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BCA + MCA or B. tech (CSE) – What’s better?

BCA + MCA or B. tech (CSE) – What’s better?

Embarking on a journey of a lifetime and don’t know which path to tread on – all of us face this situation when we step out from the gates of school to face the big bad world of college and higher studies at some point or the other. There are inhibitions, scepticisms, and doubts about the choice we make as a student.

Here, Dr Ruchika Malhotra, Assistant Professor, Department of Software Engineering, Delhi Technological University (Formerly known as Delhi College of Engineering), tells us the difference between MCA and B.Tech(CSE):

  • B tech is 4 year Bachelor degree which is done after 12th grade whereas MCA is 3-year masters degree for people from Arts and Science background.
  • As per the syllabus of B tech in IT and MCA concerned they both have same syllabus and papers related to the computer whereas has the advantage of engineering basics and soft skills in the First Year.
  • To put it short if you are Studying school, plan for BTech IT/ CS to enter into the IT industry whereas if you have done B.Sc./B.Com and still want to enter into IT industry, then plan for your MCA.
  • Salary wise both are same but while growing inside organisation former has a slight advantage over later. The downside of doing over MCA is the cost of investing is higher for tuition fees.

Everyone thinks that both are same. No one can differentiate it to know actual advantages and disadvantages of both courses. So we have to know the value and difference. I would like to give a detail difference on that basis we will be able to find out suitable path.

What is MCA (Master of Computer Applications)?

  • In Master of Computer Applications course, higher level subjects like computer organization, data and file structuring using C, operating system, computer networks, modelling and simulation, visual basic, combinatory and graph theory, computer graphics, system programming and computer based numerical and statistical techniques are generally taught.
  • In the final semester, you will most likely need to specialize in a topic in the form of project work. The course stresses the application of theory and computing principles through project work, case studies, presentations and practical assignments.
  • Some of the popular fields which are generally chosen by students for MCA specialization are application software, hardware technology, systems management, systems development, and management information systems.
  • A few of the topics covered under MCA courses are listed below. Each semester has 6 theoretical topics to cover so a total of 30 topics are covered in the first five semesters of the MCA course. In the sixth and final semester, a student has to submit an industrial project. Each semester has a lot of practical work involved based on the syllabus of MCA.
  • In the sixth and final semester, a student has to submit an industrial project. Each semester has a lot of practical work involved based on the syllabus of MCA.
    • Accounting and Financial Management
    • UNIX and Shell Programming
    • Object Oriented Systems in C++
    • Design and Analysis of Algorithm
    • Modelling and Simulation
    • Software Engineering
    • Net Framework and C Lab
    • WEB Technology

What is B.Tech(CSE)?

  • Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering, also known as B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering is an undergraduate program in Computer Science and Engineering.
  • In this course, the applicant will learn about theoretical foundations of information, computation, their implementation, computation and function in computer systems.
  • The engineers are mostly involved in the development of the hardware and software systems of the different aspects of computing.
  • The duration of this course is about 4 years and the syllabus is spread across 8 semesters in which candidates will learn about basic engineering techniques such as in the first year it includes various subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Engineering drawing and mathematics and from second year they are focused on core subjects which include data structure, programming, Algorithms, Computer networks, Web technologies, Operating systems, Digital logic, Databases and Computer Architecture and Theoretical computer science.
  • After completion of this course, graduates will be engineering professionals, innovators, leaders and practitioners who would help to solve the industries technical problems.
B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering Course Summary

Course Name: Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering

Commonly known as B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering

Course Time       Full Time

Duration              4 years

Stream Computer Science and Engineering

Key Difference:

  • B.E. stands for Bachelor of Engineering. It is an undergraduate degree conferred on completion of a four to five years program of engineering academic programme. On the other hand, M.C.A. stands for Masters of Computer Applications. It is a postgraduate academic degree that is conferred on completion of a three to four-year academic course focusing on applied computer principles and programming.
  • B.E. is a course that is opted by one who aspires to be an engineer. B.E. is available in various fields like Aeronautical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc. and much more. On the other hand, MCA is focused on the computer applications. It is a master’s degree. It usually takes 3 to 4 years for completion.
  • Students, who want to make their career in IT field as programmers, testers, database managers, software programmers, software engineers, etc, prefer this course, after the completion of graduation. B.C.A. is an undergraduate program specifically designed to prepare the students for an M.C.A. course.
  • Ideally, M.C.A. can only be compared with B.E. (Computer Science) or B.E. (Information technology), as both share many of the subjects. Some of the general characteristics are listed below in the table. However, it is important to note that the characteristics may differ from country to country.
B.Tech(CS) MCA
Full form Bachelor of Engineering Masters of Computer Applications
Duration 4-5 years 3-4 years
Course Coverage Applied science (technological or technical Computer applications (programming languages) and tools for developing the applications
Preferred Master Degree M.E. or M. Tech Itself is a master’s degree
Study First year syllabus contains a brief of almost all the branches of engineering.Generally, the branch specific subjects are taught in the third semester onwards, and thus depends upon the opted branch. Database management systems, operating systems, software engineering, computer architecture, web technology and languages such as C, C++, HTML, etc
Career options Depends upon the specific branch studied in the course.


For example, somebody with a Civil branch degree may get to work in a construction company.

Generally, in the IT companies. Today, most of the companies have their own IT department and thus, has also expanded the scope of work for M.C.A. graduates.
Focus area Studies generally include the technical aspect. It is more focused on information of digital electronics, microprocessor, and its programming, apart from software languages. (considering B.E. in computer science or information technology) Focusing on in-depth knowledge of the development of computer applications and familiarity with different programming languages.
Eligibility Generally, 10+2 or its equivalent examination with Mathematics as one of the subjects. Generally, a B.C.A / B.Sc / B.Com/ B.A degree with Mathematics as one of the subjects at 10+2 level or at graduation
Ph.D Are not eligible for the PhD. Are eligible for the PhD.
Include Physics & Chemistry Generally includes Mathematics
Opted by Students looking for a core engineering course Students looking for a course related to the development of computer applications

In my view, B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) and M.C.A. (Master of Computer Applications) are two entirely different degrees. While B.Tech is an engineering degree awarded in various streams, The Master of Computer Applications (MCA) is a postgraduate degree in computer application stream. As far as being a software engineer is concerned you can technically be called a software engineer only when you have pursued B.Tech or B.E. in any subject related to software development, but the primary emphasis in MCA curriculum is on development of application software in diverse areas for various organizations rather than designing computer hardware and systems software. Rest, Job opportunity solely depends on the interest and efforts in your field. Though these days B.Tech is more of a popular degree, doing B.Tech only counts if you have done it from a reputed institute.


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