Prospective college students might feel overwhelmed, not only by selecting a major, but also struggling to understand the difference between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. The B.A. is a good option for students interested in taking a variety of electives. The B.S. might be the better choice for students interested in a more technical career. A number of factors determine the best degree path, including career goals, interests and academic abilities.

B.A. Benefits

The B.A. degree allows for a more broad overview of several topics. Students get to choose many of their classes, electives in particular. The B.A. is beneficial for those interested in designing their own unique plan of study, according to the University of Texas at Austin. The B.A. might be a good option for students who plan to pursue a graduate education in the arts or academia. Because it allows for so much flexibility in selecting electives, students might be able to use those hours to fulfill the requirements of another credential, such as a minor or second major, according to Lehigh University.

B.A. Drawbacks

B.A. degree-holders interested in changing careers later in life might not have the technical background to market themselves for jobs that require strong science or math skills. While students might enjoy the large number of elective hours that their schedule allows, they might later regret not taking more marketable classes for the business world, such as advertising or business management, instead of choosing electives based on personal interests.

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B.S. Benefits

The B.S. degree is beneficial for students with strong math and science skills because it allows for fewer electives and more technical classes. Some consider the B.S. degree to be a more practical degree because it is highly structured, according to the University of Colorado Boulder. The B.S. is a good option for those interested in technical careers and those who might attend technical graduate programs in the future.

B.S. Drawbacks

The University of Texas at Austin reports some careers or graduate programs have specific preferences for one degree or the other. Students that pursue a B.S. and then become interested in a field that favors the B.A. degree might not have the required skills to succeed or might face stiff competition from other candidates with a B.A. Students who do not thrive in subjects such as chemistry and biology might have a lower grade point average than if they were to pursue a less technical course load.

About the Author

Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.