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WinterMadness
January 31st, 2012, 03:48 AM
Is there really a difference when applying for a job? Does anyone care about this? Im considering switching to a B.A to save time on my college career so I can just get out there. Keep in mind that the classes for my major are the same at my college regardless of ba/bs. The only differences are in general ed classes

WinterMadness
January 31st, 2012, 04:02 AM
just don't stop at BA/BS get your Masters degree.





Note: NOT RELATED TO OLD RAV_TUX (RAV[space]TUX) ACCOUNT ( just like the username )

Im not interested in getting a masters degree at all. Im getting a degree so that I can get a job in a field that I like, but spending extra time in college is seriously getting in the way of that, and causing financial burden.

JDShu
January 31st, 2012, 04:32 AM
Im not interested in getting a masters degree at all. Im getting a degree so that I can get a job in a field that I like, but spending extra time in college is seriously getting in the way of that, and causing financial burden.

That is correct, don't do an MS. The reason I am doing one is because my BS was in a completely different field.

To answer your original question, no, there is no difference. What's important is that you are able to do the work that the company wants you to do. I advise practising your coding skills (assuming that's what you want to do).

WinterMadness
January 31st, 2012, 05:24 AM
That is correct, don't do an MS. The reason I am doing one is because my BS was in a completely different field.

To answer your original question, no, there is no difference. What's important is that you are able to do the work that the company wants you to do. I advise practising your coding skills (assuming that's what you want to do).

Thats certainly encouraging, with the extra time I think ill do some extra internships. I already have two under my belt, and I consider myself to be a pretty good programmer.

LowSky
January 31st, 2012, 08:39 AM
No MS means no promotions later in life. Get the BS. Then get a job, and if its a good one they will pay for your Masters.

ve4cib
January 31st, 2012, 11:13 PM
BA vs BSc is an interesting question. I've never even heard of a BA in computer science. Never knew they existed.

I would suspect that there really wouldn't be much difference in most fields. If you want a job with a highly technical company they might prefer a BSc if they don't know the courses are the same at your school; BSc has a "technical/scientific" feeling to it, which might make it easer to get a research-oriented job. A BA on the other hand sounds on the surface like it would be more oriented towards systems administration and IT management and less at software development. But those are just my views on what the stereotypes are. And that's only if someone wants to get really anal about it. Most of the time they'll look and see you have a degree, and that's good enough.

As for the Master's vs Bachelor question, that *really* depends on the job. If you want to be a systems administrator you do not need a Master's degree. Graduate degrees are really intended for people who want to do academia/research, or whose jobs demand such skills. If you don't want to work in a job where you need to read papers, present research at conferences, and do a lot of cutting-edge research then a Bachelor's will be sufficient (and will satisfice for some research-related jobs). If however you like the bleeding edge data structures, crazy optimisations, and the like, a Master's may be of interest and could be beneficial to you in the long run.

Ctrl-Alt-F1
January 31st, 2012, 11:42 PM
None of the schools I've been to have offered a B.A. in Computer Science.

WinterMadness
February 1st, 2012, 06:55 AM
None of the schools I've been to have offered a B.A. in Computer Science.

The difference at my school is whether or not one takes lab sciences(biology, physics etc). other than that, theres literally no difference.

Warpnow
February 1st, 2012, 06:53 PM
The BS is always more marketable.

mips
February 1st, 2012, 07:19 PM
I would stick with the BS.

satanselbow
February 1st, 2012, 07:20 PM
The BS is always more marketable.

A BS makes you a scientist - which are globally in high demand.

As far as following it up with a Masters... defo do it.

BA/Bsc will not give you as much of a foot up in the job market that you expect - especially if you are in the UK.

Why?

Cos everyone that had been holding off doing their degree started last September to beat the price hikes / changes in funding... which means they will be hitting the job market at the same time as you... and me...

Seeking employment to fund your Masters is a common and sensible way of going about it ;)

CharlesA
February 1st, 2012, 07:20 PM
Im not interested in getting a masters degree at all. Im getting a degree so that I can get a job in a field that I like, but spending extra time in college is seriously getting in the way of that, and causing financial burden.
I hear you there. I already have my Associates in a different field and I am working on my Bachelors, but it's slow going.

There really isn't anything different between a BA and a BS, same subject, just a different degree.

WinterMadness
February 1st, 2012, 08:07 PM
A BS makes you a scientist - which are globally in high demand.

As far as following it up with a Masters... defo do it.

BA/Bsc will not give you as much of a foot up in the job market that you expect - especially if you are in the UK.

Why?

Cos everyone that had been holding off doing their degree started last September to beat the price hikes / changes in funding... which means they will be hitting the job market at the same time as you... and me...

Seeking employment to fund your Masters is a common and sensible way of going about it ;)

I dont really think a BS makes you a scientist... I think actively(as in trying to find new info) doing research applying the scientific method makes you a scientist. Doing a lab report on linear motion isnt exactly anything new, its just a way to teach you how to write lab reports really

cek
February 1st, 2012, 09:56 PM
Still on paper there should be more than just differences in general education/electives if they are offering a B.A. Computer Science vs. a B.S. Computer Science.

If that really is the only difference, than your university is doing itself (and you) a great disservice by offering both.

A B.A. in Computer Science to me would mean a lighter course load focusing more on Software Engineering than a B.S., which would have a heavier course load with more focus on theoretical and applied computer science and advanced maths.

mips
February 2nd, 2012, 12:17 AM
There really isn't anything different between a BA and a BS, same subject, just a different degree.

Do you have a link to the two courses offered by any chance?

CharlesA
February 2nd, 2012, 12:59 AM
Do you have a link to the two courses offered by any chance?
I don't know what the difference between the two are course-wise. That would depend on the school.

WinterMadness
February 2nd, 2012, 05:18 AM
Still on paper there should be more than just differences in general education/electives if they are offering a B.A. Computer Science vs. a B.S. Computer Science.

If that really is the only difference, than your university is doing itself (and you) a great disservice by offering both.

A B.A. in Computer Science to me would mean a lighter course load focusing more on Software Engineering than a B.S., which would have a heavier course load with more focus on theoretical and applied computer science and advanced maths.

With my school, the software engineering and system analysis aspect are required classes for both B.A/S, in addition to the math youd expect, algorithm analysis, data structures, os, AI, networking etc.

I think if you wanted to focus on software engineering and system analysis, youd be told to switch to the Computer Info Systems major, which is pretty different in most ways at my school. That has programming, but more business stuff, and less math.

kevdog
February 2nd, 2012, 06:55 AM
This question could easily be answered if we knew what your 10 year plan was. Short term its not going to make a hill of beans. I always encourage the younger workers who work with me to have a 5-10 year goal in mind. Rarely is this advice followed. Usually in 5-10 years they are still in the same place making roughly what they did 5-10 years ago.

CharlesA
February 2nd, 2012, 05:07 PM
This question could easily be answered if we knew what your 10 year plan was. Short term its not going to make a hill of beans. I always encourage the younger workers who work with me to have a 5-10 year goal in mind. Rarely is this advice followed. Usually in 5-10 years they are still in the same place making roughly what they did 5-10 years ago.
Good idea there.

I'm not even sure I have a 10 year plan in place outside of "get BS" and get a better job.

It's always good to plan ahead. ;)

WinterMadness
February 2nd, 2012, 07:14 PM
This question could easily be answered if we knew what your 10 year plan was. Short term its not going to make a hill of beans. I always encourage the younger workers who work with me to have a 5-10 year goal in mind. Rarely is this advice followed. Usually in 5-10 years they are still in the same place making roughly what they did 5-10 years ago.

Well, at first I plan on getting a basic job in software development. Im going to continue studying on my own for my own projects, eventually I want to program hardware and stuff.

Honestly though, im going to school to get the degree, anything that I need to learn, I feel like I can learn on my own.

satanselbow
February 2nd, 2012, 07:54 PM
I dont really think a BS makes you a scientist...

Obviously not...

Hey your choice but the IT job market is flooded with out of work or struggling "Artists". It doesn't matter what your degree is in ultimately (could be Astrology cos that's a science init :D ) - BSc carries more weight in many, esp IT related, industries than BA.

Ask Oracle or Cisco ;)

WinterMadness
February 2nd, 2012, 08:50 PM
Obviously not...

Hey your choice but the IT job market is flooded with out of work or struggling "Artists". It doesn't matter what your degree is in ultimately (could be Astrology cos that's a science init :D ) - BSc carries more weight in many, esp IT related, industries than BA.

Ask Oracle or Cisco ;)

Having a B.A doesnt make you an artist anymore than a Bs makes you a scientist.

Ive already established that theres no difference between the two degrees at my school, I dont understand the tone of your post.

ve4cib
February 2nd, 2012, 10:28 PM
Well, at first I plan on getting a basic job in software development. Im going to continue studying on my own for my own projects, eventually I want to program hardware and stuff.

Honestly though, im going to school to get the degree, anything that I need to learn, I feel like I can learn on my own.

If you're interested in developing really low-level stuff (which is what I assume you mean by "programming hardware") you might actually enjoy doing a Master's. Unlike a BSc, where you're basically learning a little bit about everything, an MSc drills really deeply into a few areas you're interested in (in your case hardware/embedded systems).

MG&TL
February 2nd, 2012, 10:42 PM
Having a B.A doesnt make you an artist anymore than a Bs makes you a scientist.

Ive already established that theres no difference between the two degrees at my school, I dont understand the tone of your post.

Unless I'm mistaken (and I could well be!), satanselbow meant that on paper, a bachelor of arts looks a bit flowery compared to a bachelor of science, at least to the interviewer, who may not have done either.

WinterMadness
February 2nd, 2012, 11:11 PM
If you're interested in developing really low-level stuff (which is what I assume you mean by "programming hardware") you might actually enjoy doing a Master's. Unlike a BSc, where you're basically learning a little bit about everything, an MSc drills really deeply into a few areas you're interested in (in your case hardware/embedded systems).

Yes thats right, and dont get me wrong, I would love to have the KNOWLEDGE that someone with a masters has (or at least should)

My interests with software/cs are all over the place, and its not really web-dev stuff, I like A.I, robotics, encryption, programming hardware etc

but i just hate college, and im really cheap, so I dont like the idea of being in a lot of debt, and even if a company pays for me to get my masters, I think the inflexible nature of that schedule would drive me insane.

JDShu
February 3rd, 2012, 02:19 AM
Note: US-centric post.

Lots of what feel is misinformation in this thread. The only plausible way a BA differs from a BS is if two people with equal qualifications in every respect apply for the same job, and somehow interview exactly the same, then *maybe* the BS will be preferred over the BA. There is a million in once chance this will occur for a job position, especially in software development where competent software developers are at a constant shortage, so imo it's not a real worry.

School is good, imo, to learn the theoretical stuff that is hard to learn unless you are very smart. Analysis of Algorithms, Formal Languages, Linear Algebra etc. are rather difficult to learn without instructor guidance (to me they are anyway), and would probably help you move up. In this way, knowledge of specific *fields* in computer science/math can really help you find a good job, and in that respect it might be worth taking advanced courses. Some argue that theoretical knowledge is impractical, but I think it's the theoretical stuff that is least likely to go out of date. But that piece of paper that has your qualification? It's great to have, but it matters less than people realize.

Beyond that, there are tons of ways a software developer can try to distinguish himself. Internship experience is definitely a great way, open source participation is another one. Very importantly, keep up to date with the latest trends - you need to know what the tech world is interested in and paradigm shifts. Attend conferences, read blogs etc. Of course, getting an MS is yet another way, and I know older people in my classes who think they need it to advance their careers, but frankly when I speak to them, it's obvious that they didn't spend the effort to keep themselves at least knowledgable of what's hot in tech.

Personally, I think there are only two real reasons to do an MS in Computer Science. One is if you want to switch fields, and the other is if you really want to go into academia but your undergrad qualifications are not good enough to get into a top tier or second tier CS school and so you need to do well in your Master's as a stepping stone for applying to the PhD program.

kevdog
February 3rd, 2012, 05:40 AM
I frankly can't speak about the computer industry, however having that piece of paper with your degree on it (your diploma) can open up a lot more doors if its with the right degree and right institution. Now what you do when the door is open is your decision, but there are plenty of people out there with whom the door will never be opened!

Warpnow
February 3rd, 2012, 05:56 AM
I've seen alot of job postings that say:

Requirement:
BS in related field.

JDShu
February 3rd, 2012, 06:48 AM
I've seen alot of job postings that say:

Requirement:
BS in related field.

Job posting "requirements" are more like guidelines ;)

satanselbow
February 3rd, 2012, 09:14 AM
Unless I'm mistaken (and I could well be!), satanselbow meant that on paper, a bachelor of arts looks a bit flowery compared to a bachelor of science, at least to the interviewer, who may not have done either.

That was rather the point I was making.

If you have 2 candidates for an IT related job - One with a BA, one with a Bsc, the Bsc will go in the interview pile - the BA in the reject pile.

The current economic climate - that is unlikely to change that radically in the next 3-5 years - means that there are many, many more applicants than actual jobs.

This therefore means that the "qualification" bar is raised by any legal means possible. Given that using gender, race and religion are a no-go as part of the weeding out, educational attainment and relevance to the industry in question come next. To the IT industry - as a general observation and experience - BSc would be of higher regard than BA...

It may be better to be related to the Chairman of the Board, however ;)

Sunships
February 4th, 2012, 11:40 PM
Job posting "requirements" are more like guidelines ;)

(Disclaimer: I'm based in the UK, so apply my advice accordingly)

The only other fields where I have seen BScs and BAs offered for the same subject are psychology and economics, and BScs are seen as being much more rigorous, generally because BScs require a mathematical/applied research element.

You do say that there is no difference at your school in the courses offered, but your description does suggest that the BS is the longer course.

Regardless, I've quoted the above post because in many cases during applications applicants are vetted by computer first, and not meeting the basic requirements may lead to automatic rejection. It is only at smaller companies that a human being looks at your application first, so just be aware of this.

Good luck!

Bandit
February 5th, 2012, 12:34 AM
No MS means no promotions later in life. Get the BS. Then get a job, and if its a good one they will pay for your Masters.

I kinda agree with this myself as well.

I only got an associate in web and computer programming. But one day I may work toward my BS or another similar degree. I actually work for a really good company as an Engineer in their R&D Dept. The only time I program anything is when programming CNC machines through Mastercam MDI program, which is mostly a GUI tool.