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BA in CS vs. BALS w/ CS Concentration
#1
I'm looking at one of these two programs for a friend. I was wondering if there's any substantial difference between them in terms of jobs? They're not interested in doing grad school or anything, and have lots of CS skills in general, so the degree is mainly to solidify their resume. Is the additional effort for the BA in CS worth it?
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#2
(05-12-2019, 02:04 PM)EWCTest Wrote: I'm looking at one of these two programs for a friend. I was wondering if there's any substantial difference between them in terms of jobs? They're not interested in doing grad school or anything, and have lots of CS skills in general, so the degree is mainly to solidify their resume. Is the additional effort for the BA in CS worth it?

A BALS with a CS concentration will NOT be considered in the same category as a BACS if you're looking for jobs in software development. The degree itself is in liberal studies and the concentration only appears on a transcript. The only exception might be the HES ALB degree with the CS concentration, but that is kind of a unique situation.

For programming jobs, most employers will be looking for a CS degree specifically (whether it is BACS or BSCS doesn't matter too much) or at least a degree in software development.

Then again, depending on the employer a degree isn't always necessary if you can demonstrate programming skills in other ways like having mobile apps in an app store or verifiable open source contributions. Though even with provable skill, it can be hard to get an interview without a CS or SD degree opening the door.


If your friend is considering the TESU BACS, you should have them look at WGU's BSCS or BSSD degrees as well. I wouldn't suggest the BALS unless they're just looking for a checkbox degree to get a job in general.
In Progress: MBA in IT Management, Western Governors University (19/35cu | Sep 2019)
Up Next: Perhaps an MSCS or a DBA/DM/Ph.D.

Complete:
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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#3
Just to be clear, the concentration only being on the transcript is not the issue. Many schools list neither concentrations nor majors on the diploma. Out of all of the jobs that I've applied to (probably over a thousand), I've only had one employer ask for my diploma. I have had many ask for my transcripts.

The issue is that a concentration is usually not the equivalent of a major. COSC and HES are different. COSC used to not offer majors other than general studies, so they offered concentrations that were 30+ credits and had full curriculum requirements. Since Harvard Extension School wants to make it clear that HES students aren't like other students at Harvard, they give everyone a major in Extension Studies with a concentration. TESU has a BA in CS and a BA in LS that offers a concentration in CS. The BA in CS is mostly like your typical computer science degree. The BS with a concentration only requires 18 credits in the concentration, it does not require computer science co-requisites (physics, calculus II and III, etc.), and the rest of the area of study can consist of any other liberal arts subject. A major is normally more than 30 credit hours.
PhD (in progress)
Masters and Graduate Certificate
AAS, AS, BA, and BS
CLEP
Intro Psych 70, US His I 64, Intro Soc 63, Intro Edu Psych 70, A&I Lit 64, Bio 68, Prin Man 69, Prin Mar 68
DSST
Life Dev Psych 62, Fund Coun 68, Intro Comp 469, Intro Astr 56, Env & Hum 70, HTYH 456, MIS 451, Prin Sup 453, HRM 62, Bus Eth 458
ALEKS
Int Alg, Coll Alg
TEEX
4 credits
TECEP
Fed Inc Tax, Sci of Nutr, Micro, Strat Man, Med Term, Pub Relations
CSU
Sys Analysis & Design, Programming, Cyber
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Intro to Comm, Microbio, Acc I
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#4
Completely agree that you want a real CS degree for a software career.  With 27 free elective units, TESU's BACS is pretty transfer friendly, and with the courses available now, it's also pretty test out friendly.
NanoDegree: Intro to Self-Driving Cars (in prog)
Coursera: Stanford Machine Learning (in prog)
TESU: BA in Comp Sci
TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Anthro, Pers Fin, Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

PLA Tips Thread - TESU: What is in a Portfolio?
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