I've taken two courses so far, one in Baking / Pastry and one in regular cooking. I know most people at some point choose one path to focus their degree or career on, but is it a bad idea to consider getting a degree in both areas?
Double majoring, is it a good idea?
I am neither a professional chef nor a former culinary student. I am a college professor. You can decide to what degree my remarks are worthy of your attention.
Many people double-major because they think it will assist them in getting a job. On the whole, this is not the case, statistically. People hiring do not, as a rule, look at this sort of information terribly closely.
Some people double-major because they are passionately interested in more than one thing, and cannot find a single program that suits this joint interest. Such people come in two stripes, I find: those who are diffuse, and those who are extremely dedicated. The diffuse would be well advised not to double-major, as it means they end up with a minimal functional knowledge in two fields and no really deep understanding of anything. Those who are truly dedicated can make it work, because they essentially do the work of two students.
Supposing, for example, that you are doing cooking because you truly love it, and are doing pastry because you truly love it, and just cannot stand the idea of giving up anything, and are willing to work essentially double hours because you just love it so much -- in that case, you should certainly double-major. Otherwise, I think you would probably be better off devoting yourself to whichever of the two stokes your passion the more deeply.
while the latter may be true, the former is not the only issue about getting your pastry certificate on top of your savory (or indeed vice versa in your case), it's a simle matter of have that much more range/exposure to finer ends of either major.
going off and getting a BS in both is i'm sure much more involved, not to mention what's possible beyond those academicly (which i don't know), but getting the extra certificate (AA) is often only a matter of an additional few credits, so it's very cost effective to pick it up for the extra semester or two.
My last school day was in 1981 at J&W. We did it all in 2 years then get to work. School can only teach you what they feel you should know. The teachers do their best and are teachers for a reason.. a lot better hours and a whole lot less hassle. You will learn your trade out in the real world. After you get schooling out of the way, stay course with a specific discipline ie baking, cooking, etc. Learn from the best you can work for letting them know you will be moving on. Most career culinary pro's have friends and colleagues looking for students doing this type of career advancement. For me it was the New England area great people, chefs and people have money to eat out. You also have several schools up there, King Author Flour has a baking school that's days long classes, Vermont has NE culinary, NY has CIA etc. You can always take a few classes to stay fresh. Don't forget business school its not just for owning one, it aides in your understanding why the owners do what they do and guides you in your menu planning, buying strategies etc