Hello everyone! Although I am only a sophomore in high school, I have long known that I wanted to pursue a career in baking and pastry arts. I have been looking in to different culinary schools and it seems to me that Johnson & Wales and The Culinary Institute of America are the best choices. The thing I liked about J&W is that it is also a four year college so I could get not only excellent training in my career field of choice, but I would also have a degree to fall back on should there be a need. However, further research in to the Culinary Institute of America has shown that it could open up many doors for me. I am currently taking high school level culinary courses. Also, if it helps at all, I am located in Arizona. I was hoping to hear from some alumni from either school but any sort of feedback would be helpful! Thank you all in advance!
A little advice?
Both schools are very good and will open many doors. But mostly opening those doors is up to you.
I graduated from J&W and live in upstate NY.
The CIA is located in a fairly rural area. The nearest town is a few miles away so a car is a big consideration for going anywhere.
J&W is located in Providence, a large city with a pretty good bus system and the school has it's own bus system for students so getting around is much easier. If going out to a diner, cafe or movie is an important part of your college experience, this may make a difference.
Both colleges will provide a very good education but both are very expensive so I would strongly suggest visiting both campuses before making a decision.
On second thought, you can use Google maps street view to see the areas around each school. That may save you the trip to see the campuses. But as you stated, the degree possibilities are important to you so carefully review the offerings of each school.
I will advise you to keep in mind that an education from either school is only the beginning of your learning, not the end. Once you graduate, remain humble when you begin working. There is much to learn you can only get from experience. School will provide a great deal of theoretical ideas and concepts which you may or may not encounter out in any particular kitchen. Remain open minded and remember that those who have experience only will have much to teach you.