Accredited Culinary Arts Degrees and Courses Available Online

Looking for a Recipe for Success?

If you enjoy cooking and preparing food, consider a career in the culinary arts. I found this course of study to be the perfect combination of plentiful job opportunities and creative expression.

Types of Culinary Arts Programs

Certificate Programs

There are many avenues available for culinary studies. You may choose a local certificate program; a short, intensive course that will teach you the basic skills necessary in commercial food preparation. This type of course is often offered at culinary schools or career/trade schools in a nearby city or larger town. Many of these schools will also offer a slightly longer, more comprehensive diploma program as well. Of course, employers find graduates of the longer courses more attractive, often preferring graduates of programs that run at least nine months.

Culinary Institutes

Certificate and diploma programs can be offered by career schools, specializing in courses that focus on specific careers. Often, career schools will offer several courses of study, including culinary arts. Culinary institutes and cooking schools specialize in culinary studies, and thus, provide more specialized training. These schools usually have more prestige than the career schools as well, with many being associated with some of the finest institutes like Le Cordon Bleu.

Associates and Bachelors Programs

I decided to pursue a slightly more traditional post-secondary education, choosing to enter an Associate of Occupational Studies degree program at a traditional college. This is a popular course of study, with many choosing to enter the job market after obtaining their Associates Degree. I decided to continue on to earn my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management with a minor in Culinary Arts after receiving my Associates. The recruiters were very interested in my abilities, and I landed a great job right out of school. In my opinion, pursuing a two or four year degree is a great way to go! Some colleges even offer masters programs in Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management.

What Can You Expect to Study in a Culinary Arts Program?

No matter what type of program you choose, some basics will apply. You’ll be introduced to many different food preparation tools and techniques. You can expect to study baking, braising, and sauces. Other common subjects may include a survey of the history of the culinary arts and a course on the terminology related to the field. Often, longer programs will include a basic chemistry course to help aspiring chefs understand how food reacts to different methods of preparation. Nutrition is almost always a featured subject, since food not only has to taste good; it has to be good for you too! Courses in food presentation and the psychology of food are also very common. Unfortunately, you can also expect a course or two in basic mathematics, especially as it applies to recipes and food preparation.

You can expect to start any culinary course with some basic courses in food preparation. Of course, additional courses will depend on the type of program that you’ve chosen, but some popular subjects include:

On the Job Training: Internships that Count

During school, I took advantage of an internship with a local restaurant. I was able to practice my new skills and get some very valuable experience at the same time. Many culinary arts programs offer this opportunity. This “real world experience” not only allows the student to practice newly learned skills, it provides an extremely valuable experience that can be listed on a resume and used as a source for references in future job searches. I highly recommend taking advantage of an internship if available. The experience can be invaluable and very educational!

What Can You Do With a Culinary Arts Education?

A good culinary arts program will prepare you for many jobs in the hospitality industry. You can pursue a career as a chef, preparing food, managing the kitchen, and creating great tasting dishes that will please your customers. These positions are available in many companies, including golf courses, restaurants, cruise lines, and educational and medical institutions among others.

There are several specialties that may interest you as well, such as pastry chef, confectionary (candy), baker or sous chef. These positions are available in large food service and hospitality companies as well. You may also choose to focus on restaurant or hospitality management, taking responsibility for the business end of the enterprise as well as the food preparation and kitchen. This course of study may lead to a career as a food and beverage director of a country club, a sommelier or an event coordinator.

Of course, you can go into a related field, like nutrition management, food sales and maybe even research. If you’re scientifically inclined, food chemistry may be a great avenue of study, resulting in a position researching new developments and refinements for food companies, restaurant chains and publishers.

There are some careers that are traditionally in high demand, and culinary arts is one of them. Often included as one of the growth industries of our time, the hospitality industry has experienced consistent growth over the past decades, and with today’s emphasis on healthy eating, recreation and personal luxury, the industry is forecasting continued growth for years to come. Indulge yourself in a career that combines creativity with job opportunity and consider a career in the culinary arts! It’s a fascinating and delicious career that will provide you with many interesting, creative job opportunities!