.

    Also, they say a BA is CS is like getting a degree in project management or youll do web development, or system admin... but I see people with CIS degrees who are actually TRAINED for that doing programming. I just cant fathom how a BA means im not a trained programmer when I take all the same classes, minus two unrelated classes.

    At the end of the day, im just sticking with the BS, because I dont want to deal with moron employers making stereotypes about people based on a piece of paper.

    Also, it seems like your story is exactly the same as mine. Its funny that we had the same question. I have a AAS in CIS

    NecroWinter, you may want to check the accreditation of your degree program at your University. By chance, are you attending a school that is nationally accredited, rather than regionally accredited? Is your CS program accredited by a national organization, rather than ABET? If so, you are correct. A BA or a BS doesn't matter for that type of degree, because the degree is worth the same as what you would earn at Phoenix, DeVry, or Grantham. Your degree, credit hours and knowledge would be non-transferrable to most regionally accredited schools, and you will be hard-pressed to find a job at a major corporation other than for entry-level jobs. In other words, you have earned a diploma from what is known as a "diploma mill", rather than an institution of higher learning.

    On the other hand, ABET accredited CS-BS program usually require engineering-based writing/analytical courses, a couple of lab sciences, a couple of CEG classes, several math courses, and either a concentration or 15 semester-based credit hours in senior-level courses. An ABET accredited CS-BA program requires less CEG and lab science courses, and about 6 less semester-based credit hours in senior-level classes. That should amount to about 5-7 less/easier classes if you decide to earn a BA rather than a BS.

    If the only difference between your BA and a BS is "two unrelated classes", you are either a) attending a school that is very strict in their standards, to the point of phasing out a BA program, or B) your school is not following accreditation standards by ABET.

    I would be weary. First, check your school and program's accreditation. Secondly, if they are accredited, graduate as fast as possible so you can get your diploma before they lose their accreditation (or transfer your credit to another school so you can graduate from a proper University). Thirdly, if everything is up to par, learn a little more by taking those "two unrelated classes". The title of "BS" may not mean anything to you, and you may be skeptical of it, but it will help you earn job interviews.

    As a CS major, you should have had 4 years of logic courses. In this situation, isn't it logical to conform to "stereotypes" of the real world, rather than sticking your nose up and shooting yourself in the foot? Your proposition suggests that you are earning a degree for the sake of material gain, rather than the sake of knowledge. If the real world will give you more compensation for "stereotypes" based on "a piece of paper", it only seems logical that you follow in these steps, especially if you are only "two unrelated classes" away from a different type of undergraduate degree.
  3. In Topic: BA in Computer Science vs BS in Computer Science

    Posted 3 May 2012

    I'm guessing it's probably too late to give you advice since you posted back in 2009, (it's 2012 as of this posting), but one of the top results for searching "CS 241 Wright State University" is this thread. I created an account just so I could leave a reply for any other students who end up on this page.

    As you have probably found out, a degree in Computer Science can be limited in scope, depending on your ambitions. At Wright State University, a BA in Computer Science requires fewer courses in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering, along with Mathematics. Now that you've started your degree program in Computer Science, it should be obvious why employers would prefer a CS major who graduates with a Bachelors of Science (BS) rather than a Bachelor of Arts. The key difference comes down to your basic understanding of Computer Science theory.

    Those courses in Mathematics, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering give you a firm background to a bigger scope of "Computer Science". CS majors tend NOT to know how their code affects anything outside of a virtual realm. With Computer Engineering courses in CEG 260, CEG 360 and a few others that are required or optional electives for CS majors aiming for a BS, you start to learn about the physical layer that actually runs your virtual programs. You learn that they are currently based on different types of FPGLA (or ROMs), and you learn all the way down to basic gate types of how they work (SSI -> MSI -> VLSI). With the EE courses (EE 331/332, EE 335), you learn an even deeper level about how your basic gates of AND-OR-NOT are made through transistors, diodes and other electrical components. You also learn how electricity flow is controlled, so you know that when you write a piece of code in C++, you can tell what line and what transistors are affected. Through all of this, you also learn the steps needed to minimize costs for hardware depending on what your software requires. With mathematics (Calculus I - IV, DefEQ, Linear Systems), you learn how to translate real-world situations into code OR hardware. That's something a CS-BA major will barely scratch, even though it's required in "real life" or at "real jobs".

    If you have graduated, you might have noticed that more rigorous, prestigious or higher-paid positions only accept BS degrees in Computer Science. Bigger companies such as Reynolds & Reynolds or Nexus Lexus use third-party recruiters who stick to stringent guidelines for the first-round of interviews. A BS in Computer Science will open any door to a job in Computer Science, while a BA will automatically get your resume thrown out from about 70% of job listings. Companies like these have made a strict choice between BS and BA for a reason; they need someone who has the background theory to start cracking real-life problems with code. The lower-end jobs will pay you to maintain a database, create GUI solutions and what-not. However, for the higher-paid position that involves 5-year, 10-year, 25-year plans for company-wide computer program structures, you won't even see that first interview for an entry-level position. Your knowledge of 10 basic algorithms that came with your BA won't compare to a CS major who can solve linear problems, come up with their own algorithms, or know how to work with EE/CEG folk to minimize cost strategies.

    I hope that helps.

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