If you’re interested in computer programming and software development, the B.A. and B.S. in computer science is designed for you. You will complete a computer science core that includes object-oriented design, data structures, programming languages, operating systems, analysis of algorithms and software engineering. Based on your interests and career goals, you will choose electives such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, computer networks, software testing and databases.
Graduates from our program are prepared for entry-level positions as software application programmers/developers, Web developers, computer support specialists, computer systems programmers and software quality assurance engineers. They are also prepared for graduate study in computer science and closely related disciplines.
We also offer a minor in computer science and cybersecurity. Cyber threats are real. They can cause data losses, electrical blackouts, failure of military equipment and breaches of national security secrets. Given these dangers, skilled cybersecurity workers whose job is to protect networks, devices, programs and data are at a premium. More than half a million jobs in cybersecurity are available in this country. RIC’s minor in cybersecurity will give you the set of skills you need to protect computers, networks and data. Courses in the minor include computer fundamentals for cybersecurity, computer programming, cybersecurity principles, digital forensics and network/systems security.
BS versus BA in Computer Science – Which degree is right for you?
Choosing between a BA and BS in computer science may seem confusing, but it really comes down to what type of job you see for yourself after you graduate and your sincere interests in what you wish to study. At Rhode Island College, both degrees require the same computer science courses. In both degrees, you take the same courses in programming and problem solving and you have the same choice of computer science electives. Both degrees prepare you in computer science in the exact same manner. But there are important differences between the degrees you should consider while making your choice.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS)
In the Bachelor of Science degree, you are required to take additional courses in mathematics, science, ethics, and writing. Because of the additional courses in math and science, it is considered a more rigorous degree to earn, and some employers are interested in knowing you have that rigor to master the math and science required. This degree has a very strict schedule, so it is harder to double major or take on a minor. Designing and programming complex systems does require more math and science knowledge. If you wish to continue your studies in graduate school or have a career in research, or have a very technical job, a BSCS will better prepare you.
Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BACS)
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires fewer courses, and you have freedom to add a minor(s) or double major to pursue other interests. For potential employers, a minor in cyber security, data analytics, or in a foreign language could set you apart from other candidates. Also, adding more humanities/general education courses provides you with more opportunity to master communication, creativity, and writing––these are valuable skills for employers looking for well-rounded employees.
There is no right or wrong choice. Employers highly value both degrees. Both degrees provide you with the necessary tech savvy to be successful in the career path you choose. It’s a matter of where you see yourself and how you wish to best position yourself for your future.