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What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degree

As prospective students start to consider pursuing a bachelors degree, they may wonder what’s the difference between Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree. And there is a difference between the two types of bachelors degrees. In fact, having an idea of the distinction of the two degree types provide a good guidepost even before the student knows what bachelors degree to pursue. In a nutshell, the first one, a Bachelor of Science degree, requires analytical skills and involves a more focused concentration; the second one, a Bachelor of Arts degree, tilts more toward creativity, writing and communication skills. This article will help prospective students define the difference between a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree and hopefully help decide which bachelors degree they want to pursue.

What is a BA?
Bachelor of Arts, also known as BA or AB, is a four-year degree for undergrad students who want to study the liberal arts, humanities or science. Although most degree work is for four years, some traditional and online universities have coursework for completing your bachelors degree in only three years. Acceleration programs also allow some students to finish their degrees in even less than three years.

When a student graduates with their Bachelor of Arts degree, they may enroll in a masters degree or doctorate degree for further studies to prepare themselves for a career in research or teaching.

Below are some of the majors you will encounter in Bachelor of Arts:

• Anthropology
• Architecture
• Communication Arts
• Geography
• History
• Computer Science
• Mathematics
• Philosophy
• Political Science
• Physics
• Linguistics
• Sociology

These are a small sample of the courses you are going to take. Nevertheless, they give you a pretty good idea of what is a BA degree.

What is a BS?
When you take any course under the umbrella of Bachelor of Science or BS, you can expect a more focused discipline. You can easily distinguish the difference between a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree by the topics you learn. The courses tend to be more technical and scientific than you would take if you were pursuing a BA degree. The coursework for a BS degree includes computations, measurements, and data gathering.
• Engineering
• Technology
• Nursing
• Criminology/Criminal justice
• Computer programming
• Biochemistry
• Physics
• Hydrology
• Bioengineering
• Food science
• Marine engineering

To sum up the difference between BS and BA degrees, in the more general discipline of Bachelor of Arts, the students have wriggle room to shift courses or change their trajectory mid-stream without compromising too much time to finish their studies.

In the academic sense, students who want to earn a BA degree need to complete the required number of hours for liberal arts subjects like literature, humanities languages, among others; while earning a BS degree, students will have to complete the required number of hours in highly technical subjects like mathematics, science or engineering.

What Are the Jobs Waiting for You When You Earn a BA Degree?
There are many jobs waiting for you when you step out of the university with an AB/BA degree. Depending on your particular major, you can get into teaching, research, corporate communications, curators for art galleries and museums, politics, social work, journalism, counseling services or law. You can also opt for further study for international relations and travel the world when you secure lucrative positions in embassies overseas.

What Are the Jobs Waiting for You When You Earn a BS Degree?
There are jobs waiting for graduates of BS degrees and the pay is very lucrative, which is logical considering the discipline is more demanding. Graduates will find themselves in the field of engineering, medical field, information security, cartography, health and safety, marine biology, microbiology, hydrology and the like.

Difference Between BS and BA Degrees in Terms of Salary and Wages
In terms of annual median salary, petroleum engineers earn about $128,000 per year while computer hardware engineers take home around $115,000. Aerospace engineers, meanwhile, earn a little less than $110,000 every year. Compare that to elementary and kindergarten school teachers for example, who earn a little more than $55,000 a year, and you have a good idea of the discrepancy in salaries. To be fair, advertising or marketing managers earn upwards of $127,000 per year so, in small samples, there’s not much difference between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in terms of income.

While on the subject of compensation, anesthesiologists earn more than any other professional as they take home almost a quarter of a million dollars each year. They even earn an average of $5,000 more than surgeons in the US.

In the larger scheme of things; however, there’s really no difference between Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree. Ultimately, it all boils down to the preference of the student. If meticulous planning and exact science bore you to death, then a BS degree is probably not for you. If you tend to be more sociable and creative, then a career in liberal arts may be perfect for you.

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