How to Become a Culinary Chef

Aug 11, 2017 | Harrison College

How to Become a Culinary Chef

Do you want to be the next Julia Child or Wolfgang Puck?

Are you interested in joining a career field expected to grow by 9% over the decade ending in 2024? This growth rate, which is faster than the national average, will take the number of chefs and head cooks in the United States to 139,000.

It is never too late to pursue a career as a culinary chef. Degrees in culinary or pastry arts are attractive options for non-traditional students.

Not only do young students pursue these degrees, but they are also popular among adults in the 25-40 age demographic.

Read on to learn how to achieve your dreams and become a culinary chef.

What is the First Step to Becoming a Culinary Chef?

Most people incorrectly assume that pursuing an education in the culinary arts is the first step to become a chef.

However, it is much more prudent to get an entry-level job in a restaurant first.

The reasons are pretty straightforward. Before deciding to invest in a culinary arts education, make sure you enjoy cooking in a high-paced environment.

Many people like to prepare a meal in a quiet and peaceful home kitchen for a small group of people. Cooking in a busy restaurant kitchen with other chefs and multitudes of picky customers can be stressful.

The bottom line is to confirm that you love cooking professionally and not just for pleasure.

Get a Degree in Culinary or Pastry Arts

Once you decide to commit to this career field, it is time to pursue a formal education.

You can certainly obtain a job as a chef without a degree. However, a degree will help you land a better-paying job at a more reputable restaurant.

In addition, you will learn other skills like restaurant management and human resources that will increase the likelihood of a successful career.

What Will You Learn in a Pastry or Culinary Degree Program?

One of the most appealing facts about an education in culinary arts is that you can earn a degree in as little as two years

One frequent complaint of students is that the skills learned in college do not always translate to their career. This is certainly not the case in the culinary arts. The required courses will be directly related to your future career and will feature hours of hands-on experience.

Most programs require an internship, allowing you to gain invaluable professional experience. This will help you build a resume before you start searching for a full-time job after graduation.

The topics covered in a degree program will help you develop into a versatile chef. For example, common courses include food purchasing, safety, and nutrition.

At the same time, you will learn how to prepare a wide variety of meals from classic cuisines to trendy dishes.

Time to Graduate and Enter the Job Market

Once you graduate, you will be ready to work in a restaurant kitchen. You will not be a head chef or own your own restaurant right away, but your education will serve as a critical building block for a successful career.

If you love to cook and want to learn more about culinary or pastry arts, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information about our degree programs.

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