Archive for January 2012
The hospitality industry looks promising for aspiring cooks with a 2.3% increase in job opportunities within 2012 and expected 6% by 2018. Being the second largest private sector employer in the United States, the restaurant industry supports over 100,600 people with chef and head cook positions. If you are interested in being a part of this sector and earning $40,000 a year, you should start looking into which cooking school you should attend. When choosing a school, you should factor in several important considerations such as costs, facilities, experience and accreditation, so you can rest assured that you are getting the best culinary instruction.
1. Costs. If you want an affordable education, you can check out community colleges with culinary programs. Tuition fees usually cost around $2,000 to $5,000. But, if you want to get into a first-class culinary institution, you can expect charges reaching $36,000. Public universities also afford courses in the field for payments ranging from $3,000 to $18,000. Meanwhile, private academies hold it for fees between $14,000 and $45,000. If you do not have the money, you can acquire a student loan or apply for a scholarship. There are plenty of organizations and sponsors who can provide financial aid. Whichever way you go, you will be able to break even your investments within a year through regular employment and a catering business on the side.
2. Facilities. You should look for state-of-the-art kitchen equipment, spacious demonstration and class areas, well-maintained and top calibre utensils, as well as extensive culinary resources. The institution you choose should also be able to provide you with a genuine restaurant experience and teach you how to become an expert professional. Moreover, they should have a broad range of culinary class offerings – from Italian, to American, Moroccan, Japanese and Indian – for fine dining and casual dinners, so you would emerge a completely versatile chef after undergoing the program. It wouldn’t hurt if your school provides recreational and boarding options too, so you’d feel more at home.
3. Experience. The popularization of this career option has prompted the mushrooming of privately owned culinary schools all around the world. Although there is nothing wrong with them, enrolling yourself in an inexperienced institution without a reputable background, may not guarantee you the best education. Tenured schools are more likely to be reliable in terms of producing successful professionals with a line-up of alumni to prove it, and since they have been around for some time, they are also likely to offer a more extensive and tested curriculum on the culinary practice.
4. Accreditation. Before you finalize your decision, you should check if the cooking school you are eyeing is accredited by the American Culinary Federation – a North American professional chef organization responsible for the regulation of culinary programs. An ACF accreditation means that the institution has undergone thorough evaluation of its facilities, curriculum, and faculty, and has been found adhering to the standards of the society.
With all of these satisfied, you don’t have to worry about what the future holds workwise. An educated school choice is bound to land you to a lucrative and well-rounded career.
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