Wondering if a bachelor of science (BS) is the right degree for your studies? This guide will take you through the meaning of a BS, featured programs and schools, and the job and salary outlook for BS graduates.
What Is a Bachelor of Science?
A bachelor of science is an undergraduate degree that generally lasts three to five years and usually requires more credit hours, usually 120-180 for a bachelor of science vs 120 for a bachelor of arts.
A BS degree is usually within technology and science, like biology, biochemistry, mathematics, physics, chemistry, social science, sport science, nursing, general science, earth science, computer science, and engineering. Although, there are schools that offer a BS in other subjects such as music.
There are plenty of colleges and universities that offer great BS degrees, which we will explore further down in this post. But first, it’s important to note that online BS programs continue to grow, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online bachelor of science program offers easier accessibility and better flexibility. Getting a bachelor’s degree online offers students more flexibility, allowing them to meet their responsibilities outside of school.
Bachelor of Science vs Bachelor of Arts
A BS is more focused on math, technology, and science, meaning students spend less time studying liberal arts subjects and concentrate instead on more specialized education in the technical and practical aspects of their field. BS degrees usually offer fewer opportunities to explore topics outside of a student’s major area of study, but they do provide students who know what they want in-depth knowledge of that field.
A BA degree is centred around liberal arts, meaning students are encouraged to earn credits in a broad variety of subjects within the humanities. They are among the most flexible program options for students looking to customize their educational interests. Fields like English, art, music, modern languages, and communication are commonly associated with bachelor of arts degrees.
Whether a subject is considered a science or an arts degree depends on the college. For example, an economics degree may be a BA at one university but be a BS degree at another. Whether you should pick a BA or a BS is not worth worrying over too much, as employers are usually happy with either bachelor degree as they see them as equal accreditations, including accredited online programs.
Best Schools for a Bachelor of Science
Below are some schools in the US that offer outstanding bachelor of science programs.
BS Programs: Engineering/Computer Science/Information Sciences
Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford offers a range of BS degrees and even a bachelor of arts and science (BAS). The undergraduate curriculum at Stanford allows for considerable flexibility. It permits each student to plan an individual study program and offers a range of BAS and BS degrees to choose from.
Harvard College/ University
BS Program: Computer Science/Biological Sciences
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is made up of 11 main academic units, 10 faculties, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. So as you can imagine, there is a huge range of majors to choose from. Harvard also has online learning in data science and other courses.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS Programs: Computer Science/Mechanical Engineering/Mathematics/Physics
MIT has its primary focus on the sciences, offering BS degrees and MS degrees. MIT is independent, mixed, and privately endowed. Its five schools are architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts, social sciences; management; and science and computing.
BS Programs: Engineering/Computer Science
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Instead of a BS, Princeton offers a BSE (bachelor of science in engineering). As a student, you benefit from extraordinary resources and low student-to-teacher ratios, meaning you can develop close working relationships with professors. The curriculum emphasizes learning, creativity, innovation, and collaboration in programs such as humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
University of California, Berkeley
BS Program: Social Sciences/ Engineering/Biological and Biomedical Sciences/Computer and Information Sciences
The University of California, Berkeley, is a public research university in Berkeley, California. Ranked the #1 public university worldwide, according to US News & World Report, it offers more than 300 degree programs. Berkeley hosts many leading research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory.
University of Michigan
Where: Ann Arbor
BS Programs: Computer and Information Sciences/Economics/Computer Engineering
The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The University of Michigan has a tradition of excellence in research, learning and teaching, sports, the arts, and more. It aims to create eminent scholars, scientists, artists, writers, educators, and other professionals who can advance their field in significant ways.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
University of the Sciences
BS Programs: Pharmaceutical Sciences/Biomedical Sciences
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has an academic focus on pharmacy, science, and healthcare. It is a private university that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in pharmacy and other health-related disciplines.
Arizona State University
BS Programs: Atmospheric Sciences/Sports Business
Arizona State University in Tempe was ranked the #1 most innovative school by US News & World Report. ASU offers more than 350 undergraduate majors led by expert faculty. Through an interdisciplinary approach to instruction, students become master learners, capable of learning anything.
Job and Salary Prospects for BS Graduates
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019, someone with a bachelor’s degree will earn a median salary of $1,248 per week. Also, gaining a bachelor’s degree can help students move on to studying a master’s degree, creating the potential to make an average of $1,497 per week. Furthermore, if students then go on to gain a doctoral degree, they increase their potential earnings to $1,883 per week.
Highest-Paid BS Graduate Careers
There is a wide range of prospective for bachelor of science graduates. If your interests lay in computer programming, finance, marketing, engineering, or biomedical sciences, there are wonderful career paths for you. Below is a list of the highest-paid careers you can get with a bachelor of science degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Computer and Informations Systems Manager: $142,530
- Architectural and Engineering Manager: $140,760
- Marketing Manager: $135,900
- Financial Manager: $127,990
- Natural Sciences Manager: $123,860
- Software Engineer: $123,200
- Computer Hardware Engineer: $114,800
- Human Resources Manager: $113,300
- Software Developer: $110,000
- Physical Scientist: $107,230
- Biomedical Engineer: $88,550
Should I Get a Bachelor of Science Degree?
As you have seen, a bachelor of science can open a lot of great career opportunity doors for you. Remember, make sure the school you choose is an accredited college or university.
Although the top careers may all look very similar, there are plenty of other opportunities in the sectors of technology, science, biology, biochemistry, mathematics, physics, chemistry, social science, sport science, nursing, general science, earth science, computer science, and engineering.
If any of these fields interest you, enrolling in a bachelor of science program may be a good career step for you.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.