Many people believe that hard work and experience are the best ways to achieve a successful career in the culinary field. While it is true that having experience in the hospitality industry helps greatly when looking for a new job or trying to earn a promotion, there are some advantages you can only get by going to school. Earning a culinary degree gives everyone from people just starting out in the workforce to veteran line cooks a leg up on the competition. Here are five reasons why.
1. Earning a culinary degree shows how serious you are about rising to the top of your profession.
Many people who end up in the hospitality industry as kitchen staff or servers do so by accident, because those were the first jobs that came along. Earning a culinary degree, on the other hand, demonstrates that you have a passion and a commitment to the field, and you probably aren’t likely to leave when a different type of opportunity comes along. Demonstrating your seriousness in an industry that has high employee turnover means that in your employer’s eyes, you are someone who could be promoted from server to sommelier or from cook to chef.
2. Many management positions require a degree.
Most high level hospitality careers involve some sort of management. Head chefs train the kitchen staff on how to prepare their recipes. Restaurant owners must know how to budget, and caterers must have excellent customer service skills. Earning a culinary degree will not only give you the required credentials to qualify for these positions, but also give you the necessary skills to succeed once you’re there.
3. A culinary degree looks good on a business loan application.
Many people interested in hospitality careers hope to someday own their own businesses. Unless you’re independently wealthy, opening a bakery, restaurant, catering service, or any other business costs a lot of money. While the 90% failure rate for new restaurants is actually a myth, Ohio State researchers put the number around 60%, which is still very high. Because so many new restaurants fail, banks hesitate to loan to potential entrepreneurs unless they really seem to know what they’re doing. Not only will culinary school train you in all the aspects of running a business, a culinary degree will help get your foot in the door.
4. A culinary degree will give you restaurant experience to put on your resume.
If you love to cook but have no professional experience, earning a culinary degree will give you both hands-on experience in your classes and real-life experience working in a restaurant. Many culinary arts programs have an on-campus restaurant where students cut their teeth, while others have internship programs that place students in area restaurants. It’s much easier to start a job search when your resume isn’t blank!
5. Earning a culinary arts degree will give you the opportunity to learn all sorts of new skills.
Though your end goal may be to open a restaurant or work as a sous chef, culinary school will give you a well-rounded education in many aspects of the hospitality industry. Having more training and skills means that you’ll be qualified for many types of positions, and not just the one or two that you already have experience in. Not only that, but a culinary program might help you discover new passions in fields you didn’t know were open to you, such as candy-making or restaurant reviewing.
Earning a culinary degree means that you’ll have so many more options than experience alone can provide. To see what types of culinary programs are available in your area, check out this list of culinary schools to request information today!