How to choose a Culinary Arts program

January 04, 2021 •

4 min reading

How to choose a Culinary Arts degree?

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Working in the culinary arts profession offers you a vast choice of degrees to choose from. No matter where your interests in the culinary arts lie, there is certainly a degree that aligns with your goals.

These questions will help you choose the right Culinary Arts Degree

How to choose a culinary arts degree depends a lot on how you want to spend your time in your profession, what personality type you are, and the role you would like to play in the culinary arts industry. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to better understand how to choose a culinary arts degree,

How do you want to participate in the Culinary Arts industry?

There are many ways that you can participate in the culinary arts profession, and they can be surprisingly different when you consider the day to day experience. For example, there's the job of a food nutritionist. A food nutritionist certainly is part of the culinary arts industry since each dish should be nutritionally sound. For a meal to be nutritionally wholesome, it would need to satisfy the body’s need for carbohydrates, protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.

Another role in the culinary arts profession would be restaurant manager, where you would oversee kitchen staff, serving staff and cleaning staff. This position is more removed, but it is a vital role in ensuring that the whole restaurant operation runs smoothly. So, the first question would be to ask yourself is how you want to participate in the culinary arts profession and then seek a degree that would teach you how to succeed in that position.

What is your personality type?

Next, it would be wise to determine your personality type and what lifestyle you want to lead in the professional culinary arts field. For example, if you are a personality type that enjoys leading, then you could choose a degree as  professional chef or manager. If you prefer helping others to succeed, then you would be well-suited to a degree in a supportive position, such as a sous chef or a kitchen cook. If you enjoy interacting with others and you have nurturing tendencies, you might like to get a degree in hospitality or service. If you enjoy the daily hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen, then a position as a beverage professional, service staff or chef would likely fulfill your ambitions.

Read more: 5 criteria to choose a culinary program

What role do you want to play in the Culinary Arts field?

Then ask yourself what role you want to play in the culinary arts industry. Do you want to be on the front line or would you prefer to be in the background, helping to make everything possible? For example, if you want to be on the front line, a degree in restaurant management might be suitable for your needs. You might also be very happy as a chef, sous chef or a member of the cooking staff, where every day is filled with action and excitement. You might  enjoy actually teaching others, in which case you might like to turn your culinary arts degree into an instructor’s degree some day.

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Do you want to learn in person or online?

Another question that you need to ask yourself is if you prefer to learn in person or online. There are some kinds of culinary degrees that you can earn online, in the comfort of your own home, while others you would need to attend in person. You would need to choose a culinary arts degree program that you are able to participate in fully, so this is an important question to ask yourself. You would need to evaluate your availability for any culinary arts degree in which you want to participate.

How long are you willing to study?

You also need to honestly answer how long you are willing to study for in order to earn your degree in culinary arts. There are certain short programs available where you can simply learn new skills or enhance skills that you already have. These types of short programs are designed to get you back into the field as quickly as possible, with a new breadth of knowledge under your belt. Short programs are ideal for executives in the culinary arts world or those who already have some training. If you can commit to longer training, then you might consider a Master degree in the culinary arts, where you will get full, hands-on training in detail that will enable you to work as a chef, sous chef or in another capacity in a top restaurant anywhere in the world.

As you can see, knowing how to choose a culinary arts degree takes some self-introspection as well as an honest evaluation of your personal goals in the culinary arts profession.

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Executive Chef at EHL Passugg

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