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Baking and Pastry School: AS Degree vs. Certificate Program

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok, I am trying to decide which culinary institute to attend to pursue a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. I have been in contact with several different schools in my area (I live in Florida). Some of the schools offer Associate's degrees, whereas some offer certificate programs. I have an AA in general education, and also have a Bachelor's degree. I do not know if those things factor into which type of program I should choose or not.

 

I am trying to find out, credibility and employablilty-wise, which type of program (degree vs. certificate) is best. Does it make a difference?

 

Any input/help/ideas would be much appreciated (especially from a professional standpoint)!

post #2 of 6

I like to ask questions...

 

1) Do you have any previous experience working in kitchens?

2) What schools in Florida are you looking into? I ask this because Florida has a ton.

3) What do you plan on doing with your education? Any career path in mind?

4) What did you previously study? 

See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
1) I currently work part-time as a baker, and have been for about 6 months...I took the job specifically so I could make sure I wanted to pursue this as a career.

2)schools: so far, I have been in contact with Keiser University in Tallahassee (where I am currently living), Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, the Art Institute in Tampa, and Johnson and Wales in Miami.

3) I would like to open my own bakery at some point, which would probably mean working for others for a few years after school to get experience and funds to do so.

4)I have an AA in general education and a Bachelor's in editing, writing, and media. (completely unrelated to baking and pastry, haha)
post #4 of 6

bakerygirl88:

I have found only two community colleges offering Baking and Pastry Arts programs.

Valencia Community College's Baking and Pastry Management Program.

Your previous coursework should be accepted at VCC towards their A.S. degree requirements.

Daytona State College

Good luck. chef.gif


Edited by TheUnknownCook - 3/3/11 at 4:06pm
Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
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Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
Reply
post #5 of 6

Hi It really doesnt matter you have done certificate program or associate degree, many famous pastry chefs don't have even formal culinary education.What makes difference is your passion & dedication towards your work.Either mere associate degree or certificate program can't make you successful pastry chef but your passion does.We can expect to get good headstart in our profession after completing these programs,but can't rely on it.I think diploma or certificate programs are more than enough for pastry art education,but it should be from good college, associate degrees are not required to become a pastry chef.Its a waste of time, you can put valuable time working in good place where you think you can get necessary skills & experience.I just enrolled for George Brown's Baking & Patry arts mgmt program for sept intake.

post #6 of 6

BakeryGirl,

 

Sorry to get back to you so late. 

 

Personally, I don't know much about Keiser so I cannot comment on that school. 

 

What I would recommend is to look at the certificate option at LCB, AI, and J+W. Would you need to relocate to attend any of those three? If so, think about the overall cost of just moving and if it is worth it financially to do so. I wrote more about that topic on my site http://culinaryschooladviser.com/?p=58

 

I haven't heard really negative things about either of these three schools but again, I urge you to just get a certificate. For one, it is less expensive and there's no need to take on a ton of debt for something you don't need. Because you have a BA and writing skills, it is possible you can use these later on in areas like food writing and PR (whether that's for others or for your own business). 

 

What I like about AI is that they are willing to post career placement and salary information when few proprietary schools will do so. 


Also, look to see WHO is teaching at these schools. Experienced instructors generally know what they are doing and have industry contacts.

 

And just to confirm, I am not employed by any of these schools. 

 

I hope that helps and good luck.

 

See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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