By Shaifila Ladhani:
Last year while I was trying to choose my subject for graduation, I came across a list of so many courses that it didn’t make sense. Biology was divided into botany and zoology, there was biotechnology, anthropology, psychology, English, Hindi and so much more.
What caught my attention were the honours and programs courses. I couldn’t understand the difference except the basic one that honors courses are for specialization. So I decided to talk to some of my teachers to get a better idea about it, and this is what I found out:
Both these courses are three year courses.
B.A (Hons) gives you the ability to analyse, and form original ideas. Generally, the student has to study three subjects and specialize in one so that the discipline you choose is clear. For example, I am doing B.A. (H) Psychology. I study not only psychology, but also sociology as my subsidiary subject along with English. The main focus however, remains on one subject, which is psychology. This course is designed to developed knowledge and skills required for research in a specific subject or art, necessary for an advanced professional course. You can easily apply for a higher degree i.e. masters or PhD, only after successful completion of Bachelor of Arts (Hons). This degree opens up a wide range of opportunities for the students in journalism, advertising, management, marketing and administration, politics, public services, police force, teaching, psychology, etc.
B.A. (Program) is a three year course which is broad and flexible. This course is in great demand these days as it provides a proper idea of humanities and the world. You can study an array of subjects under B.A. Program, and have the option of choosing a few subjects to focus on during your final year. The degree provides students with career opportunities in administration, event coordination, insurance, social services, travel and tourism, sports coordinating, etc. The main goal of this degree is to develop analytical abilities, research experience, and verbal communication skill in students.
B.Com (Hons) is an undergraduate (UG) degree designed to inculcate business acumen in students. You can also pursue courses like Chartered Accountancy along with your B.Com (honours). This course gives you in depth knowledge of the subjects. You can specialise in subjects like Economics or Accounts. The industry demand for this course is very high.
B.Com (Program) is also a three year UG course similar to its honors counterpart. The only difference is that this is a general course and you can’t specialize in one subject. This course gives you an overview of all the subjects taught in B.Com (H).
B.Sc (Hons) develops advanced theoretical and research skills. It helps in building an advanced professional or academic career. It is an appropriate course for students who wish to pursue Master of Science (M.Sc) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to follow a research or academic career. This program facilitates the students to pursue an independent research project in an area of interest under the supervision of an academic staff member.
B.Sc (general) is designed to provide the students with foundation knowledge possible for a science based career. This program facilitates a large range of career possibilities. It provides a broad foundation in the sciences, with a special focus on multi-disciplinarity. However, getting admitted in a Masters course is not easy, jobs in teaching, marketing, research. For that matter, all fields are open to them.
With honours courses, your chances of being hired for a job immediately after graduation are better. But since many of us want to pursue further studies after graduation, rejecting a program course because it won’t get you a job soon doesn’t make sense. A programs course is better if you want to do many things on the side. Also, honours courses are more demanding because of the deep study of the subject. The papers are more focused on one subject whereas in programs degree the knowledge is diluted but diverse.
An honours course is ideal for those who know they like only a particular subject and want to build a career on that. It is the in depth study of one subject only. But there is no diversity in subjects, and if you are unsure of what you want to pursue in the future, then it might be a problem. That is solved by doing a programs course, which gives you the freedom to choose your subjects and know more. Then for your post-graduation, you will know what subject you want to focus on because you have a good idea about what each has to offer.
So keep an open mind before you make a decision, each degree has its pros and cons, it all depends on what you are keen on.