Culinary Arts DegreeCulinary arts and restaurant management careers are plentiful, but they're also in high demand. There are a lot of talented culinary arts professionals vying for the best positions and career opportunities. Those who've completed a degree or received formal training in culinary arts will have the best job opportunities. This is especially true for those seeking management positions. Most restaurant managers have years of work experience. Aspiring managers without applicable work experience can get their foot in the door by earning a degree.
Students enrolled in culinary arts and restaurant management degree programs will learn about food preparation and safety, customer service, and restaurant management. Effective management skills are essential in these industries since people typically prefer to patronize restaurants with good service.
Culinary arts programs are most commonly offered at the associate degree level, but several schools now also offer bachelor's degree in culinary arts as well. Currently, there aren't any schools that offers master's degrees in culinary arts. An associate degree is typically sufficient to launch a career in culinary arts as an entry-level chef, cook or food preparer. Earning a bachelor's degree in culinary arts, or culinary arts management, is a good idea if you want to get into management or position yourself for supervisory positions.
Most associate degree programs in cooking or culinary arts take 2 years to complete. The first year will be spent completing core courses in liberal arts, mathematics and science, while the second year focuses on elective courses in culinary arts. Common areas of study in a culinary arts associate degree program include American, classical and global cuisines; desserts, pastries and baked goods; brunch and breakfast cooking; fish and meats; sauces, broths and stocks; and Garde Manager.
Students who successfully complete an associate degree will find job opportunities in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, catering and other sectors of the hospitality industry. Typical positions include line cook, kitchen supervisor, sous chef, and food and beverage manager, among others.
Graduates have many options. After graduating with an associates degree they can enter the workforce, seek a paid apprenticeship program to continue their training while they work, or pursue higher education opportunities. Earning an associate degree in culinary arts from a regionally accredited institution will allow students to transfer their degree to a four-year college or university and apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree if they choose this path. Another option is to become certified through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Certification through the ACF goes a long way toward to securing stable employment and qualifying for top industry positions. ACF offers over 10 culinary arts and cooking credentials. Applicants must meet education and work experience requirements.
If you're interested in earning a bachelor's degree in culinary arts or restaurant management, you may need letters of recommendation, practical cooking experience and a descent high school GPA -- but it will depend on the program you're applying to.
One of the unique benefits of earning a bachelor's degree in culinary arts from a larger college or university is that students can often participate in a study abroad program where they'll gain additional insight into foreign foods and culture. Internship opportunities are also more plentiful for students participating in a reputable bachelor's degree program.
Below you can explore accredited restaurant management and culinary arts degree programs offered online or at a campus location in your area.
Culinary Arts Degrees and Programs
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