If you want to study abroad, you typically look into many factors such as the requirements needed by the institutions you wish to apply to, the tuition costs and how much it would cost to live in the country of choice. Even though you do need to know the answers to these questions, it is also essential to know which degree you want to pursue and which major. Students are sometimes confused about the difference between BA vs BS. Read on to learn more about their differences and which one you should choose to study.

What is a BA degree?

When looking at the differences between BA vs BS, we will first look into a BA. A BA , or a Bachelor of Arts, typically refers to undergraduate study degrees such as those in the humanities areas like languages, arts and mass communication, among many others. It is usually a degree for those who like thinking about deep, exciting and creative concepts. This is because the Bachelor of Arts degree is usually more theoretical than practical. 

The degree is generally well suited for students who want to go on to achieve higher education degrees in related fields. It’s an excellent option for students, especially those who wish to pursue academic careers or careers in research. 

The BA degree can take either three or four years to achieve from start to finish. This depends on the country in which you will pursue the degree and the university of choice. Countries with bachelor’s degrees that last for four years are the United States, Greece, Ireland and Turkey, while all EU countries, Australia and Canada, have bachelor’s degrees that take three years to complete. 

Read more: What is a PhD and what are its requirements?

BA vs BS
BA vs BS

Careers resulting from BA Degrees 

If you want to pursue a BA degree, when thinking about BA vs BS, because you prefer the subject matters to study liberal arts and humanities, you have many career paths you can follow. Your job title will depend on the field you choose to go into. In general, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree gives you the chance to work in positions such as a social worker or psychologist if you pursue a BA in psychology. 

Other options are community outreach workers if you get a BA in Human Services or an English teacher if you decide to pursue a BA in Literature or English. Another option some BA students go for is working as a copywriter or editor if you follow a BA in English or Writing. Students who pursue a BA in Criminal Justice can become police officers, while those who seek a BA in human resources can become Human Resources managers. These are only a few of the jobs that you can pursue when you pursue a BA degree when choosing between BA vs BS.

What is a BS degree?

Bachelor of Arts was invented before Bachelor of Science degrees, or BS, which is why all students before 1860 had BAs. In the year 1860, the University of London started handing out BS and afterwards, they spread everywhere. When talking about choosing a BS degree when comparing BA vs BS, you should also know that a BSc is the same thing. 

BS or BSc stands for a Bachelor of Science degree. This is a title for degrees in science in fields like computer science, engineering and health sciences. These BS degrees can also be in some areas of Business, like Finance, Humanities, such as Law or Psychology, or also nursing. 

The laboratory work and practical courses make a difference between a BA vs BS, giving the modules a technical angle rather than a theoretical one. If you are studying a BS in the USA, that also means you will specialize in your major and not take many minor courses, unlike BA degrees. 

Similar to a BA, those studying for a Bachelor of Science usually take from three to five years to finish their degree, taking into consideration the country they are learning in and subject area. 

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BA vs BS
BA vs BS

Careers resulting from BS Degrees

If you want to go for a BS degree when you are thinking BA vs BS, there are many careers you might want to consider. They are all related to science and math courses, so if you find these appealing, you are definitely more fit for a Bachelor of Science degree. 

Students who graduate with a BS in Biology can work as marine biologists or biomedical researchers based on their specializations. Those who study a Computer Science degree may go on to become web developers, cyber security professionals, programmers or software engineers.

Students who choose a BS in Data Science can become data analysts or data scientists. Another option for students in this degree area who choose a BS in engineering can become Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers or Industrial engineers, among many other choices. 

BA vs BS: which should I study?

If you are confused about whether you should study a BA vs BS degree, you should know that they both give the graduate the same sense of value and success. You can also go on to pursue higher education courses such as Masters or PhDs with both paths of study.

However, if you are more interested in nurturing your communication skills, whether written or oral and analytical skills, you should go for a Bachelor of Arts degree. On the other hand, if you prefer learning to see things from a functional and practical perspective and like critical thinking and problem solving, you will more likely do better with a Bachelor of Science focused degree. 

Another way to decide is to ask yourself if you’d rather read books and interpret and analyze them into essays, which puts you on the BA track, or if you’d prefer to work in research and laboratory settings and be more practical, which would make you more of a BS or BSc student. 

BAs are also more general as they allow the student to have more elective courses than BS focused majors do. This means that a Bachelor of Arts student is more flexible to discover new areas of study. Many colleges that offer BA tend to allow students to remain undeclared for the first few semesters before they decic to ‘declare’ a major, which means if you aren’t sure about your major and what you want to study, BA is the way to go. 


In conclusion, when it comes to BA vs BS, BA degrees are more theoretical and creative and focus more on developing communication skills, both written and spoken. On the other hand, BS degrees are more practical, allowing lab work and experiments. Before deciding which path to take on your study abroad journey, you should look into the career options each bachelor degree offers so that you know which track will allow you to reach the career dream you want after graduation.