What Is the Difference Between a BA and a BSc Degree?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science are two degrees aspirants often get confused about. This article emphasises the factors that distinguish both these degrees from each other.

[Featured image] A person wearing a long-sleeve white t-shirt and earbuds works from home on her bachelor's degree on a laptop computer.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) are collegiate qualifications that can assist you in advancing in your career goal and acquiring skills that apply to a wide range of occupations. BSc degree courses often contain additional study in topics such as engineering, arithmetic, and computing. However, curricula differ by each institution. BA degrees, on the other hand, seek to place a greater emphasis on the humanities, languages, and related disciplines.

In the end, earning a bachelor's degree seems to have the ability to navigate your profession in a fresh and different path. However, it is a time and financial commitment. It's critical to know the various sorts of programmes before making a selection and we are here to help you with it. 

BA vs. BSc

Their subject content is the fundamental distinction in a BA and BSc. Rational reflection, teamwork, and comprehensive knowledge are common themes throughout BA degree courses. The scientific world, arithmetic, and technology are often the core of BSc degrees, including education in reasoning, judgment, and analytical abilities.

Aside from that, there aren't many differences between the two. Instead of picking between a BA and a BSc, you will more likely be selecting your major, which is the topic that will be the main emphasis of your study. Furthermore, when evaluating credentials, employment agencies are frequently open to interpretation. They may place greater emphasis on past work or employment experience, or perhaps the manner in which you present yourself in a personal statement than just your selected degree.

Choosing the right degree

Evaluate the sorts of occupations you want to pursue while deciding to either pursue a BA or a BSc degree. Realizing which pathways correspond to particular majors can aid you in selecting the best programme for you. Here are four things to think about before making your final decision:

Major field

Choosing a major may be a thrilling first move forward towards a promising career path. In making your selection, consider your self-preferences and principles, as well as possible careers. A major that is also related to a value chain might sometimes suffice to prepare you for a career. A marketing degree, for instance, might prepare you for a variety of jobs. Based on your major and job history, you may be able to explore a variety of sectors. You can choose between a BA and a BSc in several majors. Those with a major in psychoanalytic theory can opt for a BA if they want to work in research service or counselling, or a BSc if they would want to perform in a laboratory. There is indeed a misconception that BSc degrees are much more challenging for college students, but programmes differ so much that it is far more essential to recognize if or not the course will equip you to learn.

Job type

Depending on your abilities and characteristics, your course of study might lead to a variety of employment. Seek job advertisements in your chosen field of work or use LinkedIn to browse others in comparable occupations to see what qualifications and relevant work experience they have.

Job industry

It might be beneficial to consider sectors that interest you while evaluating your chosen career situation. If you appreciate utilising your imagination and professional abilities, a BA in human services for non-profit organisations can be a good option for you. Architecture, industrial, and technology businesses that stress rational thinking may appeal to you if you like more quantitative and systematic work. Rational reflection and technical abilities learned in a foundation degree are frequently transferrable, laying a good basis for careers in a variety of fields. It's crucial to note, however, that in case you decide to pursue a BSc in providing nursing care, you might need some further education in the coming years if you want to pursue a career in financial services, for example.


Based on your university or institute, the course flow and workload may differ. BA degrees use a liberal arts system of learning, leaving minimal fundamentals or main courses and enabling you to tailor your learning to your very own preferences. Doubling majoring or minoring in some other topic may be more convenient. BSc degrees are usually more organised, with a strong emphasis on advancing to a master's degree and developing the technical expertise required in the field of study. Once you fully understand what you would like to get a master's degree in, knowing what you really want to pursue now might allow you to determine what and how to research.

Benefits of getting the right bachelor’s degree

A bachelor's degree, be it a BA or a BSc, can open doors to new professional options, a better wage, a fresh start, or networking opportunities. Let us have a look at all the other advantages for why you might want to get your bachelor's degree:

  • This four-year degree can help you become more employable in a variety of disciplines or businesses. 

  • Greater salary jobs may also come with better perks and employment stability.

  • A bachelor's degree in a field of interest might offer up fun and innovative employment opportunities if you're keen on a shift. 

  • Obtaining a degree, be it a BA or a BSc, indicates dedication and hard work. This is seen as a gold star by employers who would like a persistent employee as a part of their workforce.

  • The work market nowadays is extremely competitive. Developing a network of connections will assist you in locating your next position. Once you've started a degree programme, you'll likely meet individuals in your classes, apprenticeships, service positions, networking events, and professional development activities, all of which may assist you to broaden your connectivity as you advance in your career.

  • Participation in a BA or BSc degree allows you to develop abilities like composition, ability to work under pressure, collaboration, and performance, all of which are highly valued in the employment market. 

  • Gaining a bachelor's degree is a worldwide acknowledged accomplishment, therefore it's a powerful experience.

Our take

Evaluate if a bachelor's degree would enable you to reach your job objectives, as well as what areas you are interested in and which programmes would fulfill your interests. If you determine that a BA or BSc is the proper degree for you, the very next stage is to prepare an entry application. A resume, recommendation letters, and a personalized narrative are usually required as part of the application process.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.