Best Culinary Schools – Getting the Right Degrees
The best culinary arts schools are hard to find, as the field of culinary arts is so broad and highly competitive. Each school that offers culinary programs is trying to prove itself to the culinary arts world as one of the best. Only a few were considered when we conducted our research, but we feel that they are all important and should definitely be considered.
A culinary institute is obviously going to have a stellar reputation, so look for one of the better known colleges that also offers a fine education. The best culinary institutes looked at by college planners were across the country to develop a short list of what they consider to be the best 50 culinary schools or colleges in the country. We consulted with several different organizations to come up with the final list, and then contacted each college to inquire about their admissions process, curriculum, tuition, and other educational aspects. Only a few schools met all of our criteria, but the better ones did particularly well in several of the areas we researched. Obviously the best culinary institute is the one that will provide the greatest opportunity for career advancement, but some of the colleges on the list have been around for decades and have a proven track record. If you want to find out which culinary institute is the best, contact the institution directly and ask questions.
If you are looking for a culinary program that offers not only a competitive program, but one that provides an exceptional education as well, look for the school that offers a culinary associate degree and professional development program. These professional development seminars are a way for current students to network with one another, gain new information and experiences, and often times to earn an associate degree while attending classes. Many associate degree programs are available from a variety of schools including four-year colleges, universities, vocational schools, and even online schools.
The next thing to look for in an excellent culinary school is its ability to provide students a variety of professional development and college internships. In addition to hands-on work experience, these programs offered by colleges help students develop a sense of networking and leadership skills that will be useful in their future careers. Some of the professional development activities may include travel to seminars and conferences, seminars on the latest trends in food preparation techniques, and opportunities for job shadowing in restaurants, retail shops, cafeterias, or offices. You may also receive assistance with finding a job in a particular field upon graduation from the program. Most associate degree programs are bachelor degree programs, and once completed, students can begin work in just a few months after graduation.
When deciding which school offers the best programs, consider your own goals for a culinary arts degree. Do you plan to work in a restaurant in the future, or do you simply wish to become a professional in culinary arts? If you plan to enter a restaurant, you should select a school with a strong career center focusing on that industry. If your ultimate goal is to open your own restaurant, you can achieve this by attending a community college that offers a broad range of course options.
The time it takes to complete your associate degree varies greatly depending on your overall goals. Some students take longer than four years to complete their degrees, while others only take three. Your choice of program depends greatly on your own personal circumstances. For example, some people who work in kitchens for a living may be better suited to a one-year program, while others who pursue cooking as a hobby can take longer to complete their degrees. Your specific circumstances should be thoroughly discussed with a admissions advisor at each of the schools you are considering.