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Rice students tend to over-rate the importance of (a) double majors, and for similar reasons, (b) a BS vs a BA in computer science. While they are admirable accomplishments, I suspect there's a bit of an academic-machismo attitude which overvalues them.
Here are some valid reasons (that aren't always as apparent from the middle of your college years), why a single major and/or a BA are good career choices.
Employers aren't looking so much for specific skills: 90% of what you'll need to know on the job, isn't taught in college. No, your education isn't a big sham; rather, employers know that college gives a sound framework for you to learn and integrate know knowledge. So they're not so much looking for people with some particular skill set. Thus a double major or BS, while nice, isn't likely to be a coup during a job interview.
The undergrad experience is about generalization. College is not where you specialize. That happens in your job or at grad school. Rather than double-majoring or going for a BS, consider what additional courses you'd like to take, if you go for a BA and use the extra slots for random classes from other divisions.
Consider: Say you take a programming job, and after 6mos start work on a project requiring knowledge of network protocols. Even if you didn't take the networking class, you'll still learn about them on the job. On the other hand, you may never again have a likely opportunity to learn about modern french poetry or the anthropology of religion, on your job. These are the classes that you'll remember from your college years.
During the job interview, it's impressive to have a whole slew of technical courses on your resume. BUT, having more courses from other discipline shows balance, flexibility and non-academic interests, all of which are at least as valued in the workplace.
By the way, the most important features employers look for, beyond a sound technical background and the ability to learn, is the ability to work in teams, and to take initiative. So classes with course projects (both in programming and anything else), and involvement with extracurricular organizations is very important, even if it doesn't always seem related to the job at hand.
I say all that about double-majors, because I view a Comp BS as the double major Comp + Comp.
From the program description,
"The B.S. degree is designed for students who are interested in a more in-depth study of computer science in order to prepare themselves for a professional career in the computing industry." This is certainly true. But that doesn't mean the BS is the implied "proper" choice for all "good" Comp students.
Also keep in mind, there is no standard guideline of
what a BA vs a BS means. For example, at Princeton, neither
degree is particularly harder than the other; they're just different.
Some schools only offer a BS (and many of those programs aren't as
thorough as Rice's BA).
By and large, most employers don't look closely at the particular letters; "undergrad Computer Science degree from Rice" is the stamp of quality that they see.
(For other engineering programs, the BA vs BS distinction is very important. There are national guidelines about what the two degrees mean, and professional licensing requirements often read along the lines of "a BA with five years experience, or a BS with three years". But for better or worse, one doesn't need a license to practice software...)
So those are some of the points that students don't always fully consider. Sure, if you take the courses you like and happen to look back and be very close to a BS or dual degree, that's fine. But taking a semester with two extra tough courses you don't really enjoy, just to get a different degree, may not be worth it.[an error occurred while processing this directive]