BA Vs BS Degree

Now that you have finally made a decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree. You might be confused about some things, especially if you are a fresh graduate from high school. You can be left with the option of whether to choose a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.

And if you are not very careful, you can mistake both degrees. Both of the degrees have been around for a long time and are mostly sought by students. But there is a possibility you are stranded on determining the one that goes in line with your goal.

In this post, we will be explaining the meaning of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. And various questions will also be answered. Questions like; what are the job opportunities in both degrees? Which is better and which one to choose.

And it would also be best that you have it in your mind that both are undergraduate degrees and take the same year to complete. Another vital thing you must note is that both might be awarded for the same course in different schools depending on the school.

As an instance, a school might award a BA in economics, and another school will award BS for the same course. The major difference between the degrees is a different focus on coursework.

What is a Bachelor of Science?

In general, programs that grant Bachelor of  Science degrees focus more strictly on topics that require more credits, and these credits are directly related to major subjects. Students must concentrate their academic energy on knowing the technical and practical aspects of their field. 

They rarely have the opportunity to study topics outside their field of activity. A Bachelor of Science degree is usually offered in technical and scientific fields, such as computer science, healthcare, mathematics, biochemistry, and physics. 

Webster gave an interesting definition of Bachelor of Science as the degree awarded after finishing course work in sciences and fulfilling all requirements with a specialized focus on science subjects.    

Example B.S. Degree Options

Some of the examples of Bachelor of Science:

  • Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Computational Linguistics
  • Bachelor of Science in geological science
  • Bachelor of Science in psychology

BS Degree: Career Options

Being a graduate of a Bachelor of Science opens a variety of opportunities in different fields. Fields like business, technology, medical, engineering, forensics, biology, consulting, programming, and education.

Depending on your focus while in school, there are a lot of high-paying jobs available for you as a graduate with a Bachelor of Science. 

We will discuss three high-paying jobs that you can get as a graduate with a BS.

  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)

The chief financial officer works in a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union, or investment company. The minimum qualification to hold a CFO is a bachelorette degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business management, but many have higher education in related fields. 

This administrative position is responsible for financial decision-making, risk assessment, budget preparation, financial progress reporting, and investment supervision. According to, since March 2017, the average salary of financial personnel is $127,564.

  • Senior Software Engineer

A team of senior software engineers is responsible for designing, building, testing, and maintaining software systems. The senior software engineer trains employees on new products and resolves any technical issues. 

These engineers are specialized in programming and must be good with coding. Employers want software engineers to keep themselves updated about the latest and trendy technology by expanding their knowledge through higher studies.

 Some of these experts possess graduate degrees, but most of them were employed in the first place with a Bachelor of Science degree in software, computer engineering, or even mathematics.

In March 2017, the average annual salary for a senior software engineer was $ 107,600

  • Senior Professional Consultant

The work of the senior professional consultants is to have an interaction with the client during the sale process. Professionals train customers on product implementation and operation and provide continuous assistance when possible. 

Consultants must possess excellent communication skills and the ability to quickly learn new product features. The position of consultant usually requires a Bachelor of Science degree as the minimum requirement. 

The degree is always according to the company’s field of interest. 

The average salary earned by a senior professional is $95,109 a year.

What is a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)?

The degree program provides a broader education for students and requires less credit directly related to a specialized course. So, students will have to earn credits from other liberal arts courses. 

Other courses, such as English, humanities, and foreign languages are usually part of the academic program. The students have a choice among a variety of courses to meet graduation requirements, which gives them much flexibility to tailor their academics according to their goals and career.

 A Bachelor of Arts degree is usually offered in English, art, music, and language. And most times people confuse the degree with B.F.A (Bachelor of Fine Arts) which includes dance, sculpting, and painting.

Example B.A. Degree Options

As stated earlier, the degree takes four years to complete and can be offered as full-time, part-time, and online or distance learning. Below are examples of B.A. Degree options.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Creative writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in English literature
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in International studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Organizational studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

BA Degrees: Career Options

The program equips students with the needed knowledge and skills to be successful employees in various fields of interest. Fields such as law, journalism, international relations, and media.

Basically, the career options with a Bachelor of Arts are limitless. You can invariably do anything with the degree. You can decide to work with it in the industrial sector or use it to pursue your personal goal.

  • Art Educator

Interested in teaching others? Are you passionate about sharing your knowledge to allow students to have a good learning experience? In that case, you can become a special educator focused on art-related fields (such as history, sociology, philosophy, or politics). 

Primary and secondary school teachers generally require a bachelor’s degree and a license for teaching. University professors generally have a doctorate, although some Community College professors only possess a master’s degree.

  • Graphic Designer

Do you like to create images on your computer in order to pass graphical messages? If yes, the graphic design enables you to do more with the combination of art and technology. You can make a living with a Bachelor of Arts by designing images for books, magazines, movies, commercials, or menus.

  • Fashion Designer

This is another example of a career choice with a B.A. The fashion designer is responsible for making all kinds of clothing, from casual to exotic dresses. Besides designing, these professionals can also provide materials, manufacture clothes, and supervise other production areas.

  • Sociologist

Have you ever thought about how the world works and how to improve it? Do you like to study human behavior and the effect society has on us? Then one of the best career options in the art that will suit your interest is being a sociologist. A sociologist helps the public to have an understanding of problems or changes in the workplace, government, or society.

The careers listed above are just a few out of the many opportunities in Art that you have the chance to explore if you have a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Difference Between a BA and a BS

While there might be an overlap between the course, they are very different from each other. These are some of the differences:

  • A B.A in psychology and a B.S in psychology have a different career path, although the course is the same. The B.A option focuses more on counseling, while the B.S option has more focus on research.
  • The coursework also serves as a major difference between them. The B.A focuses more on liberal arts subjects while the B.S focuses more on science and mathematics subjects. However, the B. A also study mathematics and science-related courses but with a minor focus.
  • The B.A option is more flexible and has a diverse program for the student, unlike the B.S that offers less opportunity to explore various topics.
  • The B.S option is more practical oriented than the B.A, most of the courses in the Bachelor of Science expose the student to laboratory works.

Which is Better, a BA or a BS?

Usually, both degrees are the most well-known degree, and they both have equal value academically. Both offer the students profitable opportunities to pursue their graduate degrees if they so desire. However, the two tracks usually offer different benefits. 

In general, the courses required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in arts can enable students to improve their skills in communication and writing. On the other hand, the requirements for a bachelor’s degree usually develop analytical skills and a detailed understanding of the subject.

In deciding on the best program to study, students should consider the type of course, they have always loved to study, and the course they presently prefer to learn, and the career choices they would like to make in the future.

B.A. or B.S. – Which One to Choose?

When you decide to get a BS and BA, you will have to decide which career area you will enter after graduation. If your plan is to pursue a career as an engineer, an architect, or a doctor, a BS degree would be the right type of degree. 

And if you want to become a journalist, art educator, designer, and legal consultant, then the B. A is your perfect choice.

Many colleagues have career advisors who can help you choose the most appropriate path based on your strengths and inclination. It would be best to meet with the college career advisor. 

So, don’t waste time and money on courses that won’t go gear you towards your desired degree. You must usually declare your major in the second year so you can have a firm focus on coursework.

In choosing a Bachelor’s degree, nobody is better on his merits. Set your career field first, then follow the most appropriate step.

Other Common Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

B.A and B.S might be popular, but there are other types of bachelor degrees that the institution awards. 

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S)

This is common for people that focus more on being a professional. It aims at making the student readily available to meet the demands of professionals with leadership skills in the various industrial sectors.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A)

Most people often mistake this with B.A, while B. A deals with humanities courses the BFA deals with performing and visual arts. The field of interest can include sculpting, drawing, painting, and ceramics.


Whether BS or BA, both programs are academically and internationally recognized. Getting one of them does not limit your chance of landing your desired job. However, the major thing to consider is your goal.

Ask yourself the question of which program will lead you through the path of actualizing your goals. So, the first step in deciding the best for you is knowing what you want.

Frequently Asked Questions
What’s BS and BA in college?

They are both a four-year degree program at a university or college. BA stands for Bachelor of Arts while BA stands for Bachelor of Science.

Is a BS or BA in psychology better?

Both are good. BA in psychology leads you towards counseling, while a BS in psychology makes you focus more on the research aspect.

Is it better to get a BA or BS in economics?

Depending on your career goal, a Bachelor of Arts in economics will prepare you for more work after graduation while the BS. focuses on studying the science of economics and making the graduate ready for advanced studies

Is a BA or BS better for med school?

The med school is more focused on science-related courses. So, a Bachelor of Science is better.

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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