BS or BA in CS?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by ProdigyDub, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. ProdigyDub

    ProdigyDub The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

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    I'm curious as to know whether anybody has any factual information (I really don't want any "B.A. CS majors are pussies" or anything like that) on the possible differences in career opportunities between these two degrees. Is it anything substantial? Anybody here ever not been given a job in the industry because they had the B.A. instead of the B.S.? Vice versa maybe?

    Any and all info is appreciated.
     
  2. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    You found a program which offers a BA in CS? :confused:
     
  3. ProdigyDub

    ProdigyDub The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

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    Yep. UT does.
     
  4. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    Interesting. I would assume the general education classes would be different (like eng instead of phys, etc), is that right? What else is different between the two?
     
  5. ProdigyDub

    ProdigyDub The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

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    That's pretty much it actually. There is no physics or even a science requirement for the BA. Instead, you have to take more liberal arts/humanities type classes.

    Though even that is still a relatively small difference. All the actual CS requirements are the same, and the math requirement is only one class less for the B.A.
     
  6. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    My suggestion would just be to do what you enjoy. If you would rather take a lit class over a bio class, go for it. Seeing as you get practically the same math and CS classes I doubt it would affect you in the job market.
     
  7. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Yeah, depending on the school, you can get BA and/or BS in CS. And sometimes, the CS will come in different flavors too. U. Akron had offered BSCS business and BSCS systems (what I'm taking).

    As for which one to get, it depends on what you want to do with yourself and how hardcore you want to get. Review the classes you'd need to take for both programs and figure out which one you'd be more interested in. I'd think if you're looking to do hardcore CS, the BSCS would be the way to go. Otherwise BACS should be fine as well.
     
  8. D1G1T4L

    D1G1T4L Active Member

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  9. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    You guys didn't know BACS is available?
     
  10. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    I certainly didn't. Although the CS program at my Uni is in the engineering school which I couldn't see having a BA program.
     
  11. samm

    samm Next in Line

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    I would be afraid of a Computer Science department that does not offer a bachelor of science degree. What good is an arts degree? You won't get into grad school because you never do research. If you elect to get a job after graduation the same thing will apply, you'll never get the opportunity to do any research.

    Or you could just avoid all of this and get a Engineering degree. No accredited Engineering department will offer a B.A. degree.
     
  12. panzerfaust

    panzerfaust New Member

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    i'm not sure where you get that information but just FYI:
    UC Berkeley only offers a BA degree in CS and happens to have the 3rd best CS
    program in the nation after MIT and Stanford (the statistic is from from a few years ago, so it maybe different today).
     
  13. samm

    samm Next in Line

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    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/education/aboutcs.html

    They say those interested in a BA should pursue Business oriented jobs. In my research team we do not have any "business" or "Bachelor of Arts" degrees working with us, Only PhD students with B.A's in Engineering. It's up to the original poster to decide which type of degree he wants, but my opinion of a technical degree is that it should be technically oriented. Not softened up by fluffy humanities and literature courses. If you want to obtain a Business specialization, get a Bachelor of Science degree then an MBA.
     
  14. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    my school and a couple other local colleges offered it too :dunno:
     
  15. D1G1T4L

    D1G1T4L Active Member

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    hm i still dont get whats the difference? one is more business orientated? isnt it just CIS then?
     
  16. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    A pure liberal arts school will only offer BA flavorered degrees (not to be the case everywhere though).

    Example: Hiram College in Ohio is strictly a liberal arts college. It only offers BA degrees. Yet my boss just got her CS degree a few years ago and she seems to be doing well.

    Example 2: Oberlin College is uber-liberal (if anyone is from Ohio, you may know about Oberlin - walk the campus for a few hours, its one heck of a trip!) Oberlin only offers BA degrees as well, but for comp sci and their engineering degrees, they actually team up with California Institute of Tech and Case Western Reserve for engineering (which comp sci falls under). The problem is its a 3 year BA + 2 year engineering program, but you do get 2 degrees out of it.

    Slice it and dice it however you want, BACS is available. Although if you're going to an engineering oriented school, a BA degree is not going to be offered (and if BA is what you want, then you need to go to a BA degree granting school).

    I've heard of UC Berkeley having a really good CS program. I believe they are one of the 12 or so schools Microsoft sifts new employees from.

    As for BS and BA degree differences, it tends to depend. I looked into Baldwin Wallace (private liberal arts college - my mom got her masters and taught part time so I would have gotten in somewhat cheap - although its a pricey school). They offered a BACS. I looked over the courses. They looked ok. There wasn't much rocket science involved with the classes. I then looked over the specs of their computer lab. And thats what turned me away. One lab, slightly outdated machines, and no rocket science technology being used. U. Akron isn't much better, but at least they have a Sun lab, several computer labs in many buildings, a fiber backbone, network connectivity brought into the dorms, and an alliance with the local cable provider (I've visited UC at Chico and their labs are HOOKED UP BIG TIME - I drooled as I wandered around the hallways and stared into all the locked class rooms!). The BACS will be a lot easier to achieve for a tech person, but the business oriented person might find the BACS a good option (they don't want to be an uber-geek, but they want to know the technology so they can manage their uber-geeks). So the classes will be a bit fluffier, but you'll probably have a lighter science offering offset by a heavier arts flavored offering (be it towards business or art appreciation - whatever).

    I'm kind of surprised you guys questioning this hadn't researched this before going off to college. Hmm. I was very determined to get the most bang for my buck before I headed out and had been curious about BACS and BSCS and determined pretty quickly that BSCS was for me. But I'm glad I checked because I would have felt bad looking back today thinking maybe if I only knew about BACS!
     
  17. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    No. CIS is CIS.

    Think of BA and BS as automatic and manual transmissions. To the techie, the BA is like an automatic. Its easy to work with and learn. There's some fluffy stuff involved, but whatever vehicle (aka: the degree) you are in, it still gets you from point A to point B. The manual transmission (aka: the BS flavored degree) tends to require a bit more work because its more technical and science driven. There's people out there who don't want to learn to drive a manual and there's people who don't want to drive automatic. Its just the way it is. Some cars come in both manual and automatic, but you may have to go to another manufacture for it (aka: another college/university). Make sense?

    If not, check out the degrees and courses offered at various liberal arts colleges...
     
  18. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    I wish this was true. I'm still trying to figure out why I need 2 years of a foreign language (isn't Assembler enough punishment?!) and 1 year of humanities (its just called "humanities" - maybe I'm lucky thats all it is). The science classes were actually a lot of fun. Oddly enough, I just found out last week that computer science students (versus the BS and BE folks) get to wiggle out of physics and chemistry - wo-hoo!.

    If you're going to go technical, it would make sense to go the BS route. In fact, you'd probably enjoy those classes more anyways. If you're thinking business, then BACS might be a good fit. I'd be curious if BACS would be handy for highschool or under teaching. I know for teaching there is some certification you have to go to school for as well. I don't know if schools now have a dedicated computer teacher or not and if so, if BACS would be the ticket in.

    If this helps any, my dad has a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics. Taught high school math for 7 years and then jumped into the computer industry. Not long ago he was promoted from a senior DBA to managing a handful of DBAs. At his age, his BA degree doesn't mean much. His work experience and the knowledge he has gained does.
     
  19. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    I'll be graduating this year with a BS in CS. Our school does not offer a BA, thank god for that. All we need in this world is more IT people who have "lesser" of a clue of whats going on.
     
  20. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    Considering he said the two programs have the exact same CS classes, how would the BA have "lesser" of a clue?
     
  21. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    It depends on the college.

    I think its fair to say Baldwin Wallace's BACS is not as technical as U. Akron's BSCS, but you're still taking some technical classes such as Java/C++. For a management position, how technical do you need to be? If you're going to be herding cats, you should at least know a little bit about cats, but it doesn't mean you need to be a vet.
     

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