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Online Culinary Arts Degrees


Article Sources

Sources:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia, https://www.ecpi.edu/college-of-culinary-arts/programs/culinary-arts
  • Associate of Applied Science in Advanced Culinary Arts, Stratford University, https://www.stratford.edu/culinary-arts-and-hospitality/associate-advanced-culinary-arts#instructors-col
  • Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts, New England Culinary Institute, https://www.neci.edu/program/culinary-arts.php
  • Bachelor of Culinary Arts (BA), School of of Social and Human Studies, Atlantic International University, https://www.aiu.edu/Bachelor%20of%20Culinary%20Arts.htm
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm
  • CIA Online Food Business Master's Degree, Culinary Institute of America, https://www.ciachef.edu/food-business-masters-online/
  • Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/cooks.htm
  • Culinary Arts Certificate Program, Monroe Community College, http://www.monroecc.edu/etsdbs/MCCatPub.nsf/Web+Certificate+Programs/CulinaryArts-CERTIFICATE-PROGRAM?OpenDocument
  • Culinary Arts, Sullivan University, https://sullivan.edu/college-of-hospitality-studies/associate-of-science-in-culinary-arts/
  • Food Service Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm
  • Gourmet Cooking Certificate, Penn Foster Career School, https://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/culinary-arts-and-entertaining/gourmet-cooking-certificate
  • Huen, E, The Top 5 Food Trends To Watch In 2019, Forbes, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaciahuen/2018/11/30/foodtrends/
  • Major: Culinary Arts, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/personal-culinary-services-culinary-arts-related-services-culinary-arts
  • Master of Culinary Arts (MCA), School of Business and Economics, Atlantic International University, https://www.aiu.edu/master%20of%20culinary%20arts.htm
  • Part-time Program for Culinary Arts, Walnut Hill College, https://walnuthillcollege.edu/programs-classes/degree-programs/part-time-program-culinary-arts/
  • Top Trends in Hospitality in 2019, Sommet Education, http://www.sommet-education.com/wp-content/uploads/Sommet-Education-Top-Hospitality-Trends-2019.pdf , accessed February 2019
  • What is the Difference Between a Culinary Arts Certificate vs. a Degree?, The Culinary Institute of America, https://blog.ciachef.edu/culinary-arts-certificate-vs-degree/
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We've had great meals in restaurants where we've ended up talking about our culinary experience for days after. It's not just the food that can have us going back for more — the ambience, the novel culinary experience and the service we receive can play an important role, too. Online culinary arts degree programs combine food preparation instruction with nutrition, food safety and food service business knowledge necessary to run a successful establishment.

However, running a popular food service institution takes more than just education. The College Board states that a passion for food, the ability to work under pressure and deal with criticism are important characteristics needed to work in the culinary industry. Online culinary arts degree programs can give you a taste of what the industry is like in the real world and help you develop the traits you need to be competitive. They can also give busy individuals the flexibility they need to gain a college education while still adhering to work, family and other commitments.

How to do online culinary arts degree programs work?

Many culinary arts schools online programs are hybrid programs where theoretical subjects like business management skills are offered online and practical courses are held on campus. Some online courses illustrate cooking techniques by video and offer step-by-step instructions. Students are then given self-assessment sheets to help them assess the flavors, texture and other aspects of their cooking. Some online schools may also offer externships for their students to gain hands-on experience while they study for their culinary arts degree.

The pursuit of pleasure is alive and well, as consumers seek innovative culinary experiences (and shareworthy moments) that tease and delight the senses.

The duties of culinary arts professionals can vary depending on whether they work front-of-house or behind the scenes. Some occupations and their related duties are:

Food service managers:

  • Ensuring sanitation standards are adhered to
  • Maintaining high-quality food and service standards in the kitchens and dining room
  • Managing budgets and payroll
  • Ordering and inspecting supplies for the business
  • Overseeing employees, training them and hiring and firing them as necessary

Chefs and head cooks:

  • Developing recipes and their presentation
  • Ensuring ingredients are fresh and the kitchens meet hygiene standards
  • Ensuring the equipment is working properly and kept clean
  • Planning menus
  • Supervising other chefs and kitchen staff
Restaurants and chefs of the highest calibre are taking inspiration from nature to provide customers with a culinary experience steeped in local flavours.

Choose a degree that can help you meet your career goals

While experienced professionals in this industry can be promoted even without formal education, the BLS notes that most leadership and better-paying positions in upscale food establishments require some college education.

Certificate culinary arts programs can act as an introduction to the food industry and may also suit home cooks who want to improve their skills. Certificate programs usually focus on one aspect of the industry, making them suitable for individuals who want to expand their knowledge in a particular area.

Online culinary arts associate degree programs are broader in focus and can help you advance to entry-level supervisory positions. Earning a bachelor's or graduate degree can help you advance the career ladder — you may even end up running your own restaurant!

Open-kitchen restaurants, street food and a return to cooking over fire are resulting in a more relaxed atmosphere, in which customers also feel closer to the chefs, ingredients and preparation methods that form their culinary experience.

What can I expect to learn in an online certificate program?

Online culinary arts certificate programs can give you basic skills in one aspect of the industry. You may be able to focus on cooking, baking and pastry, wine or a business aspect of running a professional kitchen.

Typical duration: Up to one year of part-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent

Typical coursework: Curricula can include an introduction to different food preparation methods and food safety for workers in professional kitchens. Some topics you may cover during your certificate program include:

  • Basic consumer nutrition
  • Breakfast, garde manger, and world cuisines
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Fundamentals of food preparation

Possible electives: Principles of healthy cooking; purchasing, storage and handling; bar management

What can I do after earning a certificate?

A certificate in culinary arts may help you obtain employment as a food preparation worker in the field you have specialized in like baking and pastry, garde manger or charcuterie. You may find employment opportunities in cafeterias, catering businesses or even private households.

What can I expect to learn in an online associate degree program?

Online culinary arts associate degree programs can act as an introduction to the business aspects of food service industry along with food preparation methods.

Typical duration: Up to two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Online culinary arts associate degree programs cover cooking topics like knife skills, baking and more along with business practices like costing, service management and more. Some courses you may take include:

  • Introduction to culinary arts
  • Introduction to wines
  • Purchasing and cost control
  • Sanitation
  • Dining room service

You may also have to complete an externship as a part of your online associate degree program in culinary arts.

Possible electives: You may have to choose from a number of liberal arts topics.

What can I do after earning an associate degree?

An associate degree can qualify you for entry-level supervisory positions in the food service industry. Some occupations include:

  • Baker
  • Butcher
  • Head cook
  • Nutritionist
  • Personal chef
  • Waiter or waitress

What can I expect to learn in an online bachelor's degree program?

Culinary arts degree programs, including Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Professional Studies and Bachelor of Hospitality Services, may offer a slightly different focus, such as nutrition or business. They can include hands-on food preparation, as well as business education.

Typical duration: Up to four years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent

Typical coursework: Courses included in online programs at culinary arts schools at the bachelor's degree level can give students an understanding of marketing, financial management, human resource management along with food trends and nutrition. Courses you take may include:

  • Advanced culinary techniques
  • Advanced food and wine pairing
  • Café operations
  • Computers in the food business
  • Event planning and presentation

You may have to complete a bachelor's thesis along with an externship to fulfill your degree program requirements.

Possible electives: You may be able to take electives based on your areas of interest in the culinary arts.

What can I do after earning a bachelor's degree?

A bachelor's degree can allow you to explore a number of different opportunities in the food service industry. You may be able to pursue very specific interests like wine pairing, menu planning or food writing. Potential occupations include:

  • Executive sous chef
  • Food service manager
  • Quality assurance (QA) manager
  • Restaurant manager
  • Sous chef

What can I expect to learn in an online master's degree program?

Master's degree programs build on the knowledge gained in a bachelor's degree program to explore advanced topics in culinary arts including different cuisines across the world, finance and operations management. They can help students gain skills needed to start, run and grow successful food service businesses.

Typical duration: Up to two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Courses you may take include:

  • Beverage operations management
  • Concept building, proving, and prototyping
  • Differentiation, branding, and packaging
  • Legal strategies and challenges for the restaurateur
  • Purchasing and product identification

You may have to complete a master's thesis based on original research as a part of your degree program requirements

What can I do after earning a master's degree?

A master's degree may allow you to obtain employment in high-level positions in restaurants, cafés, retail bakeries, cruise ships and hotels. You may also be able to establish your own food service business using the skills you have learnt.

You may also be able to continue your education at the doctoral level with an online hospitality management degree.

Specializations in Culinary Arts

There are a number of different specializations you may be able to choose from during your online culinary arts degree program. Some culinary arts schools may only offer one specialization while others may offer multiple ones. Some concentrations you may be able to choose from include:

  • Baking and pastry arts
  • French cuisine
  • Nutrition
  • Professional cooking
  • Culinary arts management
Open-kitchen restaurants, street food and a return to cooking over fire are resulting in a more relaxed atmosphere, in which customers also feel closer to the chefs, ingredients and preparation methods that form their culinary experience.

Accreditation

Accreditation is an important criterion to look at while choosing from online culinary arts degree programs. It can demonstrate to potential employers that you have received a high-quality education that meets professional standards. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) is the main accrediting body for baking and pastry programs in the country. Attending an accredited program can also be important prerequisite when applying for federal funding and other financial aid programs.

Professional certifications may not be mandatory but they can serve to demonstrate competence in and dedication to the field. The American Culinary Federation offers nine savory certifications which you may be eligible for depending on your education and work experience. Certifications typically need you to pass practical and written examinations. Depending on the certification you hold, you may need to renew it every three to five years.

Foodie photography and social media sharing has put the spotlight on culinary aesthetics as well as flavour.

Various professional organizations and foundations offer scholarships and financial aid programs for eligible students of online culinary arts degree programs. It can be a good idea to check with your school to see if they offer any programs you may be qualified for. Some scholarships to help you get started in your search are:

Other resources for those aspiring to work in the field of Culinary Arts

Many culinary innovations merging the visually delightful with the delicious can be found in the creative world of pastry and confectionary.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for chefs and food service managers is expected to grow as people's incomes grow and the demand for high-quality dishes grows. The table below lists some of the occupations related to the field of culinary arts along with their average wages, job outlook and projected job openings in the decade leading up to 2026 using data from the BLS.

Employment Statistics

Food Service Managers

Industries with the highest concentration of employment
  • Special Food Services
  • Restaurants and Other Eating Places
  • Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
  • Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water
  • Traveler Accommodation
States with the highest level of employment
  • California
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL
  • Odessa, TX
  • Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI
  • Trenton, NJ
  • Ocean City, NJ

Chefs and Head Cooks

Industries with the highest concentration of employment
  • Special Food Services
  • Rooming and Boarding Houses
  • Restaurants and Other Eating Places
  • Traveler Accommodation
  • Other Amusement and Recreation Industries
States with the highest level of employment
  • California
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Massachusetts
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL
  • Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI
  • San Rafael, CA
  • Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY
  • Newark, NJ-PA

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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