BA vs BS Degree: What Are the Differences?

Are you moving up to college but haven’t decided on a major yet? Pursuing undergraduate school makes most students feel agitated when choosing their major. Studies show that 49.8% of US graduates earned bachelor’s degrees in 2020.

Students strive for a degree to develop skills and increase job marketability. But to secure the right education for a good future, how do you choose between a BA vs. BS degree? Your choice can affect your expectations for your education. Some institutions offer more Bachelor of Science degrees than Bachelor of Arts degrees.

If you want more opportunities in the future, choose the right program for you. Understanding their differences allows you to create an informed decision. Here’s a BA vs. BS degree guide to help you take that first step into higher education. 

BA vs BS Degree

Focus:

Do you prefer humanities and art or math and sciences? Both BA and BS are four-year undergraduate degrees requiring college credits to finish. Beyond these, the baccalaureates differ in the concentration of coursework.

A BA degree focuses on humanities, art, and liberal arts. Through these, you hone communication, critical thinking, and holistic skills. Further, a BA degree gives access to a broad range of courses related to a major and general education.

To get a technical understanding of your major, pursue a BS degree. It concentrates on sciences and arithmetic courses. Taking a BS degree program develops quantitative, logical, and reasoning skills.

Several majors are available in both degrees. Some are psychology, business administration, political science, and education. If you take any of these majors, its focus and coursework will depend on the chosen degree.

Majors:

Choosing a degree major is exciting yet daunting for most incoming freshmen. After all, it determines their undergraduate experience and future trajectory. With this, students must choose a that serves them well.

When deciding on your major, you must assess your values, interests, and potential jobs. Some programs allow you to do many types of work, such as social science. You can apply in social services, law firms, and the government.

On the contrary, there are majors linkable to specific careers, such as engineering. Your career options revolve around jobs that design, build, and sustain complex systems. With this, check the majors under the BA and BS degree.

For a BA degree guide, some of its majors are humanities, social science, and communication. When you take a closer look at the potential career fields, you’ll notice the broadness of their coverage.

Some majors in BS degrees are natural sciences, technology, and engineering. These programs offer more specific opportunities than a BA degree.

Curriculum:

Each educational institution follows a different curriculum. It outlines concepts, lessons, and contents students must learn in a specific program. Colleges ensure their curriculums use an interactive system of instruction and learning.

Further, the approach of the BA vs. BS degree curriculum differs, too. Through their curriculum, you can determine which of the degrees is more intensive. The former uses a liberal arts approach, while the latter uses a technical.

For a BA degree, you take fewer core credits. Pursuing a BA degree allows you to change your major depending on your interests. You can take extra minor subjects or take a double major, too.

When pursuing a BS degree, you must prepare for the number of credits to finish to qualify for graduation. Educational institutions use a focused and structured curriculum for BS degrees. They strive to improve the technical skills of the students.

If you want flexible coursework, the better option is BA vs. a BS degree.

Career Preparation:

Some universities or colleges offer majors in both BA and BS degrees. Psychology, education, and business are fields that give an option to choose a bachelor’s degree. Albeit, the methods applied by each degree for career preparation differ.

Students work hands-on in a BA degree, while a BS degree builds and develops technical skills.

For example, you’ll pursue psychology in undergraduate school. If you want to become a counselor, you take a BA in Psychology. However, a BS in Psychology prepares you for a career in medicine.

The key differences between them are the scope and depth of the understanding. A BA provides a broad knowledge of the course.

Both BA and BS degrees offer quality traits in a career trajectory. At the same time, they differ in values based on the needs of a potential employer. Most universities focus on providing BA and BS degrees.

However, some institutions, such as Intercoast College, offer other degree programs. This gives you more options on what career to take.

Salary:

Your college major can determine your career trajectory, job choices, and future earnings. With this, one of the factors that students consider in choosing a major is salary.

Pursuing your passion can provide professional growth, success, and freedom. However, many want to ensure the career they’ll take guarantees financial stability. Thus, which can ensure a high and stable paying career, BA vs. BS degree?

The salary difference between a BA and a BS degree changes over time.

An analysis shows that BS degree graduates earn 17% more than BA degree holders. However, the salary advantage projects up to the first 15 years of work. The gap between the earnings declines and takes a turn as years of job experience increase.

BA degree holders earn more at their mid-career point as they move to higher positions. In contrast, technical knowledge becomes less relevant, resulting in stagnant or reduced pay.

BA vs. BS Degree: Which Should I Choose?

Now you know the differences between BA and BS degrees. Regardless of the path taken, both baccalaureates provide growth, opportunities, and financial stability. However, when choosing BA vs. BS degree, choose a degree major that allows you to reach your life goals.

Now that you’ve decided, what’s next? You can visit and explore our website for other blogs. We cover some great tips to help you get through college!