Is Your Liberal Arts / Computer Science Degree Helping Or Hindering?

Is Your Liberal Arts Or Computer Science Degree Helping or Hindering You?
Is Your Liberal Arts Or Computer Science Degree Helping or Hindering You?


There is an assumption that certain college degrees are more helpful than others when it comes to preparing for, learning, or succeeding at information technology (IT) careers.

If you believe this to be true then you may also be of the mindset that a Computer Science (BSc.) degree is more valuable than a Liberal Arts (BA) degree!

Surprisingly, there may be some evidence supporting this assumption. For example, it has been noted recently that engineering and computer science college graduates are more employable and better paid than liberal arts college graduates.

Well, with all this information in mind, one of our readers (Cedar Thokme) wants to: “know how having a liberal arts (BA) degree disqualifies or places one at a disadvantage compared to a computer science (BSc.) college degree” … when it comes to learning data analysis.

Here Is Cedar’s Question …

Dear Data Analyst trainer:

I have a BA in Arts, lots of experience working with the computer and softwares but no formal BSc Computer etc.

I need to verify that data analyst boot camp training covers the foundation and is not targeted just at folks already equipped with certification in computers / software (sw) engineering.

In this article, I will answer Cedar’s question and also address the assumption that a computer science (Bsc.) degree better prepares one for a career in data analysis / information technology than a liberal arts (BA) degree.

  1. Does A Liberal Arts (BA) / Computer Science (Bsc.) Degree Qualify / Disqualify You In Anyway?

    Neither a liberal arts (BA) nor a computer science (Bsc.) college degree qualifies you for or disqualifies you from data analyst training!

    As far as the information technology (IT) industry is concerned, your college degree only proves that you are intellectually equipped and capable of learning the skills required for your data analyst career.

    Having either of these college degrees will not make you inherently capable or incapable of learning the skills required for data analyst careers!

    Regardless of whether you have a BSc. or BA college degree, you still have to invest the time, effort and money needed to learn the career from scratch!

  2. Which College Background Is Better, Liberal Arts Or Computer Science?

    Though it is true that a computer science college degree is more technical than a liberal arts degree, having a liberal arts degree will still not disqualify you from being able to learn data analysis!

    To start with, there are computer science (Bsc.) graduates who struggle with learning information technology (IT) topics just as there are liberal arts degree holders who may struggle with or find technical topics challenging!

    The ease or speed with which you learn data analysis or any other information technology course is more a function of how passionate and motivated you are and how hard you are willing to work … than it is of your type of college degree.

    You may be surprised to know that there are professionals out there, who work in the data analysis / information technology industry without the benefits of a four (4) year degree or 2 year associate degree!

    So, the fact that a computer science degree is more technical than a liberal arts degree, should not derail, discourage or stop you from learning data analysis or taking data analyst training.

    Realize this. The bulk of the learning and training work you have to do to become a data analyst is the same regardless of your college background.

    In today’s job market, the advantage a computer science (BSc.) graduate holds over a liberal arts (BA) college graduate is minor in the short term and irrelevant in the long term, if the BA graduate is really interested and motivated in learning data analysis!

  3. What Is The Expected Background or Prerequisites For Our Training Courses?

    We do not need or expect you to have a data analysis, database, computer science or information technology (IT) background as a prerequisite for our data analyst training.

    Why? Because our data analysis lessons are designed in a step by step fashion with each lesson building on the topics taught in previous lessons so you don’t feel overwhelmed or dumped on!

    In addition, we make no assumptions about your background and because of that, we include and teach all the pre-requisite knowledge needed for our courses.

    Futhermore, our videos are in a step by step, instructional format which means that you learn by watching an instructor explain and then perform hands on tasks and activitites.

    Finally, we include a coaching plan as part of your training which means that as you watch our videos or work through our hands-on assignments, you may request for more help, feedback or guidance and we will provide that assistance to you as part of your training!

    Keep in mind that our data analysis training covers both the theoretical knowledge and the practical, hands-on activities required to master each skill, topic or course.

    We Teach The Theory Needed: so that you don’t have to worry or pay for additional, expensive, time demanding computer science / information technology (IT) college courses as pre-requistes.

    We Teach the Practical Skills Needed: so that you don’t have to take out more time to prepare for our courses before enrolling in our training

I applaud your efforts to take charge of your career. But you can’t afford to hesitate, procrastinate or put-off your training because you really are as ready now as you will ever be!

Finally, here is a summary of the advantages / disadvantages of a computer science (Bsc.) college degree compared to a liberal arts (BA) degree.

  1. A Computer Science Degree Is More Technical

    A computer science graduate may be more ready to study or learn technical topics like data analysis, computer programming, etc. than a liberal arts degree because the majority of their college course work is technical in nature.

  2. A Liberal Arts Degree Is More Functional

    Employers prefer to hire candidates with good inter-personal, communication and social skills. Because of this, a liberal arts graduate may be prepared to learn, understand and fit into the company culture.

  3. Handson Information Technology (IT) Skills Are Learned After College

    Regardless of whether you are a computer science or liberal arts degree, the still have to learn the software, tools and skills needed for your real-world career … as these are typically not taught or covered in college courses!

  4. The Ability To Keep Up More Valuable Than Your Degree!

    A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that the information we need to do our job is doubling every 18 months and that we are all running harder and harder to keep up with the required knowledge for our specialized fields!

    Regardless of your college degree, the real prerequisite for success is your ability to learn, re-learn or adapt to our constantly changing societal and technological environment!

  5. Your Passion, Motivation and Interest Qualifies / Disqualifies You!

    Your ability to learn information technology skills and / or succeed on the job is a function of your personal drive, hard-work, motivation, interest level and attitude than it is of your certifications, college degree(s) or previous background.

    If you want to succeed long-term in any IT profession (data analysis, business analysis, computer programming,, etc.), take the time to research it, making sure that you will enjoy a job … and then simply learn the skills and knowledge required to function!

References For Further Reading

One Response to "Is Your Liberal Arts / Computer Science Degree Helping Or Hindering?"

  1. Marta   August 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I love you for this article!
    major in Sociology 😉


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