Liberal Arts vs Computer Science – What’s Better after Class 12 for Future Jobs?

After Class 12, it’s wise to choose a major that can help students to develop the most in-demand skills for future jobs. In today’s skill-based economy, more than the hard skills, soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, networking, and creative thinking are the most sought-after ones. At the same time, coding & computer programming are equally invaluable skills for the job market. So, which career path you should pursue. In this post, we will look into liberal arts vs computer science.

Liberal Arts vs Computer Science

Co-authored by Prasenjit Saha

As a student nears the completion of his school degree a lot of confusion creeps into their mind about the next course, degree, or stream that would eventually shape their professional career. Consequently, we have seen a raging debate in recent times about the right or the best stream options between the liberal arts and STEM, especially computational sciences like computer science, data science, etc.

So, what exactly is the best option for a student is the question of the hour? To tell you the truth there is no direct answer to this question. It totally depends on the student and on his interest, skills, and likings.

When one chooses a major one must decide the subject(s) that interests them the most and which can further help them to have a long-term professional career. As an example, majors can be divided down into several areas that include but necessarily don’t limit to – liberal arts, business management, healthcare sciences, and “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” (STEM).

Liberal Arts Studies after Class 12

As the industry grows in size and complexity, there is an increased need for software engineers to be able to communicate — with other engineers on large collaborative projects, with clients on helping determine project scopes and deadlines, and with leaders on why your refactor will increase the value of the product.

While AI will require that even more people specialize in digital skills and data science, the future involves more than just science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.

Skilling-up for an AI-powered world involves more than [STEM]. As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology, and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.

– Microsoft president Brad Smith and Harry Shum, EVP of AI

Read liberal arts education and job prospects and liberal arts graduates earn more salary in the long run.

Top Liberal Arts Majors

Liberal arts students can do a major (or a major and a minor) in one of the following subjects:

  • Journalism
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • English Language and Literature
  • Foreign language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Business Studies
  • Marketing
  • Advertising & PR
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing

Liberal Arts provides a wide spectrum of choices and interest areas for the students.

Liberal Arts Studies at Karnavati University

At Karnavati University (one of the top liberal arts colleges in India), the courses of USLM have been meticulously planned – both for Liberal Arts and for Mass Communications. The first two years (four semesters) prepare the base, while in the third year – which is a trimester – the students choose their areas of specializations – for Liberal Arts, it can be People in Societies, or History and International Relations, or Business Studies, or Economics & Public Policy, or Communication & Aesthetics.

Mass Communications students can specialize in Broadcast Journalism & Film Studies, or in Advertising & Public Relations, or in Print & Cyber Journalism. The students have the option of studying the fourth year as an Advanced Diploma to make them eligible to study in foreign universities.

Computer Science after Class 12

For STEM students, the major mainly revolves around Computer & Information Sciences, Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering. In recent times, computer science is becoming more popular due to the wide availability of specializations and job opportunities.

Programming / Coding is becoming a Vital Skill

Programming is an intellectually satisfying experience, and certainly useful, but computer science is about much more than just programming. The understanding of what we can and cannot do with computation is arguably the most important intellectual achievement of the past century, and it has led directly to the development of the computational infrastructure that surrounds us.

Archaeologists write programs to piece together fragments of ancient ruins. Economists apply deep learning models to financial data. Linguists write programs to study the statistical properties of literary works. Physicists study computational models of the universe to analyze its origins. Musicians work with synthesized sound. Biologists seek patterns in genomes. Geologists study the evolution of landscapes. Artists work with digital images. The list goes on and on.

Read Coding is Still the Most Important Job Skill of the Future.

So, how about doing a major in computer science?

Computer Science is an evergreen degree. It’s not going to go out of fashion at anytime soon. At Karnavati University, students can do a BSc in Computer Science. Additionally, students can also choose exciting specializations.

Computer Science Studies at Karnavati University

Within computer science, students can specialize in one of the following areas:

B.Sc. Computer Science with specialization in Data Science

Data Science is a field of studying data to design new predictive models by creating new processes for production using prototypes, algorithms, and custom analysis.  The primary goal of data science is to predict the unknown features of the data by querying the data using appropriate algorithms and statistical models.  Data Scientists build system frameworks and models for arranging and automating data using tools.

A data scientist must be an expert who has knowledge of the foundations of mathematics and statistics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, software development processes, programming skills, data mining and data warehousing, database skills, data analysis, and object-oriented programming concepts, etc.

B.Sc. Computer Science with specialization in Robotics and Automation

The field of robotics and automation has witnessed a paradigm shift by means of a wide variety of innovations.  The concept of robotics has always been relevant to the machine and data.  A study shows that there are three factors viz. price, innovation application, and demand deciding factors for use of robotics to automate the business.

Robotics and automation are playing a very important role in scientific research, technology, engineering, and management.  It has been proved nowadays that robotics automation coupled with artificial intelligence is changing the entire world of business with a more dynamic and active workforce. 

Robotics and automation are considered the most efficient automation process in medical, manufacturing, and military applications.  This field needs knowledge and skills from engineering, computing, artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning fields. 

B.Sc. Computer Science with specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is a hot core field that is rapidly growing in the fast-changing world and powering for the great industrial revolution.  The world workforce has changed the way the business grows without affecting humanity.

AI and ML play vital roles in every walk of life.  It attempts to provide an efficient and re-defined workforce that enables less manual and paper work, quick responses, change of public administration, provide better solutions.  In the health care industry, AI provides a very much affordable services at the lowest cost. AI plays an important role in the computational thinking and creativity of every human.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is nothing but mimicking human intelligence by building algorithms and applying them to a dynamically built computing environment. In other words, AI attempt to make computers think and act like humans.  This dynamic environment with AI can be achieved by three components – a computational system, a data management system, and advanced AI algorithms and codes.

B.Sc. Computer Science with specialization in Cloud Computing and Virtualization

  • Cloud Computing and Virtualization is one of the fastest growing field of emerging technologies.
  • Concept of Virtualization has been built upon/for cloud and industries required hybridization of both technologies.
  • The programme also covers Service Oriented Architecture, Object Technology, Distributed Computing, Cloud Security, Cloud Management, etc which are important industry standards.
  • The programme also covers configuration aspects of various clouds that are available in the public domains.
  • It also gives exposure to students on real time implementation of cloud models.
  • The entire curriculum has been structured in such a way that it emphasizes on fundamentals of computer science courses, information technology tools, open source tools and foundations of networking and security.
  • Curriculum has more focus on practical implementation of cloud and virtualization.
  • The programme offers courses on different areas of computer science and information technology, such as programming fundamentals, networks concepts, software design and management.
  • Students willbe able to gain knowledge on cloud management principles and practical experience on the latest cloud computing trends.
  • Part of the Programme, students will learn how to walk through different concepts related to networking, virtualization, and navigating to the server process.

B.Sc. Computer Science with specialization in Cryptography and Blockchain

Blockchain has been a focus area among emerging technologies for multinational companies. The blockchain allows for verification without having to be dependent on third parties. Blockchain is the most reasonable inexpensive financial model available right now in the world and it takes very little time to process by business firms.  Due to the clear transparency of transactions in the blockchain, any fraud can be easily identified.  There are no Middlemen in Transaction.

Blockchain is yet to gain momentum in society, yet there is a huge number of opportunities for professionals with skills and knowledge in blockchain development. Cryptography is the key and core component of building blockchains.  Individual who is keen to take up this career as blockchain developer can consider the undergraduate program to build their career in blockchain. 

This program exposes students to blockchain technology, smart contracts, fundamentals of cryptocurrency, and applications. Students will also learn the fundamentals of cryptography. Students will get to know bitcoin which was the first functional blockchain.

Conclusion

It is widely witnessed that liberal arts graduates experience success in people-focused careers such as Teaching, Public services, etc. whereas the STEM degree holders find more success in product-focused careers such as software engineers.

However, we can’t deny the fact that the ability to do critical thinking and come up with innovative ideas are developed from studying Liberal Arts subjects and from its knowledgebase. However, if a student just goes by the salary that he can get after graduating from college he may opt for a STEM course where the salary for the starting and mid-level career employees are higher than the liberal arts counterparts. But, in the long run, liberal arts graduates can also outplay their STEM counterparts.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage Operations at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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