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We had this argument today at work regarding which one of those two is more correct. Neither of us is a native English speaker. A simple Google research would reveal that most Wikipedia articles use the bachelor of format.

For example:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Commerce

The particular case we are having is to describe a person’s education within the contact information of a company's website.

Here’s a partial example:

John Smith

Professional experience

  • ...
  • ...

Education

  • Bachelor [in/of] Accounting and Control

Which one is more correct? Or are they equally suitable?

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1  
It's probably a Bachelor of [X] in Accounting and Control –  simchona Jul 19 '12 at 13:07
    
Well the name of the Bachelor in our language, from which we are translating, is 'Accounting and Control'. What would you put in the place of [X] in your example? –  Null Jul 19 '12 at 13:10
    
Is Accounting and Control the actual degree, or the major/track within another degree? –  simchona Jul 19 '12 at 13:11
    
To elaborate: usually it would be something more like "Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Control". –  Charles Jul 19 '12 at 13:15
    
Well, maybe I'm getting confused with your standards. I believe what you mean is that the person is probably a "Bachelor of Economics in Accounting and Control"? Basically it's an University of Economics, most people graduate economists from there. Accounting and Control is the name of the degree. Mine is 'Business Information Systems', but it also says in my diploma that I'm an economist. –  Null Jul 19 '12 at 13:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't know what language or culture you're trying to translate from. It's certainly possible that degrees are named differently. But in the United States, there is a pretty rigid format for the name of a degree. (I really don't know if the form is the same in other English-speaking countries.)

[degree level] of [broad category] in [specialty]

[degree level] is Associate, Bachelor, Master, or Doctor. That list is in increasing order of how many years of schooling each involves.

[broad category] is Arts, Science, Law, Business Administration, and occasionally Divinity. A Law degree is, well, about law. Business Administration is related to running a business. Science is a degree involving a physical science, like chemistry or physics. Divinity is a degree in theology or otherwise related to a profession like being a minister or a missionary, though many schools of theology today call their degrees Arts instead of Divinity. Art is pretty much anything else, like history, literature, philosophy, etc. Sometimes you see a degree in Fine Arts meaning music, theater, painting, or the like, to distinguish it from "ordinary" Arts. (Business Administration is mostly used in "Master of Business Administration": I don't recall ever hearing someone say they have an Associates in Business Administration, etc, though there may be colleges out there that give such degrees.)

[specialty] could be almost anything, whatever the college teaches.

So you could have degrees like, "Associate of Arts in Literature", "Master of Science in Physics", "Doctor of Fine Arts in Icelandic Poetry", etc. My degree is "Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Science". My ex-wife has "Master of Arts in History and Museum Management". And so on.

So you wouldn't say you have a "Bachelor of Accounting"; you would say you have a "Bachelor of Arts in Accounting". The broad cateogry is often omitted and the level turned into a possessive, i.e. someone will say, "I have a Bachelor's degree", or "I have a Master's in history".

If you are trying to translate the name of your degree from a country that has a different system to put on a resume or the like, I think your best bet would be to try to conform it to the system of the country where you're applying for the job. When someone is reading your resume, if it looks wrong they're going to think that you don't know what you're talking about and maybe dismiss your resume as uninformed or even fraudulent. You may well not have an opportunity to explain. It doesn't help to be technically correct if the person "grading the test" knows less than you do.

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Thank you for the comprehensive explanation, I think I understand the system now. And oh, this is so much different than things around here. If I write 'Bachelor of Arts in Accounting' and a Bulgarian is reading it, he will instantly relate this to some sort of Art. –  Null Jul 20 '12 at 10:46

One is a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and so forth, but would hold a Bachelor's Degree (or Bachelor's) in Physics, Archaeology, or whatever.

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In that case, in the above example to list the person's education history, what would be more suitable based on what you said? –  Null Jul 19 '12 at 13:20
1  
@Null, I'd think Bachelor's in Accounting and Control (not Bachelor in...). –  Brian Hooper Jul 19 '12 at 13:51

Degrees normally use "of" as the preposition, thus

Bachelor of Art
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy (most non medical doctorates use this title)

However, you may be confusing the subject of the degree with the title of it. Some subjects, most notably vocational qualifications like law and journalism, do refer to their subject in the degree name, but it is possible that the degree you are referring to is a

Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Control

The only way to find out for certain is to see the degree certificate (or if the course is still running, check the university web pages for the details).

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I guess our standards of degrees forming are really weird. There are two 'major subjects' listed under the Faculty of Finance and Accounting - 'Accounting and Control' and 'Finance'. I guess I should pick one of the suggested examples by Brian Hooper. –  Null Jul 19 '12 at 13:25

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