What kind of online options are there for culinary institutes?
Because the culinary arts is such a hands-on field, your options for studying online are fairly limited. However, for those who've completed an associate's degree or some sort of prior, hands-on culinary arts training, there are bachelor's degree completion programs available. These programs take into account prior coursework and hands-on lab work, and then allow students to complete the general education components and management courses online. For more information about online culinary programs, take a look at "Online Education in Culinary Arts" from our partner site, CookingSchools.com.
Where can I find a culinary arts internship?
Most, if not all, culinary arts programs requires some sort of externship or internship experience as a practical component to the degree program. If your program doesn't assign you to an externship site, visit your school's career services department. Most schools form relationships with local restaurants and resorts so that students can get the hands-on experience they need. Failing that, consider visiting restaurants you are interested in working at and asking if they'd take you as an intern.
Can I get financial aid to go to culinary school?
Most culinary programs offer financial aid to students. Many culinary institutes participate in federal financial aid programs, providing qualifying students with loans, grants, and work study opportunities. Other options include private loans through national funding agencies and local banks, as well as scholarships. Individual schools offer scholarships, and plenty of culinary associations offer scholarships. For more information, read our "Culinary Scholarship Guide" from our partner site, CookingSchools.com.
How do I know if I'm choosing a good program?
All reputable culinary schools are accredited. Accreditation is a process of evaluation that schools go through by a regional or national organization recognized by the US Department of Education as qualified to offer such recognition. Schools that are accredited have demonstrated that they meet or exceed a standard set of qualifications and expectations set forth by their accrediting board. Two organizations responsible for culinary school accreditation include the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation. For more information about choosing a good culinary program, please read "How to Choose a Cooking School" at our partner site, CookingSchools.com.
What other options besides cooking can I pursue at a culinary institute?
Culinary schools are very well-known for producing the world's top chefs, people trained to prepare fine cuisine with exquisite presentation. But another popular option offered at most culinary schools is pastry and baking, for those interested in honing skills specifically in desserts, breads, and other baked goods. A third increasingly popular major is hospitality management. Such programs are aimed at students who want to manage restaurants, hotels, resorts, and other similar institutions.
Where are the best opportunities for culinary school graduates?
The top spots for chefs are typically thought of as being at the world's toniest, most famous restaurants in large cities, such as New York, London, Rome, Dallas, or Los Angeles. Large cities, by nature, have ample opportunities for chefs to find employment. Simply put, more restaurants means more jobs. But the restaurant industry is booming and nearly every city in the nation is finding its restaurants per capita increasing exponentially. Truth be told, there are opportunities for chefs everywhere. If your dream is to work at Tavern on the Green, you'll have to go to New York, but if you are a little less specific and aspire to prepare good food for hungry people, you'll probably have luck anywhere you go.