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Should I stay or should I go?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm currently enrolled in a Hospitality Administration Bachelor's degree program at a non-culinary university. I've always wanted to pursue my passion of baking/pastries, but I'm not sure if I should finish getting my Bachelor's or should I stop for now and get a Baking & Pastry assistant chef certificate at a community college? If I go with Bachelor's, I would be graduating hopefully in Fall of 2015 (3 more semesters).

 

P.S. It should be worth noting that I have no "official" experience in the food industry, so I would hopefully get a job while in school

post #2 of 13
I'm curious. Why devote three and one-half years to a bachelor's degree program, only to quit? I say finish the program. You're contemplating to change direction before you know anything about the baking and pastry industry. By your own admission, you have no experience in the hospitality/food industry.

How are you paying for college? Assuming you've taken on a bunch of student load debt, I'd look to work in the hospitality industry where you at least have a chance at paying back the loans. What type of work does the hospitality degree lead to? It may be time to get a part-time job in your selected field.
post #3 of 13

I'd like to know what an assistant chef certificate is?

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

@SeabeeCook

I've done a lot of research in the field and I've been baking at home all my life. I have pretty good knowledge of baking principles and enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn to bake something for the heck of it lol.

I actually have no loans (thanks to my smart parents) and am working while in school. I just switched my major to Hospitality Administration and my adviser said they can help get me a job with my interests for next semester.

 

@chefbuba

From site; "This certificate program builds a strong foundation that allows you to further specialize as you progress in your career in the baking and pastry industries. The program focuses on sustainable food preparation, handling, sanitation and safety, as well as business and management principles. This course of study gives you the knowledge and hands-on skills needed for entry-level positions, including (but not limited to): baker or pastry chef assistant, prep baker, scaler, decorator, dough laminator, cake baker, cookie baker and similar positions in institutional foodservice, small to large hospitality operations, cruise ships and more."

post #5 of 13
Finnish your bachelors then baking school. Even though that degree is from a non culinary school it will help you advance in the industry and if you want to own your own.place will look good when it comes time to get financial backing
post #6 of 13

You're going to totally regret not finishing your bachelors degree. Just finish what you have left, and if you still want to attend pastry school, then you can do that too. Keep in mind that many people idealize what being a pastry chef is all about.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #7 of 13

Agree with Debo. Finish your degree, THEN go into the bakery program.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #8 of 13

Finish your degree.

 

... I'd seriously question any professional of any stripe if they said different!

 

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PS- you should also get a part time job a few nights of the week in the industry WHILE GOING TO SCHOOL!

It's not as glamorous as some believe.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLomb View Post

@SeabeeCook


I've done a lot of research in the field and I've been baking at home all my life. I have pretty good knowledge of baking principles and enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn to bake something for the heck of it lol.


I actually have no loans (thanks to my smart parents) and am working while in school. I just switched my major to Hospitality Administration and my adviser said they can help get me a job with my interests for next semester. ...


Looks like you've done your homework, JLomb. As others have said, complete your bachelors, then consider pastry school. There's certainly nothing wrong with a college grad working in a trade. I had a classmate in college that intended to go to culinary school after graduation. She would turn her second story apartment into a bakery for catering jobs.

I earned by B.S. in dietetics in 1984, but never worked as a dietitian. I've spend most of the intervening years managing military, hospital and prison kitchens. The degree may not have helped me to be a better cook, but it certainly gave me many of the business skills you need in the kitchen.

Godspeed in your career,

Steven
Chef, Oakland Feather River Camp
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your feedback! It was all very helpful & reassuring.

post #11 of 13

Finish it you don't know how lucky you are to even reach bachelor degree these days, i've been studying cooking and people are not exactly fair these days and people keep trying to say i've got learning difficulties just because i learn a little slower than some people but we all work at different paces as were all different but i can still keep up with it and when your in an actual restaurant you don't have to do as much as in a college because they have people in restaurant who wash your pots for you so you can focus on your work as a chef so it's easier once you get out, stick to it for now as it's not always going to be difficult. i know it's a lot of work in a college as you have to do everything and the way they work around it is the meals you make go towards feeding the college at lunch time so you have to even wash your pots after plus cramming in whatever paper work and assessments, been there for a year and a half, never again lol (although i'm going to start an apprenticeship pretty soon so i will only have to do everything once a week for training at the local college here).

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you all again for your input and advice. I'm sticking it out for another 3 semesters and finding work in a kitchen (hopefully bakery) in the meantime. For the record though, if I did take a break, I would come back to finish my Bachelor's, but it seems easier to just finish it now while I'm enrolled and have a place out by the school. :)

post #13 of 13

Awesome! good luck in your studies :) i hope your learning a lot while your there

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