How to Decide if Culinary School is the Right Choice for You


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Are you interested in a career in the culinary arts? Whether you have dreams of becoming a pastry chef, a line cook, or a head chef, going to culinary school could be the perfect first step. You may be overwhelmed at the prospect of applying for culinary schools, but don?t let that stop you. With a little research and commitment to your passions, you can begin your path to your future career. You don?t have to have all the answers before you start your college courses, you just need to have the drive and determination to work your hardest and to finish.

Interested in learning more about culinary arts and how to start a culinary career? Keep reading to find out some of the steps you need to take and possible job options after you get your degree.

How to Decide if Culinary School is Right for You

Before you apply to any school, it?s best to decide what type of school is right for you. There are so many different options, and you don?t want to make a hasty decision. For example, if you love helping others and teaching, perhaps you should apply for a degree in education. If you enjoy working with your hands and fixing things, a technical school may be best for you. If you love food, cooking, baking, and providing customer with an enjoyable dining experience, culinary school or baking and pastry college may be right for you.

Once you have charted out what type of education you want, next you can start applying to different programs. Make sure to thoroughly research all the programs before applying. There?s no reason to go through the application process if you aren?t sure whether or not a school would be a good fit for you. Think about the different pros and cons for all the schools. Do you want a school nearby to your hometown? Do you want to move to a different state for school? Does the cost affect your decision?

Keep in mind, schools can be pricey. In fact, a Bachelor?s degree can cost as much as $127,000 while a trade school degree averages around $33,000. That?s one reason to add trade schools to the pros column when applying to college. You?ll save money. If it leads to you ending up in the career you?re passionate about, then it?s a win-win situation.

What To Do With a Culinary School Degree

After you have completed your education in the culinary arts, next you have to decide what you want to do for your career. There are plenty of options, and there are plenty of job opportunities. In 2015 alone, there were more than 129,370 head cooks and chefs in the United States that held job positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, they?re reporting that these numbers will continue to increase. For example, when it comes to culinary specialists, between 2014 and 2024, they expect a 9% increase in jobs. For bakers, there is a 7% increase expected during the same span of years.

Keep in mind that you may have to start at the bottom regardless of what your future career aspirations are. If you eventually want to become a head chef, you will need to start out as a line cook and work your way up the ladder. If you want to own your own restaurant one day, you will probably need to work a variety of different jobs in the kitchen so that you can properly run your business.

Another thing to consider is what type of food you want to work with once you enter the industry. Is there a certain type of food that inspires you? Do you have a specialty? Have you always dreamed of doing more with pastry school than culinary school? These are all important elements to think about before entering the job market.

Have you ever thought about applying to culinary school? What would help you make your decision about what school to go to and what specialty to have? Let us know in the comments what your future dream career is.

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