Culinary Schools Online
Today the Internet is making the world smaller and your options larger. Just one of the new options available is culinary training online, offered by some of the top names in culinary schools around the world.
Becoming a chef isn't the only possible career in the culinary world. There are short-order cooks, caterers, wine and beverage managers, and a host of related occupations in restaurant management and hospitality.
Online Culinary School Programs
Online culinary school programs often require you to have completed some formal training already. Because cooking is a hands-on profession, certain skills are best learned in a kitchen, not at a computer. Many online culinary schools focus on management programs. Other online culinary schools arrange for students to get hands-on training through an externship--a supervised apprenticeship in a professional setting. Like apprenticeships, in an externship you apply what you've learned through online culinary training in an actual kitchen.
Online culinary schools offer options from certificate and diploma programs and associate's degrees to the fairly new bachelor's programs. In your online culinary training, your online classes may be limited to courses about food knowledge, techniques, and management.
Pursuing culinary training online is ideal for students who have completed some culinary school and are looking for a flexible way to finish a degree. Likewise, if you have gained experience in the culinary industry but want to qualify for advancement, online chef schools can help you round out your skill set.
Is there a Need for Formal Culinary Arts Training?
Formal training isn't a necessity for a career as a chef. Plenty of chefs have started out in apprenticeships and worked up to chef. So why pursue a degree through an online culinary school? Because there's more to culinary arts than cooking.
Running a kitchen includes tasks like hiring and firing kitchen staff, keeping a budget, maintaining inventory, developing the menu--all these responsibilities fall to the chef, so there are more hats than a tall white chef's hat involved in this career. Online chef schools offer courses in restaurant management, accounting and bookkeeping, and food and beverage management.
Paying for Online Culinary School
The total cost of earning a culinary degree can range from a few thousand dollars for shorter programs to $40,000 for two or four year programs at some schools. Tuition and fees vary based on school, location, and type of program.
Potential students should explore financial aid options and apply for grants, scholarships, and loans. Like any form of higher education, culinary training represents an investment in your future. Do your research and carefully consider your funding options. Completing culinary training online may help you save in housing or commuting costs and allow you to keep working working while attending school.
Culinary Training Online
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 98,000 people worked as chefs and head cooks in the U.S. in 2008. Many more held jobs as line cooks, food servers, and restaurant managers. Chefs earned a median annual wage of $38,770 in 2008.
Going back to school in tough economic times makes sense. Learn new skills, find new jobs. But if everyone is pursuing a popular career, will there be enough jobs? A recent report by the National Restaurant Association predicts that the industry is growing--1.3 million new jobs are expected by 2020, and job growth should start in 2010.