What Is The Difference Between a B.S. and a B.A. In Accounting?

On the surface, being an accountant might not seem like a flashy career. However, it is the kind of job that has dependable and steady hours. Depending on your level of education and training, you might discover that there are many interesting fields of accounting. Although you can learn the basics of accounting in a two year Associates program you would be positioning yourself for a wider array of job opportunities with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in accounting. Before you make the choice, consider the differences.

The Bachelor of Arts Degree

You will earn a Bachelor of Arts or B.A. degree when you satisfy the course requirements in liberal arts of social sciences that are offered at an accredited college. This particular education path will feature more elective course hours than you would devote to your chosen major, which in this case would be accounting. With a B.A. degree you would be expected to complete such electives as a foreign language or social sciences course. Both of those options could play a role in your accounting career. Most students who go after a B.A. degree are really doing so to set themselves up for continuing their education through a Master’s program. In other words, you would try to become what is referred to as a “well-rounded student” before you hunker down and focus on your chosen field.

The Bachelor of Science Degree

With a Bachelor of Science or B.S. degree in accounting you would have spent most of your four years focused on all aspects of that subject. This includes many advanced courses in math, business practices and economics. There are also elective course requirements for a B.S. degree but those aren’t as dominant as with the B.A. programs.

The Differences

On many levels, a Bachelor of Science degree is considered a more technical type of graduate program. The Bachelor of Arts has a broader approach to the subject. Consider what a potential employee might be looking for. Will they want a candidate who spent their college career immersed in all kinds of accounting practices or someone who was more diverse in terms of liberal arts? Chances are they’ll want that focused grad that is ready to jump into the job.

In terms of how long it will take to achieve either degree, they are both essentially the same in terms of the number of credits required. However, with the B.S. you will likely find the courses a bit more challenging. There should also be no major difference in cost. That will depend on which university you plan on attending. Preparing for a B.A. or B.S. in accounting might have you considering online courses as well. Accounting is not the type of class where your active participation is required as opposed to a poetry or music class.

No matter which higher education path you choose, you can expect at least four more years of cracking open the books and handing in assignments. The closer you get to graduation the more active job recruiters will be. As mentioned, this is a field that has many opportunities and demand is always high for a good accountant.