BS? - BA

I didn't know Hunter College had computer science.

I heard that refrain more than once during my fall visits to high schools. Part of the reason for this is due to Hunter CS's low profile and small size in spite of its high quality.

Part, though, was also because of some misconceptions about Computer Science programs. I'd hear things like "but they only offer a BA not a BS," or "but Hunter isn't an engineering school."

I've come to realize that we have to do a better job educating kids as to what can come next after high school.

I'm not entirely sure why many assume that CS has to be under engineering. When I was applying to college, most of my choices were Arts and Science schools offering BAs in CS. Maybe it's because people don't disagregate STEM subjects. Even though it's not a computer science program many schools seem to associate FIRST robotics with computer science. Likewise any class with even a modicum of coding becomes computer science and as makerspaces and robotics are a percieved as easy entry STEM classes that appear to be CS (something I'll rant about in a future post), CS becomes associated with engineering.

It's easy enough to explain the difference between a BA in CS and a BS in CS and it's equally easy to show that you can have tremendous success either way. All you have to do to show the validity of a BA in CS is look at succesful people from places like NYU, Courant, Columbia College (as opposed to Columbia Engineering), Cornell school of Arts and Sciences, etc to balance successful people from the engineering schools.

As I'm sure you know, I'm pretty high on Hunter CS and it's certainly one of the best value CS educations out there. Personally, I'm a big believer in a liberal arts education but in any case, as a community we have to do a better job educating the high schools so that graduating seniors are best informed when deciding on their futures.


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