As I mentioned before, I went to a SLAC as an undergrad. I graduated with a B.A. When I started working in consulting, most of the technical folks had B.S.s, but having a B.A. wasn't terribly unusual either. In any event, the details of my undergraduate education were necessary only for me to get a job. Within a very short time frame, what mattered was my performance - could I be trusted with greater responsibility, was I producing scientifically acceptable work, etc. And my school's insistence on writing ability meant that I had a great foundation for scientific writing at my job.
Most of the grad schools I applied to did take into consideration and appreciated my years of relevant experience. Several schools required a resume, and my references included a mix of academic and industry folks. Although I had taken a fair number of courses as an undergrad that had no immediate relevance to the grad schools I was applying to, I certainly didn't feel that I was lacking important scientific background. One school did make acceptance conditional on my taking a year of biology, which I thought was silly considering that the work I'd be doing there would not involve an iota of bio.
My grad school is considered a STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) school, but really what it's known for is more TEM, unless you count computer science in the S. Yes, we do have a liberal arts area, but it's not really well-respected, internally or externally.
As a result, I am the only grad student here I know who did not get a B.S. I tell people that I took a terrific pottery class in college, and they assume that the class (and by extension my undergrad career) was an exercise in feel-good fun. I do not tell people I also took a drawing class, sight-singing (1/2 credit), several history classes to round out my pathetic world history knowledge, minored in a foreign language, and took several classes along the advanced creative writing ladder.
Is a B.S. more rigorous than a B.A.? Not mine. My pottery class took at least 12 hours a week of "homework" to keep up with the assignments. Some classes were easier than others, and one was indeed a waste of time (can you really go through college without one of those?) but in 95%, I had to think critically, justify my positions, do research, and write at a high level. When I got to grad school, I was missing several prerequisites, but it just took me some more effort to make sure I got what was glossed over as review in the first couple of classes. My grade average is hovering in the low 90s, so I haven't fallen behind.
All this makes me wonder: what percentage of STEM academics have a B.S. vs. a B.A.? Is it really that low for B.A.s? What about the percentage of people who consider themselves scientists? I would like to think there's plenty of room for both...in any endeavor.