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Culinary College Degree Programs
As with numerous other fields or professions in New Jersey, there are several degree options that are available in the culinary arts. At the most basic level, you can enroll in a nearby cooking class, which are more informal in nature and can run from several hours to a number of weeks. Often a certificate or a diploma is awarded after completion. They may be broad in nature, for instance teaching how to cook Italian dishes, or they can be quite targeted and concentrate on one dish, for instance Crepes Suzette. Naturally if you are looking for a more formal education applicable for a career in the restaurant industry, you will most likely choose to pursue a degree program. With a degree program, you will be required to invest considerably more time.
- Associate's Degrees can take as long as six months to two years to finish.
- Bachelor's Degrees generally involve as much as 4 years of training.
- Masters Degrees can take an added two years or even longer after attaining a Bachelor's.
Additional advanced degree alternatives may be available, including Doctoral or specialized programs offered by culinary arts institutes. The most important issue to bear in mind when determining which degree to strive for is making sure that it provides the education and credential necessary to advance your ultimate career objectives.
When you have made your decision regarding the kind of training and degree that you would like to pursue, you can launch your search for the culinary arts school, college or institute that offers it. For example, if your dream is to train to be a chef specializing in Spanish cuisine, then naturally you will concentrate on those colleges that furnish the appropriate training. Or you can opt for a college based on its ranking or other criteria (we'll cover some of those later) and then select the most ideal degree program available that is compatible with your career goals in New Jersey. However you arrive at your decision, culinary arts schools normally fall under three different categories:
- Cooking Schools. Certain cooking schools do offer degree programs, but typically they offer diplomas or certificates. Their courses tend to be more focused in nature, and they can last anywhere from one or two months to as long as three or four years.
- Community Colleges. Regional community colleges can be more affordable than most private colleges and a large number have excellent programs. They almost solely offer Associate's Degrees and are established and managed by either local or state governments.
- Culinary Arts Schools and Institutes. The advanced degrees and training are offered by culinary colleges and institutes. Some institutes provide the most respected as well as the highest level of training in academia. However, since they are private institutions they tend to be more costly than their public counterparts, some much more.
Picking a culinary school will not only be dependent on the type of program or degree you would like to pursue, but also how much you have to spend on your education. If you decide to attend a public institution to lower expenses, remember that out-of-state residents usually must pay a higher tuition than in-state residents. Furthermore, numerous community colleges and regional public schools have lower tuition rates for local residents. So don't forget to research the public options within New Jersey to find the most affordable options.
Online Culinary Arts Programs
Many potential students may discover that there are no culinary programs that are within travelling distance of their New Jersey home. One option is to attend online classes within the convenience of one's home. The convenience and flexibility makes it the only solution for many students that continue working full-time while going to school. Also there are more schools online than ever before that are accredited. Keep in mind that a considerable part of the instruction will be provided under an externship. Externships are programs where students train under area chefs or other culinary arts professionals to ensure that they receive hands-on training beyond the online classroom. Just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized organization (more on this later). And so if you are disciplined enough to be able to attend classes and study using this more independent method, attaining a cooking degree online might be the best choice for you.