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University rankings: Types of degrees, programs, and student profiles

Now, we are in the second article of the series, which will tell you all about types of degrees, programs, and student profiles. If this is confusing or unfamiliar to you, don’t worry. All will be clear by the end of this article.

Types of Degrees

There are a few things to look for when choosing what type of degree you want to take. Let’s discuss the different types of degrees you can access at most universities. Picking the right university is dependent on your chosen field of study. If you want to enter the Computer Science and Information Technology field, you may want to consider your degree type, depending on your goals.

Degree types

We have noted three degree types for Computer Science and Information Technology.

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Bachelor of Arts is a course that will include some computer science modules but may also have a flexible curriculum. This can consist of non-scientific disciplines like liberal arts. Therefore, you can mix scientific disciplines with other subjects you may be interested in.
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Bachelor of Science is a more straightforward scientific course with a less flexible structure.
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) - Bachelor of Engineering is focused on engineering courses. Disciplines may include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, and more.

Types of Programs

Below are the different types of computer programs you could consider when embarking on your university experience. Some are more research-orientated, and others follow a more hands-on approach.

  • Computing Science programs are scientific courses emphasizing research and theoretical knowledge. Compared to Computer Science, Computing is more theory-dominant. So, if logic, mathematics, and computational complexity compel you, you’re in the right place. Computing Science is heavily based on theory and does not rely on practical aspects. So, a Computing Science course may be the right choice if you are interested in theory.
  • Data Science allows you to learn how to apply technology to real-world data science issues. You will also gain an understanding of emerging technologies, statistical analysis, and computational techniques. You can predict future trends and understand how data-driven models can improve decision-making. You will master practical tools like Python while also interpreting data and understanding the fundamentals of data science.
  • Software Engineering will be a more hands-on practical course that will teach primarily about software systems. This course will be highly practical and contain critical information on designing, developing, and maintaining software systems
  • Information Technology will cover network administration, database management, system analysis, and cybersecurity. This course will also teach you how to become a specialist in these job sectors. If you are interested in becoming a master of your craft and want to specialize in one of these aspects of the tech sector– Information Technology may be the right course for you.
  • Web Development is another course that combines theory and practice. Web Development typically focuses on teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the process of building websites. All of the theory learned in this course is constantly tested in practice.
  • Cyber Security is a course focusing on cyber security fundamentals and creating top cyber security professionals. This subject is all about protecting information systems. You will learn to protect technologies, security, management processes, and control systems. Cyber security courses offer a combination of theoretical and practical elements. For example, specific programs combine fundamental concepts and principles while exposing students to new technologies as they find practical solutions.
  • Ethical Hacking is testing a computer system network or application to find security vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could exploit. You will need to understand the processes behind the hacking and cyber attacks, work out how illegal hacking can be stopped, create real-life countermeasures and fixes, shut down security hacks quickly and professionally, document it, and do it all again. An ethical hacking degree is a combination of theoretical and practical elements.

Types of Student Profiles

Students usually take two generic pathways when embarking on their high-education journey. Certain rankings will be more applicable depending on your profile or pathway. If you are heading down a Scientific/Research pathway, specific rankings and indicators will apply more to you than others. This means you will look more at research-based indicators rather than practical indicators. Those venturing down a Practical/Hands-on pathway will seek more practical indicators than theoretical ones. For example, if you’re headed down a practical route, look at the student-to-staff ratio or student satisfaction if you want to network, gain personal connections, and have less competition for external placements. If you have chosen the research pathway, you will look at citations per faculty and academic reputation, which will show how much research is being produced by your lecturers and how well-known the university is.

There we have it: a walkthrough of different degree types, programs, and student profiles. You could consider a range of programs and a few degree types. A Bachelor of Arts program may be the best option if you are looking for a multi- or interdisciplinary approach to Computer Science and Information Technology. We suggest a Bachelor of Science degree if you are looking for a typical tech course. Equally, if you’re looking for a typical engineering course, then a Bachelor of Engineering is the course to go for. Many programs are available, but choose the course that fits your student profile. Consider your learning styles and teaching preferences, whether that’s a Scientific/Research or a Practical/Hands-on pathway. We will have more on each pathway in the next articles. See you there.