Being a chef or cook can be a great job for people who like making food. The job involves both technical skills (such as how to follow a recipe) and creative skills (such as personal flair and presentation). Some people become qualified for the job simply by work experience. You don’t absolutely have to have any sort of formal education to become a cook. You can start out in a restaurant as a waitress or hostess and as you become familiar with operations move into the kitchen as a prep person and later as a chef. However, sometimes getting a job can be competitive in this industry, and many are making themselves more attractive to employers by learning their trade through a culinary arts school. There are a variety of options, including going to a community college, technical school, culinary institution, or a two or four year university. Some students also take advantage of apprenticeships, which combine real-world, hands-on experience with study in a classroom. Some people choose to get certified, which is not necessary, but can enhance your skills and make you seem more appealing to hiring managers.
Getting into Culinary School
When you’re first starting to think about going to culinary school, you need to consider all your options. Do some research to find out about culinary schools in your area. Are you will willing to relocate to go to the right school? If you want to stay where you are, how far are you willing to commute? How flexible is your schedule – do you need to go part time, or can you manage a full course load? One you’ve come up with a list of colleges, visit each one and go to the admissions office to ask a representative any questions you may have. You’ll need to consider your financial aid options as well. If you can, apply for scholarships, grants, and federal loans to help fund your education. Some schools might also offer individual merit-based or need-based scholarships for qualifying individuals. It pays to do the research and follow through with the footwork. You could end up going to college for free! When you’re finally ready to apply, go online to the website to submit an application.
Your Options in Culinary School
Many schools offer a range of degrees and certificate programs, as well as advanced curriculum for culinary professionals. Degree options include getting an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts for Advanced Students, a Bachelor Degree in Culinary Arts Management, a Bachelor Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts Management, and a Bachelor Degree in Culinary Science. You will have to investigate further into your interests and skills to find out what degree program is right for you. Ask yourself some questions. In what kind of environment do I want to work? Am I more interested in cooking or baking? Do I have the time to complete a four year degree, or should I stick with getting an associate’s? Does management interest me? You might consider taking a variety of classes before making your decision. After all, you might not know what you like until you try it!