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A Grand Diplôme or an Associate degree in culinary arts?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi, little help here, I'm still deciding between a Grand Diplôme wich takes about 9 months at LCB in Ottawa or an Associate degree of culinary arts at LCB in Austin wich takes 2 years, the Grand Diplôme is about $5,000usd cheaper than the Associate degree. I'm 26yo and I can't wait to get my cooking to a pro level one step at the time and work my way up, is an Associate degree really necessary? Will it help me get a better job and faster?. Thanks.
post #2 of 4

An interesting question. It is not an easy answer however. Taking school to advance your career is good ONLY if it will ADVANCE your career. You are still young and sounds to me like you need to get time and experience in some kitchens in order to truly utilize a culinary school education to it's fullest capacity. When starting out in the kitchens whether you are school educated or not, you will still need to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. School allows you to understand the terms and cuts quicker however, it will not advance you up the chain faster as only experience and hard work will do that. 

 

So to truly answer your question, neither is good if you do not have a few years under your belt in a professional kitchen. A Grande Diplome is only a fancy certificate on paper. An Associates Degree is always good to have so that you may build on that in your future if you wish to further yourself in ANY career moving into bachelors and beyond. I would say that you need to get the experience first, take community college culinary courses while working in a kitchen to help you with your terms and cuts, and then once you have done the courses and accumulated your hours.....write your journeyman papers. 

 

I am getting too old and tired of having young people believe in the "Food Network" ideal of the culinary world and sign up to these extortionately expensive schools and not truly do the homework of where you will end up right out of school. Paying $20K or more for culinary school is retarded in my mind as your wage is going to be close to minimum wage for a long while once you are out of school (no matter what school you have gone to). Interest and payback on loans are a bitch. Just get experience through doing by getting an entry level job at a restaurant of your choice. 

 

Hope some of this helps :) 

post #3 of 4
I really think.. No wait. I insist. Yes, that's it, I insist you get a job in an actual commerial kitchen before you sign on any dotted line.

Reasons for doing so:

1) You need work experience. School is school, it does not count as work experience. Don't take my word for it, ask someone who really counts-- prospective employers.

2) You need to know if you will actually like working in a commercial kitchen before you plunk down your money.

3) Most importantly, you need to know what kind of a salary you will be getting. Don't ask me or anyone on this board, and promise me you won't ask any representitive from the school what realistic salary would be. Promise me this O.K.? Don't listen to any sugar plum fiary story about 45K /yr upon graduating and testing recipies for life. Once you start working, you'll figure it out fast enough.

Hope this helps
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

I really think.. No wait. I insist. Yes, that's it, I insist you get a job in an actual commerial kitchen before you sign on any dotted line.

Reasons for doing so:

1) You need work experience. School is school, it does not count as work experience. Don't take my word for it, ask someone who really counts-- prospective employers.

2) You need to know if you will actually like working in a commercial kitchen before you plunk down your money.

3) Most importantly, you need to know what kind of a salary you will be getting. Don't ask me or anyone on this board, and promise me you won't ask any representitive from the school what realistic salary would be. Promise me this O.K.? Don't listen to any sugar plum fiary story about 45K /yr upon graduating and testing recipies for life. Once you start working, you'll figure it out fast enough.

Hope this helps


Could not agree more with this

 

I have met a lot of graduates of numerous culinary arts institutions and quite a few of them threw in the towel - literally.

Working in the kitchen is not what is shown on TV, is not what is portrayed in the popular media - it is though work and most of the time, low paid and underappreciated

 

That being said - in my eyes it is the only occupation I would ever want to work in :)

 

Get some experience first, work even in different settings and figure out for yourself, if this is the career path for you

 

Then - honest recommendation, work for 2-3 years in the kitchen and then apply for several programs that tickle your fancy

With experience comes the ability to really take in and soak up the things you will be taught at the culinary institutions.

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