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better one is mca or msc in computer science


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MCA stands for Master of Computer Applications, a degree awarded in India. MSc denotes Master of Science.

@Arushirai: This is an international forum. Most members will not be Indian or familiar with Indian degrees. Please keep this in mind when posting!

Now for your question.

I am assuming that you have a choice between an MCA degree or an MSc degree in CS, from the same institution, or institutions having equivalent reputation or offering equivalent quality of education.

The MCA and MSc (CS) degrees have different purposes.

The MCA is designed to prepare the candidate for a career in the IT industry in various development / administration capacities. It is intended as a professional qualification, rather than an academic degree. Theoretical or mathematical topics are omitted or marginalized in favour of topics which can be directly applied in an industrial job. It is a 3 year degree. Most of the third year is spent interning in the industry, producing a 'project report' at the end, rather than a thesis.

The MSc (CS) degree is an academic degree in CS, meant to prepare the candidate for a career in research. A CS PhD would be a natural continuation. It is a 2 year degree, at the end of which an academic master's thesis is expected (although it may be waived at less-competitive institutions). Expect much more mathematical rigour and theory than in an MCA.

In spite of all this, it is possible to go into research after an MCA (but don't expect the degree to prepare you adequately for it!), or go into the industry after a CS MSc (much easier than the former). Keep in mind that the MCA is generally considered a less difficult degree, and carries somewhat lesser value than an MSc. Some prestigious institutions (notably the IITs) do not permit MCA holders to apply to their PhD programs (i.e. they do not consider it a 'proper' master's degree).

Edited by Velvet Ghost
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