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certificate vs. Associates(HELP ME PLEASE)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello All!

My name is Eudora and I have a BA in American History.
I would like to go to culinary school and have read all of the posts. It seems that most say don't spend too much b/c of the loan and starting pay of line cooks. :(

Honestly, if I get a certificate from a community college instead of my associates degree, can I still get hired to a bakery or resturant or do I need to spend the extra money of an associate's degree.

I know you chef's know because you have been there already and everyone says experience is the best thing and the only thing that gets you anywhere in the industry. I know I need to learn the basics.

Please help me, I don't want to spend more money than I have to.

THanks in advance
post #2 of 3
If the community college also offers an Associate's degree and the price difference is not exceedingly high when put in comparison to the certificate, I would go with the AA, just because it is a recognized degree and the certificate isn't. You would learn more with the AA program, but of course as mentioned before, experience is king.

I do not think you would have a hard time being accepted in a bakery with a certificate, just realize that you may have to start off with some dirty jobs (pot washing, garbage, etc) along with very simple prep work.

I am still a student (not in culinary though), and have yet to reach the title of Chef, so maybe someone with a little more experience can chime in.

Best of luck to you,

post #3 of 3
The credits you earned in your BA should be transferrable towards an AA, no? That's how it worked at my vo-tech. I'd ask the admissions folks about it.

As for a cert vs AA in terms of job ops, IMObservation it only matters if you plan to go into a corporate hotel/F&B environment and want to move up into something managerial or director-like within those places, in which case it's likely you'd want to look into getting a BA in F&B. My vo-tech's AA degree is transferrable towards a BA in F&B within Seattle's community college system, so if corporate is a goal, your admissions folks should have the scoop on that as well.

Most of the places I've worked have been nice restaurants, including the one I'm in now. In thinking back to everyone I've worked for or with, as many of us didn't have certs and degrees as did, cooks and chefs alike.

For the actual getting hired part, I went into culinary school with no food experience beyond fast food work. I just made a point of staging all over the place while in school, studying like crazy and working hard, and basically learning whatever I could, and it was no problem getting a foot in the door, and I've had no problem with finding challenging work since graduation. In fact, a lot of us got hired while still in school, and I know this was also the case for the students in the baking and pastry program.

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