Culinary arts make for an exciting and unique career option. Opportunities abound in the food and lifestyle industry globally. However, proper knowledge acquisition is very important in order to make a career in this field. The food industry places very high demands on professionals. A proper degree is thus imperative in today’s times. Culinary schools are very important in this regard. It is a fact that leading professionals and chefs hold graduate degrees from the best culinary schools. This trumps hands-on restaurant experience as an amateur. What should you look for before enrolling in a culinary school?
Accreditation of the school in question
All major culinary schools should possess at least one industry accreditation. Accreditation from the ACF or American Culinary Federation is almost mandatory. This organization has the responsibility for supervision of the functioning of culinary schools. Certification also brings into question several other factors. These include the teacher-student ratio, the course and curriculum, the qualifications and certification of faculty and infrastructure. Proper accreditation helps you be at ease regarding the quality and standards of your course.
Time, tradition and teaching methods
Time and tradition matter a lot when it comes to any institution. You should always check if a particular school has operated for a sizeable number of years. Time stands testimony to the efficacy of courses, alumni and reputation. There may be many graduates working at leading food and hospitality organizations globally. This helps when it comes to placement and hiring as well. Teaching methods are another matter of debate in this regard. You should look for schools that provide actual restaurant experience. There should be ways to enable students to serve a sizeable number of guests. If such facilities are not available, ensure that there are internships provided for extra credits.
Facilities and money matters
There are many community culinary schools that may lack proper infrastructure. Building modern kitchens and learning areas may be difficult on limited budgets. Some newly established institutes may have all the facilities on the other hand. These may not possess proper accreditation or faculty however. Reputation is another important factor influencing placements and success. Hence, it is important not to get swayed by an abundance of facilities. Look for a balanced and equipped learning environment.
Money matters also assume importance in this regard. Culinary schools can often be quite expensive. You may have to cough up close to $40,000* or more. However, community colleges are not that expensive. There are such colleges in California that offer resident courses at just $1,300. Costs should not be taken as indicators of overall quality. Alongside, it is also important to keep in mind the nature of the industry. Most entry level positions do not promise lucrative salaries or payments.
Some reputed culinary schools include the Los Angeles Trade-Tech College, Sullivan County Community College and the Florida Community College. Culinary schools promise you a great career in the industry. You have to be willing to slog it out and take on newer challenges. Finding the right culinary school is very important. Be sure to make your choice based on solid parameters of judgment.