According to Data USA, degrees in the business field are among the most popular in the United States, with 840,116 degrees in this field alone being awarded in 2020. You went down the commerce route (meaning you have a grasp of business administration, accounting, and applied economics) and now you’re interested in practical applications of your knowledge.
With your commerce degree firmly under your belt, you may feel like a ship without a rudder – aimless and having no idea what direction to go. Happily, the tech field is ready and waiting for you, as a career in computer sciences may await. Here, we ask, “can a commerce student do BSc Computer Science?” The answer may surprise you, especially if you’re worried that a computer science degree’s eligibility requirements are outside the scope of what you learned in your commerce studies.
Background on Commerce and Computer Science
On the surface, commerce and computer science may seem like they go together as well as peanut butter and granite. But if you dig a little deeper into the scope of each subject, you start to realize that there’s more crossover than there first appears:
- Commerce – A degree in commerce gives you a firm grasp of the numbers that lie behind the scenes in a business, with banking, economics, and accounting all falling under your developing areas of expertise. Analytics is also a key part of these courses (especially in the research and data analyst fields), which is where we see some crossover with computer science.
- Computer Science – If commerce is all about the behind-the-scenes numbers in business, computer science handles what goes on under the hood in computing. Software development, data modeling, and analysis all fall under the computer science graduate’s remit, with the ability to pore through data to come to conclusions being essential to this technical subject.
It’s in the analysis that we start to see similarities between commerce and computer science emerge. Yes, commerce focuses more on the numbers behind businesses (and wider economic trends), but the ability to understand the data presented and report on what you see has applications in the computer science field. There’s not a direct crossover, as computer science will require you to learn the “language” in which computers speak, but they are many soft skills you develop in a commerce degree that apply to computer science.
Eligibility for BSc Computer Science
The key questions to ask when considering the issue of whether can commerce student do BSc Computer Science split into two categories:
- The general eligibility requirements to study a BSc in computer science
- Specific requirements that apply to commerce students
Eligibility Criteria for BSc Computer Science
BSc Computer Science degrees don’t require a great deal of computer know-how (though it helps), instead focusing on your grasp of mathematics. Requirements include the following:
- A high school diploma (or your country’s equivalent) that shows solid performance in mathematical subjects.
- Some degrees require you to achieve a specific Grade Point Average (GPA), though the specific GPA varies depending on where you apply.
- A high level of English proficiency, which can be measured using one (or both) of the following tests:
- IELTS – Get a minimum score between 6.0 and 7.0
- TOEFL – Get a minimum score between 90 and 100
Beyond these educational requirements, international students may need to submit copies of their passport and Visa, alongside certified academic transcripts to show they’ve achieved their country’s equivalents of the above grades. Not all courses require this of international students, with some online universities focusing more on your academic skills and less on your country of origin.
In terms of entrance exams, some colleges enforce computer science-specific exams (such as the CUET or CUCET), while others use NPATS or similar, more general exams, to determine proficiency.
Eligibility Criteria for Commerce Students
You may be standing at the starting line of your educational journey, meaning you’ve not yet applied to start your degree in commerce. First, congratulations on thinking so far ahead that you’re wondering “Can a commerce student do BSc Computer Science?” And second, you need to know what high school subjects help you get onto this degree path.
Commerce is a form of business degree, meaning any high school subjects that apply to the economic world help. Subjects like math, finance, economics, and foreign languages are obvious choices. The likes of marketing and computer applications also help (with the latter also laying some groundwork for your later computer science studies.
Much like computer science, you’ll likely have to take an entrance exam when applying to study commerce at most universities. The CSEET, CUET, and SET are common choices, with the first of these exams focusing specifically on those who study commerce to work as company secretaries.
The Possibility of Flexible Eligibility Criteria
Not all colleges require you to take entrance exams, with some even using broader strokes for their eligibility requirements to the point where they provide flexibility for both commerce and computer science students.
Colleges with open curriculums (such as Brown University and Hamilton College) offer more freedom in terms of what you study, with their entry requirements being more flexible as a result. Online institutions, such as the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) may also offer more flexible entry criteria, sometimes allowing you to transfer credit from one course to another. That type of credit transfer may be ideal for you if you start a degree in commerce only to later decide to go down the computer science route.
Career Prospects for Commerce Students in Computer Science
When it comes to careers for those who hold computer science degrees, the obvious heavy-hitters are software and web development, IT management, and systems architecture. There are also exciting careers in the emerging AI fields that take full advantage of the technical skills you’ll develop as part of a BSc in computer science.
As for the career crossover between commerce and computer science, the key is to think about the skills that a commerce degree gives you that can apply in the computing field. Such skills include the following:
- Analytical Skills – Much like computer science, commerce is all about analyzing the data presented so you can report (and leverage) it for other purposes. Your ability to sit down and pore through the numbers will take you a long way in a computer-related role.
- Problem-Solving Skills – Closely linked to analytical skills, the ability to solve problems requires you to see the data at hand and come up with solutions while accounting for any restrictions presented. In creating commerce models, those restrictions may relate to budget and competencies, while computer science asks you to solve problems while taking system capabilities and limitations into account.
- Communication and Teamwork – Though often considered soft skills (as opposed to the “hard” technical skills you learn in a commerce degree), communication and teamwork are vital. If you need proof, try to work alone in any technical career and you’ll see why it’s so crucial to have these skills.
Potential Career Paths for Commerce Students with a BSc in Computer Science
With so much crossover potential between commerce and computer science, it’s clear that the answer to the question can a commerce student do BSc Computer Science is a resounding “yes.” And once you’ve completed your studies, several career paths await:
- Data Analyst – Reviewing data to find insights (be that into businesses or computer systems) are part of the remit for a data analyst. This role is all about problem-solving, which is a skill you’ll develop in abundance as a commerce and computer science student.
- Business Analyst – Take the ability to gather insights that is required of a data analyst and apply it specifically to areas of improvement in a business to become a business analyst. You’ll combine technical knowledge of a company’s inner workings with complex financial (and computational) models.
- IT Consultant – More computer science-centric than commerce-focused, IT consultants deal with the hows and whys of the computer networks businesses build. Your commerce skills will still come into play though, particularly when explaining how IT benefits businesses financially.
- Financial Technology Specialist – Combining the best of both worlds, this role combines the accounting skills you develop studying commerce with the technical ability needed to understand software and its functions.
Challenges and Considerations for Commerce Students
Though it’s possible for a commerce student to study (and succeed in) computer science, there are some challenges to consider.
The Technical Nature of Computer Science
As you learn the language of numbers in a commerce degree, so must you learn the language of machines when studying computer science. Getting to grips with the lingo (not to mention coding) can present a challenge to more business-minded students.
Balancing Your Workload
There’s an old saying that goes “Don’t burn the candle at both ends,” which is a warning not to pack too much onto your work plate. If you study commerce and computer science simultaneously, there’s a risk you may push yourself too far. Avoiding burnout requires finding the balance between your studies and personal time.
Networking and Practical Experience
As a commerce student, you understand that the world of business is as much about who you know as what you know. Finding the right people to take a chance on you, thus giving you practical experience, can be tough. But when armed with a pair of degrees in subjects that complement one another, you’re in a better position to build connections with people who can help you go far.
From Commerce to Computing – Is It Right for You?
So, can a commerce student do BSc Computer Science?
The answer isn’t just “yes,” but that it’s actually a great direction to go. Where a commerce degree equips you with a nice mix of technical knowledge and soft skills, a computer science course gives you even more practical knowledge that allows you to enter more specialized fields. However, your interest in each subject plays a role, as your ability (and passion) for studying hinges on your desire to dig into the more technical world of computing.
Assuming you have a genuine interest (and meet the appropriate eligibility criteria), supplementing your commerce studies with computer science can open up many career paths.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.