Is a Business Degree a BA or a BS: Definition, Differences & Which Is Better

Are you confused about the difference between a BA and a BS degree in business? This article explains what each term means as well as their differences.

If you’re hoping to earn a degree in business administration, it is important that you learn all that it entails in order to make the right choices for your career.

A major in business administration will help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to manage a business and its operations. It can also prepare you for a career in business analysis, sales management, business consultancy, and lots more.

However, your career choice would determine whether to go for a bachelor of science degree or a bachelor of arts in business.

Learn more about the differences between a BA and a BS degree in business administration in this article.

What is a business degree called?

A business degree is often referred to as a BBA, short for a Bachelor of Business Administration. This is a 3-year undergraduate degree that provides a strong foundation in business administration and management topics.

It offers a wide range of specializations in management studies for students to pursue careers in business administration, operations, sales, marketing, and more.

Although BBA is an umbrella term for business degrees, there are other business degree specializations, such as the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in business administration.

What is a BA in business administration?

BA in business administration stands for Bachelor of Arts in business administration. When you complete a business major with an emphasis on liberal arts and general business knowledge, you will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration.

Like the Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of arts opens you to a wider range of career options. A BA in business administration helps students learn skills related to finance, international business, sales, communications, public relations, and more.

The level of diversity that comes with a BA degree may allow you to work almost anywhere whether as an operation manager in a non-profit organization, as a communication specialist for brands, or even in public service.

What is a BS in business administration?

A Bachelor of Science degree in business administration is more science-focused. If you opt for a BS in business administration, you’d develop an understanding of business models and theories and their applications to the business world. 

This is great for those who are interested in becoming an economist, business analyst, accountant, market research analyst, etc. You would learn to collect and analyze data, as well as think critically to provide solutions to problems.

A BS in business also offers you the opportunity to choose a dedicated track to add specificity to your degree. Depending on your preference, this could be a specialization in management or analysis.

Generally, you will be well-versed in finance, market research, accounting, human resources, consulting, information technology, and project management, including general business administration.

What are the similarities between a BA and a BS degree?

There are many categories of degrees, but the bachelor’s of art and bachelor’s of science stand out as the most common degrees. Both degrees are well recognized by employers when applying for jobs and are acceptable in graduate programs.

Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits to earn either a BA or BS degree which includes courses in their major, general education, and electives.

Additionally, many majors offer both BA and BS degrees. For instance, students may opt for a BA in psychology which allows students to pursue a career in fields like social work, counseling, journalism, and more.

On the other hand, a BSc in psychology prepares learners for research-based and clinical-based specializations like neuropsychology.

Differences between BA and BS degrees?

Generally, a Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded to students majoring in humanities and social science disciplines like history, political science, English language, and literature.

Bachelor of Science degrees are majorly for areas of study within the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering fields.

However, many courses offer both a BA and BS degree. In this case, the difference is in coursework and general education requirements.

BA in business administration takes three years to complete, giving students a vast overview of different disciplines relating to business.

Whereas a BS in business administration takes four years to complete. The first two years are usually dedicated to broad disciplines particularly math and science and the remaining two on specializing in their area of concentration.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts degree will also need to meet additional general education requirements in the humanities and social sciences. Conversely, Bachelor of Science majors takes more science and math courses.

The two bachelor’s degrees also focus on different outcomes. In the humanities and social sciences, the BA program strengthens critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.

Whereas, the Bachelor of Science program focuses on problem-solving and analytical reasoning.

Which is better, BA or BS?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. BA and BS serve different purposes and neither is better or superior to the other. It majorly depends on your career goals.

If you’re looking to receive a broad education in your major, a bachelor of arts is best for you. However, those who are interested in more specialized education in their field of study should consider a bachelor of science degree.

Students applying to graduate school may also need a BS degree to apply for technical and research-based careers. In many majors, undergraduates can choose between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science.

A Bachelor of Art is designed to demonstrate how a course fits into other subjects, linking them to further fields while BS aims at emphasizing the importance of a major and allows you to focus on the narrower path.

What’s best is to think about your own interests, values ​​, and career goals. You can then determine which degree is right for you by following this step:

  • Identify the title of your desired future role, then research which degree is a better fit for the role
  • Browse the course requirements to see which one’s interests you more
  • Find mentors in the industry you wish to focus on and ask them what type of degree they pursued
  • Discuss with a career counselor or advisor to get guidance about what degree to choose

Do jobs prefer BA or BS?

Many employers or companies are not particularly about whether you have a BA or BS. Their major focus is knowing that you have completed your undergraduate education and satisfied the requirements of earning a degree.

Thereafter, they want to be sure if your major is in line with the needed position. This is to ensure that you have gained the skills and knowledge required to perform the job functions.

It would be difficult for you to get hired as a human resource manager with a major in physical education even with the best results. But someone with a BA or BS degree in business administration could be considered for the role.


Which pays more between BS and BA?

Over the years technically inclined jobs have seen more financial rewards than many other careers. According to studies, Americans with a BS degree earn about 17% more than BA holders.

Is a finance degree a BA or BS?

Like business administration, finance isn’t limited to one type of degree. It can be BS or BA.


Considering a degree in business is worthwhile. It equips you with the skills you need to thrive in the business world. However, knowing the differences between specialized degrees in the field would help you make the right decisions for your career.

A BS degree prepares you for analytical and technical business roles like analyst, financial analysis, accounting, and the like. So, if you love business and mathematics, BS may be great for you. 

Conversely, a BA degree gives you a wider range of career options in the business world. It equips you with general business knowledge and skills such as leadership, communication, and writing skills.

Therefore, roles like human resources management, PR management, and sales management would be ideal for you.

Finally, if you are considering acquiring a degree in accounting read this article to know if accounting is a good major.

I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.