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#1 mcona   User is offline

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BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:36 PM

Hello! Next spring, I will be graduating with a BA in computer science. Do you think having a BA in computer science instead of a BA would make a big difference when looking for a job?

After my first year of college, I realized I had been taking classes for the BA degree plan instead of the BS. I did not think it would be a big deal since all the computer science classes are the same, but now I am wondering if it will not look as good to employers.
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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:36 PM

What's the course work focus look for both?
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#3 macosxnerd101   User is online

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:40 PM

Employers won't care about the name of the degree, as long as you have the skills to do the job. If you feel like there is a (missing) skill (that you want) in the BS that isn't in the BA, use next year to acquire said skill.
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#4 mcona   User is offline

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:42 PM

Both the BA and BS have the same computer classes (data structures, object-oriented design, database, network, etc). The only differences are that the BS requires more science classes and the BA requires more English and foreign language classes.
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#5 macosxnerd101   User is online

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:58 PM

Do they require the same math and CS Theory classes? I wouldn't sweat it too much about missing a Physics class. Missing a math class is a bigger deal, though not fatal.
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#6 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 27 May 2018 - 03:51 AM

Odd. I got a Bachelors in English Literature: a liberal arts degree. I minored in CS. When it came down to BA vs. BS, I got to choose, regardless of my curriculum. I actually can't tell you for certain which one I did choose. I have a feeling it was BS, but only so I could say I got a degree in BS... But, maybe BA? I should look that up.

Which, I guess, gives you some idea of the gravity of the choice. :P

While there are numerous reasons to seek higher education, when it comes to employment you have a degree for two reasons: to get that first job and hopefully be competent enough to keep it. After that, you can throw the sheepskin in a drawer and forget about it. Further employment is about job history.
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#7 NecroWinter   User is offline

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 18 September 2018 - 09:41 AM

I have a B.A in Comp Sci. The only difference between the degrees was the science track. In my case, I didn't want to take the time to go through Physics 1 & 2 with labs, it would have taken too much time out of my week. Everything else was identical.

The result? My first job out of college was with one of the top tech/telecommunications companies in the country. They did no less than 6 interviews, so they knew I wasn't a fluke. I should also point out that I went to a no-name college in my hometown, and I was competing with people from all over the country.

Ultimately, what you know is what helps you get by in life. College and the real word are very different, so as long as you take the time to understand the differences, and get some experience under your belt you will likely find success. That's not to say college is useless, some people imply this. They are just different.

Knowing your field is critical, but you also need to know the business side of things. This includes things like: navigating interviews, learning what buzzwords actually mean, networking etc.

There's also a whole set of things in our field that relate to professional coding that most colleges never get into, such as unit testing (JUnit), automated deploy (Jenkins), development patterns such as MVC or Strategy. Knowing this stuff gets you through tech interviews pretty quickly, sometimes the person interviewing you will literally sigh with relief that you even know such things because they don't want to waste time teaching this stuff to people. If you're coming right out of college knowing this stuff, they will see you as highly motivated.

This post has been edited by NecroWinter: 18 September 2018 - 09:43 AM

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#8 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:33 PM

It's all BS in the end. All it proves is you can stick with something until completion and even that doesn't prove that you learned anything.
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#9 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: BA vs BS in Computer Science?

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:43 PM

mcona, I think you pretty much summed it up in your second post. BA has a focus on humanities, BS is background in science. I wouldn't say the difference is as trivial as others have pointed out because it can help on what you ultimately want to do with computers. While I don't think one will lock you out of jobs fit for the other per say, if you are going to be an animator or build tools in education you might find it better to have the BA. If you are going to be doing Python to calculate star clusters or in a science related field then the BS degree might be wiser.

Really all depends on what you want to be doing later in life. :)
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