The right choice | BSc Informatics or BCA? A student advisor explains

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(‘The Right Choice’ is a series from The Indian Express addressing common questions, misconceptions and doubts surrounding student admissions. You can read the stories here.)

— Ruchir Arora

Many students want to study computer science and work with computers after completing the 10+2 exams, yet they are arguing whether the Bachelor of Science Computer Science (B.Sc. Computer Science) or the Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) is a better fit for them .

Here’s a look at the admission criteria, study pattern, fee structure, and differences between the two majors:

BSc (computer science)

BSc Computer Science is a three-year undergraduate course that deals with the fundamentals, concepts and technological implementation of computer science. It is perfect for students who want to build a solid foundation in this field.

Students enrolling in the program should pass the 12th standard of a recognized board with at least 50 to 60 percent of grades and must have studied the science branch (physics, chemistry and mathematics) or computer science as one of their subjects.

Both state and supported institutions offer this course with different fee structures. The annual fee ranges from Rs 6,000 to Rs one lakh.

The course is highly conceptual and focuses on disk operations, control structures and hardware. The students acquire specific knowledge in technological core modules such as the design of compilers.

Some topics in the syllabus are: programming in C/C++, databases, operating systems and computer organization and architecture.

Students taking this course can pursue a Masters in Science (M.Sc.) in the same subject, which can give them a deeper understanding of the concepts as they include parallel computing, artificial intelligence, soft computing, and information security. You can also pursue a Masters in Computer Application (MCA).

Graduates of the course are often hired by security or surveillance companies, electronic device manufacturers, system maintenance consultancies, technical support teams and banking companies.

They may also be software engineers, IT project managers, website developers, and data analysts, but as the course is conceptual rather than application-oriented, they may need to take an additional course to learn specific skills appropriate for the job.

Completion of this course can yield a salary of between four and 20 lakh per year, depending on the candidate’s level of experience.

Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA)

The BCA is also a three-year computer science degree, but it is more technical and focuses on different programming languages ​​and applications.

Students are admitted to the course upon passing the 12th standard from a recognized body with 50 percent of the grades. You should have studied English and Mathematics as compulsory subjects.

The course is offered both by private providers and by self-financed wings of supported providers. Depending on the college, the annual fee can be as high as Rs six lakh per year.

It is an application-oriented course with a focus on programming languages, database networking, data structures, web development, network security, and software development. Students are taught to use technology to innovate and develop new applications, so the curriculum is usually designed based on the needs of the industry.

Few subjects in the curriculum include: fundamentals of computer programming, website design, and multimedia applications. However, hardware-related concepts are not part of this course.

BCA students can only choose to pursue the MCA in their postgraduate studies.

They can become software developers, programmers, web designers and game designers or testers and are often employed by software giants such as Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL).

Depending on experience and qualifications, a BCA or MCA student can earn between four and 20 rupees.

B.Sc Computer Science is more concept-oriented, BCA more application-oriented.

So, BCA graduates have an advantage and get a job sooner. It is up to the students to see which curriculum structure they are more inclined towards.

The author is the CEO and Founder of Gurgaon-based College Dekho, a student advisory organization.

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