Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
International students have many of options when it comes to degrees in culinary arts. To help you decide what type of degree you need, we've described the skills you'll learn and the job opportunities associated with each one!
If you are an international student interested in studying Culinary Arts, you may look at the many different degree programs and wonder which one is right for you. With so many options, you may not be sure which route to go; if you find yourself in this position, you've come to the right place! To help you decide which degree program is best for you, let's take a more in-depth look at what these degrees offer:
Normally a diploma or certificate course takes less than a year to complete. International students will learn techniques and skills that will prepare them for an entry level position in a commercial kitchen. Many working professionals may also partake in training programs in culinary arts to expand their knowledge and expertise in a particular cooking method or style. With this type of certification you can expect to work as a fry cook, grill cook, sauté or garde manager.
An associate's degree is a very common degree in culinary arts. This two-year degree not only provides students with culinary training, but also gives them a general education in math, writing, English, and communication. Many people use this degree to work as a chef, or use it as a stepping stone to earn their bachelor's degree. Typically, students will learn how to prepare classic dishes such as seafood and meat and will also learn about different types of cuisines from around the world. International students may also learn about wine to gain a general understating of gastronomic pairings. You will also learn about food sanitation, kitchen organization, and how to select and prepare meat, seafood, and poultry items for service and their accompaniments for each dish. You'll also learn about how to manage people within the kitchen, develop skills in knife, tool, and equipment handling, and prepare items for buffet presentations, etc.
A Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts is a great advantage for international students who want to start with an entry-level hospitality management job. The industry basically requires managers of both hotels and restaurants to hold a bachelor's degree. This degree can help expand a student's understanding of budget and cost analysis, management, communication, as well as many other skills and information useful for someone in an administrative position. Individuals with an advanced degree like this one will typically earn more money and advance within a company more quickly. A chef's ability to move up within a company is also significantly increased when he or she has earned a bachelor's degree. Some other career opportunities associated with this degree include food consultant, food photographer, food designer, menu developer, nutritionist, or dietician.
Earning a master's degree is a huge accomplishment for any individual. Master's level studies involve the mastery of particular culinary disciplines and intense training with high level chefs. This type of degree is for international students interested in top level careers—people such as hotel general managers and food and beverage directors have such advanced degrees. If you are interested in working within the kitchen or having a lower level managerial position, a master's degree isn't necessary to attain these jobs.
As you can see, there are many different types of degree programs in culinary arts to choose from. You should decide what level of education is needed for the type of career you'd like to pursue; if you're interested in working within the kitchen then earning a diploma/certificate or an associate's degree is sufficient. If you'd like to be a head chef or manager, you'll need a bachelor's degree. And to obtain an advanced administrative position in a corporation or high-end company you may need a master's degree to put yourself above your competition. Now that you know they type of degree you're looking for, the next step is to decide where you'd like to study culinary arts in the United States!